Stefan Schulz-Hardt and Dieter Frey

Produktiver Dissens in Gruppen: Meinungsdivergenz als Strategie zur Überwindung parteiischer Informationssuche bei Gruppenentscheidungen

Zeitschrift für Psychologie

Decision-making groups are often expected to function as ``think tanks'' performing a careful ``reality testing'' decision process. However, as social psychological group research shows, several mechanisms may hinder them from effectively fulfilling this function. One of these is a biased search for information supporting the alternative favored by most or all group members. In this article, we summarize our recent and current research on confirmatory information search in group decision making. We focus on how diversity of opinions within a group can counteract biased group information search and what factors facilitate this debiasing effect of group diversity. We also discuss further research topics with regard to biased group information seeking, and we briefly outline the implications of our results for the design of groups expected to successfully work as think tanks.