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Verbal Equity, Cognitive Specialization, and Performance

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Association for Computing Machinery


In this paper, patterns of communication are examined in order to unpack the extent to which verbal equity is a critical factor in determining group success. A microanalysis of 20 teams working to complete a complex, information dependent, collaborative task was conducted. Interaction analysis methods were used as means to determine patterns of interaction and the sophistication of cognitive activity that teams engaged in. Findings suggest that verbal equity may not be as important as previous research indicates. A more critical variable may be cognitive specialization. The authors explain their findings by drawing on theories of cognition, thereby contributing to a better understanding of collective intelligence.


Borge, Marcela; Carroll, John M. (2014): Verbal Equity, Cognitive Specialization, and Performance. Proceedings of the 2014 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work. DOI: 10.1145/2660398.2660418. Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 215–225. Sanibel Island, Florida, USA