February 29, 2012

"Attending meetings lowers IQ."

And the effect is stronger among women.

34 comments:

mesquito said...

As we say in Texas, you're only as smart as the crowd you run with.

chickenlittle said...

I always bring a sketchpad!

Beth said...

I don't understand. I thought the rule was that studies showing gender differences always shaped the difference as showing female superiority. Is that not still the rule?

CyndiF said...

It sure as hell lowers my IQ. God, I hate most meetings.

Chip S. said...

Fortunately, the story did not play the "who can least afford it" card.

bagoh20 said...

Simple fatigue. I hope they didn't spend too much on that study.

I'm thinking of starting a website where you can submit the design of your study, and I will give you the results and even provide conclusions based on those results avoiding all that costly work of actually running the experiment. I bet I could get pretty close to 100% agreement with studies actually run. If we don't agree, then you really have a conundrum: who's right, me, or did you make a mistake somewhere?

Maguro said...

Meeting held; women, minorities hardest hit.

StarBanker said...

I knew it! Liberals are forever demanding a meeting about every nitpicking thing. The results are dumber than dirt liberals carrying ridiculous signs accusing others of being fascists.

Henry said...

The article that circulated my office was this one:

Brainstorming Doesn't Really Work

Essentially the point being that unstructured, uncritical, group idea generation is less effective than people thinking up ideas on their own.

Hearing other people's ideas acts like confirmation bias. You become less imaginative.

I wonder if doodling during meetings acts as a defense? Doodling is awesome, especially in a design company. Now people don't doodle. They secretly scan their smart phones. That's stupid.

Beth said...

"Hearing other people's ideas acts like confirmation bias."

It's probably my confirmation bias at work, but I liked that study as soon as I saw it.

rhhardin said...

Companies that run by meetings are run by that kind of people that like to run meetings.

"For every system there is a type of person adapted to thrive on it or in it." John Gall

n.n said...

It's called brain drain. It's similar to brain freeze, but it's cause is the input of nonsensical information. The effect is most commonly observed when watching a really bad television program or movie. If permitted to continue without disruption, it can lead to headaches or worse.

Anyway, this phenomenon is a subset of the more general exhibition of perception influencing reality. Normally, it manifests as a temporary effect, both positive and negative, but it also has the potential to effect a permanent change in personality. Not unlike psychotropic drugs or other reality distorting inputs.

I'm surprised that this is not common knowledge.

phx said...

"Liberals are forever demanding a meeting about every nitpicking thing."

If that's true I'm definitely joining the Tea Party.

Lem said...

Meeting held; women, minorities hardest hit.

lol

traditionalguy said...

That is racist. It says there is measurable intelligence. They will need several meetings about that.

DADvocate said...

This explains why the account management and project management departments, both heavily female and in meetings much of the day, consistently come up with idiotic ideas and unrealistic expectations to the point that the rest of us question their contact with reality.

Shawn L. said...

I doubt that meetings cause low IQs.

But they sure do reveal them.

edutcher said...

I had a manager who was the living definition of this.

Nora said...

Well, the NY Times ran this last month:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html?pagewanted=all

And the weekend WSJ ran something similar about teamwork and meetings and all that stuff having a negative impact on efficiency, only I can't find the link.

wyo sis said...

I had a work friend express it this way. "It takes a damn good meeting to be better than no meeting at all." I completely agree.
LOL Nora & Maguro.

james said...

The story didn't quite match the headline. The paper describes something rather different: if your small group is monitoring your performance, you do worse on IQ tests. Not a huge surprise, my typing goes to blazes when somebody is watching over my shoulder, but it doesn't really prove that meetings lower IQ.

They probably do, though.

Ralph L said...

studies showing gender differences always shaped the difference as showing female superiority
Women probably reach consensus sooner, and if the meeting is long enough, they start bleeding at the same time. Of course, if the meeting turns violent, so will the men.

John Lynch said...

Consensus is the enemy of truth.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Henry

Good article.

"In a way, the power of dissent is the power of surprise".

Being mugged by reality often works the same way.

Consensus, the stepchild left in the wake of a lack of leadership.

Meetings are an artificial way for managers to try and force results that sometimes aren't ready to reveal themselves. As I have always said to my fellow designers, sometimes, in the midst of a project, you simply have to let things happen. Engineers, we are, but clairvoyants, we are not.

Roger J. said...

Meetings are a carbuncle on the ass of productivity--despair.com has some excellent "demotivation" posters of which many refer to meetings.

NB: is it just me or are the captchas getting a bit more legible

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Roger J

I and those in my design group are fans of the demotivational calendars/posters at despair.com

You must retain a sense of humor or risk hypertension. A great outlet for sure.

lemondog said...

If brainstorming leads to team-building than it can have a beneficial outcome.

lemondog said...

...and on the other hand not

Roger J. said...

Dont Tread: as long as there is a website like despair.com there is hope for humanity--

madAsHell said...

I once worked with a fellow that would completely hi-jack meetings. Somehow, he always managed to commandeer the overhead projector, and then scribble on the overhead while explaining his point.

It was funny at first, but then it became my cue to leave the meeting.

Joe Schmoe said...

They didn't mention if they let people go to the bathroom between the meeting and the test. That might have affected them. Usually the first stop after a meeting is the restroom.

Joe Schmoe said...

This is a dumbass research project that greatly oversimplifies what happens in the real world.

Most meetings are NOT brainstorming sessions. If a meeting is a brainstorm, then people usually know in advance and they can prepare some ideas to present. (I haven't been to too many brainstorm ambushes.) Most regular meetings are usually about project status and updates.

Meetings aren't frozen in time, but are part of the process continuum. If you have an idea after a meeting, send an email or talk to your boss. Don't expect to be sent to a Himalayan lair where everyone will wait for you to summon them once God or Vishnu or whomever has shined his wisdom on you in the form of a can't-miss idea that is beyond reproach.

The technology field is full of introverts. As such, meetings where off-the-cuff topics are discussed aren't their strong suit. Hence, it never hurts after the fact to check in with introverts after the meeting and encourage them to email or share any ideas they may have after the fact.

And if you have an idea, sooner or later you are going to have to present it, defend it, and accept it, if it's discovered to be lacking in some areas. Ideas can't live in your head forever, and in our modern, company-oriented society you're going to need lots of people to make it happen. And guess where you will likely propose your idea? IN A MEETING!

Joe said...

Meetings have a tendency to just piss me off.

This doesn't work.
We're shipping.
It doesn't work.
We're shipping.
It fucking doesn't work.
You have anger issues.

GPE said...

"Women were affected by the situation more clearly than men."

"More clearly"...what does that mean? The corollary is that men are affected more...what? Fuzzy? Muddy? Ambiguously?

The sample size of this study is so vanishingly small as to make it useless. Given the number of variables in play, a legitimate study would likely need something on the order of 10,000 subjects. What this study actually demonstrates is the phenomenon of "publish or parish" and citation count.