Order Effects in Individual and Group Policy Allocations

Janice Nadler*, Julie R. Irwin, James H. Davis, Wing Tung Au, Paul Zarnoth, Adrian K. Rantilla, Kathleen Koesterer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Scopus citations


    Although citizen panels have become quite popular for policy making, there is very little research on how the procedures these groups employ to manage consensus affect their decision making. We measured the effect of a simple procedural mechanism, agenda order, on individual and group allocations for an HIV policy. Allocations made in a large-small (state-region-city) order were substantially smaller, overall, than were allocations made in small-large (city-region-state) order, and group allocations were smaller, overall, than were individual judgments. The Social Judgment Scheme model (Davis, 1996) provided a good fit of the group allocation, and suggested a mechanism for this overall downward shift in judgment. Normative (i.e. calibration) analyses, as well as subjective impressions (e.g. confidence, repeat judgments) favored relatively smaller allocations so that judgments made in large-small order, and judgments made in groups were arguably more defensible than were individual or small-large judgments. We discuss these strong agenda influences and their implications both for citizen panels and for theoretical research on group consensus.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)99-115
    Number of pages17
    JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


    • citizen panels
    • context effects
    • group decision making
    • order effects
    • preference

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Cultural Studies
    • Communication
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science


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