Psychology undergraduates Niyathi Sulkunte, Marviene Fulton, and Sarosh Ahmad won the Social Science - Oral Award for their presentation at the UNCC Undergraduate Research Conference. Their research project, supervised by Dr. Alexia Galati, examined the impact of task goals on the language use of collaborating task partners. Niyathi, Marviene, and Sarosh transcribed conversations of dyads completing a route planning or a visual search task using the same material (maps). The team coded and analyzed various aspects of language use, including references to landmarks, instances of agreement, and explicit references to strategies. The team found that, although dyads used landmarks more frequently in route planning than visual search and exhibited alignment in their landmark use, they used comparable amounts of agreement and strategy planning in both tasks. These findings suggest that a requisite level of interpersonal alignment is necessary for successful coordination in diverse tasks.
Their presentation, entitled "Task Goals Constrain Interpersonal Coordination: Evidence from the Alignment of Speech in Dialogues", can be found here.