Group Polarization in Disciplinary Panel’s Decisions Among Teachers: An Analysis of Schools’ Affiliation Differences


  • Peter J. O. Aloka University of the Witwatersand, South Africa


Group polarization, disciplinary panel’s decision making, schools’ affiliations


The study examined group polarization in decision-making among teacher-members of disciplinary panels based on secondary school affiliations in Kenya. The pre-post with Nonequivalent Control Group design was used. A sample size comprised of 78 teacher-members of disciplinary panels in 10 secondary schools. Group polarization was measured with decision tasks from the Modified Choice Dilemma Questionnaire (Kogan & Wallach, 1964). A multivariate test was used to analyze the data. Findings indicated significant differences in group polarization in decisions among teachers on the bases of school affiliations were reported on the effect of behaviour problem regarding disciplinary tone. This finding implied that school affiliations play an important role in management of students’ behavior problems. The study recommended that schools should provide training for school disciplinary panel members before they take up their roles in student behavior management.


Achoka, J. S., & Barasa, J. (2013). Effect of conversion of mixed gender schools to boys’ only school or girls’ only schools on girl student discipline in Trans-Nzoia District, Kenya. International Journal of Educational Research and Reviews, 1(3), 47-52.

Aloka, P. J. O. (2020). Choice shifts in school disciplinary decision making: Analysis of age differences of panel members. The Open Psychology Journal, 13, 86-94. doi:10.2174/1874350102013010086.

Aloka, P. J. O. (2012). Group polarization in decision making: A study of selected secondary school disciplinary panels in Rongo District of Kenya. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation), University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.

Aloka, P. J. O., & Bojuwoye, O. (2013). Gender differences in decisions on student disciplinary behaviours by disciplinary panels of selected Kenyan secondary schools. Gender and Behaviour, 11(1), 5252-271.

Appelt, K. C., Milch, K. F., Handgraaf, J. J., & Weber, E. U. (2011). The decision making individual differences inventory and guidelines for the study of individual differences in judgment and decision-making research. Judgment and Decision Making, 6(3), 252-262.

Barber, B. M., & Odean, T. (2000). Too many cooks spoil the profits: Investment club performance. Financial Analysts Journal, 56(1), 17-25.

Bell, L., Haplin, D., & Neill, S. (1996). Managing self-governing primary schools in locally maintained, grant-maintained and private sectors. Education Management and Administration, 24(2), 253-261.

Blasé, J., & Blasé, J. (1997). The micro political orientation of facilitative school principals and its effects on teachers’ senses of empowerment. Journal of Educational Administration, 35(2), 138-164.

Brutsaert, H. (2002). Pupils' perceptions of discipline and academic standards in Belgian coeducational and single-sex schools. Evaluation & Research in Education, 16(2), 71-81. doi:10.1080/09500790208667008

Charness, G., & Jackson, M. O. (2009). The role of responsibility in strategic risk-taking. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 69(3), 241-247.

Chiedu, A. A. (2015). Gender differences on the perceived effectiveness of physical punishment among selected secondary schools’ students in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Gender and Behaviour, 13(1), 6645-6657.

Cialdini, R. B., & Goldstein, N. J. (2004). Social influence: Compliance and conformity. Annual Review of Psychology, 55(2), 591-621.

Cronbach, L. J., & Shavelson, R. J. (2004). My current thoughts on coefficient alpha and successor procedures. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 64(2), 391-218.

Corcoran, K., Crusius, J., & Mussweiler, T. (2011). Social comparison: Motives, standards, and mechanisms. In D. Chadee (Ed.), Theories in social psychology (pp. 119-139). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Donatelli, J., & Schnee, E. (2010). Co-ed or single sex education: What’s the difference? Retrieved from ionwhat% E2%80%99s-the-difference/.

Eide, E. R., & Showalter, M. H. (2001). The effect of grade retention on educational and labor market outcomes. Economics of Education Review 20(6), 563-576. doi:10.1016/S0272-7757(00)00041-8

Fabes, R. A., Pahlke, E., Galligan, K., & Borders, A. (2015). U.S principals' attitudes about and experiences with single-sex schooling. Educational Studies, 41(3), 293-311. doi:10.1080/03055698.2015.1005576.

Freedman, K. (2007). Effects of collaboration on grade retention decision making, (Unpublished master thesis), Department of Counseling Psychology, Florida State University, Florida, USA.

Gutkin, T. B., & Nemeth, C. (1997). Selected factors impacting decision making in referral intervention and other school-based teams: Exploring the intersection between school and social psychology. Journal of School Psychology, 35(2), 195-216.

Gunnarsson, M. (2010). Group decision making. New York: Frederick Publishers.

Gurian, M. (1996). Decision making in schools. New York, United States: Department of Education.

Handley, M. A., Lyles, C. R., McCulloch, C., & Cattamanchi, A. (2018). Selecting and improving quasi-experimental designs in effectiveness and implementation research. Annual Review of Public Health, 39(1), 5-25.

Hechtlinger, S., & Gati, I. (2019). Reducing dysfunctional career decision-making beliefs: Gender differences in the effectiveness of a group intervention. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 66(4), 449-460.

Hill, J. P., & Lynch, M. E. (1983). The intensification of gender-related role expectations during early adolescence. In J. Brooks-Gunn & A. Petersen (Eds.). Girls at puberty: Biological and psychosocial perspectives (pp. 201-228). New York: Plenum.

Howell, D. (2002). Statistical methods for social psychology. Pacific Grove, CA: Duxbury/Thomson Learning.

Ikoya, O. P. (2009). Gender difference in the application of preventive discipline practices among principals of secondary schools in Nigeria. Journal of Social Sciences, 20(1), 49-53.

Jagau, S., & Offerman, T. (2018). Defaults, normative anchors, and the occurrence of risky and cautious shifts. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 56(3), 211-236.

Kogan, N., & Wallach, M. A. (1964). Risk taking: A study in cognition and personality. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Luti, R. M. (2015). Factors influencing discipline of boys and girls in public secondary schools in Machakos sub-county, Kenya, (Published Monograph), University of Nairobi, Nairobi.

Luti-Mallei, R. M., & Gakunga, D. K. (2016). The influence of categorization of schools on the discipline of boys and girls in public secondary schools in Machakos sub-county, Kenya. European Journal of Education Studies, 2(8), 72-82.

Malik, R. (2013). Differential effects of single sex versus co-ed education on the personality development of primary school students. Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, 3(1), 149-162.

Mostert J., & Gulseven, O. (2020). The role of gender and education on decision-making. Studies in Business and Economics 14(3), 117-130. doi:10.2478/sbe-2019-0048

Moreno, J. A., Cervelló, E., & Martínez-Galindo, C. (2007). Perception of discipline according to gender, type of school, sport activity and interest in physical education in Spanish students. International Journal of Applied Sports Sciences, 19(2), 35?49.

Mussweiler, T., & Epstude, K. (2009). Relatively fast! Efficiency advantages of comparative information processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 138(1), 1-21.

Proctor, T. (2011). Educational problem solving: Developing Skills for decision making and innovation. New York: Routledge.

Poulou, M. (2011). The prevention of emotional and behavioural difficulties in schools: Teachers’ suggestions. Educational Psychology in Practice, 21(1), 37-52.

Robinson, H. K. (1992). Classroom discipline: power, resistance and gender. A look at teacher perspectives. Gender and Education, 4(3), 273-288. doi:10.1080/0954025920040306

Rodriguez, N. (2002). Gender differences in disciplinary approaches. New York: Routledge.

Ronay, R., & Kim, D. Y. (2006). Gender differences in explicit and implicit risk attitudes: A socially facilitated phenomenon. British Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 397-419.

Sackney, L. E., & Dibski, D. J. (1994). School-based management: a critical perspective. Educational Management & Administration, 22(2), 104-112.

Schmalisch, C. S., Bratiotis, C., & Muroff, J. (2010). Processes in group cognitive and behavioural treatment for hoarding. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice Volume, 17(4), 414-442.

Sieber, J., & Ziegler, R. (2019). Group polarization revisited: A processing effort account. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(10), 1482-1498.

Singh, M. (2010). Engendering discipline: Perceptions and practices of students and teachers in a secondary school in South Africa. (Unpublished master’s thesis), University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Smithers, A., & Robinson, P. (2006). The paradox of single-sex and mixed gender schooling. University of Buckingham, UK: Carmichael Press .

Suls, J., & Wheeler, L. (2012). Social comparison theory. In P. A. M. Van Lange, A. W. Kruglanski, & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of theories of social psychology (pp. 460-482). New York: Sage Publications Ltd.

Stevens, J. (2002). Applied multivariate for the social sciences. Hillsdale, CA: Erlbaum Associates.

Stephenson, K. (2011). A case study of middle school discipline referrals by gender, grade level, and consequence, (Unpublished doctoral dissertation), University of Houston, USA.

Stoner, J. A. (1968). Risky and cautious shifts in group decisions: The influence of widely held values. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 4(4), 442-459.

Wallach, M. A., Kogan, N., & Bem, D. J. (1964). Diffusion of responsibility and level of risk taking in groups. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 68, 263-74.

White, H., & Sabarwal, S. (2014). Quasi-experimental design and methods. Methodological briefs, impact evaluation. New York: McGraw Hill.

Wyland, C. L. (2007). Encyclopedia of social psychology. Oxford: Blackwell.