An Empirical Evaluation of the Role of Persuasive Arguments in Accentuating Group Polarization
As networked work environments become more pervasive and virtual organizations, facilitated by Information Technology, become a reality over the coming decades; and as the importance of collaboration and team work continues to play a key role in how organizations and executives work, it is imperative to investigate and assess the implications of this on the process and outcomes of team work and group decision-making. The purpose of this research is to study the effects of computer mediation, using commercially available group decision support software, on the process and outcomes of group decision making. In particular, this study investigates how and why computer mediation causes group choices to be different from initial individual choices, if at all. The social psychology literature, which we briefly review in the following section, documents group choices to be different from individual choices. In the proposed study our interest is in assessing the contribution of technology to this phenomenon which is referred to as "group-induced attitude polarization" [Isenberg, 1986]. Group-induced attitude polarization, also referred to as "choice shift," "group polarization" or "risky shifts," has fascinated social psychologists for over thirty years. Numerous theories have been proposed and a large body of literature [For reviews see, Pruitt, 1971; Lamm and Myers, 1978] that indicates that group interaction frequently results in members changing and enhancing their prior beliefs in a certain direction has been established. There are several explanations for group induced attitude polarization. One of the most dominant explanations and the focus of this paper is Persuasive Arguments Theory (PAT) [Pruitt, 1971; Lamm and Myers, 1978; Isenberg, 1986].
Vinze, Ajay and El-Shinnawy, Maha, "An Empirical Evaluation of the Role of Persuasive Arguments in Accentuating Group Polarization" (1995). AMCIS 1995 Proceedings. 24.