Ever clammed up at a party or found yourself unable to speak up in a meeting for fear of saying something stupid, even though you know you aren't?

Research scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute offer an explanation of why many people become essentially less intelligent in small group settings:

If we think others in a group are smarter, we may become dumber, temporarily losing both our problem-solving ability and what the researchers call our "expression of IQ."

Women and people with higher IQs are the most likely to clam up, according to the report released in January.