See Inside June/July 2006

Better Than Individuals

When three, four or five people gather to solve a problem, chances are they will succeed beyond the efforts of an equivalent number of individuals working separately, even if those soloists are the brightest available. So conclude researchers at the University of Illinois.

The investigators enrolled 760 of the school’s students to solve complex letter and word problems. Some toiled as individuals while others functioned in groups of two, three, four or five. The groups of three, four and five performed better than any set of individuals.

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