This course will cover theories and empirical research on joint action, addressing humans’ exceptional ability to act together and achieve joint goals. The focus will be on how research in our lab relates to theories of shared intentionality, communication, and action. Topics include the role of thinking and planning ahead as well as basic perceptual and motor processes that allow people to perform highly coordinated actions such as playing a piano duet together. The course will include demonstrations to provide an overview of different research methods that are used in our lab. Towards the end of the course, each course participant will present an idea for an experimental study addressing an open question in joint action research.
By the end of this course, students will:
- know philosophical, psychological, and neuroscience accounts of joint action
- be familiar with experimental methods used in joint action research
- be able to evaluate experimental designs and their implications for theory
- be able to identify open research questions in joint action research
(1) Presentation of a research idea related to joint action research (50% of grade). This will be a short presentation (15 minutes + discussion) of a research idea that turns a theoretical question in joint action research into an experiment testing a specific hypothesis. The presentation should specify the link between theory and data, the study design, the material and/or apparatus used, the measures recorded, and the predicted results.
(2) Contributions to discussions (50% of grade). Participants are expected to be present during all sessions and to contribute with questions and comments to the discussions.