Quiz team sizes

Psychologists have been studying team dynamics for ever – trying to understand how to optimise performances in teams. And of course, it is very relevant in your local pub quiz team.

A unique feature of our Qwizard format is the ability to retain team numbers and therefore analyse the results for different team sizes – and see how much benefit is derived from being in a large team. So, we have calculated the average team scores for different size teams. With almost a quarter of a million lines of data, it’s a pretty representative insight into the subject.

Statisticians will tell you these results should behave according to the famous bell-curve – and be normally distributed around the average score. And they’d be right. We presented the data in a way to test this variation to the mean by looking at the absolute variation for each team size.

Some social factors and biases may be present. Factors such as ‘social loafing’ can occur in a large team, which means certain members of the team don’t actively participate. And team dynamics around decision-making will be present. And individuals brave enough to play in a small team may just be smarter. However the data provides a fascinating insight into the benefit of large teams and disadvantages that may apply to smaller teams.

So what can you derive from the graph? A team of 1 has a disadvantage to the average team size of about 8% – or about 6 or 7 answers in a standard Qwizard event out of 88 points. This drops to approximately 7% for teams of 2, and 6% for teams of 3. Teams of 4, 5 and 6 show very little variation in results – all within 2% of an average score. And a team of 7 scores are about 6% better than average. Thereafter, larger teams don’t demonstrate much more incremental benefit.

Of course, only Qwizard automatically adjusts for variations in team sizes in our National Rankings. We will be adjusting our weightings to reflect this new data. So, no more complaints about team sizes – the Rankings will accommodate these variations.

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