g versus c : comparing individual and collective intelligence across two meta-analyses

Journal article


Rowe, Luke I., Hattie, John and Hester, Robert. (2021). g versus c : comparing individual and collective intelligence across two meta-analyses. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. 6(1), p. Article 26. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-021-00285-2
AuthorsRowe, Luke I., Hattie, John and Hester, Robert
Abstract

Collective intelligence (CI) is said to manifest in a group’s domain general mental ability. It can be measured across a battery of group IQ tests and statistically reduced to a latent factor called the “c-factor.” Advocates have found the c-factor predicts group performance better than individual IQ. We test this claim by meta-analyzing correlations between the c-factor and nine group performance criterion tasks generated by eight independent samples (N = 857 groups). Results indicated a moderate correlation, r, of .26 (95% CI .10, .40). All but four studies comprising five independent samples (N = 366 groups) failed to control for the intelligence of individual members using individual IQ scores or their statistically reduced equivalent (i.e., the g-factor). A meta-analysis of this subset of studies found the average IQ of the groups’ members had little to no correlation with group performance (r = .06, 95% CI −.08, .20). Around 80% of studies did not have enough statistical power to reliably detect correlations between the primary predictor variables and the criterion tasks. Though some of our findings are consistent with claims that a general factor of group performance may exist and relate positively to group performance, limitations suggest alternative explanations cannot be dismissed. We caution against prematurely embracing notions of the c-factor unless it can be independently and robustly replicated and demonstrated to be incrementally valid beyond the g-factor in group performance contexts.

Keywordscollective intelligence; c-factor; g-factor; IQ; group performance
Year2021
JournalCognitive Research: Principles and Implications
Journal citation6 (1), p. Article 26
PublisherSpringerOpen
ISSN2365-7464
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-021-00285-2
PubMed ID33813669
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85103845113
PubMed Central IDPMC8019454
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-24
FunderAustralian Research Council (ARC)
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online03 Apr 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted03 Mar 2021
Deposited15 Dec 2021
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDARC/SR120300015
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