Confirming many people's suspicions: Having more women — or more socially conscious people — in a group may make the team smarter, according to a recent study.
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The research found that group intelligence, as tested by several team tasks and complex problem-solving, has relatively little to do with individual team members' intelligence; teams that had members with higher IQs didn't have much higher group intelligence scores. But group intelligence did increase for teams that included more women. The researchers say this might be explained by differences in social sensitivity, as women typically score higher on those measures.
Taken more broadly, more social sensitivity (whether female or male) and overall diversity may increase group collaboration and make teams perform better. For teamwork and group intelligence, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts — depending on the parts.
Defend Your Research: What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women [Harvard Business Review]