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Risk Taking in the Context of Intergroup Negotiation

Kogan, Nathan; Lamm, Helmut
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Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
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Subject/Key Words:
Advanced Research Projects Agency, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Behavioral Science Research, Decision Making, Group Relations, Risk


Pairs of three-person male groups, working separately, came to unanimous decisions on preferred risk levels for one-half of the items in the choice-dilemmas procedure. All Ss had previously filled out the full 12-item questionnaire. Each group elected a representative to defend the group's interests (high commitment). An alternate (medium commitment) was also selected. The remaining S constituted the nonrepresentative (low commitment). Each S in one of the groups was then matched with his or her status equivalent in the other group. These dyads negotiated agreements for the six items where there was a previous reference-group position ("fixed") and for the six items where there were only prior individual positions ("open"). For both fixed and open items, nonrepresentatives and alternates manifested risky shifts in their joint decisions, whereas representatives reached decisions through averaging. These results implied that high levels of commitment in the context of intergroup negotiation can disrupt the valuational processes underlying the risky shift in the standard intragroup situation.

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