On the interaction of affect and information transfer in cross-disciplinary dialogue
Hubbs G, Crowley S, Gonnerman C, Hall K, Hall T, Malavisi A, O'Rourke M, Rinkus M, Robinson B, Vasko S. On the interaction of affect and information transfer in cross-disciplinary dialogue. Oral presentation at 2017 SciTS Conference. Clearwater Beach, FL. Jun 14, 2017. Dialogue Approaches To Build Bridges Across Disciplines And Perspectives. Online at: http://www.scienceofteamscience.org/2017-agenda.
Collaborative research distributes the effort of
understanding the world across a team, which makes
communication among collaborators critical. In this
talk, a familiar distinction between relational and
transactional communication —i.e., between
the affective character of communication and its
informational character—guides our inquiry into
two key aspects of communication within research
teams. First, on the relational side, a research team
benefits when its emotional context encourages open
communication . Second, on the transactional side,
a team benefits when the claims exchanged by team
members can be criticized, improving their accuracy
and increasing the amount of information generated
(cf. ). These two aspects are in tension. Efforts to encourage
openness can be interpreted as discouraging criticism,
whereas feedback perceived as critical can be silencing.
This tension is exacerbated in research contexts where
new ways of understanding can challenge existing
standards of accuracy, making it difficult to adjudicate
critical exchanges in ways that preserve openness.
And to further complicate matters, research in crossdisciplinary
contexts puts in play distinct and possibly
incompatible standards of accuracy.
The competing needs of openness and criticism must
be managed to maximize innovation and insight, but
successful management requires an understanding
of how they are related to one another. In this talk,
we examine the hypothesis that within the context of
cross-disciplinary collaborative research the quality
of emotional context (positive/negative) is directly
correlated with the quality of information transfer
within communicative episodes.
Our investigation involves close examination of
structured, 1-2 hour “Toolbox” dialogues involving conversation among cross-disciplinary scientific
teammates about the beliefs and values that shape
their approach to science and their common project.
Six of these dialogues involving cross-disciplinary
research teams have been divided into 102 threads
comprising thematically related speaking turns, and
each of these turns is coded for both conversational
function (e.g., new information, question) and
impact (e.g., increase self-awareness, increase teamawareness).
Based on the codes, the threads have been
judged exemplary, middle, or failed for the quality of
their contribution to mutual understanding.
In investigating our hypothesis, we assess the quality
of information transfer within a communication
episode using expert codes of transcripts. To provide an
assessment of emotional context of conversations we
use the IBM Tone Analyzer  to yield a construct that
we call the “emotional valence” of the conversational
thread. After describing the development and testing
of our methodology, we evaluate the relationships
among thread quality and emotional valence. Our
evaluation also includes assessment of dependencies
between thread quality and certain demographic
variables that may influence the affective character of
communication, e.g., gender and career stage.
Online at: http://www.scienceofteamscience.org/2017-agenda
Type of Publication:
scits 2017 conference, presentation, interaction, affect, information, transfer, cross disciplinary
Addresses these goal(s):
- Learn about the field of team science: history, theory and concepts
- Conduct research on/evaluate team science
Resource created by Jane Hwang on 10/5/2017 3:39:40 PM.