Sensitivity and intelligence

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

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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.

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