Collaborative Facilitation through Error-Detection: A Classroom Experiment


Prior work has shown that individuals working in groups often perform worse than individuals working alone, a finding commonly referred to as collaborative inhibition. In the current work we examine whether engaging in error correction processes can mitigate or eliminate the collaborative inhibition effect and perhaps even facilitate collaborative facilitation. Participants engaged in a writing error-detection and revision task while working either with a partner or individually. On the error-detection task, dyads found more structural flaws in the text, whereas individuals found more surface flaws. Moreover, when comparing dyads nominal groups the dyads did not show the collaborative inhibition effect. A similar pattern of results was found on the revision task. The results are discussed in terms of the underlying cognitive and social processes that support successful collaboration.

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