An information-processing approach to participation in small groups

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31 Scopus citations


This article examines the effect of quantity and commonality of information, as well as the influence of attitudes toward group work, on participation in small groups. Prior to discussion, participants were asked individually to write a psychological profile of a target person and to respond to a series of questions about working in groups. Profiles were coded for quantity and commonality of information. Participants were then assigned to three-person groups and asked to develop a consensus profile of the same target person. Discussions were coded for substantive and nonsubstantive contributions. Results indicated a positive actor effect for information quantity on substantive contributions, as well as positive actor and partner effects for commonality of information on both substantive and nonsubstantive participation. The attitudinal variables marginally affected participation. Discussion focuses on information pooling and stereotypes, and it argues for a dynamic model of information use and storage as an area of future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-303
Number of pages29
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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