The Emergence of Inequality in Task Groups: How Task Type Affects Interaction Dynamics.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 09:24
Location: Hörsaal 4C KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Ann SHELLY, Ashland University, USA
Robert SHELLY, Ohio University, USA
Sociologists have identified two distinct processes which govern the offering of suggestions for task solutions, asking of questions, evaluation of contributions, and exercise of influence. One is based performance expectations based on culturally valued attributes actors bring to the situation. A second process governs the emergence of inequality in groups composed of individuals who are not differentiated by status characteristics. This occurs when contributions for the group task are evaluated by group members. Contributions evaluated negatively earn those who make them low performance expectations.

                Two distinct measurement processes capture interaction in task groups. In one acts are classified as questions about the task, task contributions, positive evaluations, negative evaluations, and influence. The second process is based on the content of speech activity of individuals in the group. Speech may be classified as attempts to organize the group activity, as concrete with respect to the task (simple lists of items or ideas), or as having varying degrees of complexity. Both types of measure assess volume of talk and consequently are correlated with one another. They are both associated with behavior interchange patterns (BIPS), a construct that captures the dynamics of interaction in groups.

                We compare interaction dynamics in groups who are attempting to solve different types of tasks. One task type requires the group to identify a correct answer. The other type of task requires group members to creatively solve an ambiguous problem. Our interest is in how these different types of tasks affect the dynamics of interaction in groups. We analyze data from two different studies to determine how task type and status differences affect the emergence of interaction inequality in groups. We are particularly interested in the effects of task types and status on the complexity of speech content and organizing activity in groups solving different types of tasks.