Measuring and Evaluating Convergence Processes Across a Series of Group Discussions

Sarah M. Staggs, Joseph A. Bonito, Jennifer N. Ervin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


As groups develop, members’ knowledge and expectations regarding the task and the group tend to converge. Such convergence allows members to anticipate and coordinate their own and others’ actions, facilitating productive group work. Using zero-history laboratory groups, this study analyzes the presence and trajectory of cognitive convergence as groups worked on a series of three similar tasks. We focus on two types of convergence: anticipatory expectations for future work, and reflective assessments regarding previous group discussions. Results indicate immediate convergence for reflective cognitions but delayed convergence for anticipatory cognitions. Associations among the different types of convergence also vary at the group- and individual-levels of analysis. The discussion addresses measurement implications of both types of convergence in regard to emergence of group-like cognitive structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-733
Number of pages19
JournalGroup Decision and Negotiation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Cognitive convergence
  • Latent group models
  • Longitudinal design
  • Structuration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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