The effects of gender variety and power disparity on group cognitive complexity in collaborative learning groups

P.L. Curseu, K. Sari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study sets up to test the extent to which gender variety moderates the impact of power disparity on group cognitive complexity (GCC) and satisfaction with the group in a collaborative learning setting. Using insights from gender differences in perceptions, orientations and conflict handling behavior in negotiation, as well as gender differences in exerting social influence in small group settings we hypothesize that gender variety alleviates the negative impact of power disparity on GCC and satisfaction. We test this hypothesis in a sample of 110 student groups and our results show that for high gender variety, power disparity has a small positive effect on GCC, while for low gender variety power disparity has a negative effect on GCC. In a similar vein we show that in gender homogeneous groups, power disparity has a negative association with satisfaction, while for mixed-gender groups the association between the two is not significant. We discuss (1) the implications of these results for the management of diversity in educational and organizational settings and (2) the use of cognitive mapping as a comprehensive evaluation tool for collaborative learning effectiveness.
Keywords: collaborative learning, gender variety, power differences, group cognitive complexity, groups
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-436
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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