Modeling Cognitive Diversity
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In this paper we propose a computational modeling approach to the study of cognitive diversity, which is a rising hot topic of scientific interest. Theoretical studies overwhelmingly suggest that cognitive diversity, specifically diversity of functional background, improve team performance. However, data collected from corporate teams shows mixed results; in fact many such studies have concluded that functional diversity hurts team performance. This project will take a new approach and use agent based modeling to computationally investigate the relationship between functional diversity and team performance and its moderating variables. Agent based modeling allows us to explore agent behaviors, this will not only help to determine if a correlation exists between diversity and team performance, but also the mechanisms behind why those patterns emerge. Our model takes a specific approach and investigates how two different definitions of diversity, Dominant Functional Diversity and Intrapersonal Functional Diversity, affect team performance. The findings from this model indicate that the definition of diversity has a strong effect on the perceived team performance, which could explain why results generated from studies that do not have the same experimental setup are inconsistent with each other. Our findings reveal the importance of a universal construct of cognitive diversity which will make future studies more comparable.