Social Comparison and Goal Setting in Brainstorming Groups1


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    Special thanks to Daryl Cook, Beth Horn, Heather Lipman, Pat Myers, and Chris Young for their contributions to the project.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Timothy S. Larey, Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303.


Two studies were conducted to examine the influence of individual and group goal setting on brainstorming performance. Results from the studies indicated that the individual goals of nominal participants were higher than the individual goals of interactive participants. Group goal setting by consensus led to the lowest goals. There was no influence of goal setting on group brainstorming performance. However, participants who set goals rated their individual performance more favorably than did participants who did not set goals. The low group goals set by interactive groups are discussed in terms of assumptions made regarding the ability of other group members and the detrimental effects of group interaction.