To study polarization in a population faced with rising inequality or a declining economy, we apply methods from cultural evolution and evolutionary game theory (24–27).This approach rests on the idea that each member of a large population uses a strategy p, which is the probability that they choose an interaction with an in-group member versus one with an out-group member. Group polarization is the usual pattern with deliberating groups, having been found in hundreds of studies involving more than a dozen countries, including the United States, France, and Germany. The presence of a member with an extreme viewpoint or attitude does not further polarize the group.  Furthermore, research suggests that it is not simply the sharing of information that predicts group polarization. A comparison of individual and group decisions involving risk. For example, students who do not belong to fraternities and sororities tend to be more liberal politically, and this difference increases over the course of their college careers. By the late 1960s, however, it had become clear that the risky shift was just one type of many attitudes that became more extreme in groups, leading Moscovici and Zavalloni to term the overall phenomenon "group polarization.".  Whichever position they held initially, people tended to hold that position more strongly after reading research that supported it. Assuming most or all group members lean in the same direction, during discussion, items of unshared information supporting that direction are expressed, which provides members previously unaware of them more reason to lean in that direction. Very simply, group polarization happens because you take the most extreme part of a bunch of people, add that all up, and get something more extreme. The social comparison theory, or normative influence theory, has been widely used to explain group polarization. PsycholoGenie will help you understand the various nuances of …  The study's results also showed that groupthink occurs less in computer-mediated discussions than when people are face to face.  For those issues where polarization is found, mere thinking about the issue, without contemplating new evidence, produces the effect.  Similarly, studies have shown that after deliberating together, mock jury members often decided on punitive damage awards that were either larger or smaller than the amount any individual juror had favored prior to deliberation. In order to gain acceptance, people then take a position that is similar to everyone else's but slightly more extreme. The study of group polarization began with an unpublished 1961 Master’s thesis by MIT student James Stoner, who observed the so-called "risky shift", meaning that a group’s decisions are riskier than the average of the individual decisions of members before the group met. There is a lesson here about punishment judgments in general. , Group polarization is similarly influential in legal contexts. The participants' degree of commitment to their original positions were re-measured, and the participants were asked about the quality of the research and the effect the research had on their beliefs. Researchers theorize that this is at least partially explained by group polarization, as group members tend to reinforce one another's proclivities and opinions.  Owing to this technology, it is possible for individuals to curate their sources of information and the opinions to which they are exposed, thereby reinforcing and strengthening their own views while effectively avoiding information and perspectives with which they disagree. ET . The researchers again asked people about the strength of their beliefs about the deterrence effect of the death penalty, and, this time, also asked them about the effect that the research had had on their attitudes. Social psychologists highlight that group polarization is a direct result of conformity. Overall, the results suggest that not only may group polarization not be as prevalent as previous studies suggest, but group theories, in general, may not be simply transferable when seen in a computer-related discussion.  This finding demonstrates how one opinion in the group will not sway the group; it is the combination of all the individual opinions that will make an impact. Consider the following example: "Mr. A, an electrical engineer, who is married and has one child, has been working for a large electronics corporation since graduating from college five years ago.  Researchers have suggested, for instance, that ethnic conflict exacerbates group polarization by enhancing identification with the ingroup and hostility towards the outgroup. It is one of the effects of confirmation bias: the tendency of people to search for and interpret evidence selectively, to reinforce their current beliefs or attitudes. These explanations were gradually narrowed down and grouped together until two primary mechanisms remained, social comparison and informational influence. In particular, this study found that group discussions, conducted when discussants are in a distributed (cannot see one another) or anonymous (cannot identify one another) environment, can lead to even higher levels of group polarization compared to traditional meetings. Moreover, computer-mediated discussions often fail to result in a group consensus, or lead to less satisfaction with the consensus that was reached, compared to groups operating in a natural environment. The result of jury deliberation is to produce an increase in extremism, in the form of higher awards. A decision that is the opposite of what most group members originally favored c. , Group polarization has been widely discussed in terms of political behavior (see political polarization). In 8 of the 10 pairs, murder rates were higher in the state with capital punishment. Group polarization is a phenomenon studied in the social sciences in which the decisions and opinions of individuals become more extreme when they are in group settings. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Developmental Psychology, 41, 625-635. , The discovery of the risky shift was considered surprising and counter-intuitive, especially since earlier work in the 1920s and 1930s by Allport and other researchers suggested that individuals made more extreme decisions than did groups, leading to the expectation that groups would make decisions that would conform to the average risk level of its members. Since human beings are social creatures the allure to be accepted and belonged to a group is very strong which can result in group polarization. Risky and cautious shifts are both a part of a more generalized idea known as group-induced attitude polarization. The findings suggest that group size has a significant effect on group polarization. Indicated by shifts in the mean value, initial studies using this method revealed that group decisions tended to be relatively riskier than those that were made by individuals. Start studying Chapter 8: Group Influence/Group Polarization. Matched-filter coding of sky polarization results in an internal sun compass in the brain of the desert locust. Brauer, M., Judd, C. M., & Gliner, M. D. (1995). ____The chances are 3 in 10 that the company will prove financially sound. The new job would pay more to start and would offer the possibility of a share in the owner- ship if the company survived the competition of the larger firms. Stoner, J. Lord et al.  Another similar study found that in-group prototypes become more polarized as the group becomes more extreme in the social context. , Research has suggested that well-established groups suffer less from polarization, as do groups discussing problems that are well known to them. In early studies, the risky-shift phenomenon was measured using a scale known as the Choice-Dilemmas Questionnaire. Before studying the nanowire polarizer, we will check our ana… However, in situations where groups are somewhat newly formed and tasks are new, group polarization can demonstrate a more profound influence on the decision-making. Group polarization refers to attitude change on the individual level due to the influence of the group, and choice shift refers to the outcome of that attitude change; namely, the difference between the average group members' pre-group discussion attitudes and the outcome of the group decision.. According to the idea of group polarization, if an individual holds an opinion about a topic, that opinion will likely be enhanced after a discussion on the topic with a group. Recently, some theorists have argued that group polarization may be partly responsible for the extreme political partisanship that seems ubiquitous in modern society. Group polarization as a concept first came to light in an unpublished study by MIT student James Stoner. This research opposes the deterrent effect of the death penalty.. If the group … Almost as soon as the phenomenon of group polarization was discovered, a number of theories were offered to help explain and account for it. Rather, the amount of information and persuasiveness of the arguments mediate the level of polarization experienced.  The seemingly counter-intuitive findings of Stoner led to a spurt of research around the risky shift, which was originally thought to be a special case exception to the standard decision-making practice. Individual responsibility and group decisions involving risk. ____The chances are 1 in 10 that the company will prove financially sound. Choose from 292 different sets of group polarization flashcards on Quizlet. The discovery of the risky shift was considered surprising and counter-intuitive, especially since earlier work in the 1920s and 1930s by Allport and other researchers suggested that individuals made more extreme decisions than did groups… In 11 of the 14 states, murder rates were lower after adoption of the death penalty. The phenomenon also holds that a group's attitudetoward a situation may change in the sense that the individuals' initial attitudes have strengthened and intensified after group discussion, … A split into opposing factions that fail to reach an agreement b. He observed a phenomenon known as “risky shift”, which appeared to show that when placed in a group setting, individuals were prepared to take riskier decisions than those they might have taken as … These theories for group polarization can be broken down further into two main categories: normative influence and informative influence. "Found in many settings, it involves like-minded people going to extremes. Group polarization results in the form of conformity, which could push you further into a corner then you ever intended to be. There is a substantial amount of empirical evidence demonstrating the phenomenon of group polarization.  Accordingly, proponents of the self-categorization model hold that group polarization occurs because individuals identify with a particular group and conform to a prototypical group position that is more extreme than the group mean. a. , The effect is observed with issues that activate emotions, such as political 'hot-button' issues. The researchers hypothesized that an ingroup confronted by a risky outgroup will polarize toward caution, an ingroup confronted by a caution outgroup will polarize toward risk, and an ingroup in the middle of the social frame of reference, confronted by both risky and cautious outgroups, will not polarize but will converge on its pre-test mean. Group polarization Group identification r=.40, p<.0001 H1 supported Group identification Individuating information a F= 17.04, p<.0001 H2a supported b Group polarization Individuating information F= 7.30, p<.01 H2b supported c Perceived argument quality Group identification r=.32, p<.0001 H3 supported Group polarization point out that it is reasonable for people to be less critical of research that supports their current position, but it seems less rational for people to significantly increase the strength of their attitudes when they read supporting evidence. Many people had concluded that people in a group setting would make decisions based on what they assumed to be the overall risk level of a group; because Stoner's work did not necessarily address this specific theme, and because it does seem to contrast Stoner's initial definition of risky shift, additional controversy arose leading researchers to further examine the topic.  For most issues, new evidence does not produce a polarization effect. Later, both the pro- and anti-capital punishment people were put into small groups and shown one of two cards, each containing a statement about the results of a research project written on it. , Informational influence, or persuasive arguments theory, has also been used to explain group polarization, and is most recognized by psychologists today. Daniel Isenberg's 1986 meta-analysis of the data gathered by both the persuasive argument and social comparison camps succeeded, in large part, in answering the questions about predominant mechanisms. In other words, individuals base their individual choices by weighing remembered pro and con arguments. For example: Kroner and Phillips (1977) compared murder rates for the year before and the year after adoption of capital punishment in 14 states. Byrnes, J. P., Miller, D. C., & Schafer, W. D. (1999).  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