Conversational Arguments in Small Group Decision Making: Reasoning Activity and Perceived Influence Over the Decision are Keys for Success

Pär Löfstrand
Department of Psychology, Mid Sweden University, Sweden

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Ingår i: Independent in the heard: Inclusion and exclusion as social processes. Proceedings from the 9th GRASP conference, Linköping University, May 2014

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 121:4, s. 64-81

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Publicerad: 2015-01-21

ISBN: 978-91-7519-217-8

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This study explored decision making in small groups. There were 81 participants forming 21 ad-hoc groups of about four members each with the aim of reaching a joint decision. Correlations between participants’ evaluations of satisfaction and group efficiency on the one hand, and perceived equality in the influence over the discussion and the decision on the other hand, revealed associations especially with regard to influence over the decision. Those perceiving equal influence over the decision experienced more satisfaction and efficiency. Conversational patterns in three successful versus three unsuccessful groups (based on the group mean level of evaluated satisfaction and group efficiency) were analyzed by use of Conversational Argument Coding Scheme. Successful groups had more reasoning activities, especially responses and justifications, than did unsuccessful groups.


Conversational Arguments; Decision-making; Equality, Influence; Satisfaction; Small Groups


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