Group polarization is the tendency for group interaction to enhance group members' initial inclinations. This group polarization phenomenon, which occurs both in experimental settings and in everyday situations, provides a window through which researchers can observe group influence. Experiments have confirmed two group influences: informational and normative. The information gleaned from a discussion mostly favors the initially preferred alternative, thus reinforcing support for it. This entry begins with a look at how this line of research evolved, describes a variety of examples of group polarization, and discusses two possible explanations.

The Case of the “Risky Shift”

The discovery of the risky shift phenomenon illustrates how an interesting discovery often leads researchers to hasty and erroneous conclusions, which ultimately get replaced with more accurate conclusions. While trying to ...

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