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A Re-Examination of the Familiarization Hypothesis in Group Risk Taking

Haaland, Gordon A.; Pruitt, Dean G.; St. Jean, Richard; Teger, Allan I.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Office of Naval Research, Behavioral Science Research, College Students, Decision Making, Group Dynamics, Problem Solving, Risk


A total of 226 subjects at three universities participated in five separate studies which measured the effect on individual risk taking of increased familiarity with the problem situation. The results of all five studies failed to replicate the finding that individuals will take increased risk after they are given an opportunity to become familiar with the problem. These failures to replicate cast doubt on the hypothesis that the increase in risk after a group discussion is due to increased familiarity with the problems rather than to the effect of group interaction.

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