Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

C. Raymond Millimet

Second Advisor

John K. Brilhart

Third Advisor

Joseph C. LaVoie


The twelve item Choice Dilemmas Questionnaire (CDQ) developed by Kogan and Wallach (1964) has been used extensively for investigating individual and group decision-making processes. Each item presents a hypothetical life situation in which the central character must choose between two courses of action, one of which is more risky than the other but also more rewarding if successful. For each situation the Sis must select the lowest probability of success they would accept before recommending that the potentially more rewarding (and risky) alternative be chosen. After Ss have made their private individual choices, a group is formed and each item is discussed until a consensus decision is reached. Following group discussion to consensus, Ss again make individual decisions in which they are allowed to change their decisions from that of the group if they so desire. When all twelve items are analyzed together, the typical finding is that the group consensus decision is more risky than the average of privately made individual pre-consensus decisions, and that the shift toward risk tends to be maintained for the average of privately made post-group Consensus decisions (Cartwright, 1971). Stoner (1961), the discoverer of the phenomenon, labled the effect the "risky shift."

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