Blog Post

Counter intuitive conversational research

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 28 May 2014



Counter intuitive conversational research
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 167
Posted DateWednesday 28 May 2014 08:16 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

As I research and write about Conversational Leadership I am forever on the lookout for good research papers and articles concerning conversation.

If you are aware of any such papers - do let me know. Here are the few I have discovered.

Research Papers on Conversation

Recent research that has not been widely published throws some fascinating light on the power of conversation. Some of it is surprising, even counter intuitive.

Who would have thought that having a friendly conversation can boost your cognitive ability or that team performance can be improved by increasing the amount of face-to-face communication regardless of what is talked about.

  • Friends (and Sometimes Enemies) With Cognitive Benefits:
    What Types of Social Interactions Boost Executive Functioning?
    By Oscar Ybarra, Piotr Winkielman, Irene Yeh, Eugene Burnstein, Liam Kavanagh

    Talking with people in a friendly way can make it easier to solve common problems. But conversations that are competitive in tone, rather than cooperative, have no cognitive benefits.

  • Why is conversation so easy?
    By Simon Garrod; Martin J. Pickering

    Humans are 'designed' for dialogue rather than monologue.

  • Group Discussion as Interactive Dialogue or as Serial Monologue:
    The Influence of Group Size
    By Nicolas Fay; Simon Garrod; Jean Carletta

    In small, 5-person groups, the communication is like dialogue and members are influenced most by those with whom they interact in the discussion. However, in large, 10-person groups, the communication is like monologue and members are influenced most by the dominant speaker.

  • Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups
    By Anita Williams Woolley, Christopher F. Chabris, Alexander Pentland, Nada Hashmi,Thomas W. Malone

    Performance is not strongly correlated with the average or maximum individual intelligence of group members but is correlated with the average social sensitivity of group members, the equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking, and the proportion of females in the group.

  • The New Science of Building Great Teams
    By Alexander Pentland
    April 2012 Harvard Business Review

    The most important predictor of success in a group is the amount - not the content - of social interaction.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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