People have a harder time coming up with alternative solutions to a problem when they are part of a group, new research suggests.
Scientists exposed study participants to one brand of soft drink then asked them to think of alternative brands. Alone, they came up with significantly more products than when they were grouped with two others.
“When a group gets together, they can miss out on good options,â€? study team member H. Shanker Krishnan told LiveScience.
The researchers speculate that when a group of people receives information, the inclination is to discuss it. The more times one option is said aloud, the harder it is for individuals to recall other options, explained Krishnan.
Another contributing factor is variation in learning and memory styles. People store and retrieve information in myriad ways, so in a group situation, the conversation could cause individuals to think about the cues differently than they would if they were alone.
Krishnan said individuals, whether students, executives or football fans, should take time to consider the facts on their own before coming to a consensus.
Photo by lsirtosky.
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