Date of Award

1-1-2013

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Exercise Science

First Advisor

Roger Newman-Norlund

Abstract

Joint action can be succinctly defined as an action in which two or more individuals work together for a common outcome. There have been numerous studies on the mechanisms behind joint action, but none have focused on the existence of optimal cooperators. The present study investigated if optimal cooperators, individuals who are better partners in joint action tasks, exist in the population. Individuals completed a virtual bar balancing task in dyads in which four hands were used to control the bar. Based on success rate, significant differences in performance variables were found. This study provides empirical evidence that some individuals are better partners in joint action tasks, and that optimal cooperators exist in the population. Further research should be conducted to confirm these results and explore the implication of these finding in rehabilitation techniques and robotic programming.

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