Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert Steven Baron, Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.
Group Decision as a Technique for Obtaining Compliance: Some Added Considerations Concerning How Altruism Leads to Callousness
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 5, Issue 4, pages 281–295, December 1975
How to Cite
Baron, R. S. and Sanders, G. (1975), Group Decision as a Technique for Obtaining Compliance: Some Added Considerations Concerning How Altruism Leads to Callousness. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 5: 281–295. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1975.tb00681.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Bennett (1955) reported that a critical condition for producing Lewin's (1958) classic group discussion-decision effect (is., high compliance with a request from an authority figure) was a group consensus strongly favoring compliance. This finding prompted investigation of variables potentially affecting such a consensus. A first study found that group consensus is significantly less likely to favor compliance if subjects are allowed to make a majority rather than an individual decision. Group size had no significant effects on decision-making. A second study replicated this effect and investigated several explanations for it. These results suggest that, at least when compliance is not in the subjects' best interest, the Lewinian group discussion-decision effect will be less likely to be found if a majority decision role is followed as opposed to an individual decision rule. The implication of these data for social engineering is discussed.