COMM 1000 Final Exam Study Guide
How do we define a small group according to lecture? What is the optimal size for a small group?
Collection of individuals (3-20 people) who interact, have a purpose, influence each other, see themselves as part of a group, have
rules/norms, are dependent on one another
Optimal size is 5-7
What is cohesiveness? What happens when cohesiveness increases? What about when group size increases?
Cohesiveness – group morale, degree of closeness and attractiveness of group to members
As cohesiveness increases, comm/participation increases, satisfaction increases, but productivity may decrease
As group size increases, a few people dominate talk, more time needed to reach decision, subgroups may form, satisfaction of each
What are the four phases of group development? What types of behaviors occur in each, and what are the
Forming - indentify and learn about the group; much agreement; not much work done
Storming – assert individuality, confused goals, little work, control is an issue
Norming – balance achieved in response to storming, cohesion emerges, group functions as whole, too much agreement as bad as too
Performing – period of consensus and max productivity, few negative comments, focus on task rather than group formation
What is groupthink and under what conditions does it occur? What are the symptoms of groupthink? What are six
ways to avoid groupthink?
Groupthink – a problem-solving process in which ideas accepted by group are not really examined and opposing ideas are
suppressed; occurs when authoritarian leader with pet proposals, group isolated from real world, group doesn’t have definite
decision making process, group members are similar, the decision to be made is complex and arousing
Symptoms: illusion of invulnerability, unquestioned belief in morality of their position, warning signs of potential problems
discounted, opponents perceived as evil, powerless or stupid, members who stray from group are pressured to conform, members
privately decide to keep misgivings to themselves, illusion of unanimity, members/leader screened from adverse info
Have critical evaluator or devil’s advocate
Leader doesn’t state preferred course of action until late in process
Outside people consulted
Divide group into subgroups
Rehash earlier decisions
After plan implemented, keep searching for problems
What is the purpose of brainstorming, and what are the rules?
Brainstorming to offset tendencies to conform and promote creative problem solving and original thinking