Research into the effects of cooperative learning on academic performance has produced conflicting results. This study aimed to assess whether these effects varied with the incentive structure under which groups worked and with the level of social cohesiveness between group members. Eighty-nine 5th and 6th grade students were assigned randomly to one of four conditions in a 2 (incentive) by 2 (cohesiveness) factorial design. Results indicated that students who received rewards based on their individual contributions to an overall group product outperformed those who received rewards based on an overall group product alone. Students in the former condition also made significantly greater pre-post increases on a sociometric scale. In contrast, students who worked in groups that were high in social cohesiveness performed marginally worse than those who worked in low cohesive groups. Implications of these results for theory and practice in the area are discussed.
|Journal||Current Research in Social Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Aug 2002|