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Groups Leadership: Factorial Analysis of Variance Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 23rd, 2020


The importance of the study was to apply a number of methods to study the leadership of groups and the more-important-than-average (MITA) effect on them. Another thing that was examined was the degree of overestimation of a group’s goals and to what extent ethics would be put at stake to attain them (Hoyt, Price & Emrick, 2010). In regards to MITA, the research would determine that a given group will view their own aspirations as more important than those of another one. By that, the researchers would find out whether the hypothesis that a group’s members would justify unethical behavior in line with achievement of their goals. The third preposition is whether the MITA effect and justification partiality is more in leading individuals than in the other members of the group. The researchers in the study would finally find out whether the justification partiality is directly related to the attitude towards the group and the importance of achieving objectives (Hoyt, Price & Emrick, 2010).

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The propositions were applied in three dimensions. In the first one, the effect of MITA for a group’s objectives on leaders and members or non leaders was undertaken. They then applied the MITA effect for objectives as perceived in groups and then found out the factors that could influence justification bias.

To answer the first question, one hundred and fifty six university students were selected. They compromised 58 male and 98 female leaders and 44 non-leaders. They were expected to rank their goals against those of other groups and then assess their goals against those of their opponents (Hoyt, Price & Emrick, 2010). In connection to that there were some funds that were to be distributed and each of the participants would rank the eligibility of their group to get them. They would rank them in importance. They simultaneously rated the goals of their own group on a scale between strongly agree and strongly disagree ranging from 1to 7. Rankings on fund distribution indicated that participants ranked their own group highly. They also placed the goals of their groups as more important than those of other groups.

The researchers then applied the second hypothesis on the leader and the non-leaders, based on the rankings on fund distribution. From the rankings the leaders attributed greater importance to the groups goals compared to non-leaders (Hoyt, Price & Emrick, 2010). A further test on the importance of goals revealed that leaders ranked it higher than non-leaders. There was no difference however on the rankings of both leaders and non-leaders on other groups’ goals. This validated the theory that groups tend to have a more-important-than-average effect on their goals than those of other groups. More so, the MITA effect was greater in leaders than in non-leaders.

In the second study they sought to find out whether the MITA effect is influenced by the feeling that one is a leader rather than the reasons they become leaders. It was undertaken on the participants holding the leading position (Hoyt et al., 2010). One hundred and seventy seven undergraduate students comprising 67 men and 103 women were selected. They took the role of leader or non-leader and were placed in a group either a business, service or political group. Just like in the first study, they were asked to rank the goals of their organization in importance. They then indicated what would best describe their organization in the three new categories. The results were the same as in study 1 except the typical groups did not have an effect. The MITA effect on leaders was not influenced on the nature of the organization (Hoyt, Price & Emrick, 2010).

In the third study, given the MITA effect is more on the leader, they linked it to the theory that leaders feel more justified to defy ethics for the achievement of the group’s goals. Ninety one university students comprising 28men and 63 women participated. The leaders described the goals of their organizations Vesuvius those of a typical campus organization. The researchers also found out whether the participants would lie to retain a colleague and derail rivals. On top of the findings of studies 1 and 2 the leaders admitted they would feel more justifiable to break rules than the non-leaders. All the members in the group also said they would feel more justified to break rules than other groups (Hoyt, Price & Emrick, 2010).

While the analyses were conducted on students, it is hard to tell the outcome if it was done on another group like employees. The other weakness is the researchers used a number of variables like the nature of the organization. We would not, however, tell whether issues like the working conditions and payment for example would affect the outcome of the research. The main inherent weakness in the study is there are a number of people who hold their own goals and interests in high standing that they would not work in groups (Jackson, 2012).


The study effectively answers the research questions on how individuals view groups. People feel more attached to the group’s interests when they are in one than their own. They also hold highly their groups interests than those of another. While the group would generally break rules for the sake of their goals, the leaders are prone to break them more and find it more justifiable.


Hoyt, C. L., Price, T. L., & Emrick, A. E. (2010). Leadership and the more-important-than-average effect: Overestimation of group goals and the justification of unethical behavior in Leadership. Leadership, 6, 391-407

Jackson, S. L. (2012). Research methods and statistics: A critical thinking approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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