Evidence for a collective intelligence factor in the performance of human groups

Science. 2010 Oct 29;330(6004):686-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1193147. Epub 2010 Sep 30.


Psychologists have repeatedly shown that a single statistical factor--often called "general intelligence"--emerges from the correlations among people's performance on a wide variety of cognitive tasks. But no one has systematically examined whether a similar kind of "collective intelligence" exists for groups of people. In two studies with 699 people, working in groups of two to five, we find converging evidence of a general collective intelligence factor that explains a group's performance on a wide variety of tasks. This "c factor" is not strongly correlated with the average or maximum individual intelligence of group members but is correlated with the average social sensitivity of group members, the equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking, and the proportion of females in the group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Female
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Perception
  • Young Adult