Interaction Processes in Group Task Performance
In this research program we address the following questions: What is the relationship between the group decision-making processes and the quality of their outcomes? How do group members influence each other in order for a group to converge on a single decision? How are decision-making processes affected by a group's task? How are group processes and outcomes affected by communication technologies?
Teamwork Skills Project
How do college students develop teamwork skills? How well do their college group experiences prepare them for the workplace? Using both longitudinal and cross-sectional designs we are studying the roles of team member efficacy, team and task experience, member personality and inter-member perceptions on task performance quality in class-related projects and summer internship experiences.
Avatar Mediated Communication
Our work in immersive virtual environments (IVEs) centers on two issues. One is the impact of IVEs on task-oriented teamwork. We are interested in the question of how the affordances of these technologies may be useful for teams engaging in different types of group tasks. The second issue we address in our research on IVEs is social identity and personality factors associated with the nature of users' involvement in these environments.
In this line of research we address the following questions: What are the psychological mechanisms that lead to bias between social groups? How is intergroup bias manifested in language usage? How are people affected by biased communication from outgroups?
Mortality Salience and Linguistic Intergroup Bias
How does fear of mortality affect language usage in intergroup contexts? How are people affected by biased descriptions of their ingroup? We are doing a series of laboratory studies are examining these questions.
Group Identity, Communication and Sustainability
In this line of research we address the following questions: How can people's connections with particular groups and communities affect their willingness to adopt environmentally sustainable practices? How does social group identity affect the influence of message framing on decisions to adopt sustainable practices?
Identity-Based Social Influence on Sustainable Behaviors through Social Networks
What would convince a homeowner to replace a lawn with a no-mow wildflower meadow, eliminate chemical fertilizers, or take other steps to encourage birdlife? Through a series of controlled experiments funded by Cornell's Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, this research project examines how social group influences and carefully framed environmental messages can support behavioral change. We use YardMap, an online social network hosted by Cornell’s Laboratory of Ornithology, to track how environmentally friendly behaviors spread among social groups and what kinds of messages persuade the most people to adopt practices mutually sustainable to humans and birds.