Use of Individual-Level data to investigate group phenomena issues and strategies
Researchers who investigate group phenomena can choose either the group as a whole or individuals within groups as a basis for formulating research questions, developing datagathering strategies, and conducting statistical analyses. This article considers the virtues and limitations of using individual-level data to investigate group phenomena and describes three categories of research questions about individuals in groups: (a) the contribution of group members to the composition of the group, (b) individuals'experience of belonging to the group, and (c) the impact of group membership on group members' personal life. The authors describe two examples from research on cohesion that addresses questions about individuals 'experience of belonging to groups and the impact of group membership on their personal life. We conclude by noting the limitations of the approach we advocate and mapping directions for future research suggested by our emphasis on individual-level analysis of small-group phenomena. © 1994, SAGE PUBLICATIONS, INC. All rights reserved.
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