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Social Cognition, Stigmergy, and Artefacts: A Comparative Analysis of Theoretical Frameworks for the Study of Computer-mediated Collaborative Activity
University of Skövde, Department of Computer Science.
2000 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to compare different theoretical frameworks for the study of the role of artefacts in mediating interactions between agents and their environments. More specifically, three interactive cognitive theories with a focus on agent-environment interaction, activity theory, situated action, and distributed cognition, are compared to the theory of stigmergy, originally introduced to explain the "coordination paradox" in social insect behaviour, i.e., the emergence of a coordinated behaviour from seemingly uncoordinated individual activity.

All of the above cognitive theories have individually been suggested as suitable frameworks for the study of human-computer interaction and/or computer-supported cooperative work, where a similar coordination paradox can be observed in many cases. These theories are therefore compared to each other, and to the concept of stigmergy, with focus on four key elements common to all theories: agents, artefacts, environment, and shared activity.

The conclusion is that, despite obvious differences in human and insect behaviour, and despite the fact that the individual theories have been developed in very different historical contexts, there are many common principles, which should be investigated further in order to develop an integrated theoretical framework of study for the study of artefact-mediated collective activity in general, and computer-supported collaboration in particular.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Skövde: Institutionen för datavetenskap , 2000. , 100 p.
Keyword [en]
activity theory, situated action, distributed cognition, stigmergy, computer-supported cooperative work, artefacts, social interactions
National Category
Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-491OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-491DiVA: diva2:2871
Presentation
(English)
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-01-11 Created: 2008-01-11 Last updated: 2010-02-16

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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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