Essential Tips for Successful Collaboration – A Case Study of the “Marshmallow Challenge”

  • Noriko SuzukiEmail author
  • Haruka Shoda
  • Mamiko Sakata
  • Kaori Inada
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9735)


We report essential tips for collaboration success obtained through the task of the “Marshmallow Challenge.” This involves examining the relationships among task achievement, performance satisfaction, and verbal/non-verbal behaviors throughout the task. We record and analyze the speech and gaze of participants with a video camera. The height of the marshmallow tower is measured as the metric of task achievement. The performance satisfaction felt by participants is obtained with a post-task questionnaire. We use correlation analysis between task achievement/performance satisfaction and verbal/nonverbal behaviors at three stages of the task: the early, middle and final phases. The results suggest that number of agreement utterances in the early phase contributes to increased height of the marshmallow tower. The distribution of the frequency of eye contact in the early phase seem to affect the performance satisfaction of the participants.


Multi-party collaboration Task achievement Performance satisfaction Verbal and nonverbal behaviors Marshmallow Challenge 



The contents of this study are based on the fourth author’s graduation thesis. We thank the 21 Doshisha University students who volunteered as subjects for their participation in the experiment.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noriko Suzuki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Haruka Shoda
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mamiko Sakata
    • 2
  • Kaori Inada
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Business AdministrationTezukayama UniversityNara CityJapan
  2. 2.Department of Culture and Information ScienceDoshisha UniversityKyotanabeJapan
  3. 3.Global Innovation Research OrganizationRitsumeikan UniversityKusatsuJapan

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