Accession Number:

AD0263739

Title:

THE REINFORCEMENT OF DISAGREEMENT IN A SMALL GROUP

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL BOSTON MASS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1961-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

1.0

Abstract:

IN A SERIES OF 20 EXPERIMENTAL AND CONTROL GROUPS, THE EFFECTS OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE WERE STUDIED ON THE SOCIAL BEHAVIOR OF THREE-PERSON GROUPS. A simple game in which people can interact freely in a face-to-face arrangement was used. The experimental conditions so created yield data permitting the analysis of sequential changes in interaction on a trial-by-trial basis. Disagreement in making a series of decisions was the specific behavior investigated. The presentAPPROACH CAPTURES THE ENTIRE FUNCTIONING OF A GROUP WHICH IS GIVEN A PROBLEM THAT CANNOT BE REALLY SOLVED BY A SINGLE PERSON. The first are problems with disjunctive requirements the second are problems with conjunctive requirements. We have asked whether a given category of conjunctive group behavior defined by several kinds of interaction can be maintained and manipulated by reinforcement. Our aim is to describe a major source of influence on interaction not by the individual characteristics of group members but by their instrumental acts in combination. The stability of the given interaction in a group then takes on the quality of an implicit rule or norm of behavior. Author

Subject Categories:

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE