Meetings Make You Dumber

New study finds group interactions impact problem-solving ability

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 23, 2012 1:32 PM CST | Updated Jan 28, 2012 12:18 PM CST

(Newser) – If you've ever felt that a work meeting sucked IQ points right out of your skull, you might be right. A new study finds that group interactions can actually lower your intelligence, the Daily Mail reports. Scientists in Virginia matched groups according to IQ, ranked members' performance on cognitive tasks against the others, and then revealed the rankings. When group members were told how others had performed, "we saw dramatic drops in the ability of some study subjects to solve problems," explains the lead researcher. "The social feedback had a significant effect."

Basically, that implies that feeling like you're not as smart as others may actually have an impact on your brain and make you less able to solve problems. The scientists used MRI to discover the results. Women are particularly vulnerable to the effect, the study finds. Adds the lead author, "Our study highlights the unexpected and dramatic consequences even subtle social signals in group settings may have on individual cognitive functioning."

Meetings can have an impact on your problem-solving abilities, a new study finds.
Meetings can have an impact on your problem-solving abilities, a new study finds.   (Shutterstock)
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