The Analysis of Participation in Small Groups:Methodological and Conceptual Issues Related to Interdependence
AbstractParticipation in small groups is a complex process, influenced by the competencies, abilities, and behavior of both self and other as well as by the dynamic nature of discussion and the static features of the task. Work on conceptualizing the complexity of participation as an interdependent phenomenon has stagnated, due in no small measure to the difficulty in modeling nonindependent outcome data. Recent developments in such modeling have not only given researchers new analytical tools but raised important theoretical and conceptual concerns regarding participation. Offered here are descriptions of three relatively new models designed to assist in research on interdependence—the social relations model, multilevel modeling, and the actor-partner interdependence model—especially in terms of the issues each raises regarding the nature of participation.