Gus Cooney.

The many minds problem: disclosure in dyadic versus group conversation


Cooney, G.
Mastroianni, A
Abi – Esber, N., & Brooks, A.W


Cooney, G*., Mastroianni, A.*, Abi-Esber, N.* , & Brooks, A.W. (2020). The many minds problem: disclosure in dyadic versus group conversation. Current Opinion in Psychology, 31, 22-27.

Conversations can happen in dyads or groups, and while these are both types of conversations, they can sometimes feel like completely different activities. Why? And what psychological processes are responsible? Surprisingly, we don’t yet have a systematic answer to these questions, and this is something I would like to change. In a recent theoretical piece published inCurrent Opinion in Psychology(Cooney, Mastroianni, Abi-Esber, & Brooks, 2020), we characterized some of the differences between dyadic andgroup conversations in terms of their conversational mechanics (e.g., groups have less airtime per person, more complex turn taking, different back-channel feedback dynamics, etc.).

We then go on to argue that these fundamental mechanical differences have implications for many aspects of social interaction. The specific focus of the article was self-disclosure in dyads versus groups, but the framework is broadly applicable, for example, to questions about whether there is less prosocial behavior in groups, increased concerns about relative status among conversation partners, or to questions about team performance—all of which I am developing

Interests & hobbies

Embarking on adventures through skiing, immersing myself in diverse cultures through rugs and textiles, and finding serenity in the art of surfing – these are the passion that shape my life.