POLARYZACJA GRUPOWA W WARUNKACH DEBATY DELIBERATYWNEJ
Group polarization in deliberative debates
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In social psychology the group polarization refers to the tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclinations of its members. This phenomenon constitutes a potential obstacle to positive outcomes attributed to deliberative debates. A deliberative debate is a particular kind of a group discussion tasked with fi nding group consensus on controversial issues. The idea of deliberation originates from the writings of John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas, Amy Gutmann and Denis Thompson. Deliberative debate imposes numerous normative requirements on the communication, relationships among the disputants and their approach to the issue under discussion. These normative requirements make a big difference between deliberative debates and the situations in which the phenomenon of polarization was observed. Thus, we presume that in deliberative debates conditions the phenomenon of group polarization may be limited. The paper investigates the following questions: would the normative conditions of deliberation limit the occurrence of polarization in discussing groups? and What infl uence (if any) would the polarization process have on the quality of group decision? In the light of the empirical data we concluded what follows: (1) In 50% of the analyzed cases of group discussion the phenomenon of group polarization was observed despite the normative conditions of deliberation. (2) The occurrence of group polarization in some cases coincided with making the fi nal decisions which did not alter the initial preferences of the disputants (but did not totally predestinated the fi nal outcome).
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