The Effect of Individual Difference Variables on Information Sharing in Decision-Making Groups


David Dryden Henningsen, Department of Communication, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115. Email:


We examined need for cognition, social desirability, and communication apprehension for their influence on the mention and repetition of shared and unshared information in 8-person decision-making groups. Both need for cognition and social desirability influenced the discussion of shared and unshared information in decision-making groups. The findings indicate that increasing motivation to participate in group discussions may not help overcome the bias favoring shared over unshared information. Additionally, there are indications that social desirability increases the repetition of shared information. This finding is consistent with the idea of mutual enhancement (i.e., the idea that group members discuss shared information because it enhances their position with other group members).