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An Emergentist Account of Collective Cognition in Collaborative Problem Solving

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As a first step toward an emergentist theory of collective cognition in collaborative problem solving, we present a proto-theoretical account of how one might conceive and model the intersubjective processes that organize collective cognition into one or another—convergent, divergent, or tensive—cognitive regime. To explore the sufficiency of ouremergentist proposal we instantiate a minimalist model of intersubjective convergence and simulate the tuning of collective cognition using data from an empirical study of small-group, collaborative problem solving. Using the results of this empirical simulation, we test a number of preliminary hypotheses with regard to patterns of interaction, how those patterns affect a cognitive regime, and how that cognitive regime affects the efficacy of a problem-solving group.

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