, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 139–148

Two models of group behavior in the solution of eureka-type problems

  • Irving Lorge
  • Herbert Solomon

DOI: 10.1007/BF02288986

Cite this article as:
Lorge, I. & Solomon, H. Psychometrika (1955) 20: 139. doi:10.1007/BF02288986


A study by Shaw (7) some twenty years ago is frequently cited by social scientists to support the generalization that groups are superior to individuals in problem-solving. Shaw suggests that personal interaction within the group is responsible for the superior performance of groups. This article re-examines her data in the light of two models which propose that the difference in quality of solution between group and individual performance is solely a matter of ability. It is shown that Shaw's data may be considered to have been an outcome of behavior postulated by the models. Since Shaw's observations relate to a special population and to special kinds of problems, the proposed models may not be appropriate under differing experimental conditions. In fact, Lorgeet al. (4) have indicated that experimental demonstration of the superiority of groups over individuals in problem-solving depends not only on the kind of group but also on the kind of problem to be solved. In addition, the diversity of transfer of training for groups and for individuals is considered.

Copyright information

© Psychometric Society 1955

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irving Lorge
    • 1
  • Herbert Solomon
    • 1
  1. 1.Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityUSA

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