Yery Eva Joo/ South High School 12th Grade
While I was scrolling through my Instagram feed like any typical high school girl, I ran into a very intriguing topic: The Apollo Syndrome. The Apollo Syndrome was a phenomenon founded by Dr. Meredith Belbin in 1981.
The phenomenon reported that a group of high achieving, brilliant-minded, and sharp individuals will most likely perform poorly in a collaborative project.
The Apollo Syndrome implied that instead of having too many dominant, intelligent individuals working on one assignment together, it is best to have a team of diverse intellectual capacities as well as capabilities to result in success. This study made me wonder if this pertained to any everyday activities I engaged in, and the study proved to be relevant to my life.
I remember back in my freshman year, I had a science group project where collaboration was essential. My group consisted of five individuals, in which two individuals were top-scoring, bright students. Throughout the project, our team had faced many difficulties because of the two dominant students who were unable to agree on one particular idea.
We’ve wasted a lot of time on trying to settle on a topic just because the two students had such domineering personalities and the other teammates, including myself, felt very uncomfortable in handling such a situation.
The project’s results? As the Apollo syndrome proposed, not too successful.
Another time the Apollo syndrome proved to be relevant to my life was when I was put in a group project to solve a difficult mathematical problem. Taking the most rigorous math classes that our school offers, the group and I had only thought of the complicated techniques and formulas that we believed would have helped us in solving the problem.
The group struggled to find an answer and couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t come to a problem. However, when a new freshman who was taking a lower math class suggested a simple formula that we didn’t even consider using, we were able to get to the answer in a matter of seconds. The Apollo syndrome’s implication of a diverse team having more success applied to this incident as well.
With this study relating to more of my life, I started implying this to the larger community. I started wondering, why does the world have its eyes set on America? The answer: diversity. I realized that America is seen as successful in the eyes of those nations who don’t have diversity. Perhaps, it’s true since America is a successful, first world country. In fact, my immigrant parents say, “America is successful because of its diversity.”
America has a lot of academically brilliant individuals, but there are also many who are bright in other areas. This diversity, I believe, is what allowed America to become a proof of the Apollo syndrome. “I’m not an expert of [Apollo syndrome],” says Rachel Lilies, a middle school student, “but I think that it’s true”.
<Yery Eva Joo/ South High School 12th Grade