chapter  3
The Uncertain Role of Unshared Information in Collective Choice
WithGarold Stasser
Pages 22

This chapter explores some of the social and psychological barriers to communicating and using effectively unique knowledge. It focuses on face-to-face communication in small groups. The potential impact of unique information on collective action may be more imagined than real in many settings. The procedural interventions that are more subtle than a round-robin information dump. Interventions may change either the information-processing demands of the task or the allocation of information-processing responsibilities within the group. The collective sampling advantage to shared information stems from the fact that shared information has more opportunities to be mentioned than does unshared. The theme thus far has been that face-to-face discussions are not social systems that facilitate the airing of unshared information. The work of J. R. Larson and his colleagues has demonstrated the role of leaders and high-status members in the promotion of unshared information in task-oriented teams.