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European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 145–154 | Cite as

Is a partner’s competence threatening during dyadic cooperative work? It depends on resource interdependence

  • Céline Buchs
  • Fabrizio Butera
Article

Abstract

Previous studies with university students have shown that resource interdependence during cooperative dyadic work on texts produces two different dynamics in student interaction and learning. Working on complementary information produces positive interactions, but a good quality of information transmission is needed to foster student learning. Working on identical information produces a confrontation of viewpoints but also encourages a threatening social comparison of competence, which can be detrimental for learning. The aim of present study is to test the moderating role of a partner’s competence in two peer-learning methods by manipulating a partner’s competence through a confederate. Results indicate that a partner’s competence is beneficial when students work on complementary information while it is detrimental when students work on identical information.

Key words

Cooperative learning Competence threat Informational dependence Partner’s competence Resource interdependence 

Résumé

Des études antérieures avec des étudiants universitaires ont montré que l’interdépendance des ressources lors d’un travail coopératif en duos sur des textes entraîne deux dynamiques différentes en ce qui concerne les interactions et l’apprentissage. Travailler sur des informations complémentaires favorise des interactions positives; cependant une bonne qualité de la transmission des informations est nécessaire pour favoriser l’apprentissage des étudiants. Travailler sur des informations identiques stimule des confrontations de point de vue to ut en introduisant une comparaison sociale menaçante des compétences, qui peut réduire l’apprentissage. Le but de l’étude est de tester le rôle modérateur de la compétence du partenaire dans les deux situations d’apprentissage en manipulant la compétence du partenaire grâce à un compère. Les résultats indiquent que la compétence du partenaire est bénéfique losrque les étudiants travaillent sur des informations complémentaires alors qu’elle est néfaste lorsqu’ils travaillent sur des informations identiques.

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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, Portugal/ Springer Netherlands 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Faculté de Psychologie et des Sciences de l’EducationUni MailGenèveSuisse
  3. 3.ISSUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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