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Monday, December 16, 2013

MIT study on group intelligence: A bunch of smart people together doesn’t make a smart group

...but populating a group with more women than men, or even exclusively with women, does tend to result in a group that works more intelligently.
"The surprising finding: individual intelligence is only moderately correlated with group intelligence. If it’s not smart people, then what is it that makes a group smart? “We found three significantly correlated factors,” says Malone. One is the average social perceptiveness of the group members. The researchers measured social perceptiveness by administering a test called “reading the mind in eyes.” In that test, the study subject tries to guess what each person in a series of 36 photographs is feeling by looking only at their eyes. “When a bunch of people in the group are good at that, then group on average is more intelligent,” Malone says.

Also correlated to the level of intelligence of the group was the degree to which members participated equally in the discussion. “If one or two people in the group dominated, then on average the group was less collectively intelligent,” Malone says his research found. Finally, the percentage of women in the group was a predictor of the group’s intelligence. “More women was correlated with more intelligence,” he says."