Social Cognition and Teamwork

Members of the Teamwork and Social Cognition Laboratory conduct research on teamwork from the perspective of social cognition. Student researchers, both graduate students and undergraduates, are integral to this process.

Project Overview

We investigate how emergent cognitive properties develop in work teams across time. We therefore conduct longitudinal experiments on team development and investigate ways to enhance the development of these emergent cognitive properties.

  • Team mental models are the cognitive representations (conceptualizations/ schemas) of teamwork processes that are shared among team members. They include mental models of team roles, tasks, communication patterns, tools, norms, etc. Research shows that team members having shared mental models (SMMs) increases team performance; we therefore investigate how SMMs develop, as well ways to facilitate their development.
  • Transactive memory in a team has also been shown to increase team performance. Transactive memory refers to “who know what” on a team. A transactive memory system (TMS) is this knowledge of team member expertise distributed across the team members.
  • Entitativity refers to the extent to which team members consider their team to be a unified entity. Perceptions of entitativity in a team impact team members’ perceived team efficacy.
  • Group identification is the extent to which team members perceive team goals to be their own goals and conceived of their team as an important part of their self-concept. Team members with higher levels of team identification typically are more loyal to the group and persistent with respect to team tasks.
  • Situation awareness (SA) refers to the ability of team members to “see the big picture” and understand the needs of the team as a whole and members as individuals. Team members with situation awareness are better able to coordinate their activities with those of other team members.

2013 teamwork teamdata collectiondata collection 2mmat screen