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Social groups vary in size purpose and goals While some groups form spontaneously such as a group of friends others form for a specific purpose A common group function is that of making decisions to which the group is bound This paper will examine the group decision-making process and the role of personal conformity leading to the decisions made It will also discuss the impact of consensus-based decisions on a group as a whole on individuals within a group and on the unintended negative impacts of group decisions on people outside the group Group decision-making has up to four general phases The first phase is problem identification Once identified the group assesses candidate solutions Ideally this phase should include interactive solicitation of different viewpoints among group members If all members are in agreement the decision is unanimous and the group goes forward with the decision If not the decision is most often made and implemented in accordance with previously agreed to rules The fourth step if necessary is to restore group harmony between the majority and the dissenters Personal conformity plays a vital role in leading groups to consensus-based decisions In chapter-7 we learn that a difference between a social grouping and a crowd of people who share no common interest is a set of shared norms Group norms tell us what we should or ought to be thinking feeling or doing if we want to fit in with a particular group It follows that group norms influence the decision-making process Conformity is group consensus and can involve changing personal attitudes opinions or behaviors to match the attitudes opinions or behaviors of the group Group conformity can be informational-believing in the intrinsic worth of the groups collective opinion-or normative-conformity because of group pressure rather than personal feelings Obedience is a third kind of conformity conformity because an individual accepts the expectations of the leader real or imagined Group boundaries separating in-groups to which one
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