Psychological research on joint action: theory and data

TitlePsychological research on joint action: theory and data
Publication TypeBook Chapter
AuthorsKnoblich, G., S. Butterfill, and N. Sebanz
EditorsRoss, Brian H.
Book Title The Psychology of Learning and Motivation
Pages 59-101
Place of PublicationSan Diego
SeriesThe psychology of learning and theory: Advances in research and theory
Series Number54

When two or more people coordinate their actions in space and time to produce a joint outcome, they perform a joint action. The perceptual, cognitive, and motor processes that enable individuals to coordinate their actions with others have been receiving increasing attention during the last decade, complementing earlier work on shared intentionality and discourse. This chapter reviews current theoretical concepts and empirical findings in order to provide a structured overview of the state of the art in joint action research. We distinguish between planned and emergent coordination. In planned coordination, agents' behavior is driven by representations that specify the desired outcomes of joint action and the agent's own part in achieving these outcomes. In emergent coordination, coordinated behavior occurs due to perception-action couplings that make multiple individuals act in similar ways, independently of joint plans. We review evidence for the two types of coordination and discuss potential synergies between them.

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