Psychology 2990A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Transactive Memory, Distributed Knowledge

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CHAPTER 5: EDUCATION
Transactive Memory
-Often individuals work together in groups to encode, store, and recall.
-Group work is often assigned to students in classroom settings and
employees in work settings, which makes clear the importance of
understanding how individuals work together to remember and learn
- Transactive memory is the knowledge of who knows what in a group,
combined with the processes used to encode, store, and communicate that
knowledge.
-Think, for example, of your best friend. You are probably quite aware of
whether your friend is an expert with computers or cars or taxes. You would
know whether to approach your friend to ask him/her a question about one
of these topics or seek that knowledge elsewhere.
-The following reading by Jackson and Moreland (2009) explains how
transactive memory works in a classroom setting.
Article:
- Groups may be able to process information, just as individuals can
-This socially shared cognition, according to Larson and Christensen (1993),
involves the “acquisition, storage, transmission, manipulation and use of
information” by groups.
- Anything that helps increase information sharing within a group could help
it to perform better
- Transactive memory has been defined as a shared awareness among group
members
- According to Wegner (1986), transactive memory can arise in many kinds
of groups, including couples, work teams, and even organizations
- When a situation arises where one person needs information belonging to
the other’s expertise, it can usually be obtained simply by asking for it. In
this way, the transactive memory system allows each person to hold
less information in total, but provides the couple with access to
more information overall.
- This study investigated the role of transactive memory systems in
classroom group performance.
-Sixty-three groups, containing a total of 209 students, were studied.
-Participants were required to complete a four-part group project for an
undergraduate course on information systems in organizations.
-Students were surveyed after handing in the second and fourth segments of
the project.
-These surveys provided information about the students’ demographic
characteristics, prior coursework and motivation; the levels of familiarity
among group members; and the transactive memory systems of the groups.
-Transactive memory was a good predictor of group performance,
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Document Summary

Often individuals work together in groups to encode, store, and recall. Group work is often assigned to students in classroom settings and employees in work settings, which makes clear the importance of understanding how individuals work together to remember and learn. Transactive memory is the knowledge of who knows what in a group, combined with the processes used to encode, store, and communicate that knowledge. You are probably quite aware of whether your friend is an expert with computers or cars or taxes. You would know whether to approach your friend to ask him/her a question about one of these topics or seek that knowledge elsewhere. The following reading by jackson and moreland (2009) explains how transactive memory works in a classroom setting. Groups may be able to process information, just as individuals can. This socially shared cognition, according to larson and christensen (1993), involves the acquisition, storage, transmission, manipulation and use of information by groups.

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