Cognitive Independence And Cohesion In Decision-making Groups




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Cognitive Independence (CI) can be defined as the tendency to form opinions and make decisions based on personal knowledge as well as additional information that appears to be valid and factual. CI implies a tendency away from normative influence and toward informational influence. In this project CI is investigated in multiple forms in terms of its effects on group decision-making. Over the course of four studies the construct is identified and defined, a scale is designed to measure it and its predictive power in state and trait variable forms are investigated on the Hidden Profile group-decision-making task (Stasser & Titus, 1985). General predictions throughout the project are that CI and group cohesion predict success on a Hidden Profile murder-mystery task. These predictions are supported by the results of the main study in which trait and state-level CI significantly predicted novel information exchange and novel information exchange and group cohesion in turn significantly predicted decision-making success. Results are discussed in terms of their place in multiple literatures, including the study of group bias toward shared information, group personality research, the dissent and conflict literature, and the social influence literature.