You are a member of a hiking party. After reaching base camp on the first day, you decide to take a quick sunset hike by yourself. After a few exhilarating miles, you decide to return to camp. On your way back, you realize you are lost. You shout for help, to no avail. It is now dark. And getting cold.
Your Task Without communicating with anyone else in your group, read the following scenarios and choose the best answer. Keep track of your answers on a sheet of paper. You have 10 minutes to answer the 10 questions.
9-8. The first thing you decide to do is to build a fire. However, you have no matches, so you use the
bow-and-drill method. What is the bow-and-drill method?
a. A dry, soft stick is rubbed between the hands against a board of supple green wood.
b. A soft green stick is rubbed between the hands against a hardwood board.
c. A straight stick of wood is quickly rubbed back and forth against a dead tree.
d. Two sticks (one being the bow, the other the drill) are struck to create a spark.
9-9. It occurs to you that you can also use the fire as a distress signal. How do you form the international distress signal with fire?
a. 2 fires
b. 4 fires in a square
c. 4 fires in a cross
d. 3 fires in a line
9-10. You are very thirsty. You go to a nearby stream and collect some water in the small metal cup you have in your backpack. How long should you boil the water?
a. 15 minutes
b. A few seconds
c. 1 minute
d. It depends on the altitude.
9-11. You are very hungry, so you decide to eat what appear to be edible berries. When performing the
universal edibility test, what should you do?
a. Do not eat for 2 hours before the test.
b. If the plant stings your lip, confirm the sting by holding it under your tongue for 15 minutes.
c. If nothing bad has happened 2 hours after digestion, eat half a cup of the plant and wait
d. Separate the plant into its basic components and eat each component, one at a time.
9-12. Next, you decide to build a shelter for the evening. In selecting a site, what do you not have
a. It must contain material to make the type of shelter you need.
b. It must be free of insects, reptiles, and poisonous plants.
c. It must be large enough and level enough for you to lie down comfortably.
d. It must be on a hill so you can signal rescuers and keep an eye on your surroundings.
9-13. In the shelter, you notice a spider. You heard from a fellow hiker that black widow spiders populate the area. How do you identify a black widow spider?
a. Its head and abdomen are black; its thorax is red.
b. It is attracted to light.
c. It runs away from light.
d. It is dark with a red or orange marking on the female’s abdomen.
9-14. After getting some sleep, you notice that the night sky has cleared, so you decide to try to find your way back to base camp. You believe you can use the North Star for navigation. How do you locate the North Star?
a. Hold your right hand up as far as you can and look between your index and middle fingers.
b. Find Sirius and look 60 degrees above it and to the right.
c. Look for the Big Dipper and follow the line created by its cup end.
d. Follow the line of Orion’s belt.
9-15. You come across a fast-moving stream. What is the best way to cross it?
a. Find a spot downstream from a sandbar, where the water will be calmer.
b. Build a bridge.
c. Find a rocky area, because the water will be shallow and you will have hands- and footholds.
d. Find a level stretch where it breaks into a few channels.
9-16. After walking for about an hour, you feel several spiders in your clothes. You don’t feel any pain, but you know some spider bites are painless. Which of these spider bites is painless?
a. Black widow
b. Brown recluse
c. Wolf spider
d. Harvestman (daddy longlegs)
9-17. You decide to eat some insects. Which insects should you avoid?
a. Adults that sting or bite
b. Caterpillars and insects that have a pungent odor
c. Hairy or brightly colored ones
d. All the above
Next, break into groups of five or six people. Once the group comes to an agreement for what to do in each situation, write your decision on the same sheet of paper you used for your individual answers.
Scoring Your Answers
Your instructor will provide you with the correct answers, which are based on expert judgments in these situations. Once you have received the answers, calculate (A) your individual score; (B) your group’s score; (C) the average individual score in the group; and (D) the best individual score in the group. Write these down and consult with your group to ensure they are accurate.
A. Your individual score
B. Your group’s score
C. Average individual score in the group
D. Best individual score in the group
9-18. How did your group (B) perform relative to yourself (A)?
9-19. How did your group (B) perform relative to the average individual score in the group (C)?
9-20. How did your group (B) perform relative to the best individual score in the group (D)?
9-21. Compare your results with those of other groups.
Did some groups do a better job of outperforming individuals than others?
9-22. What do these results tell you about the effectiveness of group decision-making?
9-23. What can groups do to make group decision-making more effective?
9-24. What circumstances might cause a group to perform worse than its best individual?