In the study of determining the tendency of the groups to discuss shared information by all group members more than unshared information, the participants included 82 same sex or mixed sex three persons group who received the partial credit towards the research requirement. Out of all the three groups, one of the three groups was dropped due to errors and mistakes in the experimental procedures. Later, the remaining 81 groups were divided to 2 cell factorial design.
The researcher used modified version of the murder mystery tasks of Stasser and Stewart where the guilty suspect was to be determined. During the analysis, participants were exposed to 25 critical and non-critical clues. In the shared conditions, the critical clues were shared before the discussion while the non- critical clues remained unshared before the discussion. However, the members were given 1 incriminating clue.
The participants were to follow a set of guidelines and procedures which were to propel them in carrying out the experiment. Firstly, they were supposed to read and comprehend the set of instructions at the beginning of each session so as to help them understand the murder mystery case and make a group decision on which murder suspect was guilty. Each member of the group was to meet the three-person interview panel after they had held a group discussion for 15 to 20 minutes. During the interview, the participants were made aware that their voices were to be recorded on the audiotape which led to signing of the consent form. However, the instruction was rendered redundant since there was no interview panel for the whole exercise. The Individuals in each group were given an opportunity to fill the questionnaire and were also granted 30 minutes opportunities to determine how accountability can be distinguished by the information participants did receive about their interview panels preferences. After a series of discussions, the participants filled a set of post discussion questionnaire to mark the end of data collection. All participants were then appreciated for their time and resources they had used to participate in the whole process.
From the experiment, it can be deduced that the groups were more likely to discuss the information shared by all the group members as compared to the unshared information. Besides, it was hypothesized and proven that the groups might be less likely to overlook unshared information when they are held accountable for the audience outside the group for their respective discussions. When the university students who were the participants were put into a group of three as shown mentioned earlier to select the most probable suspect who ought to have committed the crime, the result was contrary to the set hypothesis. The result showed that the accountable groups were less likely to focus on the unshared information as compared to the groups was not held accountable due to more focus on irrelevant information by the accountable groups. It thus led to the proposal for further research which proposed that the further research should be conducted to determine the possibility that some accountability and conditions can be dysfunctional since it draws greater attention to the extraneous information. Besides, it should also focus on making the distinctions between the two accountabilities; that is; outcome accountability and process accountability.
Part 2: Quality Critical Evaluation of the Experiment
In the experiment to determine the accountability and the discussion of the shared and unshared critical information in decision-making groups were well organized having the proper format of the experimental report. It had an abstract which gave the general finding and summary of the study, an introduction, methods used, materials used and the discussions of results and suggestion for further reading. During the analysis of the data got from the participants, the researcher used the statistical methods to analyze data so as to give a viable outcome to the users of the results (Billing, Stasser and Stewart, 1998). They used log regression analysis, correlation coefficient and the analysis of the P-Values. It thus helped to show the relationship between the shared and unshared information, preference known and unknown accountability and preference known and preference unknown accountability. Besides it helps in the interpretation of the results and making of sound decisions by the groups about the guilty criminals.
However, the experiment had flaws which make it a bit uncompact. It has been evident that there were errors in the procedures which led to the elimination of one of the 82 same sex or mixed sex 3-person groups. The elimination would have led to biases in results as since it might happen that the participants who had a lot of information for the study were left out (Billing, Stasser and Stewart 1998). Besides, the participants were given a set of instructions about the interview panel which might have instill fear to the participants especially when they were informed that their voices were to be recorded on the videotape. However, the whole instructions were considered bogus since there was no panel for the interview and there was no further communication about it. It was also evident that accountability can lead to the dilution effect since the participants in the study considered both diagnostic and non-diagnostic information during the experiment. For example, they considered the use of critical clues which are diagnostic to identify the suspects in the murder mystery but the details were non-diagnostics as depicted by the sampling focus measure out (Billing, Stasser and Stewart 1998). Besides, the researcher was unable to test the interaction between the information distribution and accountability for both sampling focus measure. The problem posited by the procedures also led to the abandonment of hypothesis 7 which was advocating for the likelihood of discovering the guilty suspects (Billing, Stasser and Stewart 1998). Moreover, the analysis was not clear about the distinctions between the outcome accountability and the process accountability making it to be not clear about which type of accountability should be given more focus as compared to the other. It thus posits a challenge during the decision-making process among the decision-making groups. It is subsequently prudent that an advocacy for further reading should be given an attention so as to ensure that the minor and major faults committed during data collection, data analysis and presentation should be avoided (Dryden, Miller & Henningsen 2003). Besides, the wrong information should not be given to the participants since it can make them be bored and give up in giving some confidential information which might be very important for making deductions and conclusions.
Billing R, Stasser G and Stewart D. (1998). Accountability and the Discussion of Unshared, Critical Information in Decision making Groups. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice. Vol 3, Iss 1, pp. 18-23
Knock & Ulrich (2007). How to improve decision making in Small Groups: Effects of dissent and Training interventions; Small Group Research. Vol 38, Iss 3, pp. 437-468.
Dryden D, Miller M.L. & Henningsen. (2003). Examining the social Influence in Information sharing Contexts; Small Group Research, Sage Publishers. Vol 34, Iss 4, pp. 391-412
Margnus M, Jessica R, Dechurch & Leslie A. (2011). A meta Analytic Investigation of Virtuality and Information Sharing in teams; Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Vol 115, Iss 2, pp 214-225.
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