Familiarity Modulates the Dynamics of Collaborative Inhibition in a Trivia Game

Janelle SzaryUniversity of California, Merced
Rick DaleUniversity of California, Merced

Abstract

A number of open questions are still unanswered about whether and how dyads perform better compared to individuals on memory tasks. The literature on collaborative recall demonstrates a robust collaborative inhibition effect, where participants do worse when remembering in collaborative contexts. However, a growing body of research suggests that this inhibition can be ameliorated, or even reversed, under certain task and social conditions. Here we construct nominal groups (hypothetically optimal aggregates of individual performers) to compare to collaborative groups. We observe collaborative inhibition on two performance metrics (number of trivia clues answered, speed of answering), but we find a facilitatory effect of collaboration on two other performance metrics (accuracy, number of clues subsequently recalled). We also show that familiarity can reduce this collaborative inhibition in many ways.

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