NOMAD 10(1), 2005. Shared cognitive intimacy and self-defence: two socio-emotional processes in problem solving

 

MARKKU S. HANNULA

Abstract
This paper is an exploration into the social dimension of emotions. It is based on protocols of student problem solving sessions and comments from student interviews that are part of a three-year longitudinal ethnographic study of one classroom. Focusing on the role of emotions in social coordination of problem solving behaviour, this research extends into an area that has not received enough attention in previous research. Specifically, it will provide some insight into shared cognitive intimacy, which was occasionally experienced by students who constructed a solution to a problem together. Shared cognitive intimacy is an example of a situation where students can simultaneously fulfil both cognitive and social needs. Another phenomenon that was observed was how some students used defensive strategies to hide their lack of competency. These defensive strategies are often counterproductive in achieving the cognitive goals but they are functional in the service of social goals.

Sammanfattning
Denna artikel utforskar den sociala dimensionen av känslor. Den baserar sig på material från elevers problemlösningssessioner och intervjuer som ingår i en treårig etnografisk studie av en klass. Artikelns fokus ligger på känslornas roll vid social koordinering av problemlösandet, och härmed utvidgar den forskningen till ett område som hittills inte har fått tillräckligt med uppmärksamhet. Speciellt erbjuder den en insyn i en gemensam kognitiv intimitet, som ibland upplevdes av elever som tillsammans konstruerade en lösning till ett problem. Den gemensamma kognitiva intimi-teten är ett exempel på en situation, där eleverna samtidigt kan fylla både sina kognitiva och sina sociala behov. Ett annat fenomen som observerades var hur några elever använde defensiva strategier för att dölja sina kun-skapsbrister. De defensiva strategierna motverkar ofta uppnåendet av kognitiva mål, men de är funktionella med avseende på andra mål.

MARKKU S. HANNULA
Markku Hannula is an Ed.D. who works as a lecturer at the University of Helsinki. His research interests include issues of affect and gender in mathematics education and understanding of mathematical concepts.