Consensus collaboration enhances group and individual recall accuracy

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    64 Citations (Scopus)


    We often remember in groups, yet research on collaborative recall finds "collaborative inhibition": Recalling with others has costs compared to recalling alone. In related paradigms, remembering with others introduces errors into recall. We compared costs and benefits of two collaboration procedures-turn taking and consensus. First, 135 individuals learned a word list and recalled it alone (Recall 1). Then, 45 participants in three-member groups took turns to recall, 45 participants in three-member groups reached a consensus, and 45 participants recalled alone but were analysed as three-member nominal groups (Recall 2). Finally, all participants recalled alone (Recall 3). Both turn-taking and consensus groups demonstrated the usual pattern of costs during collaboration and benefits after collaboration in terms of recall completeness. However, consensus groups, and not turn-taking groups, demonstrated clear benefits in terms of recall accuracy, both during and after collaboration. Consensus groups engaged in beneficial group source-monitoring processes. Our findings challenge assumptions about the negative consequences of social remembering.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)179-194
    Number of pages16
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


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