News Story

2015 Psi Chi Induction

September 18, 2015 – This year’s Psi Chi induction will be taking place on September 28 and the speaker is Dr. Christopher Chabris ( ). Dr. Chabris’ talk will begin at 5:00 in Healy 105, after which we will move to the Healy foyer for the induction ceremony and the catered reception. Information for this event is also listed on the Georgetown Events page .

A title and abstract for the talk are below.

Collective Intelligence, Individual Intelligence, and Social Intelligence
Christopher F. Chabris, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology, Union College, Schenectady, New York
ABSTRACT: Aristotle wrote: “For each individual among the many has a share of excellence and practical wisdom, and when they meet together, just as they become in a manner one man, who has many feet, and hands, and senses, so too with regard to their character and thought.” If a group is indeed “in a manner” like an individual, then the collective intelligence of small groups may be subject to principles similar to those that have been discovered over the past one hundred years of research on individual intelligence. In this talk I will discuss the parallels and divergences between several recent findings about the nature of collective intelligence in small groups and the mechanisms that explain individual differences in cognitive ability. I will suggest that intelligence, in the psychometric sense of correlated variation in cognitive abilities, is a property of all types of complex information processing systems in nature, whether they are individual humans, individual animals, or different human groups. I will also suggest that in order to understand the collective intelligence of groups, we must improve our understanding of social intelligence (also known as “mentalizing” or “theory of mind”) in individuals, and I will present some steps toward that goal.