Coming to terms: Quantifying the benefits of linguistic coordination

Psychological Science 23 (8):931-939 (2012)
Sharing a public language facilitates particularly efficient forms of joint perception and action by giving interlocutors refined tools for directing attention and aligning conceptual models and action. We hypothesized that interlocutors who flexibly align their linguistic practices and converge on a shared language will improve their cooperative performance on joint tasks. To test this prediction, we employed a novel experimental design, in which pairs of participants cooperated linguistically to solve a perceptual task. We found that dyad members generally showed a high propensity to adapt to each other’s linguistic practices. However, although general linguistic alignment did not have a positive effect on performance, the alignment of particular task-relevant vocabularies strongly correlated with collective performance. In other words, the more dyad members selectively aligned linguistic tools fit for the task, the better they performed. Our work thus uncovers the interplay between social dynamics and sensitivity to task affordances in successful cooperation.
Keywords language  social interaction  problem solving  cooperation  psycholinguistics  interactive alignment  distributed cognition
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,904
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Allan Mazur (2004). Beyond Linguistic Alignment. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (2):205-206.
Patrick G. T. Healey (2004). Dialogue in the Degenerate Case? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (2):201-201.
Maarten C. W. Janssen (2003). Coordination and Cooperation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):165-166.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

13 ( #189,873 of 1,725,447 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #167,283 of 1,725,447 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.