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Group Risk Taking and Field Dependence-Independence of Group Members

Burt, Roger B.; Kogan, Nathan; Wallach, Michael A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Science Foundation (NSF), Behavior Change, Field Dependence Independence, Group Influence, Males, Responsibility, Risk


If groups of male adults are systematically composed in terms of the field dependence-independence of their members, they exhibit a number of differences in risk-taking phenomena. Although field-dependent and independent groups both shift on the average toward greater risk taking after discussion, longer discussion among field dependents enhances the risky shift, while longer discussion among field independents reduces or even reverses the risky shift. Further, among field dependents but not among field independents, the larger the individual's own risky shift, the stronger his or her tendency to attribute a risky shift to the group of which he or she is a member. These together with other findings support the view that responsibility diffusion causes enhanced risk taking by field-dependent groups.

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