Acta Psychologica (Apr 2021)

Understanding joint action: Current theoretical and empirical approaches

  • Robrecht P.R.D. van der Wel,
  • Cristina Becchio,
  • Arianna Curioni,
  • Thomas Wolf

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 215
p. 103285


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Joint actions are omnipresent, ranging from a handshake between two people to the coordination of groups of people playing in an orchestra. We are highly skilled at coordinating our actions with those of others to reach common goals and rely on this ability throughout our daily lives. What are the social, cognitive and neural processes underlying this ability? How do others around us influence our task representations? How does joint action influence interpersonal interactions? How do language and gesture support joint action? What differentiates joint action from individual action?This article forms an introductory editorial to the field of joint action. It accompanies contributions to the special issue entitled “Current Issues in Joint Action Research”. The issue brings together conceptual and empirical approaches on different topics, ranging from lower-level issues such as the link between perception and joint action, to higher-level issues such as language as a form of joint action.