Title

An Investigation of the Effects of a Forming Activity on Group Performance: A Test of the Group Maturation Threshold Hypothesis

Date

5-26-2016 9:15 AM

End Time

26-5-2016 9:30 AM

Location

WUC Santiam Room

Department

Behavioral Sciences

Session Chair

Jaime M. Cloud

Session Title

Behavioral Sciences

Faculty Sponsor(s)

David Foster

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The group maturation threshold (GMT) hypothesis posits that until groups reach a certain maturation threshold, initial levels of cohesion and trust, in the absence of other mitigating factors (e.g., positive norms, knowledge of group members’ expertise), may harm group performance. We tested this hypothesis by manipulating the randomness of group members’ interactions during a forming activity. Participants (N=600) in 200, three-person groups completed two intellective, problem-solving scenarios in which participants imagined they were stranded in a wilderness with various items. Participants rank ordered these items in terms of their importance for the group’s survival both individually and as a group. Prior to completing the problem-solving scenarios, group development was manipulated via a forming activity. In the forming conditions, participants became acquainted with other group members by answering questions about themselves either by taking prescribed turns or answering the questions in a randomly determined order. The results showed that forming randomness had indirect, negative effects on group performance; providing some support for the GMT hypothesis.

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May 26th, 9:15 AM May 26th, 9:30 AM

An Investigation of the Effects of a Forming Activity on Group Performance: A Test of the Group Maturation Threshold Hypothesis

WUC Santiam Room

The group maturation threshold (GMT) hypothesis posits that until groups reach a certain maturation threshold, initial levels of cohesion and trust, in the absence of other mitigating factors (e.g., positive norms, knowledge of group members’ expertise), may harm group performance. We tested this hypothesis by manipulating the randomness of group members’ interactions during a forming activity. Participants (N=600) in 200, three-person groups completed two intellective, problem-solving scenarios in which participants imagined they were stranded in a wilderness with various items. Participants rank ordered these items in terms of their importance for the group’s survival both individually and as a group. Prior to completing the problem-solving scenarios, group development was manipulated via a forming activity. In the forming conditions, participants became acquainted with other group members by answering questions about themselves either by taking prescribed turns or answering the questions in a randomly determined order. The results showed that forming randomness had indirect, negative effects on group performance; providing some support for the GMT hypothesis.