Team Spatial Cognition: How Teams Communicate, Process, and Use Spatial Information



Solly, John

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Team spatial cognition is a set of shared mental processes through which teams communicate, process, and use spatial information. Although there is considerable research on teams, researchers have not focused on how teams use spatial information. This prevents the development of methodologies to better understand how teams make spatial decisions. In this research, team spatial cognition was examined through analysis of movement and communication data collected during team pursuit and evasion experiments. 31 lab experiments were conducted with 266 participants using an interactive map-based computer game. Written communications were mined for key team cognition variables such as leadership and backup behavior. The communications were also mined for spatial cognition variables such as spatial reference frame and distance/direction cues. To determine if there was evidence for team-level spatial cognition, player communications were processed using qualitative data analysis (QDA) techniques. The results demonstrate that there is evidence for team-level spatial processes such as districtization of space, leadership driven spatial reference frame, and spatial backup behavior. Future research could further explore these shared mental processes by investigating these findings across different types of teams and situations.



Geography, Team cognition, Spatial cognition, Spatial reference frames