Collective Intelligence and Women

A paper that I was happy to read while working on my draft of “Free As in Sexist?” was the recent Science article “Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups”. The researchers found evidence of a “collective intelligence” factor on group tasks that was less related to the highest intelligence member, or the group’s average intelligence, than to average social sensitivity, conversational turn-taking, and the proportion of females in the group! They conclude “it would seem to be much easier to raise the intelligence of a group than an individual. Could a group’s collective intelligence be increased by, for example, better electronic collaboration tools?” I wonder if those using electronic collaboration tools have their collective intelligence increased via greater female participation?!

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