Effects of sequences of cognitions on group performance over time


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Extending past research showing that sequences of low cognitions (lowlevel processing of information) and high cognitions (high-level processing of information through questions and elaborations) influence the likelihoods of subsequent high and low cognitions, this study examines whether sequences of cognitions are related to group performance over time; 54 primary school students (18 triads) discussed and wrote an essay about living in another country (32,375 turns of talk). Content analysis and statistical discourse analysis showed that within each lesson, groups with more low cognitions or more sequences of low cognition followed by high cognition added more essay words. Groups with more high cognitions, sequences of low cognition followed by low cognition, or sequences of high cognition followed by an action followed by low cognition, showed different words and sequences, suggestive of new ideas. The links between cognition sequences and group performance over time can inform facilitation and assessment of student discussions. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-164
JournalSmall Group Research
Issue number2
Early online dateJan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017



Molenaar, I., & Chiu, M. M. (2017). Effects of sequences of cognitions on group performance over time. Small Group Research, 48(2), 131-164.


  • Collaborative learning
  • Process analysis
  • Statistical discourse analysis
  • Temporal analysis