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Collaborative facilitation and collaborative inhibition in virtual environments

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Guazzini, A 
Guidi, E 
Cecchini, C 


jats:pWorldwide, organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises have already disruptively changed in many ways their physiological inner mechanisms, because of information and communication technologies (ICT) revolution. Nevertheless, the still ongoing COVID-19 worldwide emergency definitely promoted a wide adoption of teleworking modalities for many people around the world, making it more relevant than before to understand the real impact of virtual environments (VEs) on teamwork dynamics. From a psychological point of view, a critical question about teleworking modalities is how the social and cognitive dynamics of collaborative facilitation and collaborative inhibition would affect teamwork within VEs. This study analyzed the impact of a virtual environment (VE) on the recall of individuals and members of nominal and collaborative groups. The research assessed costs and benefits for collaborative retrieval by testing the effect of experimental conditions, stimulus materials, group size, experimental conditions order, anxiety state, personality traits, gender group composition and social interactions. A total of 144 participants were engaged in a virtual Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) classical paradigm, which involved remembering word lists across two successive sessions, in one of four protocols: I-individual/nominal, I I -nominal/individual, I I I -nominal/collaborative, I V -collaborative/nominal. Results suggested, in general, a reduced collaborative inhibition effect in the collaborative condition than the nominal and individual condition. A combined effect between experimental condition and difficulty of the task appears to explain the presence of collaborative inhibition or facilitation. Nominal groups appeared to enhance the collaborative groups’ performance when virtual nominal groups come before collaborative groups. Variables such as personality traits, gender and social interactions may have a contribution to collaborative retrieval. In conclusion, this study indicated how VEs could maintain those peculiar social dynamics characterizing the participants’ engagement in a task, both working together and individually, and could affect their intrinsic motivation as well as performances. These results could be exploited in order to design brand new and evidenced-based practices, to improve teleworking procedures and workers well-being, as well as teleworking teamwork effectiveness.</jats:p>



virtual dynamics, collaborative inhibition, collaborative facilitation, DRM paradigm, virtual teamwork

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Future Internet

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