The Cost of Friendship: Who is a better working partner?


In the educational landscape, collaborative assignments play a crucial role in fostering student interactions and knowledge exchange and are ever more common in recent years. However, the impact of relationships dynamics on academic performance is complex and depends on many factors. With this in mind, we designed and conducted an experiment across multiple schools in the Barcelona region to delve into the intricate relationship between student dynamics and academic performance. Our research particularly focuses on the influence of friendship dynamics and individual characteristics on team formation and group performance among students.

The first objective of our study is to investigate how student groups are formed and how students choose their peers based on different characteristics such as ability, bullying, gender, or friendship. Our findings reveal significant homophily patterns in gender, and ability is an important factor to be chosen into someone else’s group. A concerning result is that students experiencing bullying are less likely to be preferred in the groups of their peers.

The second objective focuses on assessing how group composition affects student performance. We employ two distinct metrics, mathematics and logic, to evaluate student performance under different grouping policies. By doing so, we gain insights into the impact of group dynamics on academic outcomes. Additionally, our research explores how teams would be formed and how student performance would be affected if teachers were responsible for creating the groups. This comparative analysis sheds light on the potential benefits or drawbacks of various group formation methods within the educational setting.


Status: Ongoing

Keywords: education, Friendship, Group Formation, peer effects, performance