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Psychological Research on Joint Action (2011)

by Guenther Knoblich, Stephen A. Butterfill and Natalie Sebanz

--- in B. Ross (eds.), Psychology of Learning and Motivation (Vol. 51) , Burlington: Academic Press, pp. 59-101; ISBN: 978-0-12-385527-5
--- links: external [doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385527-5.00003-6]


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, complement- ing 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 distin- guish 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.