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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.


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Coordination (i.e., cross-spectral coherence) as a function of instruction condition and aperture size. (A) represents pseudo-pairs and (B) represents actual pairs. Error bars represent ±1 SEM.
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Figure 6: Coordination (i.e., cross-spectral coherence) as a function of instruction condition and aperture size. (A) represents pseudo-pairs and (B) represents actual pairs. Error bars represent ±1 SEM.

Mentions: Analysis of coordination (i.e., cross-spectral coherence) revealed that all main effects and 2-way interactions reached significance (all Fs>5.8) and were ultimately qualified by a 3-way interaction between pair type, aperture size, and condition, F(1,44) = 5.80, p = 0.02, = 0.12, as shown in Figure 6. To simplify interpretation we then conducted separate 2 (aperture size: small vs. large) × 2 (instructions: cooperation vs. competition) mixed model ANOVAs for the pseudo-pairs (Figure 6A) and actual pairs (Figure 6B) separately. As expected, for the pseudo-pairs there were no significant effects (all Fs < 1), indicating that incidental (i.e., chance) levels of coordination were equivalent across conditions and aperture size. In contrast, for actual pairs there were main effects of both aperture size, F(1,44) = 13.51, p = 0.001, = 0.24 (i.e., small > large), and instructions, F(1,44) = 22.38, p < 0.001, = 0.34 (i.e., cooperation>competition), which were qualified by an interaction between these factors, F(1,44) = 6.88, p = 0.012, = 0.14. Post hoc pairwise comparisons (Bonferroni corrected) indicated that for participants who had been instructed to cooperate, levels of coordination were higher when depositing balls into the small aperture tube compared to the large one (p = 0.006), while there was no such difference for those in the competitive condition (p = 0.34).


Coordination and Collective Performance: Cooperative Goals Boost Interpersonal Synchrony and Task Outcomes
Coordination (i.e., cross-spectral coherence) as a function of instruction condition and aperture size. (A) represents pseudo-pairs and (B) represents actual pairs. Error bars represent ±1 SEM.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 6: Coordination (i.e., cross-spectral coherence) as a function of instruction condition and aperture size. (A) represents pseudo-pairs and (B) represents actual pairs. Error bars represent ±1 SEM.
Mentions: Analysis of coordination (i.e., cross-spectral coherence) revealed that all main effects and 2-way interactions reached significance (all Fs>5.8) and were ultimately qualified by a 3-way interaction between pair type, aperture size, and condition, F(1,44) = 5.80, p = 0.02, = 0.12, as shown in Figure 6. To simplify interpretation we then conducted separate 2 (aperture size: small vs. large) × 2 (instructions: cooperation vs. competition) mixed model ANOVAs for the pseudo-pairs (Figure 6A) and actual pairs (Figure 6B) separately. As expected, for the pseudo-pairs there were no significant effects (all Fs < 1), indicating that incidental (i.e., chance) levels of coordination were equivalent across conditions and aperture size. In contrast, for actual pairs there were main effects of both aperture size, F(1,44) = 13.51, p = 0.001, = 0.24 (i.e., small > large), and instructions, F(1,44) = 22.38, p < 0.001, = 0.34 (i.e., cooperation>competition), which were qualified by an interaction between these factors, F(1,44) = 6.88, p = 0.012, = 0.14. Post hoc pairwise comparisons (Bonferroni corrected) indicated that for participants who had been instructed to cooperate, levels of coordination were higher when depositing balls into the small aperture tube compared to the large one (p = 0.006), while there was no such difference for those in the competitive condition (p = 0.34).

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.


Related in: MedlinePlus