Examining Multiscale Movement Coordination in Collaborative Problem Solving


During collaborative problem solving (CPS), coordination occurs at different spatial and temporal scales. This multiscale coordination should play a functional role in facilitating effective collaboration. To evaluate this, we conducted a study of computer-based CPS with 42 dyads. We used cross-wavelet coherence to examine movement coordination, extracted from video, at several scales and tested whether the observed coordination was greater expected due to chance and due to task demands. We found that coordination at scales less than 2s was greater than chance and at most scales (except 16s, 1m, and 2m) was greater than expected due to task demands. Lastly, we observed that coherence at 25s and 1s scales was predictive of performance. However, when including relative phase, our results suggest that higher in-phase movement coordination at the 1s scale was the strongest predictor of CPS performance. We discuss these findings and their relevance to understanding how coordination facilitates CPS.

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