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Keeping up appearances: Strategic information exchange by disidentified group members

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Information exchange is a crucial process in groups, but to date, no one has systematically examined how a group member’s relationship with a group can undermine this process. The current research examined whether disidentified group members (i.e., members who have a negative relationship with their group) strategically undermine the group outcome in information exchange. Disidentification has been found to predict negative group-directed behaviour, but at the same time disidentified members run the risk of being punished or excluded from the group when displaying destructive behaviour. In three studies we expected and found that disidentified group members subtly act against the interest of the group by withholding important private information, while at the same time they keep up appearances by sharing important information that is already known by the other group members. These findings stress the importance of taking a group member’s relationship with a group into account when considering the process of information exchange.

No MeSH data available.


Mean levels of each type of information which participants (A) withheld, or (B) shared in Study 1. Error bars represent ±1 SE of the mean.
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pone.0175155.g001: Mean levels of each type of information which participants (A) withheld, or (B) shared in Study 1. Error bars represent ±1 SE of the mean.

Mentions: To test whether disidentified group members strategically differentiate between private and public as well as important and unimportant information we conducted separate repeated-measures analysis of variance (RM-ANOVA) with a priori contrasts for the number of shared, withheld, distorted, and deleted information, with condition (disidentification and identification) as a between-subjects variable, and with sharedness (public vs. private) and importance (important vs. unimportant) as a within-subjects variable. To test Hypothesis 1b, we used planned contrasts which predicted that disidentified group members (versus identified group members) would withhold more private important information compared to the other types of information (contrast coefficients: –3, –1, –1, –1). Although, the planned contrast which compared both conditions was not significant, F(1, 53) = 1.41, p = .24, η2p = .03 (Fig 1A), it did reveal a significant simple effect for disidentification, F(1, 53) = 10.19, p < .01, η2p = .16. The simple effect for identification was not significant, F(1, 53) = 1.51, p = .22, η2p = .03. Thus, participants in the disidentification condition withheld more important private information compared to the other types of information; there were no difference between the different types of information for participants in the identification condition. To test Hypothesis 2b, we used planned contrasts in which we tested whether the amount of information that disidentified group members (versus identified group members) would share with the other group members differs in the following order ranging from high to low: public important, public unimportant, private unimportant, and private important (contrast coefficients: 3, 1, –1, –3, respectively). Although, our planned contrast which compared both conditions was not significant, F(1, 53) < 1 (Fig 1B), it did reveal a significant simple effect for disidentification, F(1, 53) = 9.90, p < .01, η2p = .16, and for identification, F(1, 53) = 5.85, p < .05, η2p = .10. Thus, both participants in the identification and disidentification condition shared the most important public information and the least important private information. Finally, there were no main or interaction effects of condition for distorting information, or deleting information, Fs < 1.83, p > .18.


Keeping up appearances: Strategic information exchange by disidentified group members
Mean levels of each type of information which participants (A) withheld, or (B) shared in Study 1. Error bars represent ±1 SE of the mean.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383236&req=5

pone.0175155.g001: Mean levels of each type of information which participants (A) withheld, or (B) shared in Study 1. Error bars represent ±1 SE of the mean.
Mentions: To test whether disidentified group members strategically differentiate between private and public as well as important and unimportant information we conducted separate repeated-measures analysis of variance (RM-ANOVA) with a priori contrasts for the number of shared, withheld, distorted, and deleted information, with condition (disidentification and identification) as a between-subjects variable, and with sharedness (public vs. private) and importance (important vs. unimportant) as a within-subjects variable. To test Hypothesis 1b, we used planned contrasts which predicted that disidentified group members (versus identified group members) would withhold more private important information compared to the other types of information (contrast coefficients: –3, –1, –1, –1). Although, the planned contrast which compared both conditions was not significant, F(1, 53) = 1.41, p = .24, η2p = .03 (Fig 1A), it did reveal a significant simple effect for disidentification, F(1, 53) = 10.19, p < .01, η2p = .16. The simple effect for identification was not significant, F(1, 53) = 1.51, p = .22, η2p = .03. Thus, participants in the disidentification condition withheld more important private information compared to the other types of information; there were no difference between the different types of information for participants in the identification condition. To test Hypothesis 2b, we used planned contrasts in which we tested whether the amount of information that disidentified group members (versus identified group members) would share with the other group members differs in the following order ranging from high to low: public important, public unimportant, private unimportant, and private important (contrast coefficients: 3, 1, –1, –3, respectively). Although, our planned contrast which compared both conditions was not significant, F(1, 53) < 1 (Fig 1B), it did reveal a significant simple effect for disidentification, F(1, 53) = 9.90, p < .01, η2p = .16, and for identification, F(1, 53) = 5.85, p < .05, η2p = .10. Thus, both participants in the identification and disidentification condition shared the most important public information and the least important private information. Finally, there were no main or interaction effects of condition for distorting information, or deleting information, Fs < 1.83, p > .18.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Information exchange is a crucial process in groups, but to date, no one has systematically examined how a group member&rsquo;s relationship with a group can undermine this process. The current research examined whether disidentified group members (i.e., members who have a negative relationship with their group) strategically undermine the group outcome in information exchange. Disidentification has been found to predict negative group-directed behaviour, but at the same time disidentified members run the risk of being punished or excluded from the group when displaying destructive behaviour. In three studies we expected and found that disidentified group members subtly act against the interest of the group by withholding important private information, while at the same time they keep up appearances by sharing important information that is already known by the other group members. These findings stress the importance of taking a group member&rsquo;s relationship with a group into account when considering the process of information exchange.

No MeSH data available.