Collaborating in Spatial Tasks: Partners Adapt the Perspective of Their Descriptions, Coordination Strategies, and Memory Representations
The partner’s viewpoint influences spatial descriptions and, when strongly emphasized, spatial memories as well. We examined whether partner-specific information affects the representations people spontaneously construct, the description strategies they spontaneously select, and the representations their collaborating partner constructs based on these descriptions. Directors described to a misaligned Matcher arrays learned while either knowing the Matcher’s viewpoint or not. Knowing the Matcher’s viewpoint led to distinctive processing in spatial judgments and a rotational bias in array drawings. Directors’ descriptions reflected strategic choices, suggesting that partners considered each other’s computational demands. Such strategies were effective as reflected by the number of conversational turns partners took to coordinate. Matchers represented both partners’ viewpoints in memory, with the Directors’ descriptions predicting the facilitated perspective. Thus, partners behave contingently in spatial tasks to optimize their coordination: the availability of the partner’s viewpoint influences one’s memory and description strategies, which in turn influence the partner’s memory.
Keywordsperspective-taking coordination spatial memory dialogue
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