ERIC Number: ED233406
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
Evaluation of Communication about Groups: The Hydra Phenomenon.
Desmond, Roger Jon; Bezzini, John
A study investigated how the attribution of a problem solution to an individual or group affects the consumer's perception of the solution's quality. Based on the tendency to support group decision-making (Hydra phenomenon) it was predicted that decisions attributed to groups would be perceived as higher in quality than those made by individuals, and that members of groups would be perceived as being more credible than individuals. The subjects, 161 undergraduates enrolled in communication courses at an eastern university, were given a two-page summary of a university problem regarding the introduction of hard liquor at a campus "pub," and a summary of arguments for the change from student advocates, from neutral elements of the university administration, and from campus security opposed to the change. The decision-making process was then described in either a single author version or a version by a committee made up of faculty and students. Subjects were told that the final decision was a compromise permitting wine and champagne, but no hard liquor. Subjects were then asked to complete a 26-item Decision Quality Index. The evaluative responses clearly indicated that the group was perceived as being generally more credible than the individual, and the decision made by the group was rated higher in quality than that of the individual, supporting both hypotheses. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Hydra Phenomenon
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Acapulco, Mexico, May 18-23, 1980).