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The study examines the processes by which goals in groups are established. Performance goals and preferences for goals were stated by individuals acting alone, by groups deciding in unison, and by group members. All subjects performed a card-sorting task as individuals, and self-set goals were selected for expected levels of individual performance. Groups selected goals that were less difficult than individual goals on several occasions of goal setting. Analysis of the group goal decisions suggests that a success-based social comparison process occurs that implies groups select a goal slightly lower than the average of the member preferences so that the group members may appear successful. Analyses also indicated that the lower group goals arose quickly in the group interaction, and that group members readily adopted the lower goals as appropriate levels of performance. Discussion focuses on the observed differences among group, group member, and individual performance goals, and the ability of the success-based social comparison process to account for these differences.