Hypothesis Of The Experiment

The research our experiment was founded on was that carried out by Taylor and Faust (1952). They carried out an experiment on 105 students, which was designed in the method of the game twenty questions. The students were split into teams of one member, two members and four members. They were then told that the experimenter would keep an object in mind whether it is animal vegetable or mineral was also stated, and they were then allowed 20 questions and guesses to reveal the identity of the object.

In there experiment they found that the group of two members performed better than the group of four members in terms of how many guesses and questions it took them and how long it took them to deduce the identity of the object. However Taylor and Faust found that the efficiency did not differ in any significant way. Thomas and Fink (1961) stated that, for the majority of tasks, a group of five individuals is the optimal size. The method for which a certain task is undertaken change as the size increases, according to Hare (1976).

He states that as the size increases the approach towards introducing information to aid problem solving becomes more mechanical in nature. According to Coleman & James (1961) cohesion tends to be weaker and moral tends to be lower in a larger group than in a smaller one. The reason they state this happens is because, in the majority of cases there is a lack of intimacy within the group and in extremely large groups the members are almost strangers to one another. The size of a group is considered to be a restrictive condition on the quantity and quality of connection that can transpire amongst particular members.

Kephart (1950) established that as group size increases the number of relationships that exist among members increases greatly. He suggests that as a result of this increase in relationships among members there will be an increased tendency towards divisions into subgroups in which participants relate to one another. According to research, two-person groups frequently consequent in a rise in tension. The tension is usually caused by the creation of a dominant-submissive relationship that comes into being.

Two main disadvantages of this are one member will either become argumentative towards the other, or they will, conversely, become inactive in terms of the game or experiment. Wolff (1950) suggests, contrary to this idea, that the possibility also exists for the greatest degree of intimacy. Specific roles tend to be associated with group thinking research. In majority of psychological research shows a clear indication of a leader coming forward in a group. However, the larger the group gets, the more delegation of thoughts and ideas, therefore increase in the possibility that two or more individuals may seem to take charge.

This delegation may generate an increase in suggestions by other members, as there is no clear distinctive leader rather a few of them. In other words, they will be more confident to speak up once they hear two or more people speaking up. This idea supports the notion that larger groups work better than smaller ones. There are also stipulations that groups of odd numbers perform better as there tends to be less of a power struggle among members. The members tend to agree with the majority opinion and thus faster agreement results.

The relevance of many of these concepts and experiments to our experiment will be covered in the discussion section of the assignment. The groups dynamics all have their influences on the overall result, these include the individual experiences and framworks of thinking, as well as their individual personalities, which allow them to take specific roles within the group. Other factors include the way in relationships among members, and the way they interact amongst themselves. As the group size is moderately small we are able to recognise this easily as the examiner.

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