Group IQ: Studies Mentioned In The Brilliant Report

Issue 20 of The Brilliant Report has an article about how to raise the collective intelligence of teams. Here are abstracts of the studies it references:

“Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups”
Anita Williams Woolley, Christopher F. Chabris, Alex Pentland, Nada Hashmi, and Thomas W. Malone
Science, October 2010
Psychologists have repeatedly shown that a single statistical factor—often called “general intelligence”—emerges from the correlations among people’s performance on a wide variety of cognitive tasks. But no one has systematically examined whether a similar kind of “collective intelligence” exists for groups of people. In two studies with 699 people, working in groups of two to five, we find converging evidence of a general collective intelligence factor that explains a group’s performance on a wide variety of tasks. This “c factor” is not strongly correlated with the average or maximum individual intelligence of group members but is correlated with the average social sensitivity of group members, the equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking, and the proportion of females in the group.

“Collaboration and Team Science: From Theory to Practice”
L. Michelle Bennett and Howard Gadlin
Journal of Investigative Medicine, June 2012
Interdisciplinary efforts are becoming more critical for scientific discovery and translational research efforts. Highly integrated and interactive research teams share a number of features that contribute to their success in developing and sustaining their efforts over time. Through analysis of in-depth interviews with members of highly successful research teams and others who did not meet their goals or ended because of conflicts, we identified key elements that are critical for team success and effectiveness. There is no debate that the scientific goal sits at the center of the collaborative effort. However, supporting features need to be in place to avoid the derailment of the team. Among the most important of these is trust: without trust, the team dynamic runs the risk of deteriorating over time. Other critical factors of which both leaders and participants need to be aware include developing a shared vision, strategically identifying team members and purposefully building the team, promoting disagreement while containing conflict, and setting clear expectations for sharing credit and authorship. Self-awareness and strong communication skills contribute greatly to effective leadership and management strategies of scientific teams. While all successful teams share the characteristic of effectively carrying out these activities, there is no single formula for execution with every leader exemplifying different strengths and weaknesses. Successful scientific collaborations have strong leaders who are self-aware and are mindful of the many elements critical for supporting the science at the center of the effort.

“The New Science of Building Great Teams”
Alex “Sandy” Pentland
Harvard Business Review, April 2012
At MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory, we have identified the elusive group dynamics that characterize high-performing teams—those blessed with the energy, creativity, and shared commitment to far surpass other teams. These dynamics are observable, quantifiable, and measurable. And, perhaps most important, teams can be taught how to strengthen them.

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