Measuring Collective Intelligence in Groups: A Reply to Credé and Howardson

16 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2018 Last revised: 1 Jul 2018

Anita Williams Woolley

Carnegie Mellon University

Yeonjeong Kim

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Thomas W. Malone

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: June 1, 2018

Abstract

Recent work by Woolley, Chabris, Pentland, Hashmi, & Malone and their colleagues finds evidence for a general collective intelligence factor that predicts a group’s performance on a wide variety of tasks, like the general intelligence factor does for individuals. Credé and Howardson argue that there is not yet sufficient evidence to conclude such a collective intelligence factor exists. Specifically, C&H suggest that the general factor is not strongly enough correlated with all the tasks examined, but we point out problems with their interpretation of the evidence presented. C&H also suggest that the effort and abilities of the group members are “statistical artifacts” that may have inflated the correlations observed, but we demonstrate that the data do not support that interpretation. We concur with C&H about the importance of improving measures of collective intelligence, and we elaborate upon their suggestions for future research to better understand the boundaries and the causal mechanisms of this phenomenon.

Keywords: collective intelligence, group performance, construct validity

Suggested Citation

Woolley, Anita Williams and Kim, Yeonjeong and Malone, Thomas W., Measuring Collective Intelligence in Groups: A Reply to Credé and Howardson (June 1, 2018). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 5431-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3187373 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3187373

Anita Williams Woolley (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Yeonjeong Kim

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Thomas W. Malone

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E53-333
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6843 (Phone)
617-253-6843 (Fax)

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