This study examined the impact of perceived threat and cohesion on the ability of groups to solve problems in a situation of social conflict. The self‐reports and behaviors of 31 groups of college males were studied within a comprehensive, strategic simulation of intergroup conflict. The simulation was based on both a value conflict and an economic competition over scarce resources. A coding scheme for group problem solving was created based in part on Janis' seven symptoms of groupthink. Change scores were calculated over different points in time to assess the relationships among perceived threat, group cohesion, and dysfunctional group problem solving. Large increases in perceived threat were significantly related to decrements in problem‐solving effectiveness regardless of whether cohesion was stable or increased. Groups who reported high and increasing levels of cohesion experienced a decrement in problem solving regardless of the increase in perceived threat, while groups who showed small changes in cohesion demonstrated decreased problem solving under high perceived threat. The results were consistent with Janis' model of groupthink, and Fisher's eclectic model of intergroup conflict.
Rempel, M.W. and Fisher, R.J. (1997), "PERCEIVED THREAT, COHESION, AND GROUP PROBLEM SOLVING IN INTERGROUP CONFLICT", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 216-234. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb022796Download as .RIS
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