They're smart

Kevin Lewis

December 10, 2016

Smart groups of smart people: Evidence for IQ as the origin of collective intelligence in the performance of human groups

Timothy Bates & Shivani Gupta

Intelligence, forthcoming

What allows groups to behave intelligently? One suggestion is that groups exhibit a collective intelligence accounted for by number of women in the group, turn-taking and emotional empathizing, with group-IQ being only weakly-linked to individual IQ (Woolley, Chabris, Pentland, Hashmi, & Malone, 2010). Here we report tests of this model across three studies with 312 people. Contrary to prediction, individual IQ accounted for around 80% of group-IQ differences. Hypotheses that group-IQ increases with number of women in the group and with turn-taking were not supported. Reading the mind in the eyes (RME) performance was associated with individual IQ, and, in one study, with group-IQ factor scores. However, a well-fitting structural model combining data from studies 2 and 3 indicated that RME exerted no influence on the group-IQ latent factor (instead having a modest impact on a single group test). The experiments instead showed that higher individual IQ enhances group performance such that individual IQ determined 100% of latent group-IQ. Implications for future work on group-based achievement are examined.


What grades and achievement tests measure

Lex Borghans et al.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 22 November 2016, Pages 13354–13359

Intelligence quotient (IQ), grades, and scores on achievement tests are widely used as measures of cognition, but the correlations among them are far from perfect. This paper uses a variety of datasets to show that personality and IQ predict grades and scores on achievement tests. Personality is relatively more important in predicting grades than scores on achievement tests. IQ is relatively more important in predicting scores on achievement tests. Personality is generally more predictive than IQ on a variety of important life outcomes. Both grades and achievement tests are substantially better predictors of important life outcomes than IQ. The reason is that both capture personality traits that have independent predictive power beyond that of IQ.


LearningRx Cognitive Training Effects in Children Ages 8–14: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Dick Carpenter, Christina Ledbetter & Amy Lawson Moore

Applied Cognitive Psychology, September/October 2016, Pages 815–826

In a randomized controlled study, we examined the effects of a one-on-one cognitive training program on memory, visual and auditory processing, processing speed, reasoning, attention, and General Intellectual Ability (GIA) score for students ages 8–14. Participants were randomly assigned to either an experimental group to complete 60 h of cognitive training or to a wait-list control group. The purpose of the study was to examine changes in multiple cognitive skills after completing cognitive training with ThinkRx, a LearningRx program. Results showed statistically significant differences between groups on all outcome measures except for attention. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are examined.


Creativity and Cognitive Skills among Millennials: Thinking Too Much and Creating Too Little

Brice Corgnet, Antonio Espín & Roberto Hernán-González

Frontiers in Psychology, October 2016

Organizations crucially need the creative talent of millennials but are reluctant to hire them because of their supposed lack of diligence. Recent studies have shown that hiring diligent millennials requires selecting those who score high on the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) and thus rely on effortful thinking rather than intuition. A central question is to assess whether the push for recruiting diligent millennials using criteria such as cognitive reflection can ultimately hamper the recruitment of creative workers. To answer this question, we study the relationship between millennials' creativity and their performance on fluid intelligence (Raven) and cognitive reflection (CRT) tests. The good news for recruiters is that we report, in line with previous research, evidence of a positive relationship of fluid intelligence, and to a lesser extent cognitive reflection, with convergent creative thinking. In addition, we observe a positive effect of fluid intelligence on originality and elaboration measures of divergent creative thinking. The bad news for recruiters is the inverted U-shape relationship between cognitive reflection and fluency and flexibility measures of divergent creative thinking. This suggests that thinking too much may hinder important dimensions of creative thinking. Diligent and creative workers may thus be a rare find.

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