In the next stage of the research, the participants were given more information about the study described on the card they received, including details of the research, critiques of the research, and the researchers' responses to those critiques. Self-categorization theory stems from social identity theory, which holds that conformity stems from psychological processes; that is, being a member of a group is defined as the subjective perception of the self as a member of a specific category. Almost as soon as the phenomenon of group polarization was discovered, a number of theories were offered to help explain and account for it. 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. ____The chances are 3 in 10 that the company will prove financially sound. An empirical test of the referent informational influence analysis of group polarization is reported. ____The chances are 1 in 10 that the company will prove financially sound. In 1979, Charles Lord, Lee Ross and Mark Lepper performed a study in which they selected two groups of people, one group strongly in favor of capital punishment, the other strongly opposed.  The study found that situations that normally favor the more risky alternative increased risky shifts. It would read as following, "Please check the lowest probability that you would consider acceptable to make it worthwhile for Mr. A to take the new job.". Cited in Marquis, D. G. (1962). As long as the group of individuals begins with the same fundamental opinion on the topic and a consistent dialogue is kept going, group polarization can occur. Democrats that view Republicans unfavorably has increased from 59 percent to 86 percent over the same time period. Group polarization is the phenomenon that when placed in group situations, people will make decisions and form opinions to more of an extreme than when they are in individual situations. Industrial Management Review, 3, 8-23. For example, a group of women who hold moderately feminist views tend to demonstrate heightened pro-feminist beliefs following group discussion. ____The chances are 5 in 10 that the company will prove financially sound. found individual preferences to be irrelevant; it is differences of opinion which will cause the shift. 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. Support for the self-categorization theory, which explains group polarization as conformity to a polarized norm, was found by Hogg, Turner, and Davidson in 1990.  The study's results also showed that groupthink occurs less in computer-mediated discussions than when people are face to face. 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. He is assured of a lifetime job with a modest, though adequate, salary and liberal pension benefits upon retirement. 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. Peer influence on risk taking, risk preference, and risky decision making in adolescence and adulthood: An experimental study. . Byrnes, J. P., Miller, D. C., & Schafer, W. D. (1999). 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.. The result of thread length, however, is mixed: the effect of thread length depends on the degree … For example: Kroner and Phillips (1977) compared murder rates for the year before and the year after adoption of capital punishment in 14 states. Group polarization focuses on how groups usually make decisions that are more extreme than the original thoughts and views of the individual team members. a. Finally, 1992 value polarization significantly predicts two of three operationalizations of 1996 affective polarization: party and ideological group affect. (2002), group polarization was found to occur with online (computer-mediated) discussions. Group difference in polarization score, according to overall level of emotional intensity (panel A) and emotional intensity of the most emotionally intense comment (panel B). 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. Individuals completed the questionnaire and made their decisions independently of others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 1014-1029. Group polarization has been reported to occur during wartime and other times of conflict and helps to account partially for violent behavior and conflict. The phenomenon has shown that after participating in a discussion group, members tend to advocate more extreme positions and call for riskier courses of action than individuals who did not participate in any such discussion. 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.".  Researchers have suggested, for instance, that ethnic conflict exacerbates group polarization by enhancing identification with the ingroup and hostility towards the outgroup. , However, some research suggests that important differences arise in measuring group polarization in laboratory versus field experiments.  While an extremist in the group may sway opinion, the shift can only occur with sufficient and proper interaction within the group. Thus, on decisions in which group members have, on the average, a moderate proclivity in a given direction, group discussion results in a more extreme average proclivity in the same direction. In‐group polarization does not affect gender attitudes, however. The theory holds that people first compare their own ideas with those held by the rest of the group; they observe and evaluate what the group values and prefers. It is always a good idea to start an investigation with a very simple test case. These theories for group polarization can be broken down further into two main categories: normative influence and informative influence. Why groups go to extremes", "Polarization and Conflict: Theoretical and Empirical Issues", Mass murder of German POWs after World War II (1940s), Allegations of CIA assistance to Osama bin Laden, Free energy suppression conspiracy theory, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Group_polarization&oldid=997380619, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from April 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 06:21. discussion leads a group to adopt attitudes or actions that are more extreme than the initial attitudes or actions of the individual group members  For most issues, new evidence does not produce a polarization effect. , While these two theories are the most widely accepted as explanations for group polarization, alternative theories have been proposed. In 8 of the 10 pairs, murder rates were higher in the state with capital punishment.  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. 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. Lord et al. 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. Definition. On a smaller scale, group polarization can also be seen in the everyday lives of students in higher education.  Social comparison processes have also been invoked as an explanation for the effect, which is increased by settings in which people repeat and validate each other's statements. In social psychology, group polarization refers to the tendency for a group to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclination of its members. In social psychology, group polarization refers to the tendency for a group to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclination of its members. 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.  Similar to the social media platforms, video streaming platforms like YouTube are forming groups unconsciously through intelligent algorithm seeking for extreme contents. Start studying Chapter 8: Group Influence/Group Polarization.  Whichever position they held initially, people tended to hold that position more strongly after reading research that supported it. The effects of repeated expressions on attitude polarization during group discussions. A study by Myers in 2005 reported that initial differences among American college students become more accentuated over time. In particular, their punitive-damage awards tend to be far higher than the preferred award of the median member, before deliberation. 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. According to Moscovici et al. Learn group polarization with free interactive flashcards. , The effect is observed with issues that activate emotions, such as political 'hot-button' issues. Developmental Psychology, 41, 625-635. Group discussion shifts the weight of evidence as each group member expresses their arguments, shedding light onto a number of different positions and ideas. These explanations were gradually narrowed down and grouped together until two primary mechanisms remained, social comparison and informational influence. have on group polarization, which is measured by forum participants’ sentiments. 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 . Group polarization has been widely considered as a fundamental group decision-making process and was well established, but remained non-obvious and puzzling because its mechanisms were not fully understood. 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. The researchers initially measured the strength with which people held their position. As polarization gets underway, the group members become more reluctant to bring up items of information they have about the subject that might contradict the emerging group consensus. Participants were then asked to estimate the probability that a certain choice would be of benefit or risk to the individual being discussed. It helps account for many terrible things, including terrorism, stoning, and “mobbing” in … Isenberg concluded that there was substantial evidence that both effects were operating simultaneously, and that persuasive arguments theory operated when social comparison did not, and vice versa. These findings also show the importance of previous group shifts.  The phenomenon also holds that a group's attitude toward a situation may change in the sense that the individuals' initial attitudes have strengthened and intensified after group discussion, a phenomenon known as attitude polarization.  Moreover, in recent years, the Internet and online social media have also presented opportunities to observe group polarization and compile new research. The presence of a member with an extreme viewpoint or attitude does not further polarize the group. A study that assessed whether Federal district court judges behaved differently when they sat alone, or in small groups, demonstrated that those judges who sat alone took extreme action 35% of the time, whereas judges who sat in a group of three took extreme action 65% of the time. Value polarization in 1992 does not, however, predict polarized affective reactions to the major party presidential candidates in 1996. 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. Polarization has been defined as both a process and a state of being. The researchers found that people tended to believe that research that supported their original views had been better conducted and was more convincing than research that didn't. The study of group polarization can be traced back to an unpublished 1961 Master's thesis by MIT student James Stoner, who observed the so-called "risky shift". The result is a biased discussion in which the group has no opportunity to consider all the facts, because the members are not bringing them up. , In a study conducted by Sia et al. PsycholoGenie will help you understand the various nuances of … leadership style and time constraints Group polarization results in: the tendency for group members who were initially more cautious to become significantly less. Furthermore, the experiment took place over a two-week period, leading the researchers to suggest that group polarization may occur only in the short-term. A split into opposing factions that fail to reach an agreement b. . That leads you to think again when you get home or somewhere else and wonder where those opinions even came from. , 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. (1972) interaction within a group and differences of opinion are necessary for group polarization to take place. Juries display group polarization as well. A study conducted by Taylor & MacDonald (2002) featured a realistic setting of a computer-mediated discussion, but group polarization did not occur at the level expected. They would then be provided with a series of probabilities that indicate whether the new company that offered him a position is financially stable. A comparison of individual and group decisions involving risk. 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, … Rather, the amount of information and persuasiveness of the arguments mediate the level of polarization experienced. , Palmer and Crandall (1977) compared murder rates in 10 pairs of neighboring states with different capital punishment laws. Group polarization as a concept first came to light in an unpublished study by MIT student James Stoner. Risky and cautious shifts are both a part of a more generalized idea known as group-induced attitude polarization. On the other hand, it is very unlikely that his salary will increase much before he retires. If the group … This suggests that a general phenomenon of choice-shifts exists apart from only risk-related decisions. ", Participants were then asked to imagine that they were advising Mr. A. , One study analyzed over 30,000 tweets on Twitter regarding the shooting of George Tiller, a late term abortion doctor, where the tweets analyzed were conversations among pro-life and pro-choice advocates post shooting. This measure required participants to consider a hypothetical scenario in which an individual is faced with a dilemma and must make a choice to resolve the issue at hand. Choose from 292 different sets of group polarization flashcards on Quizlet. The process of characterizing a social polarization index using extensions of the axioms presented in DER to the multi-group case is not straight-forward.  These results should be understood in the context of several problems in the implementation of the study, including the fact the researchers changed the scaling of the outcome of the variable, so measuring attitude change was impossible, and measured polarization using a subjective assessment of attitude change and not a direct measure of how much change had occurred. Since the late 1960s, psychologists have carried out a number of studies on various aspects of attitude polarization.  Studies regarding the theory have demonstrated that normative influence is more likely with judgmental issues, a group goal of harmony, person-oriented group members, and public responses. In surveys carried in 2014, Pew researchers found that 36 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats responded that the opposing … The Concept of Group Polarization in Psychology Explained. Researchers have identified an increase in affective polarization among the United States electorate, and report that hostility and discrimination towards the opposing political party has increased dramatically over time. 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. Referent informational influence theory explains group polarization as conformity, through self‐categorization, to a local in‐group norm which is polarized as a result of the in‐group being located towards an extreme of the salient comparative context or social frame of reference. [clarification needed] Stoner (1968) found that a decision is impacted by the values behind that circumstances of the decision. This tendency also occurred when individual judgments were collected after the group discussion and even when the individual post-discussion measures were delayed two to six weeks. 2020; (ISSN: 1091 ... Neurons were polarization sensitive in large parts of the virtual sky that in some cells extended to the horizon in all directions. There is a substantial amount of empirical evidence demonstrating the phenomenon of group polarization. Individual responsibility and group decisions involving risk. 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. These more extreme decisions are towards greater risk if individuals' initial tendencies are to be risky and towards greater caution if individuals' initial tendencies are to be cautious. This research opposes the deterrent effect of the death penalty.. Gender differences in risk taking: A meta-analysis. 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. Unpublished master’s thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. The theory posits that each group member enters the discussion aware of a set of items of information or arguments favoring both sides of the issue, but lean toward that side that boasts the greater amount of information. ____The chances are 9 in 10 that the company will prove financially sound. U.S. political polarization presents biggest ‘risk’ to the world in 2021: Eurasia Group Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 11:06 a.m. The group polarization literature is an encouraging example of how theoretically and practically meaningful phenomena in social psychology can be defined and explored through empirical research: Researchers theorize that this is at least partially explained by group polarization, as group members tend to reinforce one another's proclivities and opinions. This research supports the deterrent effect of the death penalty. We create a nanowire polarizer with a series of rectangles of Perfect Electrical Conductor (PEC).  When people encounter ambiguous evidence, this bias can potentially result in each of them interpreting it as in support of their existing attitudes, widening rather than narrowing the disagreement between them.  The results of the study supported their hypothesis in that participants converged on a norm polarized toward risk on risky items and toward caution on cautious items. Group polarization theories explore the tendency of people in groups to shift their opinions toward the extreme pole of popular opinion. Normative Influence states that people will alter their opinions in a group setting in order to fit in or be looked upon more favorably by their peers. Psychologists have found that social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter demonstrate that group polarization can occur even when a group is not physically together. In 11 of the 14 states, murder rates were lower after adoption of the death penalty.  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. 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. Results support the conflict‐group polarization model and indicate that out‐group polarization has the most powerful effect on both gendered family role attitudes and policy attitudes for men and women. , Group polarization is similarly influential in legal contexts.  This apparent tendency is of interest not only to psychologists, but also to sociologists, and philosophers.. Later, they would be asked to join a group to reassess their choices.  Another similar study found that in-group prototypes become more polarized as the group becomes more extreme in the social context. 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.  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. Normative Influence. 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. This is attributed to the greater numbers of novel arguments generated (due to persuasive arguments theory) and higher incidence of one-upmanship behaviors (due to social comparison). 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