The influence of group size on conversation More than five people and it is not a conversation

Over the years, in running my Knowledge Cafes, I have discovered through trial and error and observation that the ideal size of a group for interactive conversation is three or four people. At the most five. Anything more than five and the conversation does not work so well: one or two people tend to dominate; … Continue reading The influence of group size on conversation More than five people and it is not a conversation

Friends with Cognitive Benefits Engaging in short friendly conversations improves people's thinking

Engaging in short friendly conversations boosts people’s performance on a variety of cognitive tasks. A recent study by researchers at the University of Michigan tested 192 undergraduates to determine which types of social interaction helped and which didn’t. The researchers concluded that engaging in short conversations where participants were instructed to get to know one … Continue reading Friends with Cognitive Benefits Engaging in short friendly conversations improves people’s thinking

When it comes to lectures, appearances can be deceiving

Imagine you receive the same lecture twice: once from a charismatic lecturer speaking fluently without notes and maintaining eye contact; and again from a hesitant speaker, slumped over her notes and stumbling over her words. Which is better? Regarding what you learn there is surprisingly little to choose between the two, according to a team … Continue reading When it comes to lectures, appearances can be deceiving

Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups

Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups By Anita Williams Woolley, Christopher F. Chabris, Alexander Pentland, Nada Hashmi,Thomas W. Malone • In two studies, working in groups of two to five, the authors find converging evidence of a general collective intelligence factor that explains a group’s performance on a wide … Continue reading Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups

The Mehrabian Myth When words and non-verbal messages are in conflict, people believe the non-verbal every time

Albert Mehrabian never claimed the evidently false assertion that 93% of our communication is nonverbal. I would be surprised if you have not heard the statement, often in a training course or at a conference that when we communicate: 55% of the message is conveyed by our body language 38% is conveyed by the tone … Continue reading The Mehrabian Myth When words and non-verbal messages are in conflict, people believe the non-verbal every time

Is Noise Always Bad? Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition

Whenever I wish to write something creative or reflect on an issue or problem, I have always found that a Café is one of the best environments. … This paper examines how ambient noise, an important environmental variable, can affect creativity. Results from five experiments demonstrate that a moderate (70 dB) versus low (50 dB) … Continue reading Is Noise Always Bad? Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition

The Knowledge Café as a Research Technique *

This is an interesting research paper by Shawren Singh, published in the April 2017 issue of  The Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods. [Comments: I plan to write a longer introduction to this paper.] The Knowledge Café as a research technique Shawren Singh School of Computing University of South Africa Roodepoort, Gauteng singhs@unisa.ac.za Abstract The … Continue reading The Knowledge Café as a Research Technique *

The implementation of knowledge cafés as a technique for knowledge sharing

The implementation of knowledge cafés as a technique for knowledge sharing Lefika, Pheladi Tracy Abstract Given the current knowledge economy, knowledge sharing has become a vital process in contributing to the success of any given organisation, whether academic or industry related. It is therefore essential for organisations to be aware of and to understand the … Continue reading The implementation of knowledge cafés as a technique for knowledge sharing

Exploring the Gurteen Knowledge Café as an innovative teaching strategy *

Abstract This study explored a learning approach based on the Gurteen Knowledge Café to encourage collaborative learning in a first-year Mathematics module. The rationale for carrying out this exploration was to empower students to become active, responsible and critical learners. The study was carried out with 32 first-year Electrical Engineering students at a South African … Continue reading Exploring the Gurteen Knowledge Café as an innovative teaching strategy *