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What's in a Friendship? Partner Visibility Supports Cognitive Collaboration between Friends.

Brennan AA, Enns JT - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Not all cognitive collaborations are equally effective.Secondary measures suggested that verbal communication differences, but not psychophysiological arousal, contributed to these effects.Analysis of covariance indicated that females contributed more than males to overall levels of collaboration, but that the interaction of friendship and visibility was independent of that effect.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Not all cognitive collaborations are equally effective. We tested whether friendship and communication influenced collaborative efficiency by randomly assigning participants to complete a cognitive task with a friend or non-friend, while visible to their partner or separated by a partition. Collaborative efficiency was indexed by comparing each pair's performance to an optimal individual performance model of the same two people. The outcome was a strong interaction between friendship and partner visibility. Friends collaborated more efficiently than non-friends when visible to one another, but a partition that prevented pair members from seeing one another reduced the collaborative efficiency of friends and non-friends to a similar lower level. Secondary measures suggested that verbal communication differences, but not psychophysiological arousal, contributed to these effects. Analysis of covariance indicated that females contributed more than males to overall levels of collaboration, but that the interaction of friendship and visibility was independent of that effect. These findings highlight the critical role of partner visibility in the collaborative success of friends.

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Mean verbal communication as a function of friendship and partner visibility.Verbal communication values indicate the total number of distinct utterances (i.e., words and non-linguistic utterances such as “uh huh”) made by team members during the team task. Teams of friends separated by a partition communicated at the highest rate. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals around each mean. The asterisk denotes a significant interaction between friendship and partner visibility.
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pone.0143469.g004: Mean verbal communication as a function of friendship and partner visibility.Verbal communication values indicate the total number of distinct utterances (i.e., words and non-linguistic utterances such as “uh huh”) made by team members during the team task. Teams of friends separated by a partition communicated at the highest rate. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals around each mean. The asterisk denotes a significant interaction between friendship and partner visibility.

Mentions: Verbal communication, on the other hand, was negatively associated with collaborative efficiency [r = -.32, p = .01], suggesting that pairs who communicated more while working together during the team task were less efficient. We further investigated this negative association between collaborative efficiency and verbal communication with a 2 X 2 between groups ANOVA on verbal communication with the factors of friendship (friends, non-friends) and partner visibility (visible, partition). Shown in Fig 4, this analysis revealed that teams of friends who were unable to see one another used the most verbal communication. This was demonstrated in main effects of friendship [F(1, 62) = 4.16, p = .046, ηp2 = .06] and partner visibility [F(1, 62) = 11.34, p = .001, ηp2 = .15], and an interaction between these two factors [F(1, 62) = 7.12, p = .010, ηp2 = .10]. To test whether this interaction was influenced by the gender composition of teams, we repeated the analysis of verbal communication, with gender as a covariate (coded as 0, 1, or 2 females). The friendship by partner visibility interaction remained significant [F(1, 59) = 6.44, p = .014, ηp2 = .10]. Here the gender covariate did not influence verbal communication on its own, [F(1, 61) = 1.08, p = .302, ηp2 = .02.


What's in a Friendship? Partner Visibility Supports Cognitive Collaboration between Friends.

Brennan AA, Enns JT - PLoS ONE (2015)

Mean verbal communication as a function of friendship and partner visibility.Verbal communication values indicate the total number of distinct utterances (i.e., words and non-linguistic utterances such as “uh huh”) made by team members during the team task. Teams of friends separated by a partition communicated at the highest rate. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals around each mean. The asterisk denotes a significant interaction between friendship and partner visibility.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4664270&req=5

pone.0143469.g004: Mean verbal communication as a function of friendship and partner visibility.Verbal communication values indicate the total number of distinct utterances (i.e., words and non-linguistic utterances such as “uh huh”) made by team members during the team task. Teams of friends separated by a partition communicated at the highest rate. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals around each mean. The asterisk denotes a significant interaction between friendship and partner visibility.
Mentions: Verbal communication, on the other hand, was negatively associated with collaborative efficiency [r = -.32, p = .01], suggesting that pairs who communicated more while working together during the team task were less efficient. We further investigated this negative association between collaborative efficiency and verbal communication with a 2 X 2 between groups ANOVA on verbal communication with the factors of friendship (friends, non-friends) and partner visibility (visible, partition). Shown in Fig 4, this analysis revealed that teams of friends who were unable to see one another used the most verbal communication. This was demonstrated in main effects of friendship [F(1, 62) = 4.16, p = .046, ηp2 = .06] and partner visibility [F(1, 62) = 11.34, p = .001, ηp2 = .15], and an interaction between these two factors [F(1, 62) = 7.12, p = .010, ηp2 = .10]. To test whether this interaction was influenced by the gender composition of teams, we repeated the analysis of verbal communication, with gender as a covariate (coded as 0, 1, or 2 females). The friendship by partner visibility interaction remained significant [F(1, 59) = 6.44, p = .014, ηp2 = .10]. Here the gender covariate did not influence verbal communication on its own, [F(1, 61) = 1.08, p = .302, ηp2 = .02.

Bottom Line: Not all cognitive collaborations are equally effective.Secondary measures suggested that verbal communication differences, but not psychophysiological arousal, contributed to these effects.Analysis of covariance indicated that females contributed more than males to overall levels of collaboration, but that the interaction of friendship and visibility was independent of that effect.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Not all cognitive collaborations are equally effective. We tested whether friendship and communication influenced collaborative efficiency by randomly assigning participants to complete a cognitive task with a friend or non-friend, while visible to their partner or separated by a partition. Collaborative efficiency was indexed by comparing each pair's performance to an optimal individual performance model of the same two people. The outcome was a strong interaction between friendship and partner visibility. Friends collaborated more efficiently than non-friends when visible to one another, but a partition that prevented pair members from seeing one another reduced the collaborative efficiency of friends and non-friends to a similar lower level. Secondary measures suggested that verbal communication differences, but not psychophysiological arousal, contributed to these effects. Analysis of covariance indicated that females contributed more than males to overall levels of collaboration, but that the interaction of friendship and visibility was independent of that effect. These findings highlight the critical role of partner visibility in the collaborative success of friends.

Show MeSH