Every product needs a process : unpacking joint commitment as a process across species
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Joint commitment, the feeling of mutual obligation binding participants in a joint action, is typically conceptualized as arising by the expression and acceptance of a promise. This account limits the possibilities of investigating fledgling forms of joint commitment in actors linguistically less well-endowed than adult humans. The feeling of mutual obligation is one aspect of joint commitment (the product), which emerges from a process of signal exchange. It is gradual rather than binary; feelings of mutual obligation can vary in strength according to how explicit commitments are perceived to be. Joint commitment processes are more complex than simple promising, in at least three ways. They are affected by prior joint actions, which create precedents and conventions that can be embodied in material arrangements of institutions. Joint commitment processes also arise as solutions to generic coordination problems related to opening up, maintaining and closing down joint actions. Finally, during joint actions, additional, specific commitments are made piecemeal. These stack up over time and persist, making it difficult for participants to disengage from joint actions. These complexifications open up new perspectives for assessing joint commitment across species.
Bangerter , A , Genty , E , Heesen , R , Rossano , F & Zuberbühler , K 2022 , ' Every product needs a process : unpacking joint commitment as a process across species ' , Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , vol. 377 , no. 1859 , 20210095 . https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2021.0095
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2021.0095
DescriptionFunding: The present research was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. CR31I3_166331 awarded to A.B. and K.Z.) and by the NCCR Evolving Language, Swiss National Science Foundation Agreement no. 51NF40_180888.
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