The Effect of Closeness and the Self-Concept on Decision Making

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When leaders are faced with making a decision in a group, they may change their behavior in light of their relationships with group members and their self-concept. The current study evaluated the effect of partner closeness on decision making. A participant and confederate completed a decision-making task together. The closeness of the pair was manipulated by a relationship induction task. During a discussion, the confederate argued for the choice opposite that of the participant. The results of the study did not find that closeness or the relational self-construal had an effect on participants’ decision making. However, men were significantly more likely than women to change their decision after the discussion. The unexpected result may have been caused by the expectations of men and women about what a leader’s behavior should be when working with others.