• Group composition;
  • political manipulation;
  • group socialization;
  • decision-making

Group decisions are not made solely by evaluating the merits of the contending positions. Instead, actors may engage in manipulation to increase the fortunes of their policy preference. Actors may manipulate information, group procedures, or group composition. Using a model of group socialization, this paper argues that a manipulator may seek to alter the group composition as to access and/or status. In doing so, the manipulator seeks to create a more favorable decision environment. This political perspective maintains that the dynamic nature of group composition provides an opportunity for a manipulator to engineer the decision context, potentially affecting the group's decisional output. Strategies and tactics of composition manipulation are presented and then utilized to analyze the American decision process during the Iranian revolution.