This study examines the impact of proximity, anonymity, and information exposure on group polarization in a GSS context. Proximity was studied at two levels: proximate and distributed. Anonymity was examined at two levels: identified and anonymous. Information exposure was also varied at two levels: exposure to positionswithoutargumentsandexposuretopositionswitharguments. Thedependentvariableswerechoice shift and preference change. Distributed groups had greater choice shift than proximate groups. When exposed to positions without arguments, distributed meetings resulted in higher preference change than proximate meetings. But when exposed to positions with arguments, proximity interacted with anonymity to alter preference change. These findings indicate that a distributed GSS setting encourages group polarization. However, group polarization can also be raised in a proximate GSS setting if the anonymity capability is used by group members to exchange mutual positions and arguments.
Sia, Choon-Ling; Tan, Bernard; and Wei, Kwok-Kee, "Will Distributed GSS Groups Make More Extreme Decisions? An Empirical Study" (1996). ICIS 1996 Proceedings. 23.