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Twelve (not so) angry men: managing conversational group size increases perceived contribution by decision makers

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Individuals in large groups do not always contribute equally to group decision making. This may be due to constraints on conversational group size, as when a group is comprised of more than 4 people, it spontaneously fissions into smaller groups within which conversations take place. Thus, if conversations are attempted in larger groups, some individuals will not be part of the spontaneously forming discursive subgroup and, consequently, may not contribute to group decision making. Here, using a mock jury paradigm, the effect of hierarchically subdividing groups to mimic the spontaneous formation of optimally sized conversational groups (while maintaining an overarching group size of 12) was tested. Individuals in the subdivided condition reported greater equality of contribution to the decision-making process than individuals in the control condition, and experienced less inhibition from participation due to the activities of others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-843
Number of pages9
JournalGroup Processes Intergroup Relations
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

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