Feedback & its impact on Women in Teams

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P1000161Receiving feedback on how individuals in a group are performing on can reduce your cognitive ability.

That’s according to researchers at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute who used MRI technology to study how the brain was processing information about the group processes and how it effected cognitive capacity.

Researchers ranked performances on tasks and then shared that information with the group. After the feedback some people’s problem-solving ability declined significantly and that was particularly true for women.

The researchers think that subtle social signals in group settings affect cognitive functioning or, as the Daily Mail put it: “being in a group lowers your intelligence especially if you’re a women“.

This is interesting because not long ago I posted on how adding women to your group raised its collective IQ. This was attributed to women having better social skills, or more social sensitivity (similar to emotional intelligence). Teams displaying social sensitivity would be more open to feedback and constructive criticism.

I wonder if in this experiment the sharing of feedback introduced an element of competition rather than cooperation and raised stress levels which impact on problem-solving ability.

Other research has found that men are more competitive than women on the whole and this gender competition gap could explain why in this experiment giving feedback was not an advantage for women and of course for the team as a whole.

Originally posted on SGANDA

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4 thoughts on “Feedback & its impact on Women in Teams

    […] Recent research however suggests that it doesn’t necessarily work out so well for women. Women in groups receiving feedback seem to perform less […]

    […] suggests that adding women to a team can make it collectively smarter (unless they are given feedback in a group setting) but adding women to boards doesn’t necessarily make the company more […]

    Men and Women are different at Work « Biz Psycho said:
    June 22, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    […] to women. There is evidence that while women can contribute a lot to teams they don’t always perform at their best in them. They are also more critical of […]

    […] perform worse after receiving feedback in a mixed […]

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