PT - JOURNAL ARTICLE AU - Cronin, Matthew A. AU - Weingart, Laurie R. TI - Conflict across representational gaps: Threats to and opportunities for improved communication AID - 10.1073/pnas.1805866116 DP - 2019 Apr 16 TA - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences PG - 7642--7649 VI - 116 IP - 16 4099 - //www.hmclip.net/content/116/16/7642.short 4100 - //www.hmclip.net/content/116/16/7642.full SO - Proc Natl Acad Sci USA2019 Apr 16; 116 AB - Often, the senders and receivers of scientific communication have different knowledge bases. While such communication is essential for solving the complex social and technological problems that affect multiple stakeholders, a diversity of knowledge among communicators can create representational gaps (rGaps). rGaps occur when senders make assumptions that receivers do not, creating conflict over the meaning and value of the information communicated. Such conflict could, if managed, promote learning and innovation as communicators reconcile their assumptions. More often, however, rGaps cause conflict to transform from a debate that informs to an argument that divides. Managing rGap conflict so that it does not degrade communication requires relationship building to mitigate the negative by-products of persistent conflict while maintaining appropriate levels of cognitive distinctiveness among diverse stakeholders. Thus, we provide a framework for identifying and leveraging rGaps through managed conflict so that communication between those with different perspectives builds rather than burns bridges.