Learning Change

Learning Change Project: 8 Blogs, 6960 Readings

Posts Tagged ‘cooperation

Cooperation and Cognition in Wikipedia

The new socio-technological systems of the internet involve complex collaborative behaviors, of which Wikis in general are a particular successful case, and especially Wikipedia. This encyclopedia has created and harnessed new social and work dynamics, which can provide insight into specific aspects of cognition, as amplified by a multitude of editors and their ping-pong style of editing, spatial and time flexibility within unique technology-community fostering features. Wikipedia’s motto “The Free Encyclopedia That Anyone Can Edit” is analyzed to reveal human, technological and value actors within a theoretical context of distributed cognition, cooperation and technological agency. As this work is part of an emergent field of Wiki Studies, with an interdisciplinary approach, three avenues of inquiry are used to research cooperation and cognition in Wikipedia articles. These studies contribute to constructing an ecology of the article, a vision of humanities bottom-up, and a better understanding of cooperation and cognition within socio-technological networks.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

August 26, 2014 at 11:12 am

The Interplay of Cognition and Cooperation

Cooperation often involves behaviours that reduce immediate payoffs for actors. Delayed benefits have often been argued to pose problems for the evolution of cooperation because learning such contingencies may be difficult as partners may cheat in return. Therefore, the ability to achieve stable cooperation has often been linked to a species’ cognitive abilities, which is in turn linked to the evolution of increasingly complex central nervous systems. However, in their famous 1981 paper, Axelrod and Hamilton stated that in principle even bacteria could play a tit-for-tat strategy in an iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma. While to our knowledge this has not been documented, interspecific mutualisms are present in bacteria, plants and fungi. Moreover, many species which have evolved large brains in complex social environments lack convincing evidence in favour of reciprocity. What conditions must be fulfilled so that organisms with little to no brainpower, including plants and single-celled organisms, can, on average, gain benefits from interactions with partner species? On the other hand, what conditions favour the evolution of large brains and flexible behaviour, which includes the use of misinformation and so on? These questions are critical, as they begin to address why cognitive complexity would emerge when ‘simple’ cooperation is clearly sufficient in some cases. This paper spans the literature from bacteria to humans in our search for the key variables that link cooperation and deception to cognition.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

July 21, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Communication and Collective Action: Language and the Evolution of Human Cooperation

All social species face various “collective action problems” or “social dilemmas,” meaning problems in achieving cooperating when the best move from a selfish point of view yields an inferior collective outcome. Compared to most other species, humans are very good at solving these challenges, suggesting that something rather peculiar about human sociality facilitates collective action. This article proposes that language — the uniquely human faculty of symbolic communication — fundamentally alters the possibilities for collective action. I explore these issues using simple game-theoretic models and empirical evidence (both ethnographic and experimental). I review several standard mechanisms for the evolution of cooperationmutualism, reciprocal altruism, indirect reciprocity and signaling — highlighting their limitations when it comes to explaining large-group cooperation, as well as the ways in which language helps overcome those limitations. Language facilitates complex coordination and is essential for establishing norms governing production efforts and distribution of collective goods that motivate people to cooperate voluntarily in large groups. Language also significantly lowers the cost of detecting and punishing “free riders,” thus greatly enhancing the scope and power of standard conditional reciprocity. In addition, symbolic communication encourages new forms of collectively beneficial displays and reputation management — what evolutionists often term “signaling” and “indirect reciprocity.” Thus, language reinforces existing forces that favor the evolution of cooperation, as well as creating new opportunities for collective action not available even to our closest primate relatives.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

July 3, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Cooperative conditions and Group Metacognition

This study examined the task-related talk, reading comprehension, and metacognition of third-grade students over a 4 week period. A total of 219 students from eight classrooms participated. Classrooms were randomly assigned to the “reward” or the “strategy” condition. The reward condition encouraged cooperation through the use of team recognition based on individual performance on weekly quizzes. The strategy condition was designed to direct discussions toward substantive task content. Two groups from each classroom were observed prior to intervention and at the end of each week. The comprehension measure was comprised of four subtests: prediction, inference,main idea, and summarization. The metacognition measure assessed awareness of evaluation, planning, regulation, and conditional knowledge. Results indicated that the general structure of task-talk changed very little during the treatment phase of the study but that discussions in the strategy condition were focused more toward the facts, concepts, and strategies associated with their cooperative tasks. Students in this condition also performed significantly better on all comprehension subtests and one metacognition subtest. Discussion examines the (a) stability of the structure of peer-group talk, (b) efficacy of intentionally focusing peer-group discussions toward important lesson content, and (c) role such talk plays in learning.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

June 11, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Culture and Cooperation

Does the cultural background influence the success with which genetically unrelated individuals cooperate in social dilemma situations? In this paper, we provide an answer by analysing the data of Herrmann et al., who studied cooperation and punishment in 16 subject pools from six different world cultures. We use analysis of variance to disentangle the importance of cultural background relative to individual heterogeneity and group level differences in cooperation. We find that culture has a substantial influence on the extent of cooperation, in addition to individual heterogeneity and group-level differences identified by previous research. The significance of this result is that cultural background has a substantial influence on cooperation in otherwise identical environments. This is particularly true in the presence of punishment opportunities.

Read

Read also: Culture and the evolution of human cooperation

Written by Giorgio Bertini

June 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Cooperation, Culture

Tagged with ,

Coordination of Cooperative Work through Artifacts and the Practice of Stigmergy

Researchers in the field of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) have increasingly come to realize that artifacts play an important role in the coordination of cooperative work. This master thesis is an attempt to make an inquiry into the nature of artifacts and the coordinative practices employing them. Based on concepts of process, practice, materiality, context and the temporal nature of meaning, an attempted is made to develop an understanding of the coordinative roles of artifacts that take into consideration the complex interplay of coordinative practices and the material forms of artifacts.

Turning to the design implications of our inquiry we could perhaps suggest that we are not designing things when we are designing (digital) artifacts for the support of cooperative work, we are designing social and material practices. Along these lines, we could suggest that the successful design of digital artifacts for the support of cooperative work is at least equally dependant on the design of practices as on, for instance, the design of electronic circuits. Looking ahead, we could note that it could perhaps be of interest to explore the concepts of stigmergy and articulation work in relation to ubiquitous computing, with the purpose of informing the design of computer support for cooperative work.

Read

Read also: Practices of Stigmergy in Architectural Work

The Logic of Practices of Stigmergy – Representational Artifacts in Architectural Design

Written by Giorgio Bertini

May 14, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Cooperation and its Evolution

This collection reports on the latest research on an increasingly pivotal issue for evolutionary biology: cooperation. The chapters are written from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and utilize research tools that range from empirical survey to conceptual modeling, reflecting the rich diversity of work in the field. They explore a wide taxonomic range, concentrating on bacteria, social insects, and, especially, humans. Part I (“Agents and Environments“) investigates the connections of social cooperation in social organizations to the conditions that make cooperation profitable and stable, focusing on the interactions of agent, population, and environment. Part II (“Agents and Mechanisms“) focuses on how proximate mechanisms emerge and operate in the evolutionary process and how they shape evolutionary trajectories. Throughout the book, certain themes emerge that demonstrate the ubiquity of questions regarding cooperation in evolutionary biology: the generation and division of the profits of cooperation; transitions in individuality; levels of selection, from gene to organism; and the “human cooperation explosion” that makes our own social behavior particularly puzzling from an evolutionary perspective.

Read

Read also: A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution

Written by Giorgio Bertini

May 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm

A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution

Why do humans, uniquely among animals, cooperate in large numbers to advance projects for the common good? Contrary to the conventional wisdom in biology and economics, this generous and civic-minded behavior is widespread and cannot be explained simply by far-sighted self-interest or a desire to help close genealogical kin. In A Cooperative Species, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis–pioneers in the new experimental and evolutionary science of human behavior–show that the central issue is not why selfish people act generously, but instead how genetic and cultural evolution has produced a species in which substantial numbers make sacrifices to uphold ethical norms and to help even total strangers. The authors describe how, for thousands of generations, cooperation with fellow group members has been essential to survival. Groups that created institutions to protect the civic-minded from exploitation by the selfish flourished and prevailed in conflicts with less cooperative groups. Key to this process was the evolution of social emotions such as shame and guilt, and our capacity to internalize social norms so that acting ethically became a personal goal rather than simply a prudent way to avoid punishment. Using experimental, archaeological, genetic, and ethnographic data to calibrate models of the coevolution of genes and culture as well as prehistoric warfare and other forms of group competition, A Cooperative Species provides a compelling and novel account of how humans came to be moral and cooperative.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

April 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 240 other followers