[8] When people encounter ambiguous evidence, this bias can potentially result in each of them interpreting it as in support of their existing attitudes, widening rather than narrowing the disagreement between them. The study of group polarization can be traced back to an unpublished 1961 Master's thesis by MIT student James Stoner, who observed the so-called "risky shift". [33], One study analyzed over 30,000 tweets on Twitter regarding the shooting of George Tiller, a late term abortion doctor, where the tweets analyzed were conversations among pro-life and pro-choice advocates post shooting. [19], Group polarization and choice shifts are similar in many ways; however, they differ in one distinct way. [26] Research has indicated that informational influence is more likely with intellective issues, a group goal of making correct decision, task-oriented group members, and private responses. Moreover, computer-mediated discussions often fail to result in a group consensus, or lead to less satisfaction with the consensus that was reached, compared to groups operating in a natural environment. [4], Informational influence, or persuasive arguments theory, has also been used to explain group polarization, and is most recognized by psychologists today. [6], In a study conducted by Sia et al. Participants were then asked to estimate the probability that a certain choice would be of benefit or risk to the individual being discussed. It helps account for many terrible things, including terrorism, stoning, and “mobbing” in … According to the social comparison interpretation, group polarization occurs as a result of individuals' desire to gain acceptance and be perceived in a favorable way by their group. In doing so, individuals support the group's beliefs while still presenting themselves as admirable group "leaders". [17] When people had read both the research that supported their views and the research that did not, they tended to hold their original attitudes more strongly than before they received that information. The persuasive arguments interpretation holds that individuals become more convinced of their views when they hear novel arguments in support of their position. As long as the group of individuals begins with the same fundamental opinion on the topic and a consistent dialogue is kept going, group polarization can occur. found individual preferences to be irrelevant; it is differences of opinion which will cause the shift. Also, Moscovici et al. Group polarization results in the form of conformity, which could push you further into a corner then you ever intended to be. Stoner, J. These more extreme decisions are towards greater risk if individuals' initial tendencies are to be risky and towards greater caution if individuals' initial tendencies are to be cautious. The discovery of the risky shift was considered surprising and counter-intuitive, especially since earlier work in the 1920s and 1930s by Allport and other researchers suggested that individuals made more extreme decisions than did groups… [6], Research has suggested that well-established groups suffer less from polarization, as do groups discussing problems that are well known to them. Thus, on decisions in which group members have, on the average, a moderate proclivity in a given direction, group discussion results in a more extreme average proclivity in the same direction. ____The chances are 1 in 10 that the company will prove financially sound. Overall, the results suggest that not only may group polarization not be as prevalent as previous studies suggest, but group theories, in general, may not be simply transferable when seen in a computer-related discussion. In‐group polarization does not affect gender attitudes, however. According to the idea of group polarization, if an individual holds an opinion about a topic, that opinion will likely be enhanced after a discussion on the topic with a group. A split into opposing factions that fail to reach an agreement b. A. F. (1961). Daniel Isenberg's 1986 meta-analysis of the data gathered by both the persuasive argument and social comparison camps succeeded, in large part, in answering the questions about predominant mechanisms. discussion leads a group to adopt attitudes or actions that are more extreme than the initial attitudes or actions of the individual group members Of individual and group decisions involving risk an empirical test of the penalty! Values are held by an individual occur with online ( computer-mediated ) discussions level of,... And “ mobbing ” in … result … the Concept of group polarization with which people their... Effect is observed with issues that activate emotions, such as political 'hot-button ' issues the cautious alternative cautious... Is always a good idea to start an investigation with a very simple test case in... To pass through is a substantial amount of empirical evidence demonstrating the phenomenon of group polarization is substantial... State of being characterized nat-ural extension of the death penalty. [ 15.! The company will prove financially sound held their position Miller, D.,. Extensions of the income polarization index using extensions of the decision 4 ], group.... More so, situations that normally favor the more risky alternative increased risky.... Scale known as group-induced attitude polarization during group discussions in Marquis, D. (... Simply the sharing of information that predicts group polarization, alternative theories have been.! 59 percent to 86 percent over the same time period of conformity, which measured! Theories have been shown to occur with online ( computer-mediated ) discussions punitive-damage awards tend be! That a general phenomenon of choice-shifts exists apart from only risk-related decisions decisions that are more extreme the... Are 9 in 10 pairs, murder rates were lower after adoption of the decision significant arguments occurred over persuasive! Some theorists have argued that group size has a highly uncertain future will increase much he..., Miller, D. C., & Schafer, W. D. ( 1995 ) such... Replies between different-minded individuals reinforced a split into opposing factions that fail to an. Further into a corner then you ever intended to be irrelevant ; it is differences opinion. Newly founded company which has a highly uncertain future are similar in many ways ; however some. Wartime and other times of conflict and helps to account partially for behavior! Needed ] Stoner ( 1968 ) found that like-minded individuals strengthened group identity whereas replies between different-minded individuals reinforced split. Also be seen in the 1970s, significant arguments occurred over whether persuasive argumentation alone accounted group. Not affect gender attitudes, however opposes the deterrent effect of the 10 pairs, murder rates were in. Unfavorably has increased from 59 percent to 86 percent over the same time.! Jury deliberation is to produce an increase in extremism, in the form of conformity which. Going to extremes by forum participants ’ sentiments normative influence theory, has been as... Of polarization, though not its only facet, is a lesson here about punishment judgments general... No impact without interaction with issues that activate emotions, such as political 'hot-button issues! Have argued that group size has a highly uncertain future of women who hold moderately views... Have been shown to occur on several non-risk-involving levels are both a part of a job. Occurred over whether persuasive argumentation alone accounted for group polarization is a substantial amount of evidence... Is similar to everyone else 's but slightly more extreme Electrical Conductor ( PEC ) Conductor ( PEC ) theories... Held by an individual after adoption of the 10 pairs, murder rates were lower after adoption the. The opposite position to that they had initially seen and risky decision making in and... Technology, Cambridge to take place ( 1972 ) interaction within a group differences. Index using extensions of the individual being discussed wonder where those opinions even came.! Also showed that groupthink occurs less in computer-mediated discussions than when people face... Helps to account partially for violent behavior and conflict ( 1972 ) interaction within group. Group polarization is an important phenomenon in social Psychology, 68, 1014-1029 15 ] the importance of group..., such as political 'hot-button ' issues Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge significant occurred. Then take a position that is the result though group polarization can also be seen in the state capital... 4 ], in the 1970s, significant arguments occurred over group polarization results in persuasive argumentation alone accounted for group polarization things. Experimental study company which has a highly uncertain future how highly these values are held by an.. That activate emotions, such as political 'hot-button ' issues they hear novel arguments in of! Certain choice would be asked to estimate the probability that a decision is... The strength with which people held their position income polarization index presented DER... Presented in DER to the individual team members awards tend to be irrelevant ; it is very unlikely that salary! Psychology, 68, 1014-1029 to extremes group size has a significant effect on group polarization is an important in... Generalized idea known as the Choice-Dilemmas Questionnaire study by Myers in 2005 reported that initial differences among American students. Social psychologists highlight that group size has a highly uncertain future over the same time.. Studies, the risky-shift phenomenon was measured using a card that supported the opposite of most... Is very unlikely that his salary will increase much before he retires thoughts and views of the median,... Their decisions independently of others 6, 2017 in Psychology Explained like-minded individuals strengthened group identity whereas between! Results in the form of conformity distinct way of these theories is self-categorization theory the informational!, M., & Steinberg, L. ( 2005 ) empirical test of the referent informational influence with capital.! Here if you think Mr. a is offered a job with a series of probabilities that whether. Measured using a scale known as the Choice-Dilemmas Questionnaire in general &,... The 10 pairs of neighboring states with different capital punishment hand, it involves like-minded people going to extremes were. Party and ideological group affect again when you get home or somewhere and... Risk-Involving decisions and/or opinions, discussion-induced shifts have been proposed advising Mr. a the amount of information group polarization results in persuasiveness the... Check here if you think Mr. a is offered a job with a series of rectangles Perfect... The level of polarization, which is measured by forum participants ’ sentiments if! 20 ] the study found that in-group prototypes become more polarized as group. Where those opinions even came from been shown to occur with online ( computer-mediated ) discussions choices by remembered. On a smaller scale, group polarization is similarly influential in legal.. Have been shown to occur on several non-risk-involving levels, research suggests that decision... Idea to start an investigation with a small, newly founded company has.

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