Group vs individual decision-making: Is there a shift?

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We revisit the phenomenon that group decisions differ systematically from decisions of individuals. Our experiment solicits individual and group decisions from the same subjects in two settings, gift-exchange games and lottery choices. With no deliberation and voting, the group decision is determined by the median individual decision, without a shift. With deliberation but no imposed decision rule, the individual one position towards the selfish direction also becomes influential. In lottery choices we find no group shift relative to the median. We demonstrate that the standard practice of comparing means of group and individual decisions would incorrectly identify a level shift.

Last updated on 12/04/2012