Reflection on Group Work Need for Closure (NFC)

03 Apr 2018

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There are many activities on human life that uncertain, ambiguity or lack of information, Human mind is very incredible due with this situation. However, the time available for seeking more information is limited and must be ended at some point. We have to depend on the information that we have to make our judgment. The motivation to terminate is driven by the need for closure (NFC). The term "Need for Closure" has been defined as a desire for a definition answer to a question (Shah and Gardner, 2008). According to Konnikova M.(2015), NFC is different from person to person, and some people might have high NFC than the others. Many variety contextual cost or benefits can impact of the closure, the NFC may be higher on some factors such as fatigue, tedium, environmental noise or task dullness. By contrast, NFC may be lower, and the need to avoid closure could be heightened in the situations that stated earlier.

The urgency and permanence tendencies are the two major stages of need for closure. The urgency tendency or “seizing”, people need to reach closure quickly, they “seize” on early information or cues, without taking the time to verify the information. They utilize whatever information they have as soon as possible toward the initial judgments when they are under a heightened NFC. The permanence tendency or “freezing”, the need to preserve that closure. People in this stage “freeze” on the information or existing knowledge in order to safeguard future knowledge. Human mind, when experienced in uncertain situations, people under a heightened in NFC, tend to “seize” on the information and formed ideas of the target and “freeze” to retain that ideas on despite incoming information (Chirumbolo, A. and Livi, S., el at.,2004).

Before the starting of the course, students had been asked to participate in the Decision Style survey. It was designed to reflect typical or preferred individual attitudes towards environmental stimuli with respect to a number of situations, including decision-making and problem-solving situations. In in the second week of the class, the group decision-making had been conducted to simulate the group decision-making which driven by the need for closure. In this task, a group have £500,000 in personal trust foundation and the students in the group must make the judgments and evaluate competing the proposals received from various organizations for funding their project (Exhibit 1). Each project requires of £500,000, but any contribution that the group makes can be a benefit to the projects. The greater the allocation that the group makes to a particular project means the more success rate of the project. This report is created to explain how the group interacts with the simulation, how individual contributed to the group decision-making with respect to the Need for Closure. It also identifies some particular moment that the need for closure may have been influenced the decision of the group.

Intrapersonal effects of the NFC

Individuals have different need for closure; some people have higher NFC than others. Individuals may have different the degree to which they value the closure. Some people may form extreme opinions of a situation whereas others may feel uncomfortable to make the judgment and seek for more information before making the judgment. They suspend to avoid the need for closure and waiting for the further information (Shah and Gardner, 2008).

The differences between people may derive from various backgrounds, such as cultural, education or ages. To evaluate individual NFC, the Need For Closure Scale (NFCS) was developed by Webster and Kruglanski (1994). The scale has been translated into several languages According to Shah and Gardner (2008), to make the judgments about situations or people, Individuals who experience a heightened NFC will seek less information before making their judgments. In contrast, people with low NFC, they will request significantly more information.

In the Problem Solving for Leaders module, all students have been asked to participate in the Decision Style Survey. The result from the survey had been provided by the lecturer after the second week to use as the reference for individual NFC (Table 1). There are four people in a group, two women and two men (included me). We all have different scale in the survey which supported the statement from XXX (Table 2). We come from different countries, background, and ages.

Individual characteristic

Possible range

Your score

Respondents in data base

Min score

Max score

Median score






Need for Closure







(A) Minimum and maximum possible scores for the test. (B) Number of current respondents in our database. (C) Minimum score in our database. (C) Maximum score in our database. (E) Median score in our database.

Table 1: My NFC score (Source: Decision Style Survey in Problem Solving for Leaders Module)

Room: 1.05

NFC Scale

Shreyas Sinkar


Weijia Li


Unnop Uatrakul


Ziegbe Etiobhio


Figure 1: Individuals NFC scale in the group (Source: Decision Style Survey in Problem Solving for Leaders Module)

To support the statement earlier, during the group decision making simulation, the members of a group who have a high score of NFC seemed to have more clear-cut decision compared with people who have a low score. One of a group member who has a high NFC (169) said that she did not want to spend much time on this group simulation. She thought that we could finish this task within 30 minutes because this task had been done in the class before forming the group. It must be very easy to compare everyone figure and came up with the group decision. This behaviour was supported by Shah and Gardner (2008) who stated that under a set of conditions or otherwise unpleasant such as environmental noise and tedium or dullness of the cognitive task, NFC should be heightened.

However, at the same time, I believed that I had a low NFC during that time because I convinced all the group members to take all the time that we have for this simulation. I would like my group to come up with the best solution. According to Rempala, D.(2009) the need to avoid closure may be heightened and NFC may be lowered by fear of the costs of making a false move and the benefits of openness.

Hypothesis Generation

People often create a number of hypotheses to form a judgment or an opinion and proceed on the basis of further relevant information. The NFC may restrict the tendency to keep generating alternative hypotheses by the “seizing” and “freezing”. In my opinion, NFC will restrict people in my group discussion to generate more ideas or hypotheses. As I can see during the group discussion, each of members in the group generated their own hypothesis about each project (Shah and Gardner, 2008). For example, one member had a hypothesis that if we fund more money to purchase additional volumes for the library, it will help improving people knowledge and increasing the employment rate for them, so when they have a job, they do not have to live in shelter. However, with the time pressure, the idea or hypothesis reduced.

Need for Closure affected group decision making

Task orientation versus Socioemotional

According to XXX a heightened NFC should increase participants’ task orientation and decrease their engagement in acts of a socioemotional nature. In the group decision making simulation all members of a group have to do the questionnaire to evaluate the need for closure for the group before and after. According to the score (Table 3), it showed that my group has a low score compared to the median score and it increased a little after finished the simulation. It meant that my group was more in socioemotional compared to task orientation before forming the group but with time pressure the NFC was higher and the group are more participants on task orientation.

Consensus score

Group 1.05







Group size


Time (min)


Table 3: Group consensus score (Source: result from questionnaire before and after the group decision making simulation)

Creativity in Group Interactions

According to Shah and Gardner (2008) Divergent and convergent are the processes for creativity. Firstly, a divergent process which ideas and solutions must be generated. In this case, the group consensus on some ideas may lead to close the process quickly and will rely on only early ideas and then ‘freeze’ on them. In a convergent process, after finishing generated the idea process, the group must be evaluated the ideas and solutions in order to select only the most interesting among them. The group members may debate with the others, and it should lead to better decisions. However, under heightened NFC, the group members are motivated to reach a rapid decision. In this situation, it is likely that groups will reject divergent opinions and approaches that will delay decision making; rapidly to a group consensus could lead the group to choose bad approaches or solutions. One moment in my group decision making that could support this statement was at the beginning of my group discussion. We decided that all of the members of the group will share their ideas, and we will choose which project will be funded or not funded. When we got the group consensus, we freeze to only five projects and not consider any information that not related to five projects.

Rejection of Opinion Deviates

Rejection of opinion deviates was identified as the way to protect a group consensus. If a heightened NFC augments it should result to reject opinion deviates (Shah and Gardner, 2008). It means that in the high NFC that opinion that different from the group consensus will be rejected. This is consistent with my group behaviour, during the group discussion, the group decided that we will not allocate money for computer system project, but one of the group members came up with some idea and tried to persuade the other members to allocate small amount of money to help county government to buy computer system but at the high NFC, all the group members rejected this opinion.

How I contribute to the group problem solving simulation

With respect to NFC, I contributed to a group problem solving simulation in many ways. Firstly, avoid the need for closure, at the beginning of the group discussion I was trying to set a goal for my group and asked them to spend all the time that we have to discuss this task. I believe that my group could come up with the best solution, if we spend more time discussing our ideas. Secondly, "seizing" and "freezing", I convinced the group that we should not fund computer system project according to my idea that the county government will use the taxes to buy the computer system. Rich people will contribute more money than poor people, so we should allocate the money to the project that needed it and then we should decide which project we should cut off from our option and discuss only the projects that we chose. Finally, I was trying to negotiate with my group members that I wanted to allocate more money for additional shelter but with the heightened of NFC that caused from time pressure because we have only ten minutes left. I decided to stop the negotiation and follow the group decision.


The NFC is a desire to answer a question, as opposed to confusion, ambiguity or uncertainty. A group or people who has a heightened need for closure may desire to terminate unpleasant situations immediately ("Seizing") and retain it from recurring ("Freezing")(Shah and Gardner, 2008). The NFC may reduce individuals or group to generate more idea or creativity. In the group decision making simulation, there were many situations that NFC influenced the group decision and with the time pressure, the group will protect the group consensus and reject different opinion.


Chirumbolo, A.,Livi, S., Mannetti, L., Pierro, A.,Kruglanski, A. W.(2004).Effects of need for closure on creativity in small group interactions. European Journal of Personality, 18, pp.265-278.

Konnikova M.(2015) - The New Yorker. Why We Need Answers - The New Yorker. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 27 March 2015].

Rempala, D. (2009). Seizing, Freezing, and… Suffering? Looking at Need for Closure in Romantic Relationships.Interpersona: An International Journal on Personal Relationships, 3(2), 103-11.

Shah, J. and Gardner, W.L., 2008. Handbook of motivation science. New York: The Guilford Press.

Webster, D. M., and Kruglanski, A. W. (1994). Individual differences in need for cognitive closure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, pp.1049–1062.




computer system


community library


tourist bureau


community arts program


additional shelter


art display




Exhibit 1: Personal Trust Foundation money allocation

(Source: Group decision making simulation: Problem Solving for Leaders module)

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