The performance of interacting groups is often viewed as a function of the groups' ability to identify and weight their better members' judgments (Einhorn, Hogarth, & Klempner, 1977). Accurate identification of the best group member is facilitated by individuals accurately assessing confidence in their own individual judgments and accurately communicating their confidence during group interaction (Sniezek & Henry, 1989). This paper examines the communication of confidence in interacting groups in two ways: by observing the performance of interacting groups for which confidence is anticipated to be communicated with high accuracy, and by observing the effects of changes in the group interaction setting that vary group members' ability to communicate confidence. This is achieved by examining the performance of a special type of interacting group, a laboratory financial market, that encourages relatively accurate communication of confidence and that can be modified to manipulate the extent to which confidence can be communicated. Results reveal generally high performance of groups which interact in settings that are conducive to communication of confidence, and significant learning from the interaction process by all group members (including the best member). Results also indicate a significant decrease in the performance of groups whose ability to communicate confidence during interaction is reduced.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 1996
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