Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2 heads may not be better than one!

Are Two Heads Really Better Than One?

"The Cost of Collaboration: Why Joint Decision Making Exacerbates Rejection of Outside Information"
Minson, J. and Mueller, J. Psychological Science, publication forthcoming.
This study suggests that collaborating with others on a project might actually weaken our reasoning and problem solving skills. Researchers assigned participants to work on a task individually or in pairs, then measured their confidence in their work, the accuracy of their answers, and their willingness to revise their judgments. Participants working in pairs were slightly more accurate at first than those working independently, but they were also less willing to consider outside advice due to greater confidence in their answers. Once all participants were given a chance to revise their answers, the individuals’ final answers were just as accurate as those of the teams. The authors argue that managers should think twice about having people work in teams, since collaboration is more time consuming and group members’ reluctance to accept outside input critically impairs the quality of their work. —Brylyn Stacy