How do children share information in groups?

Michaela Gummerum, Patrick Leman, Tara Hollins

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Group decision making should be particularly beneficial when group members share unique information, because then a group can make a better decision than each group member alone. This study examined how elementary-school children share unique information during group decision making. Seventy-nine groups of 3 same-sex and same-age 7- and 9-year-old children (N 237) had to decide which 1 of 2 hypothetical candidates should play the lead role in a school musical. When information was unshared, group members had to exchange their uniquely held information to identify the best candidate. Only a minority of groups picked the best candidate when information was unshared. Yet, groups of 7-year-old children were better at identifying the best candidate and were less likely to focus on the discussion of shared information than groups of 9-year-olds. These findings are interpreted with reference to processes underlying information sharing in groups, namely collective information sampling, preference-consistent evaluation, and collaborative inhibition/intersubjectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2105-2114
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number8
Early online date9 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

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