A key feature of every group is its composition—the number and types of people who belong. Group composition has been studied extensively, though in much of that work, it was studied mostly because of its role in other group phenomena, not as a phenomenon in itself. In any event, much research has been done, and several efforts have been made to review and analyze this work.

One way to organize research on group composition is to focus on the characteristics of group members who were studied. Thus, some researchers study group size, which involves the simple presence or absence of group members. Other researchers study the demographic characteristics (e.g., race, sex, or age), abilities (e.g., knowledge or intelligence), opinions (e.g., conservatism or religiosity), or personalities (e.g., ...

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