Keith Sawyer reports some interesting research on group intelligence. I’m always a bit sceptical of clinical measures of intelligence but was interested in what they found. Groups can have a collective intelligence that is different from the intelligence of individual members; so the average intelligence of a groups members is not a strong predictor of how intelligently the group functions.
Here’s the really interesting bit.
What I particularly like about this study is that they also looked at what factors caused a high c. Group cohesion did not; motivation did not; satisfaction did not. The factors that resulted in a high c were: the average social sensitivity of the group members; and the extent to which participation in the conversation was equally distributed across group members.
That makes a lot of sense to me.