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Software engineering is a complex socio-technical activity, due to the need for discussing and sharing knowledge among team members. This has raised the need for effective ways of sharing ideas, knowledge, and artifacts among groups and their members. The social aspect of software engineering process also demands computer support to facilitate the development by means of collaborative tools, applications and environments. In this paper, we present a survey of relevant works from psychology, mathematics and computer science studies. The combination of these fields provides the required infrastructure for engineering social and collaborative applications as well as the software engineering process. We also discuss possible solutions for the encountered shortcomings, and how they can improve software development.