Autonomic arousal during group decision making consensus rules versus majority rules: Pilot study

Alana Enslein, Chelsea Hodges, Kelsey Zuchegno, Tadd Patton, Reeves Robert, Stephen H. Hobbs, Joseph C. Wood, W. F. Lawless

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Organizational theory is in a poor state today. Supporting this claim, an article in Nature in 2011 listed the top challenges, including at fifth, the inability by social scientists to aggregate individual data to group, organizational and system levels. We have proposed that this failure derives from treating interdependence as a hindrance to experimental replications rather than the primary characteristic of social behavior. Recent studies have shown that bistability can be used theoretically to explain states of interdependence common to group debates preceding a decision (e.g., interdependently speaking and listening, and reacting). The goal of this study is to investigate interdependence in groups in the laboratory when specific parameters are placed on debate outcomes. Participants are instructed to engage in debate with one another over various topics (i.e., business, abortion, and race) and placed under one of two decision rules as instructed: consensus or majority rule. The degree to which participants remain "engaged" in the debate is of particular interest in this study. Prior to the test trial each participant completes a pre-discussion questionnaire designed to ascertain personal beliefs regarding each of the topics discussed. Participants complete a similar questionnaire immediately following the test trials. In addition, galvanic skin responses (GSR) and utterance counts over time are being obtained from randomly selected participants as a measure of autonomic arousal. We plan to analyze with time series. We expect that time-series data from groups, teams and organizations can augment self-reported data collected from individuals. Preliminary findings will be reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationENTERprise Information Systems - International Conference, CENTERIS 2011, Proceedings
Number of pages10
EditionPART 2
StatePublished - Oct 19 2011
EventInternational Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, CENTERIS 2011 - Vilamoura, Portugal
Duration: Oct 5 2011Oct 7 2011

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
NumberPART 2
Volume220 CCIS
ISSN (Print)1865-0929


OtherInternational Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, CENTERIS 2011


  • bi-stability
  • interdependence
  • organizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Mathematics(all)


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