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HughPickens.com writes Everyone who is part of an organization — a company, a nonprofit, a condo board — has experienced the pathologies that can occur when human beings try to work together in groups. Now the NYT reports on recent research on why some groups, like some people, are reliably smarter than others. In one study, researchers grouped 697 volunteer participants into teams of two to five members. Each team worked together to complete a series of short tasks, which were selected to represent the varied kinds of problems that groups are called upon to solve in the real world. One task involved logical analysis, another brainstorming; others emphasized coordination, planning and moral reasoning. Teams with higher average I.Q.s didn’t score much higher on collective intelligence tasks than did teams with lower average I.Q.s. Nor did teams with more extroverted people, or teams whose members reported feeling more motivated to contribute to their group’s success. Instead, the smartest teams were distinguished by three characteristics (PDF). First, their members contributed more equally to the team’s discussions, rather than letting one or two people dominate the group. Second, their members scored higher on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes, which measures how well people can read complex emotional states from images of faces with only the eyes visible. Finally, teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. It appeared that it was not "diversity" (having equal numbers of men and women) that mattered for a team’s intelligence, but simply having more women. This last effect, however, was partly explained by the fact that women, on average, were better at "mindreading" than men. Interestingly enough, a second study has now replicated the these findings for teams that worked together online communicating purely by typing messages into a browser . "Emotion-reading mattered just as much for the online teams whose members could not see one another as for the teams that worked face to face. What makes teams smart must be not just the ability to read facial expressions, but a more general ability, known as "Theory of Mind," to consider and keep track of what other people feel, know and believe."

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Chances are you look at your trips to the supermarket as pretty routine events. For grocery store owners, it’s anything but routine. They’ve planned everything out to get you to spend as much as possible. Here’s how they do it.

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Amazon intends to make full-length films and release them in movie theatres, the company announced on Monday.

The technology giant says it intends to produce 12 movies a year, which will enjoy traditional theatrical releases, before becoming available to stream on Amazon Prime 4 to 8 weeks later. Amazon Studios, the company’s media production arm, has already enjoyed multiple successes, including the Golden Globe-winning "Transparent." But this is the company’s first foray into feature films.

The company says the service, called Amazon Original Movies," will focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators." It has yet to name any planned features.

"Our goal is to create close to twelve movies a year with production starting this year," VP of Amazon Studios Roy Price said in a statement. "“Not only will we bring Prime Instant Video customers exciting, unique, and exclusive films soon after a movie’s theatrical run, but we hope this program will also benefit filmmakers, who too often struggle to mount fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience.”

The project will be spearheaded by Ted Hope, whose production company Good Machine was responsible for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Eat Drink Man Woman."

“Audiences already recognise that Amazon has raised the bar with productions in the episodic realm, tackling bold material in unique ways and collaborating with top talent, both established and emerging," said Hope. "To help carry the torch into the feature film world for such an innovative company is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility,”

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