1. Describe the research method (i.e., experimental, correlational, descriptive, quasi-
experimental) used in this study.
2. Identify the independent variable IV(s) and the dependent variable (DV) in this study.
3. State the study hypothesis or hypotheses (if there is more than one).
4. Describe the participants in this study. Be specific.
5. Describe the procedures used. List any specific instruments used to gather data.
6. Describe the type of inferential statistics used to gather data.
7.‘ Describe the key findings. Explain how these findings compare to findings in previous
An experiment varying the racial (Black9 and topic has implications for both theory and social
opinion composition small-group discussions was conducted study of cognitive responses to group dynamics is an important area in
with college students (N = 357) at three universities to test for social and personality psychology (Gruenfeld, 1995; Gl‘uenfeld
effects on the perceived novelty ofgroup members’contributions Hollingshead, Levine & Resnick, question of the
to discussion and on participants9 integrative complexity, Re- empirical merits of race-conscious approaches to diversifying colleges
salts showed that racial and opinion minorities were both per- and universities has also become prominent in recent years in the face
ceived as contributing to novelty. Generally positive effects on of legal challenges to affirmative-action policies (Chang, Witt, Jones,
integrative complexity were found when the groups had racial- & Hakuta, 2003). In the study reported here, we aimed to advance the
and opinion-minority members and when members reported scientific understanding of the educational effects of race through a
having racially diversefriends and classmates. Thefindings are controlled, randomized experiment measuring the impact of racial
discussed in the context of social psychological theories of mi- diversity on the complexity of thinking in college students.
nority influence and social policy implications for affirmative
action. The research supports claims about the educational
significance of race in higher education, as well as the com- DIVERSITY AND COMPLEX THINKING
plexity of the interaction of racial diversity with contextual and
individual factors. Research in the areas of organizational behavior and group dynamics
has generally shown that heterogeneity of group members typically
yields better problem solving than does homogeneity of group mem-
Previous research has found that racially diverse educational envi- tiers (Nemeth & Waohtlei’a 1983)- Although homogeneity of group
ronments are associated with positive intellectual and social outcomes members inei’eases solidarity and ooheSiVeness» these same poSitiVe
for college students (Astin, 1993; Chang, 1999; Curin, 1999; Smith & etteots may» ironically: leatl homogeneous groups to he Ultimately less
Associates, 1997). Racial diversity in the student body is linked to the Piotluotiye-
likelihood that a student will interact with someone of a different race SeVeral important theoretical oonsn’uots untlergii‘l these obsetya’
or ethnicity and engage in discussions of racial or ethnic issues. tions- one of these is grottpthtnk (Janis, 1972)- The idea here is that
Frequent interaction across racial lines and discussion of racial and eohesiVeness and solidarity» Whieh oan fuel increased piotluotiyity
ethnic issues positively predicts student retention, intellectual and (Mullen & copper» 1994)» are also the foundation for unanimity of
social self-concept, and overall satisfaction with college (Curin, 1999; opinions Whioh results in Poor tleoiSion making-
Smith & Associates, 1997). The existing evidence, however, is based Another important theory is that of minority influence Reseaioh has
largely on quasi-experimental or correlational designs using self-re- Shown that the Presence
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