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Social skills improve group performance

Social skills contribute as much to group performance as individual IQ.

Some people consistently cause their group to exceed its predicted performance. We call these individuals “team players”.


Team players score significantly higher on a well-established measure of social intelligence, but do not differ across a variety of other dimensions, including IQ, personality, education and gender.


Social skills – defined as a single latent factor that combines social intelligence scores with the team player effect – improve group performance about as much as IQ.


(Team Players: How Social Skills Improve Group Performance,

NBER Working Paper No. 27071)


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