There is a long history of research that has investigated the effects of cognitive conflict on group and individual decision making. No study has simultaneously compared the effects of two techniques, devil′s advocacy and dialectical inquiry, on the performance of individuals versus groups. In this paper, we report the results of a laboratory experiment that makes this comparison. Artificial groups (groups formed by pooling individuals working independently) obtained an overall lower-quality solution for a case analysis problem than intact groups. However, there were no performance differences between intact groups and the performance of the best member of artificial groups. When artificial and intact groups were examined together, those given the devil′s advocacy treatment produced higher-quality solutions than those given the dialectical inquiry treatment and a simpler expert-based approach involving no conflict. Intact groups given the devil′s advocacy treatment produced higher-quality solutions than those given the expert treatment. Artificial groups given devil′s advocacy produced higher-quality solutions than those given the expert or dialectical inquiry treatment. Overall, the results suggest that the devil′s advocacy treatment has a slightly greater advantage over the dialectical inquiry with individuals than with groups.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes|
|State||Published - Aug 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management