My area of research relates to the psychology of collaboration and educational technologies
My fields of interest
Collaborative problem solving means approaching a problem responsively by working together and exchanging ideas. Collaboration is a useful tool, especially when speciﬁc expertise is needed (and available), and relies on factors such as a readiness to participate, mutual understanding, and the ability to manage interpersonal conflicts. Collaborative problem solving is particularly useful when dealing with problems that are complex.
Building on current theoretical frameworks and existing empirical findings, my doctoral research developed our understanding of the form and functioning of collaborative problem-solving (CPS). This programme of research led to two significant contributions evidenced in theoretical development and observable outputs.
(1) My research integrated theoretical approaches and findings from different domains of research related to the identification (form) of individual and group elements of goal directed collaborative interactions, that spanned cognitive (i.e., to look at communications focused on problem-solving) (e.g., Decuyper et al., 2010), motivational (i.e., considering the persistence of behavior to solve a problem) (e.g., Järvelä et al., 2008) and relational (i.e., reflecting the development of group relationships) (e.g., Hale et al., 2005) dimensions. Based on this integration of theory and research, I developed a new collaborative problem-solving (CPS) model to capture how these three dimensions interact with each other (functioning). This model (in revision) represents a dynamic process that illustrates how individuals engaged in CPS build and update mental models (Dillenbourg et al., 2016), i.e., individual in-memory representations, combining general knowledge and strategies (Miele & Scholer, 2018; Veenman et al., 2004) and incoming information from both self (via individual processing) and other group members (through observable outputs) regarding cognitive, motivational, and relational aspects of the CPS task.
(2) The second contribution of my doctoral research was to highlight an additional role of emotion processes in the functioning of CPS. Previous research has found that emotion modulates the personal and interpersonal processes in CPS. My research extends existing conceptualisations of the role of emotions in CPS suggesting that it represents a distinctive and pervasive phenomenon that cannot be easily assimilated to the socio-relational dimension of collaboration. My research demonstrated how emotions are clues that group members use to make real-time inferences regarding themselves and their collaboration partners. For example, confusion can indicate a difficulty in understanding an aspect of the problem, boredom can indicate low commitment, contempt can indicate little liking for the collaboration partner, etc. Group members can therefore enrich their cognitive, motivational, and relational collaborative models through the understanding of their own and others’ emotions and use them to regulate collaboration.
My thesis presents several experimental studies that provide empirical evidence of the impact of different emotional processes (i.e., subjective feeling, sharing of emotions, emotion regulation dispositions on the three core dimensions of CPS. This work has significant implications for training CPS to students and employers and that focuses on emotional awareness – to teach individuals to effectively regulate their own emotion and read others’ emotions during a collaborative task. This important and highly novel work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and proceedings of international conferences (e.g., Avry et al., 2020a; Avry et al., 2020b).
The ﬁeld of collaborative problem-solving has been gaining interest over the last decades. However, we are still far from getting a complete picture of its functioning. One of the reasons is undoubtedly its underlying complexity. Indeed, a compre- hensive understanding of collaborative problem-solving requires paying attention to various phenomena that dynamically interact when people try to solve problems together. The present thesis aimed at deepening the understanding of collaborative problem- solving at four main levels. The ﬁrst contribution is an extensive review of the current state of research on various personal and interpersonal processes playing a role in collaborative problem-solving. To this end, we reviewed scientiﬁc contri- butions from different ﬁelds of research concerning the cognitive, motivational and relational aspects of collaboration. The second contribution is the construction of an integrative model that considers how these afore-mentioned dimensions inter- act during collaborative problem-solving at the personal and interpersonal levels. Moreover, the pervasive role of emotions as a source of information and regulation in each of these dimensions is also highlighted, challenging the classic dichotomy between socio-cognitive and socio-emotional spaces of collaboration classically pre- sented in the literature. All in all, this model is intended to provide a theoretical framework for further research in this domain. The third contribution concerns the study of some ways in which emotional processes inﬂuence collaborative problem- solving. Four studies explored the impact of self-experienced emotions, explicit sharing of emotions and emotion regulation dispositions on collaborative exchanges and the perception of different aspects of the collaboration. Finally, as a fourth con- tribution, we build on the ﬁndings uncovered in this thesis and the literature to propose new promising avenues for future research in this domain.
Course: Digital learning and Distance Education (Master) with Prof. ass. Gaëlle Molinari
Course: Software Engineering (Bachelor) with Prof. Philippe Dugerdil
Course: Data Structure (Bachelor) with Prof. Stéphane Marchand-Maillet
Course: Algorithms Programming (Bachelor) with Prof. Thierry Pun
Course: Methodology in Experimental Psychology (Bachelor) with Prof. ass. Gaëlle Molinari