Monday, October 4, 2010

Improving group performance: Recent research results

Conversational turn-taking—as opposed to having a few people dominate the conversation—wins the prize for the most effective way to increase a group's intelligence. Research reported September 30, 2010 in Science defines collective intelligence as "the general ability of the group to perform a wide variety of tasks" and shows that three factors contribute to it: conversational turn-taking, social sensitivity, and proportion of females in the group. Since women scored better than men on social sensitivity, and social sensitivity could reasonably lead group members to allow others to speak, I am prepared to conclude that conversational turn-taking is the key. Read more about the study here. If you're interested in research on improving group performance, please get in touch.