An empirical study of a new method for forming group judgments: qualitative controlled feedback

by S. James Press, M. W. Ali, C. E. Yang

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The Qualitative Controlled Feedback (QCF) method was developed to assist policymakers in forming judgments and making decisions that reflect the interactive reasoning of all members of a group. The QCF method tends to minimize face-to-face group interaction pressures, thus the procedure does not artifically induce a group consensus. This paper summarizes a feasibility study of the procedure. Faculty and staff members of the University of British Columbia participated in testing the method. Participants were asked the importance of building an aquatic center on campus. A second group was surveyed using conventional survey methods. Qualitative Controlled Feedback created good interaction among group members. Changes in judgments occurred as subjects went from one stage to another after having qualitative feedback of information. It was also found that judgments by subjects in the qualitative controlled feedback group were distributed quite differently from the control group. The method suggests a significant new way of collecting and interpreting group judgments.

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