Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 127–155 | Cite as

The Evolution of Certainty in a Small Decision-Making Group by Consensus



We propose a dynamical systems model for approximating the certainty as a function of communication. Uncertainty is measured during a small group decision-making process, in which participants aim to reach consensus. Assuming that the communication is a one-dimensional continuum variable, both first- and second-order differential models of certainty are analyzed, and then, the general model is obtained by superposition. An experiment was organized, and the data have been used to test the model. A detailed discussion on the assumptions of this approach from the decision theory point of view is also included.


Subjective certainty Communication Group decision-making Dynamical systems Evolution of certainty 



I would like to thank Cătălin Zamfir for the helpful discussions and for facilitating and encouraging the experimental process. I am also indebted to Cosmin Toth for encouraging this project in the first place and for participating in many helpful discussions. Also I am indebted to Adrian Duşa for helpful comments on earlier manuscripts of this paper. I would like to thank Aurelian Gheondea for his help with using MATLAB. Many thanks as well to Sorin Costiner for pointing me toward bootstrapping methodology. I am also grateful to the anonymous reviewers at GDN for the constructive feed-back that helped in considerably improving the presentation of this research.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institutul de Cercetare a Calităţii VieţiiAcademia RomânăBucharestRomania
  2. 2.Facultatea de Sociologie şi Asistenţă SocialăUniversitatea BucureştiBucharestRomania

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