Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John M. Newton

Second Advisor

James Thomas

Third Advisor

Walter H. Carlson


The present study investigated the effects of prior experience of one group member on the performance of the wheel network. Groups participating in the experiment included four experimental groups and a control group. The four experimental groups included combinations of centrally or peripherally trained Ss transferred to a central or peripheral position in naive wheel networks. Dependent variables were measured in four categories: time, number of messages, number of errors, and individual ratings on a post-communication questionnaire. The position occupied by the experienced Ss during training had no apparent effect on their transfer group,s performance. The network position of the experienced Ss in the transfer situation had a significant impact on his group's time to complete the task and the number of messages they sent. Wheel network groups consisting of one experienced group member in the central position were significantly more efficient in solving sim pie tasks than were naive control groups. No significant differences were found between the ratings of the groups on the five questionnaire items. Experienced central members were found to have significantly higher ratings of their satisfaction with position in the group than were experienced peripheral members.

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