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Decisions, decisions: How group dynamics alters decisions

Research in neuroscience, psychology, business and economics tells us that a plethora of influences can alter the decisions we make. The author explored some of these factors in a Worldview Stanford course and wrote about them in a Stanford story package, Decisions, Decisions. This post is part of a series on what she learned. 

Are you a leader? A follower? Are you charismatic? Knowledgeable? All of these factors will alter your role in a group, and eventually the decisions that the group makes.

Lindred Greer, PhD, with the Stanford Graduate School of Business, studies the way power structures effect group decisions. "If you put people with high power together, it's a clash of egos like no other," she said. "They are busier maintaining power than in making good decisions."

In her work, she has found that hierarchical teams make faster decisions, but teams of equals produce the most creative solutions. Ultimately, the pressure is on the group leader to figure out what kind of decision is needed and to make sure the group functions effectively.

"The leader really does have the onus to be the most competent person in the room and we always forget that," she said.

There's more in my story about the qualities that make a good leader and the perils of choosing a bad one.

Previously: Decisions, decisions: How emotions alter our decisionsDecisions, decisions: The way we express a decision alters the outcome and Decisions, decisions: How our decision making changes with age
Video courtesy of Worldview Stanford

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