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Group Problem Solving$
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Patrick R. Laughlin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147918

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147918.001.0001

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Group Ability Composition on World Knowledge Problems

Group Ability Composition on World Knowledge Problems

Chapter:
(p.45) Chapter Four Group Ability Composition on World Knowledge Problems
Source:
Group Problem Solving
Author(s):

Patrick R. Laughlin

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691147918.003.0004

This chapter examines group ability composition and social combination processes on world knowledge tasks. On difficult world knowledge tasks, high-ability persons performed better in cooperative groups with other high-ability members than they did alone, and this difference increased with group size. In contrast, low-ability persons did not perform better in cooperative groups with other low-ability members than they did alone, and there was little improvement as group size increased. Low-ability members contributed very little unique information to one another and virtually none to high-ability members. Medium-ability members displayed an intermediate pattern that was more like low-ability than high-ability members. Consequently, the performance of groups of mixed high-ability, medium-ability, and low-ability members was basically proportional to the number of high-ability members: the greater the proportion of high-ability members, the better the group performance.

Keywords:   group ability, group ability composition, social combination processes, world knowledge tasks, high-ability persons, low-ability persons, medium-ability persons, group performance

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