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In Mixed Company Chapter Seven

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					 In Mixed Company
   Chapter Seven
 Defective Group Decision
Making and Problem Solving


      Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   1
        Group Decision Making and
       Information Overload:
      Too Much of Good Thing
• Information is the raw material of group
  decision making and problem solving.
• Information overload occurs when the rate
  of information flow into a system and/or
  the complexity of that information exceed
  the system’s processing capacity.



              Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   2
                Group Decision Making and
        Information Sometimes
       Impairs Critical Thinking
• A glut of information makes it very difficult
  to distinguish useless from the useful
  information.
• Critical thinking and effective decision
  making are hampered because group
  members have trouble digging through the
  garbage heap of useless information to
  discover the treasured nugget.
                Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective    3
                  Group Decision Making and
          Information Bulimia
• Information bulimia is a binge-and-purge cycle of
  information processing.
  – Cramming for an exam.
• We become so focused on the quantity of
  information that we hardly is substandard.
• Little information is retained, no meaningful
  decision have been made in the process; no
  vital answers to problems have been
  discovered.
                 Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   4
                   Group Decision Making and
  Group Attention Deficit Disorder:
      Difficulty Concentrating
• When cell phones and pagers go off
  during group meetings, classes, and the
  like everyone is distracted and attention is
  diverted from decision making and
  problem solving.




                Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   5
                  Group Decision Making and
 Coping with Information Overload
• Screening Information: Separating the
  Useful form the Useless
  – Screening information much like you do
    phone calls by simply choosing to ignore
    much of the information is one effective
    method of coping with information overload.




                Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective    6
                  Group Decision Making and
  Specializing Knowing More and
    More about Less and Less
• When you specialize you can manage to
  know a lot about a little.
• No individual or group can possibly
  manage information sufficiently so that
  experts on vital subjects will never be
  required.



               Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   7
                 Group Decision Making and
         Becoming Selective:
       On a Need-to-Know Basis
• Another method of coping with information
  overload is selectivity.
• Setting group priorities helps members select
  which information requires their urgent attention
  and which can be delayed or ignored entirely.
• Setting priorities distinguishes what we need to
  know from what there is to know.
• Selecting the specific information that is required
  avoids burial by the information dump truck.
                  Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective      8
                    Group Decision Making and
        Limiting the Search:
       When Enough is Enough
• The search for information must stop at
  some point to allow time to reflect and
  evaluate information.
• Setting deadlines fro group decisions is
  critical, deadlines force a group to bring a
  search for information to a halt.



                Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   9
                  Group Decision Making and
        Information Underload
• Information underload refers to an insufficient
  amount of information (inadequate input)
  available to a group for decision-making
  purpose.
• Increasing the quantity of irrelevant or minimally
  useful information will confuse rather than assist
  the group in making effective decisions and
  solving problems.
• Mindsets are psychological and cognitive
  predispositions to see the world in a particular
  way.

                 Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective    10
                   Group Decision Making and
            The Problem:
     Poor Decisions and Solutions
• The consequences of confirmation bias to group
  decision making and problem solving are serious.
  Looking for the potential weaknesses and disconfirming
  evidence regarding decisions and solutions is a
  significant element of effective, group decision making
  and problem solving.
• Confirmation bias was common.
   – Positive information about a candidate that each subject initially
     favored was readily shared and discussed with group members;
     negative information, however, was about disfavored candidates
     but positive information was not.



                       Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective                 11
                         Group Decision Making and
    Combating Confirmation Bias:
              A Plan
•   The competent communicator combats
    the problem of confirmation bias by
    taking the following steps:
1. Seek disconfirmation and evidence
2. Vigorously present disconfirming
   evidence to the group.
3. Play devils advocate
4. Gather allies to help challenge
   confirmation bias.
              Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   12
                Group Decision Making and
          False Dichotomies:
          Either-or Thinking
• A false dichotomy is the tendency to view
  the world in terms of only two opposing
  possibilities when other possibilities are
  available, and to describe this dichotomy
  in the language of extremes.
• Describing objects, events, and people in
  such extreme polarities as more-immoral,
  good-bad, rich-poor, locks us into a
  mindset of narrow vision.
               Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   13
                 Group Decision Making and
          False Dichotomies
•  The competent communicator combats the
   problem of false dichotomies in small groups as
   follows:
1. Be suspicious of absolutes- when group
   members argue only two extreme possibilities,
   look for a third or even fourth possibility.
2. Employ the language of provisionalism. You
   will be using terms such as sometimes, rarely,
   occasionally, mostly, usually, unlikely, and
   moderately, not always, never, or impossible.

                 Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   14
                   Group Decision Making and
                   Inferences
• Inferences are conclusions about the unknown
  based on what is known.
• The principal problem with inferences is that we
  too often assume our inferences are mere
  descriptions of fact, even when they rest on
  insufficient or faulty information
• If we don't exercise our critical thinking abilities
  by closely examining important inferences
  central to decision making in groups, bad
  decisions are highly likely to result.

                   Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective        15
                     Group Decision Making and
      Limited Information Base:
       Information Insufficiency
• Inferential error resulting from severely
  limited information is equally problematic
  for a group.
• Group members are prone to make
  inferences based on extremely limited or
  faulty information without even realizing
  that they have made a guess, and not
  identified a fact.

               Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   16
                 Group Decision Making and
          Specified Sources of
           Inferential Errors
• The graphic, outrageous, controversial event
  draws our attention and sticks in our minds, that
  is called the vividness effect.
• We tend to overvalue shocking example and
  undervalue statistical information that shows
  patterns and trends.
• Unrepresentativeness distorting the facts- when
  we make a judgment, we assess the
  resemblance or accuracy of an object or event
  presumed to belong to a general category.

                 Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   17
                   Group Decision Making and
Correlation Inferred as Causations
• A third specific source of inferential error is
  correlation. A correlation is a consistent
  relationship between two or more
  variables. The are two kinds of
  correlations: positive and negative.
• A positive correlation occurs when X
  increases and Y also increases.
• A negative correlation occurs when X
  increases and Y decreases.
                Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective   18
                  Group Decision Making and
          Error Correction:
      Practicing Critical Thinking
•  Group discussion promotes higher-quality of
   decision making when the following conditions
   occur:
1. The validity of inferences is carefully examined.
2. Inferences are grounded in valid and plentiful
   information.
3. As least one member of the group exerts
   influence to guide the group toward higher-
   quality decisions.

                 Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective    19
                   Group Decision Making and
      General Conditions: Excessive
  Cohesiveness and Concurrence Seeking
• Groupthink- a mode of thinking that people engage in
  when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group,
  when the members’ strivings for unanimity override their
  motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of
  action.
• Cohesiveness and its companion, concurrence-seeking,
  are the two general conditions necessary for groupthink
  to occur.
• Groupthink is rooted in excessive cohesiveness and a
  resulting pressure to present a united front to those
  outside of the group.


                     Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective         20
                       Group Decision Making and
     Identification of Groupthink:
           Main Symptoms
• Overestimation of the groups power and
  morality.
• Closed-mindedness, clinging to assumptions.
  – Closed-mindedness is manifested by rationalizations
    that discount warnings or negative information that
    might cause the group to rethink its basic
    assumptions.
• Pressures toward Uniformity
  – To maintain uniformity of opinion and behavior among
    group members.

                  Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective          21
                    Group Decision Making and
        Preventing Groupthink:
         Promoting Vigilance
• Groups must become vigilant decision makers.
  Vigilant decision making requires that several
  steps be taken.
• First, members must recognize the problem of
  groupthink as it begins to manifest itself.
• Second, the group must minimize status
  differences, high status members exert a
  disproportionate influence on lower-status group
  members.

                 Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective    22
                   Group Decision Making and
        Preventing Groupthink:
         Promoting Vigilance
• Seeking information that challenges an
  emerging occurrence.
• Close related , developing a norm in the group
  that legitimizes disagreement during discussion
  sessions is a final way to prevent groupthink.
• Reminder role- the reminder raise questions in a
  non-aggressive manner regarding collective
  inferential error, confirmation bias, false
  dichotomies, and any of he myriad symptoms of
  groupthink that may arise.

                 Speech 140 Chapter 7 Defective     23
                   Group Decision Making and

				
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