Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Neuman, George

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Brainstorming; Group problem solving; Interactive management; Social psychology


This dissertation assessed the impact of group-level personality traits on the processes and outcomes of brainstorming groups. Specifically, it was hypothesized that the effects of group-level personality on outcomes are mediated by group process variables. In addition, it was hypothesized that trait combinations would predict variance in the group process variables beyond that predicted by the individual traits. Subjects were 312 undergraduate students who were randomly placed in 78 four-person groups. Measures included a personality (openness, extraversion, and emotional stability), group processes (social loafing, evaluation apprehension, and production blocking), and group outcomes (quality and quantity of ideas generated by the brainstorming groups). Although none of the hypotheses were supported, several interesting findings are worth noting. The mean extraversion score of a group had statistically significant relationships with all of the group process variables. The mean openness score of a group had statistically significant relationships with the quality and the quantity of ideas generated in a brainstorming group, but mean openness was not related to the group process variables. Finally, the mean emotional stability score of a group did not have statistically significant relationships with the group process variables, but it did have one statistically significant relationship with a group outcome variable (average idea quality). Implications of these findings and areas for future research are briefly discussed.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [72]-76).


[vii], 76 pages




Northern Illinois University

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