Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning

Physical Description

4, xii, 157 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


Feedback (Psychology), Group problem solving, SYMLOG system




The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a feedback cycle on problemsolving groups. A formal method, Systematic Multiple Level Observation of Groups (SYMLOG), was employed for the analysis of behavior in such groups. The system, which codes on multiple levels of communication, served both as a theoretical and an explanatory approach. Problemsolving groups which included a feedback session on group process were compared with problemsolving groups which were not given feedback. The study used primary data from SYMLOG field diagrams to determine whether group movement, leader movement, self-perceptions, and group satisfaction would be affected by feedback intervention. Quantitative techniques were employed to answer the research questions. Case study techniques involving SYMLOG field diagrams were used to discuss the results in a descriptive manner. The groups were analyzed on multiple levels of space using the bipolar three-dimensional model of SYMLOG: task-orientation vs. emotionally expressive, dominant vs. passive, and positive vs. negative. Findings indicated that the feedback cycle played a central role in both group satisfaction and leadership behavior but had little effect upon group movement over time and did not appear to change self-perceptions in any substantial manner.


Portland State University. School of Urban and Public Affairs.

Persistent Identifier