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36th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2003. Proceedings of the (2003)
Big Island, Hawaii
Jan. 6, 2003 to Jan. 9, 2003
ISBN: 0-7695-1874-5
pp: 46c
John Davis , Microsoft Research
Melora Zaner , Microsoft Research
Shelly Farnham , Microsoft Research
Cezary Marcjan , Microsoft Research
Brenda P. McCarthy , New York University
Social factors, such as status differences, may prevent some members from participating in group decisions. Computerized group decision support systems (GDSSs) can reduce social influences by allowing group members to contribute anonymously and in parallel. This study explores how a simple GDSS on a wireless handheld device can augment face-to-face group decisions. Small groups of men and women brainstormed potential names for a computer game and voted for the best name using the wireless devices. The names generated were either associated with the person who produced them or not, and group member status was manipulated through the nature of the task and the proportions of men and women in the groups; men were more knowledgeable computer gamers and were always the numeric majority. We found that men and women generated more ideas when they were anonymous, and voting patterns were biased in favor of the ideas generated by men when members knew the idea?s source, but not when the source was anonymous. These results suggest that a wireless GDSS can be used to reduce social bias that influences face-to-face decision making tasks.

J. Davis, C. Marcjan, S. Farnham, B. P. McCarthy and M. Zaner, "Wireless Brainstorming: Overcoming Status Effects in Small Group Decisions," 36th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2003. Proceedings of the(HICSS), Big Island, Hawaii, 2003, pp. 46c.
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