Thin slices of workgroups

Patricia Satterstrom, Jeffrey T. Polzer, Lisa B. Kwan, Oliver P. Hauser, Wannawiruch Wiruchnipawan, Marina Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we explore whether perceivers can accurately assess the effectiveness of groups, how perceivers use group properties to inform their judgement, and the contextual and individual differences that allow some perceivers to be more accurate. Across seven studies, we present consistent evidence that perceivers can judge workgroup effectiveness in videos of different lengths—60, 30, and 10 s—and in 10-second silent videos and 10-second audio clips. We find that perceptions of collective properties of groups, including cohesion, affective trust, and cognitive trust partially mediate perceivers’ ability to accurately judge groups. Furthermore, increased attentional focus improves perceivers’ ability to judge group effectiveness. Finally, we find that perceivers with higher levels of social sensitivity are more accurate at judging group effectiveness. We discuss the implications of these findings for the groups literature and social perception literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-117
Number of pages14
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Attentional focus
  • Group effectiveness
  • Group perception
  • Social sensitivity
  • Thin slices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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