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A social relations analysis of participation in small groups

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Two approaches to explaining the relation between interaction and participator judgments in small groups are examined. The first, expectations states theory, suggests that participator judgments are consistent across raters for a given target, and that such ratings are a function of the heuristic processing of social information. The second approach, the local management model, assumes more thoughtful processing of members' behaviors, leading to uniqueness in how perceivers evaluate targets as participators. A social relations analysis of participator assessments in same- and mixed-sex groups revealed consensus in participator judgments; uniqueness also played a role in how members perceived each other as useful participators. In addition, consensus was correlated with participation, but not with sex. The discussion addresses the necessity and sufficiency of each model as well as the conditions under which each model would better fit the data.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-06-01

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