Implications of Task Type on Emergence of Social Structures

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:50
Oral Presentation
Robert SHELLY, Ohio University, USA
Ann SHELLY, Ashland University, USA
Task types are organized in four categories: 1) Generate ideas and/or plans; 2) Choose right answers or issue discussion; 3) Negotiate conflicts of viewpoint or interest; 4) Execute tasks and resolve conflicts of power. Traditional studies of emergence of social structures have focused on tasks with the assignment for the group to select the right answers to a task (e.g. Lost on the Moon). These exercises result in a truncated pattern of behaviors in terms of cognitive behaviors, organizing behaviors, and status behaviors/cues. Our work has focused on a task that has no correct response and the group is to arrive at consensus on an action. Participants are asked to respond to a scenario that posits the group is in a bunker during a violent, war-like event. There are people outside who want to come in and there is no way to determine whether they are friend or foe. Each participant is asked to make an individual decision with rationale. The group is then asked to reach consensus and a rationale for their decision. We examine the levels of cognitive behaviors, the emergence of organization and related organizing behaviors, and the sequence of the emergence of hierarchical structures (particularly status cues). Initial studies indicate that the level of differentiated behavior within the group is stronger and more varied. The nature of the path to task sequences appear to become richer and more varied.