Emergent leadership on collaborative tasks in distributed virtual environments
Norlander, Krist D.
Darken, Rudolph P.
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Several Department of Defense agencies are currently investigating the use of distributed collaborative virtual environments (CVE) for the training of small dismounted infantry teams. If these systems are to be successful, they will have to do more than simply allow the team members to execute a task. In addition to assuring that training in the CVE transfers to the real task, we will also have to ensure that aspects of team organization also transfer. In particular, we are investigating whether or not predicted emergent leadership, as measured by standardized personality tests, holds within a CVE or if aspects of the interface interfere. For a given Î²real-worldÎ³ task domain a leader can be predicted based on personality traits of the individuals within the group. The interface utilized with a CVE may adversely affect these traits. In other words, predictive measures of leadership in the real world may not hold in a CVE. The study reported here will use this predictability to identify the expected leader within a group and determine how the CVE interface affects the ability of the predicted individual to emerge as the leader. It is theorized that the limitations of CVE interfaces (field of view, realism, etc.) will negatively impact the transfer of leadership personality traits into the virtual environment, but not to a degree that the limitation cannot be overcome. These limitations may impact the group dynamics and the emergent leader may not necessarily be the predicted leader by personality traits.
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