Collaborative inhibition and semantic recall: improving collaboration through computer-mediated communication

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Two experiments investigated the recall of nominal and collaborating groups to test the hypotheses that (a) semantic memory, as well as episodic memory, is disrupted by collaborative recall and (b) both episodic and semantic recall will be greater in groups collaborating via computer mediated communication (CMC) than groups collaborating face-to-face. Experiment 1 investigated different collaborative constellations (nominal, face-to-face and parallel CMC) in a series of episodic and semantic word recall tasks. In Experiment 2, collaborative groups (nominal, face-to-face, parallel CMC and cyclic CMC) completed a Scrabble task in which they were required to generate words from a set of 12 letters. Both experiments demonstrated that collaborative inhibition was present in semantic recall. Parallel CMC improved recall by comparison to face-to-face collaboration in both experiments, whereas cyclic CMC did not. The underlying causes of collaborative inhibitory effects and the potential for reducing them with CMC are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-565
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date3 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • collaborative inhibition, computer mediated communication, semantic recall, episodic recall


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