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Author Topic: Does operating as a group raise the overall intelligence?  (Read 1565 times)

Offline cbas

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After being disgusted about something I heard on the radio this morning (Dutch hooligans destroying German cars after Germany has won a football match), my question is the following:

In species with a lower level of individual intelligence, like insects for instance, being in a group increases the intelligence of the group as a whole. Example: bee hives or ant hills.
In species with higher individual intelligence, the effect seems to be reversed. Example: hooliganism or religion.

Does this have something to do with the ability/inability to think for oneself and the dependence of others to do the thinking for them? Or do individuals with lower than average intelligence within a species just tend to flock together in an attempt to increase this level, but failing to do so, indulge in acts of violence or mass hysteria?

A beekeeper sees a swarm of bees as an individual, with a personality, a fairly high intelligence and emotional responses. He was amazed by this and he said he hopes to have reached the same level of empathy at the end of his life.

I'm intrigued by this idea, but group psychology is a rather daunting concept to me.

can someone please shed some light on this?

« Last Edit: 18/06/2012 22:27:22 by chris »


 

Offline cbas

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Re: Hive minds and herd behaviour
« Reply #1 on: 15/06/2012 10:13:48 »
after pondering some more on this, I came to another train of thought:
This behaviour might also be induced by the primitive side of our brain (cerebellum) which is responsible for our 'primordial drives' like tribalism, territorial behaviour,... etc.
Being evolved from primates, who show similar behaviour in stress situations, maybe we revert back to our primitive brains when flocking together in stead of thinking as an individual.
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Hive minds and herd behaviour
« Reply #2 on: 15/06/2012 18:09:25 »
We do have a great deal of genetic similarity with Chimps, which can be quite violent at times, but we also share a great deal with the Bonobo, which is quite the opposite.

While they might act according to their species, we seem to have the choice. Perhaps the mindless yobs are nearer to the chimps, while the rest of us are nearer the Bonobo.

No. Let's not make excuses, they are just as I said, mindless yobs. It seems they choose to be such.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Hive minds and herd behaviour
« Reply #3 on: 17/06/2012 07:00:49 »
Certainly in business there is teamwork and team building.  And, a good team can complete some tremendous projects. 

In the post Sputnik era, was it a hive that built the Apollo program?

Crowds have a life of their own.  And, I can imagine strategies to incite, or to calm the crowds.  And, perhaps sports are really oriented around inciting a crowd to a frenzy.  Even churches use things like voice, sound, group singing, and etc to project power into the groups.


 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Hive minds and herd behaviour
« Reply #3 on: 17/06/2012 07:00:49 »

 

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