Comparison of allocations by individuals and interacting groups in an escalation of commitment situation

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In this study, individuals and interacting 3-person groups were asked to make a series of allocation decisions using a modified version of the A&S decision case (Staw, 1976). Based on the choice-shift effect, it was hypothesized that groups would allocate more to a failing course of action than would individuals, and that these differences would emerge only after repeated sequential decisions. Both hypotheses were supported. These findings suggest that processes unique to groups account for the greater allocations of groups, relative to individuals in escalation situations. The implications of these findings in applied settings are discussed.

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© 2001 V. H. Winston & Sons, Inc. Publisher’s version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2001.tb02486.x

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Social Psychology