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Group Problem Solving$
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Patrick R. Laughlin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147918

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147918.001.0001

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Basic Concepts in Group Problem Solving

Basic Concepts in Group Problem Solving

(p.1) Chapter One Basic Concepts in Group Problem Solving
Group Problem Solving

Patrick R. Laughlin

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of group problem solving. Group problem solving involves complementary, divisible, optimizing, intellective tasks for which a demonstrably correct answer exists within a conceptual system. Group problem solving may be analyzed in terms of four basic constructs: group task, group structure, group process, and group product. The group task is what the group is attempting to do. Group structure is the organization of the group, including (a) roles, the different positions within the group, (b) norms, the expected beliefs and behaviors for the group members, and (c) member characteristics, the demographic, physical, and psychological attributes of each group member. Group process is how the group members interact with and influence one another. Finally, group product is the collective group response or output. The correspondence of the product to the objective of the group defines success or failure and determines the rewards or punishments for the group members.

Keywords:   group problem solving, group task, group structure, member characteristics, group process, group product, group members

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