Preference-consistent evaluation of information in the hidden profile paradigm: beyond group-level explanations for the dominance of shared information in group decisions

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Feb;84(2):322-39. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.84.2.322.


Common explanations for the failure of groups to solve so-called hidden profiles focus on group processes, namely insufficient discussion of unshared information and premature consensus on a suboptimal alternative. As 2 experiments show, even in the absence of such group processes, hidden profiles are hardly ever solved. In Experiment 1, participants first received individual information about a personnel selection task and then read a group discussion protocol containing full information exchange. If the individual information was misleading (hidden profile), most participants failed to detect the correct alternative. In Experiment 2, it was determined that this effect is due to preference-consistent evaluation of information that constitutes an individual-level process mediating the failure of group members to solve hidden profiles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Judgment*
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Dominance*