The Handbook of Scholarly Writing and Publishing

The Handbook of Scholarly Writing and Publishing is a groundbreaking resource that offers emerging and experienced scholars from all disciplines a comprehensive review of the essential elements needed to craft scholarly papers and other writing suitable for submission to academic journals. The authors discuss the components of different types of manuscripts, explain the submission process, and offer readers suggestions for working with editors and coauthors, dealing with rejection, and rewriting and resubmitting their work. They include advice for developing quality writing skills, outline the fundamentals of a good review, and offer guidance for becoming an excellent manuscript reviewer.


Posted in Academic, Publishing, Research, Writing | Tagged , , ,

The Psychology of Creative Writing

The Psychology of Creative Writing takes a scholarly, psychological look at multiple aspects of creative writing, including the creative writer as a person, the text itself, the creative process, the writer’s development, the link between creative writing and mental illness, the personality traits of comedy and screen writers, and how to teach creative writing. This book will appeal to psychologists interested in creativity, writers who want to understand more about the magic behind their talents, and educated laypeople who enjoy reading, writing, or both. From scholars to bloggers to artists, The Psychology of Creative Writing has something for everyone.


Posted in Creative process, Creative writing, Creativity, Writing | Tagged , , ,

The Psychology of Writing and the Perfect Daily Routine

How to sculpt an environment that optimizes creative flow and summons relevant knowledge from your long-term memory through the right retrieval cues.

Reflecting on the ritualization of creativity, Bukowski famously scoffed that “air and light and time and space have nothing to do with.” Samuel Johnson similarly contended that “a man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it.” And yet some of history’s most successful and prolific writers were women and men of religious daily routines and odd creative rituals. Such strategies, it turns out, may be psychologically sound and cognitively fruitful. In the altogether illuminating 1994 volume The Psychology of Writing, cognitive psychologist Ronald T. Kellogg explores how work schedules, behavioral rituals, and writing environments affect the amount of time invested in trying to write and the degree to which that time is spent in a state of boredom, anxiety, or creative flow.


Read also: The Psychology of Writing

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Next Generation Crowdsourcing for Collective Intelligence

New techniques leveraging IT-mediated crowds such as Crowdsensing, Situated Crowdsourcing, Spatial Crowdsourcing, and Wearables Crowdsourcing have now materially emerged. These techniques, here termed next generation Crowdsourcing, serve to extend Crowdsourcing efforts beyond the heretofore dominant desktop computing paradigm. Employing new configurations of hardware, software, and people, these techniques represent new forms of organization for IT-mediated crowds. However, it is not known how these new techniques change the processes and outcomes of IT-mediated crowds for Collective Intelligence purposes? The aim of this exploratory work is to begin to answer this question. The work ensues by outlining the relevant findings of the first generation Crowdsourcing paradigm, before reviewing the emerging literature pertaining to the new generation of Crowdsourcing techniques. Premised on this review, a collectively exhaustive and mutually exclusive typology is formed, organizing the next generation Crowdsourcing techniques along two salient dimensions common to all first generation Crowdsourcing techniques. As a result, this work situates the next generation Crowdsourcing techniques within the extant Crowdsourcing literature, and identifies new research avenues stemming directly from the analysis.


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Social Psychology Perspective on Collective Intelligence

We begin with some definitions:

Social psychology is the study of human cognition and behavior in the context of social groups.
Group. Two or more people who interact, depend somewhat on each other, and have common goals, “those social aggregates that involve mutual awareness and potential mutual interaction.”
Team. A group with more persistent membership
Collective. Two or more people, but with little direct contact with each other.

The differences are not material enough for us to make a distinction, so we use “group.”

In the following, we document the following types of information for behaviors (e.g., group goal setting), phenomena (e.g., team performance), or concepts (e.g., process gain), pathologies (e.g., social loafing), biases (e.g., loss aversion).

For each, we list one or more of the following, depending on the richness of available research, listing both theories and empirical evidence where available:

Typology (what is it?)
Origins, mechanisms, mediators (how does it work?)
Issues, pathologies, biases (what are the problems with its workings?)
Determinants, moderators (what affects it, directly or indirectly?)


Posted in Collective intelligence, Social psychology | Tagged ,

Facilitating Collective Intelligence

Perhaps the greatest challenge we face in the modern world is the challenge of effective collaboration. In social, political, business and educational settings, working groups often fail to solve complex problems because their method of collaborative problem solving is ineffective. Decades of research in social psychology and cognitive science highlight the many limitations of group problem solving, including the tendency to focus on a limited set of ideas, select ideas based on biased ‘rules of thumb’, and failure to build trust, consensus and collective vision. We have developed a new software tool that helps groups to structure the many and varied ideas that are often generated when a group comes together to consider solutions to problems.

Our software tool allows groups to first identify important ideas and develop a model describing how ideas are related in a system. This systems thinking method is very useful in situations where a group wants to understand a complex situation and design a roadmap for action built upon consensus and a collective vision. At the same time, from a research perspective, we’re interested in how to maximize group performance in these collaborative design sessions.


Read also: Investigating the effects of prompts on argumentation style, consensus and perceived efficacy in collaborative learning

Posted in Collaboration, Collective intelligence, Groups | Tagged , ,

Theory of Mind Predicts Collective Intelligence Equally Well Online and Face-To-Face

Recent research with face-to-face groups found that a measure of general group effectiveness (called “collective intelligence”) predicted a group’s performance on a wide range of different tasks. The same research also found that collective intelligence was correlated with the individual group members’ ability to reason about the mental states of others (an ability called “Theory of Mind” or “ToM”). Since ToM was measured in this work by a test that requires participants to “read” the mental states of others from looking at their eyes (the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” test), it is uncertain whether the same results would emerge in online groups where these visual cues are not available. Here we find that: (1) a collective intelligence factor characterizes group performance approximately as well for online groups as for face-to-face groups; and (2) surprisingly, the ToM measure is equally predictive of collective intelligence in both face-to-face and online groups, even though the online groups communicate only via text and never see each other at all. This provides strong evidence that ToM abilities are just as important to group performance in online environments with limited nonverbal cues as they are face-to-face. It also suggests that the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test measures a deeper, domain-independent aspect of social reasoning, not merely the ability to recognize facial expressions of mental states.


Posted in Collective intelligence, Group performance, Groups, Theory of mind | Tagged , , ,

Truth from Trash – How Learning Makes Sense

This study of learning in autonomous agents offers a bracing intellectual adventure. Chris Thornton makes the compelling claim that learning is not a passive discovery operation but an active process involving creativity on the part of the learner. Although theorists of machine learning tell us that all learning methods contribute some form of bias and thus involve a degree of creativity, Thornton carries the idea much further. He describes an incremental process, recursive relational learning, in which the results of one learning step serve as the basis for the next. Very high-level recodings are then substantially the creative artifacts of the learner’s own processing. Lower-level recodings are more “objective” in that their properties are more severely constrained by the source data. Thornton sees consciousness as a process at the outer fringe of relational learning, just prior to the onset of creativity. According to this view, we cannot assume consciousness to be an exclusively human phenomenon, but rather the expected feature of any cognitive mechanism able to engage in extended flights of relational learning. Thornton presents key background material in an entertaining manner, using extensive mental imagery and a minimum of mathematics. Anecdotes and dialogue add to the text’s informality.


Posted in Consciousness, Creativity, Learning, Recursion, Relational learning | Tagged , , , ,

Human Swarms – A real-time Method for Collective Intelligence

Although substantial research has explored the emergence of collective intelligence in real-time human-based collaborative systems, much of this work has focused on rigid scenarios such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD). While such work is of great research value, there’s a growing need for a flexible real-world platform that fosters collective intelligence in authentic decision-making situations. This paper introduces a new platform called UNUM that allows groups of online users to collectively answer questions, make decisions, and resolve dilemmas by working together in unified dynamic systems. Modeled after biological swarms, the UNUM platform enables online groups to work in real-time synchrony, collaboratively exploring a decision-space and converging on preferred solutions in a matter of seconds. We call the process “social swarming” and early real-world testing suggests it has great potential for harnessing collective intelligence.


Read also: UNUM

Posted in Collaborative communities, Collaborative system, Collective intelligence, social swarming, Swarm, Swarm intelligence, Swarm metodology, Swarming | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Large Scale Structure and Dynamics of Complex Networks

The purpose of this volume is twofold. First we intend to provide a snapshot of the forefront research activities in the area of complex networks, provide a good sampling of the disciplines involved, and the kinds of problems that form the subject of inquiry. In doing this, we organized the book in thematic chapter, each one addressing a special area or domain of network science. On the other hand, we want to present the many research achievements obtained within the COSIN project, as well as new identified problems and the various research directions still in their initial stages. In this spirit, chapters will be co-authored by leading scientists who have been involved, in a stage or the other, in the COSIN project. This will also allow us to emphasize the value of the interdisciplinary approach by showing specific pieces of research realized in each particular domain. Despite the contributed chapter format, a specific effort has been put in place to homogenize the various chapters in a general structure providing a coherent and unified framework for the study of networked structure. We hope that this presentation of the field will attract the interest of colleagues within and outside the network community, and serve to further improve our understanding of this fascinating subject.


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