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Coordination and Collective Performance: Cooperative Goals Boost Interpersonal Synchrony and Task Outcomes

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Whether it be a rugby team or a rescue crew, ensuring peak group performance is a primary goal during collective activities. In reality, however, groups often suffer from productivity losses that can lead to less than optimal outputs. Where researchers have focused on this problem, inefficiencies in the way team members coordinate their efforts has been identified as one potent source of productivity decrements. Here, we set out to explore whether performance on a simple object movement task is shaped by the spontaneous emergence of interpersonally coordinated behavior. Forty-six pairs of participants were instructed to either compete or cooperate in order to empty a container of approximately 100 small plastic balls as quickly and accurately as possible. Each trial was recorded to video and a frame-differencing approach was employed to estimate between-person coordination. The results revealed that cooperative pairs coordinated to a greater extent than their competitive counterparts. Furthermore, coordination, as well as movement regularity were positively related to accuracy, an effect that was most prominent when the task was structured such that opportunities to coordinate were restricted. These findings are discussed with regard to contemporary theories of coordination and collective performance.

No MeSH data available.


Illustration of the procedure for constructing pseudo-pairs. Data (i.e., movement time-series, task performance) from each participant’s solo trials (A,B) is combined (C) and compared to the equivalent joint trial (D).
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Figure 3: Illustration of the procedure for constructing pseudo-pairs. Data (i.e., movement time-series, task performance) from each participant’s solo trials (A,B) is combined (C) and compared to the equivalent joint trial (D).

Mentions: To provide an estimate of baseline performance we constructed pseudo-pairs by combining data from relevant individual trials (see Figure 3). For example, for a given trial (e.g., small aperture), data from the first participant’s individual trial from the left side of the table were combined with that from the second participant’s individual trial from the right side of the table. This provided baseline data specific to each pair in terms of expected performance (i.e., should their group-level productivity be a simple linear combination of their individual efforts), as well as an estimate of incidental (i.e., chance) levels of coordination. Therefore, across all measures the unit of analysis was at the level of the dyad.


Coordination and Collective Performance: Cooperative Goals Boost Interpersonal Synchrony and Task Outcomes
Illustration of the procedure for constructing pseudo-pairs. Data (i.e., movement time-series, task performance) from each participant’s solo trials (A,B) is combined (C) and compared to the equivalent joint trial (D).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5037181&req=5

Figure 3: Illustration of the procedure for constructing pseudo-pairs. Data (i.e., movement time-series, task performance) from each participant’s solo trials (A,B) is combined (C) and compared to the equivalent joint trial (D).
Mentions: To provide an estimate of baseline performance we constructed pseudo-pairs by combining data from relevant individual trials (see Figure 3). For example, for a given trial (e.g., small aperture), data from the first participant’s individual trial from the left side of the table were combined with that from the second participant’s individual trial from the right side of the table. This provided baseline data specific to each pair in terms of expected performance (i.e., should their group-level productivity be a simple linear combination of their individual efforts), as well as an estimate of incidental (i.e., chance) levels of coordination. Therefore, across all measures the unit of analysis was at the level of the dyad.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Whether it be a rugby team or a rescue crew, ensuring peak group performance is a primary goal during collective activities. In reality, however, groups often suffer from productivity losses that can lead to less than optimal outputs. Where researchers have focused on this problem, inefficiencies in the way team members coordinate their efforts has been identified as one potent source of productivity decrements. Here, we set out to explore whether performance on a simple object movement task is shaped by the spontaneous emergence of interpersonally coordinated behavior. Forty-six pairs of participants were instructed to either compete or cooperate in order to empty a container of approximately 100 small plastic balls as quickly and accurately as possible. Each trial was recorded to video and a frame-differencing approach was employed to estimate between-person coordination. The results revealed that cooperative pairs coordinated to a greater extent than their competitive counterparts. Furthermore, coordination, as well as movement regularity were positively related to accuracy, an effect that was most prominent when the task was structured such that opportunities to coordinate were restricted. These findings are discussed with regard to contemporary theories of coordination and collective performance.

No MeSH data available.