Helping Groups Determine Their Most Accurate Member: The Role of Outcome Feedback1


  • 1

    The authors thank Dan Ilgen and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. Preliminary results from this study were presented as part of a talk at the May 1995 meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, Illinois.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Rebecca A. Henry, Department of Psychological Sciences, 1364 Psychological Sciences Building, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907–1364.


One of the difficulties groups have when making quantitative judgments is determining the relative quality of members’ inputs. Outcome feedback was investigated as a method for improving the ability of groups to identify their most accurate member. Results indicate that groups given outcome feedback were better at identifying their best member than were groups that practiced without feedback. This occurred even though the same individual was seldom the most accurate across items. However, groups given feedback were not as accurate as their best member any more often. This suggests that groups given feedback are learning how to discriminate valid from invalid cues, but are not using this information consistently when making their group estimates.