Collaborative planning and prediction: Does group discussion affect optimistic biases in time estimation?

Collaborative planning and prediction: Does group discussion affect optimistic biases in time... Intuition and previous research indicate that individuals commonly display an optimistic bias in time prediction. The present studies extend research on task completion forecasts to examine tasks performed collaboratively by groups, and predictions generated through group discussion. Participants predicted—individually and collaboratively—when they would complete upcoming group projects ranging from brief laboratory tasks to extensive real-world projects, and their actual completion times were measured. Results supported the three guiding hypotheses. First, there was an optimistic bias for both individual (Studies 1 and 2) and group predictions (Studies 1–3). Second, predictions generated through group discussion were more optimistic than those generated individually. Third, this “group accentuation” effect was mediated by the informational focus at the time of prediction. Group discussion heightened participants’ tendency to focus primarily on factors promoting successful task completion, and this selective focus on “planning for success” enhanced their optimistic outlook. Discussion centers on theoretical contributions to the individual and group decision making literatures, as well as applied implications for planning and forecasting within organizational contexts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes Elsevier

Collaborative planning and prediction: Does group discussion affect optimistic biases in time estimation?

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Elsevier Inc.
ISSN
0749-5978
DOI
10.1016/j.obhdp.2005.02.004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Intuition and previous research indicate that individuals commonly display an optimistic bias in time prediction. The present studies extend research on task completion forecasts to examine tasks performed collaboratively by groups, and predictions generated through group discussion. Participants predicted—individually and collaboratively—when they would complete upcoming group projects ranging from brief laboratory tasks to extensive real-world projects, and their actual completion times were measured. Results supported the three guiding hypotheses. First, there was an optimistic bias for both individual (Studies 1 and 2) and group predictions (Studies 1–3). Second, predictions generated through group discussion were more optimistic than those generated individually. Third, this “group accentuation” effect was mediated by the informational focus at the time of prediction. Group discussion heightened participants’ tendency to focus primarily on factors promoting successful task completion, and this selective focus on “planning for success” enhanced their optimistic outlook. Discussion centers on theoretical contributions to the individual and group decision making literatures, as well as applied implications for planning and forecasting within organizational contexts.

Journal

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision ProcessesElsevier

Published: May 1, 2005

References

  • Planning, personality, and prediction: The role of future focus in optimistic time predictions
    Buehler, R.; Griffin, D.
  • Frequency, probability, and prediction: Easy solutions to cognitive illusions?
    Griffin, D.; Buehler, R.
  • Interaction with others increases decision confidence but not decision quality: Evidence against information collection views of interactive decision making
    Heath, C.; Gonzalez, R.
  • Improving group judgment accuracy: Information sharing and determining the best member
    Henry, R.A.
  • Examining the impact of interpersonal cohesiveness on group accuracy interventions: The importance of matching versus buffering
    Henry, R.A.; Kmet, J.; Desrosiers, E.; Landa, A.
  • Group decision making with responses of a quantitative nature: The theory of social decision schemes for quantities
    Hinsz, V.B.
  • The motivational impact of temporal focus: Thinking about the future and the past
    Karniol, R.; Ross, M.
  • Does group discussion attenuate the dispositional bias?
    Wright, E.F.; Wells, G.L.

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