Mind the Company You Keep

Research shows that small-group settings can alter some people’s expression of IQ, especially women.  

According to scientific research from the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, small-group dynamics can alter the expression of IQ in some people.

The scientists recruited subjects from two universities and began by studying individuals who had the same IQ. They discovered that when put in a group and rated on cognitive tasks against their peers, some dramatically lost the ability to solve problems.

Age and ethnicity did not show a significant correlation with performance or brain responses, but gender did. Male and female participants had the same baseline IQ, but significantly fewer women (3 of 13) were in the high-performing group and significantly more (10 of 13) were in the low-performing group.

The study also found that subjects had dynamic responses in the brain regions thought to be involved in emotional processing, reward, pleasure and problem solving.

All subjects initially showed activity in regions of the brain that corresponded with a lower problem-solving ability.