Specific criteria form the basis for group members making choices in any sociometric exploration. Each criterion is chosen precisely for the purpose of the exploration and what the group wants to know about itself. A criterion is written in the form of a question you ask yourself and others, to which the response is specific people from within the group

There are four elements to classical criteria for group explorations:
It is person specific – Who in the group….
It is time connected – ‘currently’, ‘for the next three months’
The activity is specified – ‘problem solve with’, ‘ to lead a team’,
It has qualifiers – ‘who hasn’t lead a project so far’, or ‘contributes to collaboration in our group’,

Kinds of Criteria

General versus specific criteria: general criteria – e.g. ‘who in the group do you share information with’ provides more protection for group members than ‘who in the group do you trust to review your budget to identify savings’ or ‘who do you trust to solve work problems with you’. The latter two increase vulnerability and are more likely to lead to spontaneity and development of group relationships.

Personal versus social criteria: Also referred to as psychotelic and sociotelic criteria. Psychotelic criteria embody psychological qualities i.e. trust, openness, approachability. The criteria might be ‘who in the group do you confide in?’  Sociotelic criteria focuses on social roles, e.g. ‘who in the group would you choose to lead our next project, so we enjoy our work together and ensure we complete the project on time’.

Action versus diagnostic criteria: Action criteria are chosen with the purpose carrying out the implied activity, usually. ‘choose two people who lead their groups in a different way to you and have a 40 minute consultation with them on one of the matters on your current agenda’. ‘Choose the people from this group, who you want to be in a productive work group with for the next three months’.

Diagnostic criteria enable the structure of the group to be studied. ‘How many of you here are the eldest child in your family?’ Criteria form the basis of many group directions assisting group members work with those they might not usually choose to work with. “Those of you who are interested to learn more of tele and its applications, meet over here”.