Role of dominance in group vs intelligence and gender distribution in cognitive abilities

In groups where one person dominated, the group is likely to be less collectively intelligent than in groups where the conversational turns were more evenly distributed. And teams containing more women demonstrated greater social sensitivity and in turn greater collective intelligence compared to teams containing fewer women.

Carnegie Mellon comes to this conclusion in her research paper ” Groups Demonstrate Distinctive 'Collective Intelligence' When Facing Difficult Tasks”. She also claimed based on her resrach that the performance of groups was not primarily due to the individual abilities of the group's members. For instance, the average and maximum intelligence of individual group members did not significantly predict the performance of their groups overall.

Only when analyzing the data did the co-authors suspect that the number of women in a group had significant predictive power. “We didn't design this study to focus on the gender effect,” Malone says. “That was a surprise to us.” However, further analysis revealed that the effect seemed to be explained by the higher social sensitivity exhibited by females, on average. “So having group members with higher social sensitivity is better regardless of whether they are male or female,” Woolley explains.

Adopted from Carnegie Mellon, MIT

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