The sheer number of people in a group affects the
amount of communication. Consider the difference
between communication between two friends and
communication in a group of five people. When friends
talk, there are two people sending and receiving
messages. In a group of five, there are five people doing
the same thing. Each idea that is expressed must be
understood by four others, who may also choose to
respond. Consequently, the greater number of people in
a group, the fewer contributions an individual may
make. Because there are disadvantages to large groups,
you might assume that small groups would be the most
effective. However, groups can be too small as well as
100 people large. With too few members, a group has limited
resources, which eliminates a primary advantage of
groups for decision making. Also, members may be unwilling to disagree or criticize each
other's ideas. I believe that five to seven members is the
ideal size for a small group.
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