This title does not tally with the writing. It won't just make you sound stupid, but actually stupid.
Group Meetings Make You Sound Stupid
New research shows that small-group dynamics can alter expression of IQ in some people, dramatically dropping problem-solving ability.
“You may joke about how committee meetings make you feel brain dead, but our findings suggest that they may make you act brain dead as well," says lead researcher Read Montague, director of the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory and Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.
It’s all about reaction to subtle social cues, according to the study, which is published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.
Researchers measured participants’ performances on cognitive tasks to establish baseline IQ, broke the participants into groups of five, and ranked how well they fared in comparison to one another. Then they revealed the results to the group to create an unspoken status ranking. The participants were then tested again to show how their implied social status affected their expressed IQ. For some, the point drop was significant.
Perception of social ranking in the room (in other words, worrying if you’re as smart, capable, or cool as the others in a group) can impair even the smartest person’s problem-solving ability, hinting that measuring IQ may require more than a single, isolated test.
While male and female participants tested with similar baseline IQs, significantly more women fell into the low-performance group, indicating they may be more susceptible to social feedback than men.
Have you ever felt brain-dead in a meeting? Share this theory with coworkers and test it out on yourself.
Last Updated: 01/24/2012