Social interdependence's promotive interaction defined by heedful interrelating and transactive memory systems



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This study investigated the utility of using the constructs of transactive memory system and heedful interrelating to explain the causal mechanisms of resulting learning and attitudinal outcomes emerging from the promotive interaction which occurs under conditions of positive social interdependence. An experimental study with clarifying qualitative analyses was conducted with college students as participants. Two aspects were addressed: (a) to define the promotive interaction in quantitative and qualitative terms using heedful interrelating and transactive memory system and (b) to assess the role of the promotive interaction, defined by heedful interrelating and transactive memory system, in the relationship between social interdependence and both proximal learning-related attitudinal outcomes including task value and situational interest, as well as more distal behavioral learning-related outcomes including group and individual task performance and individual perceptions of group performance. There was no direct effect of social interdependence on any outcome of interest nor were the mediational roles of heedful interrelating and transactive memory system in the relationship between positive social interdependence and outcomes of interest (individual and group performance, situational interest, task value, and perceptions of performance) supported, further exploratory analyses revealed these constructs did have significant direct effects on various outcomes of interest. Heedful interrelating was positively predictive of participants' situational interest, task value, individual perceptions of group performance, and individual and group performance. Transactive memory system was also positively predictive of individual situational interest and task value and group performance while an unexpected negative direct effect was found for individual performance. Qualitative analyses focusing on selected groups were used to explore this unexpected impact of transactive memory system on individual learning. Ways in which future studies may build on quantitative and qualitative findings are discussed.