Trust in the Workplace and Community: The Role of Social Interactions

Extending the literature on social capital development in the community, this article examines the impact of diverse social interactions on the development of social trust in the workplace and investigates whether their effects differ in individualistic and collectivistic cultures. Using survey data collected in Canada and China, the authors find that the diversity of one’s social interactions in the community is positively associated with one’s social trust in the workplace, and this relationship is not significantly different between the two cultures. Diversity of one’s social interactions in the workplace is also positively associated with one’s social trust in the workplace, though only in collectivistic cultures.

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Posted in Collective social capital, Social capital, Social interaction, Trust | Tagged , , ,

The Role of Social Interaction in the Evolution of Learning

It is generally thought that cognition evolved to help us navigate complex environments. Social interactions make up one part of a complex environment, and some have argued that social settings are crucial to the evolution of cognition. This article uses the methods of evolutionary game theory to investigate the effect of social interaction on the evolution of cognition broadly construed as strategic learning or plasticity. I delineate the conditions under which social interaction alone, apart from any additional external environmental variation, can provide the selective pressure necessary for the initial evolution of learning. Furthermore, it is argued that in the context of social interactions we should not expect traditional learners that ‘best-respond’ to dominate the population. Consequently, it may be important to consider non-traditional learners when modeling social evolution. 1 Introduction2 The Model3 Adapting to the Population3.1 Learning an equlibrium4 Adapting to Individuals4.1 Learning the best response and non-traditional learners5 Conclusion.

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Posted in Learning, Social interaction, Social learning, Social learning systems | Tagged , , ,

Extended cognition and the space of social interaction

The extended mind thesis (EM) asserts that some cognitive processes are (partially) composed of actions consisting of the manipulation and exploitation of environmental structures. Might some processes at the root of social cognition have a similarly extended structure? In this paper, I argue that social cognition is fundamentally an interactive form of space management—the negotiation and management of ‘‘we-space”—and that some of the expressive actions involved in the negotiation and management of we-space (gesture, touch, facial and whole-body expressions) drive basic processes of interpersonal understanding and thus do genuine social-cognitive work. Social interaction is a kind of extended social cognition, driven and at least partially constituted by environmental (non-neural) scaffolding. Challenging the Theory of Mind paradigm, I draw upon research from gesture studies, developmental psychology, and work on Moebius Syndrome to support this thesis.

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Posted in Extended cognition, Extended mind, Human interactions, Social interaction | Tagged , , ,

Theories of Emotion: Integrating philosophy and the social sciences

The study of emotion is being taken on by many different fields of research. In particular, the social sciences are providing many new areas of development within the field. Philosophy is specially equipped to add to the research on human affective experience by synthesizing the many different fields’ work on emotion and providing a critical assessment of the current research. Two primary approaches to understanding emotion are (1) viewing emotion as a product of evolution and (2) viewing emotion as a product of social and cultural interaction. I argue, however, that while each of these approaches accurately explains a particular aspect of affective experience, they should work towards a more compatibilistic theory of emotion which views affective experience as a system that includes both evolutionary and socio-cultural influences. The concept of a looping effect is particularly helpful in illustrating the systemic nature of emotion, and I put forward the concept of a looping effect as a way to assess a theory’s ability to incorporate the two distinct aspects of affective experience (i.e., evolutionary psychology and social constructionism and their debate over the role cognitive and non-cognitive processes play in affective experience) which traditionally have been opposed to each other in the effort to present a clear theory of emotion.

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Posted in Emotions | Tagged

Affective resonance and social interaction

Interactive social cognition theory and approaches of developmental psychology widely agree that central aspects of emotional and social experience arise in the unfolding of processes of embodied social interaction. Bi-directional dynamical couplings of bodily displays such as facial expressions, gestures, and vocalizations have repeatedly been described in terms of coordination, synchrony, mimesis, or attunement. In this paper, I propose conceptualizing such dynamics rather as processes of affective resonance. Starting from the immediate phenomenal experience of being immersed in interaction, I develop the philosophical notion of affective resonance to refer to a dynamic entanglement of moving and being moved in relation. The concept of affective resonance makes visible that the interaction dynamic itself creates an affective experience rather than transmitting internal feeling states between pre-existent individuals. This leads to a philosophical framework in which relationality and ontogeny are primary over separate individuals, and in which the naturalistic distinction of a fundamental physical level versus an emerging level of social processes has to be given up.

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Posted in Affect, Deleuze, Interaction, Social cognition, Social interaction | Tagged , , , ,

Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared intentionality as an interactional achievement

Social play has a complex, cooperative nature that requires substantial coordination. This has led researchers to use social games to study cognitive abilities like shared intentionality, the skill, and motivation to share goals and intentions with others during joint action. We expand this proposal by considering play as a joint action and examining how shared intentionality is achieved during human joint action. We describe how humans get into, conduct, and get out of joint actions together in an orderly way, thereby constructing the state of “togetherness” characteristic of shared intentionality. These processes play out as three main phases, the opening (where participants are ratified and joint commitments are established), the main body (where progress, ongoing commitments, and possible role reversals are coordinated), and the closing (where the intention to terminate the action is coordinated and where participants take leave of each other). We use this process in humans as a framework for examining how various animal species get into, maintain, and get out of play bouts. This comparative approach constitutes an alternative measure of those species’ possession of shared intentionality. Using this framework, we review the play literature on human children and different social species of mammals and birds in search of behavioral markers of shared intentionality in the coordination of play bouts. We discuss how our approach could shed light on the evolution of special human motivation to cooperate and share psychological states with others.

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Posted in Cooperation, Joint action, Shared intentionality, Social play | Tagged , , ,

When do we fall in neural synchrony with others?

This study aimed to investigate the situation in which interpersonal brain synchronization (IBS) occurs during a collaborative task and examined its trajectory over time by developing a novel functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)-based hyper scanning paradigm. Participants were asked to perform a collaborative task in three-person groups where two of the members are real participants and one is a confederate. Compared to dyads between real participants and confederates, real-participant pairings showed greater cooperation behavior and IBS between the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. And, IBS and cooperation increased over time in real-participant pairings, whereas they remained low and constant in dyads with the confederate. These findings indicate that IBS occurs between individuals engaging in interpersonal interaction during a collaborative task, during which both IBS and cooperatively interpersonal interaction tend to increase over time.

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Posted in Brain synchronization, Interpersonal interaction | Tagged , ,

Brain-to-brain synchronization across two persons predicts mutual prosociality

People tend to be more prosocial after synchronizing behaviors with others, yet the underlying neural mechanisms are rarely known. In this study, participant dyads performed either a coordination task or an independence task, with their brain activations recorded via the functional near-infrared spectroscopy hyper scanning technique. Participant dyads in the coordination group showed higher synchronized behaviors and greater subsequent inclination to help each other than those in the independence group, indicating the prosocial effect of interpersonal synchrony. Importantly, the coordination group demonstrated significant task-related brain coherence, namely the interbrain synchronization, in the left middle frontal area. The detected interbrain synchronization was sensitive to shared intentionality between participants and was correlated with the mutual prosocial inclination. Further, the task-related brain coherence played a mediation role in the prosocial effect of interpersonal synchrony. This study reveals the relevance of brain-to-brain synchronization among individuals with the subsequent mutual prosocial inclination and suggests the neural mechanism associating with shared cognition for the facilitation of interpersonal synchrony on prosociality.

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Posted in Interbrain synchronization, Interpersonal synchrony, Prosociality, Shared intentionality | Tagged

Interpersonal neural synchronization as a biological mechanism for shared intentionality

Shared intentionality, or collaborative interactions in which individuals have a shared goal and must coordinate their efforts, is a core component of human interaction. However, the biological bases of shared intentionality and, specifically, the processes by which the brain adjusts to the sharing of common goals, remain largely unknown. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), coordination of cerebral hemodynamic activation was found in subject pairs when completing a puzzle together in contrast to a condition in which subjects completed identical but individual puzzles (same intention without shared intentionality). Interpersonal neural coordination was also greater when completing a puzzle together compared to two control conditions including the observation of another pair completing the same puzzle task or watching a movie with a partner (shared experience). Further, permutation testing revealed that the time course of neural activation of one subject predicted that of their partner, but not that of others completing the identical puzzle in different partner sets. Results indicate unique brain-to-brain coupling specific to shared intentionality beyond what has been previously found by investigating the fundamentals of social exchange.

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Posted in Intention, Interagency | Tagged ,

A Theory of Social Action

It is somewhat surprising to find out how little serious theorizing there is in philosophy (and in social psychology as well as sociology) on the nature of social actions or joint act. In the sense of actions performed together by several agents. Actions performed by single agents have been extensively discussed both in philosophy and in psycho~ogy. There is, accordingly, a booming field called action theory in philosophy but it has so far strongly concentrated on actions performed by single agents only. We, of course, should not forget game theory, a discipline that systematically studies the strategic interaction between several rational agents. Yet this important theory, besides being restricted to strongly rational acting, fails to study properly several central problems related to the conceptual nature of social action. Thus, it does not adequately clarify and classify the various types of joint action (except perhaps from the point of view of the agents’ utilities). This book presents a systematic theory of social action. Because of its reliance on so-called purposive causation and generation, it is called the purposive-causal theory. This work also discusses several problems related to the topic of social action, for instance, that of how to create from this perspective the most central concepts needed by social psychology and sociology. While quite a lot of ground is covered in the book, many important questions have been left unanswered and many others unasked as well.

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Posted in Action, Social, Social action | Tagged , ,