Cognitive synergy in groups and group-to-individual transfer of decision-making competencies

P.L. Curseu*, Nicoleta Meslec, Helen Pluut, G.J.M. Lucas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In a field study (148 participants organized in 38 groups) we tested the effect of group synergy and one's position in relation to the collaborative zone of proximal development (CZPD) on the change of individual decision-making competencies. We used two parallel sets of decision tasks reported in previous research to test rationality and we evaluated individual decision-making competencies in the pre-group and post-group conditions as well as group rationality (as an emergent group level phenomenon). We used multilevel modeling to analyze the data and the results showed that members of synergetic groups had a higher cognitive gain as compared to members of non-synergetic groups, while highly rational members (members above the CZPD) had lower cognitive gains compared to less rational group members (members situated below the CZPD). These insights extend the literature on group-to-individual transfer of learning and have important practical implications as they show that group dynamics influence the development of individual decision-making competencies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1375
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2015


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