Second Guessing in Group Decision-Making
Communication Research, Forthcoming
41 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 20, 2018
While numerous studies have demonstrated the difficulty minority opinion holders face when trying to persuade a majority, the present research investigated the conditions under which minority members might second-guess themselves and become advocates for the majority’s position even when they have the best information. In a laboratory experiment, we examined whether the structure of monetary incentives (fixed amount versus performance-based) and group decision-making procedure (collective decisions versus group discussion then individual decisions) might mitigate second-guessing by minority members when they initially favor the objectively best choice. Our results indicated that compared to fixed-amount incentives, performance-based incentives increased overall information sharing in collective decision-making groups but not in individual decision-making groups. Second-guessing by minority members was most likely to occur in groups that received performance-based incentives and made decisions individually. As a result of second guessing, these groups also made poorer decisions.
Keywords: minority influence, group decision-making, information sharing, incentives, hidden profile
JEL Classification: D70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation