In this increasing complex world, group collaborations have become almost a necessity for many activies. In a paper published in Science (2010), Anita Williams Woolley and her pals report two discoveries:
- There is something called “collective intelligence,” or group IQ (They studied groups sized 3-5.).
- That collective intelligence is only weakly correlated to: (1) the average IQ of the members and (2) the IQ of a single highly intelligent member.
So what is it correlated to?
- Average social sensitivity of group members
- Equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking
- Proportion of females in the group (They are more socially sensative than men.)
Woolley concludes her paper with the following remark: ” . . . it would seem to be much easier to raise the intelligence of a group than an individual.” The author seems to suggest that increasing the information-sharing capabilities of group members using “electronic collaborative tools” could improve group intelligence.
Adapted from Philippe Verdoux’s “Group Intelligence, Enhancement, and Extended Minds,” at: http://ieet.org/index.php/ieet/more/verdoux20110119