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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

Two Walks through Problem Space

John Voiklis
Teachers College, Columbia University

Manu Kapur
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University

     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: March 17, 2006

As a first step toward an emergentist theory of collective cognition among interpersonal groups, we present a proto-theoretical account of how one might conceive and model the intersubjective interactions that organize and constrain group-level cognitive processes into one or another—convergent, divergent, or tensive—cognitive regime. To explore the sufficiency of our emergentist proposal we instantiate two minimalist models of intersubjective convergence: one that models all interactions as a single, goal-directed process; and one that models interactions in terms of definitional, solution-related, and interpersonal processes. With each model, we simulate the tuning of collective cognition using data from an empirical study of small-group, collaborative problem solving. To compare how well each model describes and explains the collaborative problem-solving process, we use the results of these empirical simulations to test a number of preliminary hypotheses with regard to patterns of interaction, the extent to which those patterns affect a cognitive regime, and the extent to which that cognitive regime affects the efficacy of a problem-solving group.

(poster submission)

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