I heard about an international research that was conducted more than 25 years ago. The following was the experiment:

25 teams, eight members per team, each team member with the same nationality had to build a ship model. The model was created in a way that all team members had to participate to assemble it. They repeated the test multiple times with the same results. USA, Germany and Japan were the fastest, countries from East-Europe were last. They didn't understand why. Average IQ, personal traits didn't explain why.

Finally, a Polish PhD student asked the question, do they choose a leader. The American researchers replied: "Of course!". However, after they analysed the video about the tests, they realised not all of the teams (nations) choose a leader. This correlated strongly with the results. So the experiment was designed for something else, but after all, it showed the importance of leader selection.

I heard about this experiment from Laszlo Mero, a Hungarian research psychologist but he could not recall the name of the experiment. He told me he heard about it 25 years ago when he was at Berkeley.

I would like to read more about it, but I found nothing. Has anyone any information about this research?

  • $\begingroup$ It may turn out to be folklore, but who knows. Hungarians don't seem to have much trouble with strong leadership (understatement) nowadays... so any ethnic correlations are probably coincidental. $\endgroup$ Dec 11, 2017 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, and they did have leaders in these former communist countries. Just compare their engineering to ours, overall you can't say they had trouble constructing things. $\endgroup$
    – jjack
    Dec 20, 2017 at 14:27


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