problem-solving

Finding the right strategy through perception and physical movement

I talk a lot about how working memory constrains what we can process and remember, but there’s another side to this — long-term memory acts on working memory. That is, indeed, the best way of ‘improving’ your working memory — by organizing and strengthening your long-term memory codes in such a way that large networks of relevant material are readily accessible.

Oddly enough, one of the best ways of watching the effect of long-term memory on working memory is through perception.

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When are two (or more) heads better than one?

We must believe that groups produce better results than individuals — why else do we have so many “teams” in the workplace, and so many meetings. But many of us also, of course, hold the opposite belief: that most meetings are a waste of time; that teams might be better for some tasks (and for other people!), but not for all tasks. So what do we know about the circumstances that make groups better value?

References: 

Bahrami, B., Olsen K., Latham P. E., Roepstorff A., Rees G., & Frith C. D. (2010).  Optimally Interacting Minds. Science. 329(5995), 1081 - 1085.

Basden, B.H., Basden, D.R., Bryner, S. & Thomas, R.L. III (1997). A comparison of group and individual remembering: Does collaboration disrupt retrieval strategies? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 23, 1176-1189.

Kirschner, F., Paas F., & Kirschner P. A. (2010).  Task complexity as a driver for collaborative learning efficiency: The collective working-memory effect. Applied Cognitive Psychology. n/a-n/a - n/a-n/a.

Mesmer-Magnus, J. R., & DeChurch L. A. (2009).  Information Sharing and Team Performance: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology. 94(2), 535 - 546.

Ormerod, T. 2005. The way we were: situational shifts in collaborative remembering. Research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/releases/2005/march/...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-03/esr-wic032305.php

Weldon, M.S. & Bellinger, K.D. (1997). Collective and individual processes in remembering. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 23, 1160-1175.

Woolley, A. W., Chabris C. F., Pentland A., Hashmi N., & Malone T. W. (2010).  Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups. Science. science.1193147 - science.1193147.

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