Prior experience and communication media in establishing common ground during collaboration

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the nature of establishing common ground during collaborative problem solving. Our goal was to investigate the following two points: (1) if the establishment of common ground leads to successful problem solving, and (2) how the two factors, communication experience and the richness of media, affect the establishment of common ground. We conducted a psychological experiment by constructing a situation where two participants engage in a rule discovery task with different perspectives. While solving the task, each of the participants confronts miscommunication about the other's perspective and has to manage to overcome this situation. The results show: (1) the establishment of common ground actually enhances successful problem solving, (2) communication experience between the members improves the establishment of common ground and as a result enhances successful problem solving, and (3) rich communication media also enhances the establishment of common ground and successful problem solving. The influences of the two factors, communication experience and richness of media are discussed both empirically and theoretically.


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