Group Size and Anonymity Effects on Computer-Mediated Idea Generation

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Abstract

Some for,ns of computer-mediated communication enable groups to engage simultaneously in multiple electronic conversations. One interesting aspect of this technology, in addition to this parallelism, is that the channel is configurable to support forms of group interaction that were previously difficult, if not impossible. This article reports a laboratory experiment that examined the effects of group size (3 and 9 members) and group member anonymity on the performance of groups using a computer-mediated idea-generation system. Although group members in all conditions made, on average, the same number of comments, larger groups generated significantly more ideas (and higher-quality ideas as rated by judges) than did smaller groups. Anzonymity had no effect on ideational performance. Members of small-idenitified groups made the fewest critical remarks, were the most satisfied, and rated themselves more effective than group members from the other experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-73
Number of pages25
JournalSmall Group Research
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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