The preparation of this article was supported by a grant from the NSF-EPSCoR project to Advance Science Excellence in North Dakota (ASEND #4315). I thank Randy Jokela and Lisa Ambel for their assistance in conducting the experiment, and several reviewers for extremely helpful comments on earlier drafts.
Group and Individual Decision Making for Task Performance Goals: Processes in the Establishment of Goals:in Groups1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 25, Issue 4, pages 353–370, February 1995
How to Cite
Hinsz, V. B. (1995), Group and Individual Decision Making for Task Performance Goals: Processes in the Establishment of Goals:in Groups. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 25: 353–370. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1995.tb02396.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
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.