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Date of Award

7-27-2008

Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Committee Chair

Victor Savicki, PhD

Second Advisor

Jay Thomas, PhD, ABPP

Abstract

In recent years, organizations and businesses have increasingly used groups to

make decisions across a wide variety of settings. This trend has led to a need to make

group performance more accurate and effective. Despite the increased research relating to group performance in recent years, there is still incomplete understanding of the

factors leading to effective group development and group decision making . Only in recent times have researchers begun to explore the relationship between self-efficacy and group performance as a possible a factor leading to effective group performance. Current

understandings of group performance largely focus on the collective beliefs and views of

the ability -of the group to perform a specific task. In addition, instruments that were

developed to measure this relationship were also based on the aggregation of individual

group members to create a group average score. This conception, however, does not take

into · account individuals' beliefs and views of their ability to perform in group settings.

Recently researchers have begun to develop instruments that are more sensitive to the

relationship between individual self-efficacy in groups and group performance. In this

study, group performance will be analyzed in terms of individuals' perceptions of their

effectiveness in groups in contrast to groups' perceptions of their potency. Furthermore,

this study will examine the role of the individual group member in group performance.

Finally, this study will also examine the effect of task competence and of the group

development variables of forming and feedback on group decision making.

In preparation for the actual research study, this thesis will discuss the

background literature on self-efficacy and its relationship to group performance and

group development, and provide information about the current state of research on self-

efficacy in group performance (i.e., definition, conceptualization, and assessment). It

will examine current instruments for assessing the relationship between self-efficacy and

group performance and utilize a new instrument for assessing this relationship. It will

provide background literature review that led to a new conceptualization of individual

self-efficacy about group performance and differentiate this concept from current

research of self-efficacy in group performance. A method section will be provided,

which includes the design of the study, participation, procedure, and

measurements. Finally, the results section will detail the analysis of this study followed

by a discussion in which the author will explore implications of the research findings for

practitioners, the limitations of this study, and suggestions for future researchers.

Comments

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