IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Why groups perform better than individuals at quantitative judgment tasks: Group-to-individual transfer as an alternative to differential weighting

Listed author(s):
  • Schultze, Thomas
  • Mojzisch, Andreas
  • Schulz-Hardt, Stefan
Registered author(s):

    One prominent finding in research on group judgment is that groups often outperform the average of their members’ individual judgments. Previous research attributed this finding to groups weighting their more competent members more strongly (differential weighting explanation). We postulate an alternative explanation, namely that groups outperform individuals due to group-to-individual (G–I) transfer, which denotes group members becoming more accurate individually during group interaction. In Experiment 1, we demonstrate that individual accuracy in an estimation task strongly increases due to interaction, leading to high accuracy at the group level. Experiment 2 replicates this finding and shows that G–I transfer can be enhanced by expertise feedback. In both experiments, when controlling for G–I transfer during group interaction, group judgments were not better than the average model. The findings imply that previously observed superior performance by groups compared to individuals may have been due to G–I transfer and not necessarily due to differential weighting.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 118 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 24-36

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:118:y:2012:i:1:p:24-36
    DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2011.12.006
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Laughlin, Patrick R. & Bonner, Bryan L. & Miner, Andrew G. & Carnevale, Peter J., 1999. "Frames of Reference in Quantity Estimations by Groups and Individuals," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 103-117, November.
    2. Henry, Rebecca A., 1993. "Group Judgment Accuracy: Reliability and Validity of Postdiscussion Confidence Judgments," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 11-27, October.
    3. Sniezek, Janet A. & Henry, Rebecca A., 1990. "Revision, Weighting, and commitment in consensus group judgment," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 66-84, February.
    4. Laughlin, Patrick R., 1999. "Collective Induction: Twelve Postulates," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 50-69, October.
    5. Bonner, Bryan L. & Sillito, Sheli D. & Baumann, Michael R., 2007. "Collective estimation: Accuracy, expertise, and extroversion as sources of intra-group influence," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 121-133, May.
    6. Henry, Rebecca A., 1995. "Improving Group Judgment Accuracy: Information Sharing and Determining the Best Member," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 190-197, May.
    7. Sniezek, Janet A. & Henry, Rebecca A., 1989. "Accuracy and confidence in group judgment," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-28, February.
    8. Moreland, Richard L. & Myaskovsky, Larissa, 2000. "Exploring the Performance Benefits of Group Training: Transactive Memory or Improved Communication?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 117-133, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:118:y:2012:i:1:p:24-36. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.