1 August 2017

The interactive shaping of social learning in transmission chains

Bietti, L.M., Bangerter, A., & Mayor, E. (2017). The interactive shaping of social learning in transmission chains. In  G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink & E.Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1641-1646)  Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.  
This study investigated the social transmission of memories and skills collected from a collaborative cooking task (ravioli-making) and across transmission chains. The transmission over three generations of pairs of participants occurred under two conditions. In the interactive condition, transmissions over generations occurred in face-to-face conversations, whereas in the non-interactive condition, generations video-recorded their instructions to the next generations. We analyzed the effects of verbal and embodied features of informational transfer on task performance. Our results show that performances improved over generations regardless of interactivity. In the discussion we suggest that tools (like cooking utensils) may have operated as cultural affordances encapsulating and transmitting important cultural knowledge for the successful completion of the task.

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