Group Members’ Decision Rule Orientations and Consensus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Recent speculation and research concerning the achievement of unanimous agreement in small groups underscores the importance of consensus, implicit or explicit, regarding the criteria for selecting an option from the pool of alternative decisions. Moreover, an emerging stream of research indicates that individuals vary in their tendency to make choices that are indicative of specific decision rule orientations. Although many individuals do not demonstrate consistent orientations, many others display tendencies to select options congruent with assumptions underlying maximax, maximin, and maximum expected utility decision rules. In the present study, participants were assigned to groups composed of members who were either identical (matched) or different (mixed) with respect to decision rule orientation. The results indicated that, for interacting groups, consensus was more likely in matched than in mixed groups. However, the hypothesis did not hold for noninteracting groups. Implications for group consensus and the decision rule orientation construct arc discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-296
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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