Educational decision-making: An explanation of Janis' groupthink model.
AuthorGrant, Kay Veronica
Committee ChairMishra, Shitala P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractJanis' theory of "groupthink" is explored in the context of educational decision making. Since 1973 when Janis coined the term, to describe extreme concurrence seeking tendencies in decision making group, few empirical studies testing the theory had been completed. While the notion of groupthink has been used extensively in various areas of the social sciences, educational decision makers, i.e., school boards, have seldom been the focus of this research. The purpose of this study was threefold. First, an attempt was made to explore decision making processes occurring at the school board level. Second, the theory of groupthink was investigated through the use of a complete questionnaire packet developed by Park (1989). Finally the data obtained from the questionnaire was used to determine the psychometric properties, reliability, and construct validity of the measures of central tendency and factor loading with regard to the questionnaire and its four subscales. Multiple regression was utilized to determine the relationship between the first three subscales and the last. The questionnaire developed by Park (1989) and tested on ad-hoc groups in a laboratory setting was tested on actual decision making groups (school boards). The reliability and construct validity of the study were determined to be within the moderate range. Overall findings suggest that respondents, based upon their response patterns, do agree with the various dimensions of the groupthink framework as it relates to the educational decision making process. Intercorrelation of subscales and cluster scales ranged from low to moderately high, and the four clusters seem to have significant predictability of the decision making process. While the overall direction of the results seem to support the theory of groupthink, more detailed studies using a variety of objective and subjective measures need to be developed.
Degree ProgramEducational Psychology