Prior research has found inconsistent effects of diversity on group performance. The present research identifies hormonal factors as a critical moderator of the diversity-performance connection. Integrating the diversity, status, and hormone literatures, we predicted that groups collectively low in testosterone, which orients individuals less toward status competitions and more toward cooperation, would excel with greater group diversity. In contrast, groups collectively high in testosterone, which is associated with a heightened status drive, would be derailed by diversity. Analysis of 74 randomly assigned groups engaged in a group decision-making exercise provided support for these hypotheses. The findings suggest that diversity is beneficial for performance, but only if group-level testosterone is low; diversity has a negative effect on performance if group-level testosterone is high. Too much collective testosterone maximizes the pains and minimizes the gains from diversity.
Akinola, Modupe, Elizabeth Page-Gould, Pranjal Mehta, and Z. Liu. "Hormone-Diversity Fit: Collective Testosterone Moderates the Effect of Diversity on Group Performance." Psychological Science 29, no. 6 (2018): 859-867.
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