The effects of scale and information distribution on group decision-making processes and outcomes
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This dissertation bridges two research streams in the group decision making research: the weighted opinion research stream and social decision scheme research stream. In two experiments, the scale of the decision outcome - which is thought to create the differences between the two research streams - does not affect the underlying behaviors as expected. Results indicate that models of interpersonal influence can generally best explain decisions in both continuous scale and discrete scale settings, in both simple and complex tasks. However, if the network of interpersonal influences is not known, then in simple (information-scarce) tasks, central tendency behaviors can explain group decisions across both discrete and continuous scale settings. In complex (information-rich) tasks, faction-based behaviors tend to describe decision making processes. Additionally, and contrary to expectations, scale does not affect information processing when the information set is different among group members.