Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


A study was conducted using a total of 144 male and female college undergraduates to determine whether an explicit statement of the group goal of acceptance along with specific discussion guidelines on how to achieve this goal could have a facilitative effect on the quality and/or acceptance of the solution reached by a group. Hypothesis were generated from Hoffman's hierarchical model of the group problem-solving process and previous research. The results revealed nonsignificant increments in individual acceptance, individual and group improvement, and time required by groups to reach a decision, as a result of providing a greater amount of explicitness of the group goal and procedures promoting attainment of that goal. The results also revealed a significant main effect for sex on group improvement scores which indicated that male groups were more effective than female groups. Correlations between self-report measures of satisfaction and a behavioral measure of acceptance indicated that the two measures are highly correlated. The results are interpreted as providing modest support for the importance of the implicit-explicit dimension of Hoffman's hierarchical model. It was concluded that more extensive training in the use of the present intervention technique may be needed to maximize its benefits.