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Signal-detection analysis of group decision making.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychological review
Publication Date
Volume
108
Issue
1
Pages
183–203
Identifiers
PMID: 11212627
Source
Medline

Abstract

How effectively can groups of people make yes-or-no decisions? To answer this question, we used signal-detection theory to model the behavior of groups of human participants in a visual detection task. The detection model specifies how performance depends on the group's size, the competence of the members, the correlation among members' judgments, the constraints on member interaction, and the group's decision rule. The model also allows specification of performance efficiency, which is a measure of how closely a group's performance matches the statistically optimal group. The performance of our groups was consistent with the theoretical predictions, but efficiency decreased as group size increased. This result was attributable to a decrease in the effort that members gave to their individual tasks rather than to an inefficiency in combining the information in the members' judgments.

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