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Distributed knowledge and transactive processes in decision-making groups.

ABSTRACT Presents a model that examines the relations between group members' individual knowledge, communication processes, and group decisions. The model proposes that communication processes involved in effective information exchange change depending on the degree to which information needed for an effective group decision is known by all, some, one, or no group members, and on the degree to which members have a shared understanding about who knows what. The model is presented in the form of 9 propositions about 4 processes; comparing individual knowledge, establishing expertise, searching for needed information, and communicating information. Two studies comparing retrieval processes in memory systems are presented. Ss from both studies were heterosexual dating couples who had been dating at least 6 mo and were college students. Ss completed (either 2 or 3 times) a general knowledge task individually or with their partner or strangers. The data suggest that even strangers have a transactive memory system, which improves with task repetition. Strangers began developing their transactive memory system by explicitly establishing relative expertise as indicated by their higher frequency of expertise assertions relative to intimate couples. Knowledge test questions are appended. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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