We Are Not in Sync, But We Think We Are: Actual versus Perceived Temporal Team Mental Models

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Marhefka, Jacqueline Tellier
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
October 31, 2017
Committee Members:
  • Susan Mohammed, Thesis Advisor
  • Samuel Todd Hunter, Committee Member
  • Karen Gasper, Committee Member
  • team cognition
  • temporal team mental models
  • perceived team mental models
Team mental model (TMM) research thus far has yet to consider the impact a team’s perceived TMM similarity has on performance outcomes beyond the typically measured actual TMM sharedness. This study explores these effects while expanding the nascent research on temporal TMMs by examining the relationship between perceived and actual temporal TMM similarity on team viability and performance. Teams (N = 182) participated in a computerized simulation responding to emergency crisis events. Results revealed positive effects of perceived temporal TMM similarity on viability, more so than the effects of actual similarity on viability. Similarly, there were positive effects of actual temporal TMM similarity on performance, although perceived similarity held a stronger negative impact on performance. Interactions between perceived and actual temporal TMMs indicated that mismatches between actual and perceived TMM similarity levels were particularly detrimental to outcomes. When teams perceived high similarity levels but in actuality had low similarity performance declined, and when teams perceived low levels of sharedness but held high actual similarity viability decreased. These results indicate the importance of the perceived temporal TMM similarity beyond actual similarity.