From Distributed Cognition to Collective Intelligence: Supporting Cognitive Search to Facilitate Online Massive Collaboration

  • Wai-Tat FuEmail author
Part of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Series book series (CULS, volume 16)


This chapter focuses on the nature of cognitive computations involved in collaborative tasks and its implication to design of information systems that facilitate massive online collaboration. When a group of people are collaborating either implicitly or explicitly, cognitive processes are distributed among individuals across these task components. The success of the individuals in accomplishing the task depends on whether the emergent outcomes of these distributed cognitive processes allow them to collectively achieve their goals, which also reflect the efficiency and effectiveness of how the distributed cognitive processes lead to collective intelligence. The goal of this chapter is to focus on the nature of cognitive computations in individuals and in groups. In particular, the chapter will focus on the central role of cognitive search in individual and group cognition and discuss how cognitive search may play a central role in collective intelligence by binding individual cognitive processes effectively. The chapter will then provide examples of information systems that support collective intelligence and argue from a theoretical standpoint the design principles that make these systems more efficient and capable of facilitating massive online collaboration.


Mass collaboration Creative collaboration Distributed cognition Collective intelligence 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

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