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Title: An investigation of the nominal group effect in computer mediated collaborative recall
Author: Hinds, Joanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 2930
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis reports a series of five experiments which were designed to assess two research objectives; 1) to ascertain whether CMC improves episodic and semantic collaborative recall and 2) to challenge the existing assumptions regarding semantic recall by establishing if "the nominal group effect" prevails in semantic recall. In each experiment, nominal group recall was compared with different types of collaborative recall, which included face-to-face collaboration and two types of computer mediated communication (CMC), namely synchronous (parallel) and asynchronous (serial/cyclic). Parallel communication comprised the simultaneous communication of group members in an online environment who had complete freedom over when they made contributions and attended/responded to other group members. Serial/cyclic communication employed a taking procedure where group members were exposed to each others' answers, but only one group member could contribute at a time. Two types of turn-taking procedure were examined; serial was a once-through approach where each group member got one chance to contribute (Experiment 1) and cyclic was a round-robin protocol where group members continually took turns to contribute for the duration of the recall trial (Experiments 3- 5). In Experiment 1, participants generated items from semantic categories as nominal, face-to-face, parallel and serial triads, i.e. groups. Results failed to provide evidence of the nominal group effect and there was no evidence to suggest a benefit from collaborating using one medium over another. Experiment 2 examined episodic and semantic recall in nominal, face-to-face and parallel collaboration. For episodic retrieval, participants were required to memorise categorised word lists and for semantic retrieval, participants were required to generate words beginning with specified orthographic digraphs i.e. 'br', 'he', 'po'. Results demonstrated a nominal group effect throughout episodic and semantic retrieval. Experiment 3 examined the effects of CMC when task complexity was increased to encompass the generation of words from a fixed set of letters in a Scrabble task. Once again, nominal groups generated the highest number of items, followed by parallel, face-to-face and cyclic groups. Experiments 4 and 5 extended the recent work of Finlay, Hitch and Meudell (200 1) and Blumen arid Rajaram (2008), who found that when collaborative retrieval was followed by individual retrieval, individuals were able to benefit from prior exposure, despite their initial losses acquired collaboratively. Results demonstrated improved individual episodic recall following face-to-face, parallel and cyclic collaboration, but there was no benefit for semantic retrieval.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available