A primer on the relationship between group size and group performance

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2020
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Zusammenfassung

Living in groups can benefit individuals in many ways, including in innovative problem solving. Several hypotheses have suggested mechanisms to explain why larger groups disproportionately outperform smaller groups, including the skill pool and pool of competence effects. However, disentangling these potential mechanisms from the effects of group size alone has been challenging. Here, we first outline key ways in which group size can shape performance in innovative problem-solving. We then detail the non-linear nature of the mathematical relationship between group size and various measures of group performance. Finally, we use simulations to confirm that measures of group performance in innovative problem-solving scale non-linearly with group size, even in the absence of any other effect. Our study provides guidance on how best to evaluate hypotheses about group composition on innovative problem-solving, and clarity to help future studies make appropriate assumptions when developing null hypotheses against which to test their empirical data.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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innovation, learning, pool of competence, problem solving, skill pool, social learning, swarm intelligence
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ISO 690CANTOR, Mauricio, Lucy M. APLIN, Damien R. FARINE, 2020. A primer on the relationship between group size and group performance. In: Animal Behaviour. Elsevier. 2020, 166, pp. 139-146. ISSN 0003-3472. eISSN 1095-8282. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2020.06.017
BibTex
@article{Cantor2020prime-49397.2,
  year={2020},
  doi={10.1016/j.anbehav.2020.06.017},
  title={A primer on the relationship between group size and group performance},
  volume={166},
  issn={0003-3472},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
  pages={139--146},
  author={Cantor, Mauricio and Aplin, Lucy M. and Farine, Damien R.}
}
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