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Intelligence, IQ and the g Factor

By JensAAMC in Science
Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 10:24:29 AM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

A year ago there was a big fuss in Denmark. A researcher reported a sex difference in intelligence in school children of age 16. Unfortunately, the debate was marred by the media's incorrect description of the results. The willingness of people not familiar with the theory behind IQ to jump into the debate did not help.

The purpose of this article is not to discuss the specific experiment and debate. Instead I give a brief introduction to the field of IQ testing and the theory behind it. Hopefully this will give you a better basis for forming an opinion should an IQ debate ensue near you. I will try my best to focus on scientific facts rather than political issues.


IQ tests
IQ (intelligence quotient) tests come in all styles and shapes. Some require special knowledge, i.e., proficiency in a particular language or knowledge of basic mathematics. Others aim to be culture fair and use only knowledge that is supposed to be known in all cultures and do not require formal education. Some give the test-taker plenty of time to answer the questions, others restrict the time allowed to accomplish the test.

If you take an IQ test it may run something like this. First you take what resembles a written exam of about an hour of duration, during which you have to answer a bunch of questions. Having handed in your answers your job is now over. The psychologist responsible for correcting the test will now tally the number of correct answers. This number is your raw score. After doing so he converts the raw score into an IQ. In this conversion he may take into account your age and sex.

IQ scores are distributed according to a normal distribution with a mean of 100. A normal distribution is characterized by its mean and its standard deviation (SD). Most people score close to the mean. The further we go from the mean, the less people obtain those scores. A score of 100 + 1 SD corresponds to being in the top 15.9%, a score of 100 + 2 SD corresponds to being in the top 2.2%, while a score of 100 + 3 SD corresponds to being in the top 0.1%. Typically tests use SD=16, but tests with SD=15 and SD=24 can also be found.

The g factor
IQ tests are interesting because they provide good estimates of the g factor.

Before explaining what this factor is about, let us recall the concept of correlation. The correlation is a number between -1 and 1 that measures the linear relationship between two variables. If the correlation is 1 then the variables have a positive linear relationship A correlation of 0 indicates that they do not have any linear dependency. A correlation of -1 means that they have a negative linear relationship.

The g factor emerges in factor analysis of tests that are varied and balanced. By varied I mean that there are many different types of questions in the tests, i.e., verbal, logical, spatial, etc. By balanced I mean that there are several questions of each type in the test. In other words we have a test consisting of several subtests with specific types of questions.

When a large number of people take such a test we may compute the correlation of the raw scores for each pair of subtests. If the correlation between two subtests is high it means that a test-taker doing well on the first is likely to do well also on the second. Factor analysis allows us to form groups of subtests that are highly correlated. That a group of subtests are positively correlated means that there is some common skill involved in solving those questions. Using factor analysis we may compute how much the subtests rely on this common or primary factor.

Interestingly the primary factors are usually not independent. Again we may find groups of primary factors that are correlated and use factor analysis to extract common or secondary factors for these. Usually already in the second round a single general factor emerges.

Amazingly it is usually the same general factor that arises for different tests and a variety of culturally and ethnically different groups of test-takers. We can therefore speak of the general factor, the g factor (the g stands for general.)

We note that the g factor is something we came about in an indirect way. It cannot be seen and measured directly, and it cannot be put on a ratio scale. It is therefore not the case that somebody with an IQ of 200 is twice as intelligent as somebody with an IQ of 100. From IQs we can only infer relative information, namely where on the distribution somebody lies in comparison with the rest of the population.

Biological correlates of g
The physical causes for high or low g are not well known. Several correlations with biological phenomena have been found. Examples are the sex hormone balance, brain glucose metabolism, brain size and to a lesser extend head size.

Significance of g
Many things of real life importance are correlated with g. Positively correlated with g are for instance length of formal education, occupational success, income, altruism, creativity and social skills. Negatively correlated are for instance crime, psychoticism, racial prejudice, authoritarianism and number of children.

Can g be altered?
It is possible to increase scores on IQ tests through practice. However, when analyzing such results it turns out that the increases are not in g. Rather such increases mean that people have increased their test taking skill. Various school projects have been made attempting to increase g but they have in general been unsuccessful.

Twin studies show that g is around 80% inherited and 20% environmental. This leaves little hope of increasing g, unless we find out a way to produce larger environmental difference than the one experienced by monozygotic twins reared apart.

We should, however, mention the mysterious Flynn effect. In the last decades IQ scores have increased by 0.2 SDs per decade. Considering that people with low IQ tend to have more children we would expect a decrease in IQ over these years, not an increase.

Politically dangerous topics
It is well established that men and women differ in some of the primary factors. In particular men outperform women in terms of spatial reasoning, while women outperform men on some verbal tasks. Jensen says in his book that there is no difference between men and women's mean g, or in the variance of g. Some researchers claim there is a small difference favoring males.

Races do differ in IQ scores. Highest scoring are Ashkenazim Jews (100 + 1 SD) and some groups of Asians. Lowest scoring are black Africans (100 - 2 SD).

Lynn has considered the connection between nations' GNPs and their average IQs. It turns out that there is a positive correlation. It therefore seems like g does not only have consequences on the individual level but can also be used in explanations of demographical phenomena.

Intelligence
So far I have not considered the word "intelligence" in its everyday use at all. A critique sometimes raised is that one cannot measure intelligence. Another critique sometimes raised is that intelligence has not been appropriately defined. My take on this issue is that I believe that there is a high positive correlation between who people label as intelligent and IQ scores of those persons. I am therefore willing to accept IQ scores as a measure of intelligence, even if they may not correspond perfectly to whom I would label as being intelligent.

Other factors
Attempts have been made to make tests that measure creativity. This field has not been as successful as the field of making IQ tests. IQ scores and creativity scores do have some positive correlation.

Emotional intelligence has enjoyed success in terms of selling books. To the best of my knowledge there are no tests of EQ that rest on a solid scientific basis.

Eysenck used factor analysis on personality tests and found three general factors: introversion/extroversion, psychoticism and neuroticism. Neuroticism in particular has some predictive power in terms of occupational success.

Gardner has a theory of "multiple intelligences". Originally he had seven such intelligences mathematical/logical, verbal, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, but more have been added. A misunderstanding that I see from time to time is that IQ tests are intended to measure the mathematical/logical intelligence that Gardner is referring to. This is not correct; the g factor is a more general factor. My guess is that if one-dimensional tests of Gardners' intelligences are ever constructed then IQ scores will be highly correlated with the first three of Gardners' original seven intelligences and moderately correlated with the latter four.

Sternberg has a "triarchic" theory of intelligence. As far as I understand he does not find IQ to be a sufficient measure for intelligence. His goal is to find a better theory that subsumes the present theory of intelligence.

Literature and links
A. Jensen: "The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability". An excellent and thorough book. Much of the information in this article has been taken from this book.

H. Eysenck: "Intelligence: A New Look". A good book on IQ that is easier to read than Jensen's book.

C. Brand: "The g Factor - General Intelligence and its Implications". Online book which was never published in paper due to political correctness.

R. Lynn, T. Vanhanen: "Intelligence and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations". An article on the correlation between average national IQs and GNPs.

D. Kimura: "Sex Differences in the Brain" [PDF]. An article on sex differences in mental abilities, and the effect of hormones on mental abilities.

Interview with Jensen. A Mega Society interview with A. Jensen from 2001.

Interview with Sternberg. An interview in Skeptic with R. Sternberg from 1995.

No title. An article on the Flynn effect. Judging from data obtained from Danish conscripts IQs may have peaked and started declining.

The Role of Intelligence in Modern Society. An article in American Scientist by E. Hunt from 1995.

Mainstream Science on Intelligence. A statement on intelligence signed by 52 researchers. Originally published in Wall Street Journal in 1994.

APA Task Force Examines the Knowns and Unknowns of Intelligence. Press release from American Psychological Association on a task force report on intelligence in 1996.

Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns. The APA task force report on intelligence from 1996. Deals with many of the issues treated in the present article.

Intelligence Theory and Testing. University of Indiana site containing brief descriptions of scientists involved in intelligence research as well as some short articles on intelligence.

Disclaimer
I am not a psychologist, psychometrician or a statistician.

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Poll
What is your IQ?
o Never taken an IQ test 22%
o Above 100 + 3 SD 28%
o Above 100 + 2 SD 31%
o Above 100 + 1 SD 7%
o Above 100 1%
o Above 100 - 1 SD 0%
o Below 100 - 1 SD 2%
o None of your business! 5%

Votes: 364
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o researcher
o normal distribution
o correlatio n
o factor analysis
o books
o multiple intelligences
o triarchic
o A. Jensen: "The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability"
o H. Eysenck: "Intelligence: A New Look"
o C. Brand: "The g Factor - General Intelligence and its Implications"
o R. Lynn, T. Vanhanen: "Intelligence and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations"
o D. Kimura: "Sex Differences in the Brain"
o Interview with Jensen
o Interview with Sternberg
o No title
o The Role of Intelligence in Modern Society
o Mainstream Science on Intelligence
o APA Task Force Examines the Knowns and Unknowns of Intelligence
o Intelligen ce: Knowns and Unknowns
o Intelligen ce Theory and Testing
o Also by JensAAMC


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Intelligence, IQ and the g Factor | 361 comments (334 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
thanks for the article (3.00 / 14) (#1)
by tps12 on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 04:57:49 PM EST

I've always had trouble locating the g factor.

you misspelled it (2.00 / 5) (#55)
by RelliK on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 07:41:59 PM EST

it's "fucktor"
---
Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
[ Parent ]
Problems with measuring intelligence (3.12 / 8) (#3)
by Demiurge on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 05:07:40 PM EST

Because any definition has to be at least partially subjective, I don't think you can have a really comprehensive measure of intelligence. Indeed, the term is so nebulous and ill-defined that it's simply not possible to simply assign a number to someone's overall mental acuity. So many factors contribute to someone's 'intelligence' that trying to quantify and measure it seems an impossible task. I, for example, have an IQ of over 190. What does that mean, quanitatively? That I scored well on an IQ test, nothing more.

Bah (4.06 / 16) (#4)
by trhurler on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 05:30:13 PM EST

Despite the self esteem panic present in present educational systems and the hysteria over the idea that some people might be genetically smarter than others(obviously at odds with present egalitarian dogma,) and while an IQ score is clearly not an exact measure of anything, it remains true that people with 130 IQs are better at almost everything they do than people with 100 IQs the vast majority of the time, and people with 100s are better than people with 70s, and people with 160s are better than people with 130s, and so on. This is not a meaningless difference. In fields such as computing, one finds that there are very few people with deep and broad understanding, and many people who barely qualify as technicians(but always have inflated job titles.) There's a correlation here: you'll find the deep understanding among those who score very highly on IQ tests.

I say this as someone who is far below the absolute limits of what people have scored on these tests. I'm somewhere in the top one percent, but there are scores absurdly higher than mine(even if we assume that people with 190+ scores have taken the tests with the larger deviations and adjust accordingly, there are still a very few people with scores twice as far from the mean as mine.) The point is not "look at me," because there will always be people with higher scores. The point is, no matter how uncomfortable this fact may be, these tests do in fact measure something that is worth having.

It is interesting to note that the line about IQ not meaning anything came about among educators about the same time that people started noticing differences in IQ scores among different groups of people. Differences have been observed based on sex, race, age, economic status during childhood, presence and attitude of parents during childhood, and a million other things. People don't like that. They want to pretend that the world is fair, and that everyone has an equal shot. It isn't true, of course, and that upsets them, so they tell lies about it to comfort each other.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
This is (3.90 / 10) (#9)
by medham on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 05:47:08 PM EST

it remains true that people with 130 IQs are better at almost everything they do than people with 100 IQs the vast majority of the time
The least intelligent thing I've read here recently, no mean accomplishment. Assume for the sake of argument that you have a 130 IQ. Also, assume that Gary Payton has an IQ of 100. I submit to you that Gary Payton is better at every possible activity, with the possible exception of masturbation, than you. This most certainly includes coding.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

The basketball player? (4.50 / 5) (#31)
by trhurler on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:31:04 PM EST

Or is there another Gary Payton I don't know about? Given the careers of most NBA players(get rich quick, end up retired fairly young, squander fortune on stupid things and end up poor and talentless,) you should certainly hope so.

Even if your assertion of Gary Payton's amazing abilities were true, it would be irrelevant, because I qualified my claim carefully.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Hey! (4.00 / 1) (#217)
by Noam Chompsky on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 01:45:15 PM EST

I got rich quick, retired young, am squandering a fortune on loose cards and tight women, and will end up as poor and as talent-less as I began, all of which to reward me for living life well, and just the curriculum to prepare me for a retirement spent selling crack to ex-basketball players. You, on the other hand, will merely die, and--*poof*--your opinions shall expire with you.

The way I see it, if IQ were a jar of pennies in our head--an apt metaphor according to your Latin--then I'd rather have fewer bright shiny pennies everyone wants to trade, than lots of dull oxidized coin everyone throws away.

But, of course, you don't see it that way. You see a legion of homeless ex-professional basketball players in the street (really one if that many, but he is tall) and infer taxes for their maintenance. Ergo, IQ is a measure of the tax burden on smart people.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Gary Payton (none / 0) (#185)
by shoeboy on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:31:41 PM EST

I'm pretty sure he's really good at masturbation as well. You have to have great hands to be a top tier point guard.

--Shoeoby
No more trolls!
[ Parent ]

No (4.00 / 5) (#113)
by StrontiumDog on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 08:10:26 AM EST

There is a certain optimal IQ range, my guesstimate is between 95 and 150. Below 90 and the individual will almost always have trouble coping with society. Above 150 is indistinguishable from 150 and less, in practice.

Within that range, success as defined by various criteria (reproductive success, wealth, power) etc has zero correlation with IQ. People with an IQ of 150 are not significantly likely to get laid more often than people with an IQ of 110 (in fact a short glance at my personal circle of acquaintances suggests the exact opposite). Success at work is dependent on looks, intelligence, work ethic, and social skills. A hyperintelligent hunchbacked dwarf has as much chance of becoming department manager as a dumb golden-haired slacker.

The only thing a higher IQ guarantees is that people with a higher IQ will perform better on tests than people with a lower IQ. The basic similarity of a number of techy tasks (programming, abstract problem solving, troubleshooting) to IQ tests may explain your intuit that people with higher IQs are more successful than people with lower IQs, but realize that in the real world, success is more than knowing what the difference between a monad and a functor is.

[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#175)
by BLU ICE on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 07:11:52 PM EST

Within that range, success as defined by various criteria (reproductive success, wealth, power) etc has zero correlation with IQ. People with an IQ of 150 are not significantly likely to get laid more often than people with an IQ of 110 (in fact a short glance at my personal circle of acquaintances suggests the exact opposite). Take a look at more intelligent people. Many intelligent people get laid a lot. However, most usually end up with only 1 or 2 kids. It's a evolutionary disadvantage to be intelligent. (At least nowadays. It wasn't in the past) Less intelligent, trailer park types tend to have the most kids by far. Drive down to your local ghetto and see how many families have 4 or 5 kids.

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

RE: Hmm (none / 0) (#218)
by ninja on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 01:53:18 PM EST

What? Because more intelligent couples tend to have fewer kids they're at an evolutionary disadvantage to the trailer trash with eight kids called 'Cletus'?

The reason intelligent couples have fewer progeny is so as they can maximise their offsprings (procreative) potential. Time and money being the main considerations here. With a large family each child receives less attention/affection. The parents can afford to school them at private institutions (not that private schooling is better) and fast track them to Ivy League Undergraduate and Graduate schools. All of which will eventually allow them to mate qualitatively instead of quantitatively.

[ Parent ]

Not quite (5.00 / 2) (#221)
by trhurler on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 02:15:40 PM EST

Yes, lots of things can figure into "success" if by that you mean getting promoted and getting laid. However, getting promoted and getting laid, while both nice things, are not what I was talking about.

I don't make all that much money. If I was willing to take certain steps I'd rather not, I could double my income in a matter of months. I don't get laid nearly as often as a lot of people. Again, there are things I could do which would change this in fairly short order, which I simply am not willing to do. There are tons of people getting rich and getting laid who are miserable, and many of them are much smarter than me, so it is true that if success is defined as being happy or at least content with life most of the time, then intelligence is not sufficient.

However, in our modern society, it may well be necessary, or at least very, very useful. Why? Because I've been able to figure out what it is that makes me happy, in large part. Because I've been able to arrange a life I actually enjoy more often than not.

All this said, it still isn't what I was talking about.

When I do something I've never done before, I pick it up faster than almost everyone else. When I try to improve a skill, if I have proper instruction, I learn faster than almost anyone else. When I face a problem I don't know how to solve, I can figure it out more reliably and more quickly than almost anyone else. These are not small things. Yes, my lack of management hair might prevent me moving up the ladder. I don't care; if I did, I'd have that hair. I don't want to BE management. On the other hand, who do you think gets through all the little things that make the real challenge of life with the most ease - me, or Mr. Management Hair?

In the real world, success is finding a way to enjoy life. I've got it, and I'm not even 30. Most people die never having found it. (No, I am not a hedonist. Wanton and thoughtless overindulgence is not happiness.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
It never ceases to amaze me (3.00 / 2) (#154)
by Subtillus on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 04:11:45 PM EST

Just how smart techies think they are.

[ Parent ]
It never ceases to amaze me (1.00 / 1) (#220)
by trhurler on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 02:05:59 PM EST

just how often someone who has nothing to say and no reason to say it opens his big gob anyway.

Get a life.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Brevity is the key to effective communication. (none / 0) (#319)
by Subtillus on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 10:04:31 AM EST

Just becuause you are both long winded and belligerent doesn't mean you have a clue.

I have a life, it's actually fairly full, leaving very little time to rebutt the falacies presented by know-it-all techy retards.

You may be an expert in your field but that doesn't predicate your expertise in any other field. The knowledge which you happened to glean from chat rooms, books and weblogs is incidental. In the end it amounts to the same thing as arguing with you on the internet, jack shit.

[ Parent ]

missing phrase (none / 0) (#267)
by adequate nathan on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 11:19:25 AM EST

it remains true that people with 130 IQs are better at almost everything they do than people with 100 IQs the vast majority of the time as long are both are doing things to which IQ-test-tested abilities are relevant. Does a high IQ make you a great tennis player? Huh? Does it?

Come on, you ought to know better than to beg the question this way. The whole point about IQ is that some people rationally choose to allocate their intellectual resources into fields that IQ tests ignore. Earlier, someone mentioned a gypsy who, though illiterate, was able to "read people." You must have met some people like him. It's facile and false for you to say that you could do what he does better than he does it.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

I bought (4.33 / 6) (#10)
by medham on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 05:48:24 PM EST

A book in a grocery store that also told me, after some diligent testing, that my IQ was over 190. Perhaps we should start a secret society that only allows members as smart as we are.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

WHATT GROCERY STORE WAS TAT? (3.00 / 2) (#153)
by Subtillus on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 04:04:22 PM EST

I want a book two so I can be in your club!!!

[ Parent ]
Blacks have an average I.Q. of 70? (4.00 / 5) (#5)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 05:34:17 PM EST

"Politically Dangerous" indeed. Your article claims blacks are, on average, retarded. (100- 2S.D=70) I question whether this is the accepted wisdom on this topic.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
Must be true, it's in print. (Not!) (4.33 / 4) (#97)
by NFW on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:11:31 AM EST

Someone published a book on intelligence and IQ and genetics and such that made the assertion he repeated about whites vs. asians and ashkenanzim and blacks. It was somewhat controversial when it came out... People who saw it as confirmation of their beliefs have repeated it endlessly; people who saw it as racist nonsense have railed against it just as vigorously. Gullible people just thought, "gee, interesting" and repeated it without thinking critically. It's sorta famous/infamous now...

When I read the article I thought, oh, that thing again, he must have read _____ by _____. But, unfortunately, the author and title escaped me between that moment and this moment.

As is my usual way in cases like this, I offer free +5 to whoever can supply us with the author's name and the title of the book in question.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

The Bell Curve (4.50 / 5) (#102)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 03:16:43 AM EST

The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Normal Distribution? (3.83 / 6) (#140)
by srichman on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:09:11 PM EST

I'm having a hard time understand the statistics behind "black Africans are -2 SD on average." Africans represent 13% of the world's population, and the vast majority of them are black. (And this isn't even counting the African diaspora.)

How is it mathematically possible for a group that constitutes ~13% of the human population to have an average score that puts them in the bottom 2.2% of the population? I can only conclude that the distribution is defined by some other population (Whites? Americans? Europeans?)

[ Parent ]

It is possible.... (5.00 / 2) (#211)
by dipierro on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 12:23:59 PM EST

but I certainly doubt it's true.

Bottom 2.2% score 001. The next 10.8% score 84.

Of course that implies that IQ is not a bell curve, or anything remotely like it.



[ Parent ]
Frustrating fuckers aren't you.... (5.00 / 1) (#294)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 03:15:06 PM EST

I keep explaining this over and over again. But how could African blacks NOT score really shittily on IQ tests? As a population African blacks still have a WHOLE LOT of Tribal societies that don't give two flying fucks about Western society or our IQ tests and probably consider most of us to be borderline or completely retarded because we don't have any of the survival skills they view as necessary. If your sample group is city dwelling African blacks you get much much closer to the mean.
Of course, for some reason a bunch of people on this topic automatically assume that everyone being tested has the same cultural reference that you do.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Exactly! (none / 0) (#330)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 06:18:23 PM EST

Arthur Jensen tries to claim blacks are genetically inferior based on inaccurate IQ tests. He and the author of this story would have of believe that the 70 figure is accurate.

I am merely trying to draw attention to the absurbity of Jensen's claims.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Re: Normal Distribution (none / 0) (#339)
by JensAAMC on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 05:30:21 PM EST

You make a good point. Indeed there are too many black Africans to make them have 100 - 2SD average.

When writing this I forgot to take into account that the standard deviation depends on the sample on which the test is normed.

Unfortunately I do not have references at handy to say with respect to which population this score is computed. I'd guess it is on the basis of the US or some European country.


[ Parent ]

Blacks at 100 - 2 SD (none / 0) (#338)
by JensAAMC on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 05:18:02 PM EST

"Politically Dangerous" indeed. Your article claims blacks are, on average, retarded. (100- 2S.D=70) I question whether this is the accepted wisdom on this topic.
---------
Black Americans do not score as low. My claim is that black Africans do.

I am not sure that it is fair to call them retarded though. There are differences between blacks scoring in around 100 - 2SD and whites scoring around 100 - 2SD.

Jensen notes in his book that white children scoring that low often had had birth complications, e.g., lack of oxygen during some time interval. As a consequence they would not only have low IQs but also motor problems, social problems, etc.

Black children scoring below 100-2SD did not have the same problems. The ratio of black children scoring so low due to birth complications was lower. These black children did not have the same types of motor skill problems or social problems as the white children scoring 100 - 2SD.

[ Parent ]

I just hope baldrson doesn't buy that book (3.60 / 5) (#8)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 05:44:32 PM EST

He'd put it into his magic corellator and have a field day.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

Let me (3.90 / 11) (#11)
by medham on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 05:50:26 PM EST

Be the first person to point out that Jensen is an incorrigible racist. I don't think the rest is worth commenting upon.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

I agree (3.57 / 7) (#15)
by tps12 on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 05:56:04 PM EST

K5 should not post this story, as it will only incorrige him.

[ Parent ]
tee hee (3.00 / 3) (#32)
by MadDreamer on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:32:47 PM EST

I doubt it, seems to me that he's incorrigible.
/bad pun


[ Parent ]
corrige (3.00 / 2) (#63)
by pathetic on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 08:58:08 PM EST

is (close to) the latin for correct so incorrigible means un-correctable. To incorrige someone would be to un-correct them.... which sounds ungood.

[ Parent ]
Yeh, he's a racist, (2.42 / 7) (#18)
by SanSeveroPrince on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:05:00 PM EST

AND he seems to like Jews.

VOTE IT DOWN!

DISLAIMER
_________________________________________________
For the unschooled, that was an attempt at sarcasm. If you vote this comment down because of the seeming slur against the Jewsih population at large, then it's because your mother probably f*cked one...

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
depends how you define racist (3.95 / 20) (#19)
by Godel on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:05:41 PM EST

Be the first person to point out that Jensen is an incorrigible racist. I don't think the rest is worth commenting upon.

If you define racism as the belief that there are definite differences between the races then you should add most biologists and medical doctors to the list as well. Theres a reason that people of African descent are more likely to have sickle cell anemia, and Europeans are more likely to have CCR5 genes.

Look it's just silly to expect any groups that evolved under wildly different conditions and diverged tens of thousands of years ago to be exactly identical in any respect. In fact it defies credulity, to believe that over 50-100k years that skin colors, facial features, bone structure, hair color, eye color, disease resistances, onset of puberty, gestation time, etc could have all changed, by magically, brains and intelligence are the one feature that is somehow untouched by any aspect of evolution.

I think people are so afraid of racism that they run from the obvious truths. If you look at people as groups, its obviously impossible for two different groups to have exactly the same average IQ. Of course the individual deviation is huge, there are plenty of blacks that are smarter than asians, but when you take the averages, certain patterns start to emerge.

I think its important that we acknowledge truths like this because the media and university elites have shown an unfortunate tendency to assume that any inequalities in performance are ipso facto proof of racism. If asians consistently outperform blacks in school, eventually we're going to have to admit that it's not racism, just differences in innate ability. The solution is to stop categorizing people as groups, stop penalizing groups that perform well by accusing them of racism, discrimination, or even worse, making them endure racial discrimination such as affirmative action, in order to "level the playing field".

[ Parent ]

Intelligence in groups. (3.66 / 4) (#43)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:57:49 PM EST

It can be posited that all races are biologically equal or almost equal in their potential for intelligence. The idea is that after a certain level of biological intelligence was reached, intelligence became a phenomenom of upbringing and environment, instilled into the young ape by the older apes and slowly increased. Evolution, at least as it applies to intelligence, became memetic rather than genetic.

Increased intelligence came as a byproduct of increased civilization, technology, and culture. As the species continued, a lucky find like fire, language, or sharp rocks would be passed on through generations, increasing the intelligence of the species with no effect on the genes.

It's really very hard if not impossible to prove either way, since the experiments would be difficult and probably violate all sorts of ethical rules. Also, if you believe this theory, instead of certain races being intellectually inferior you have certain cultures being intellectually inferior...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Races (4.35 / 17) (#74)
by marx on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 10:22:38 PM EST

If you define racism as the belief that there are definite differences between the races then you should add most biologists and medical doctors to the list as well. Theres a reason that people of African descent are more likely to have sickle cell anemia, and Europeans are more likely to have CCR5 genes.

Look it's just silly to expect any groups that evolved under wildly different conditions and diverged tens of thousands of years ago to be exactly identical in any respect.

The problem with your point is that humanity does not have biological races. This scientific conclusion has been in the news a couple of times. Here is from an article on a large study by a molecular biologist:
Templeton analyzed genetic data from mitochondrial DNA, a form inherited only from the maternal side; Y chromosome DNA, paternally inherited DNA; and nuclear DNA, inherited from both sexes. His results showed that 85 percent of genetic variation in the human DNA was due to individual variation. A mere 15 percent could be traced to what could be interpreted as "racial" differences.

"The 15 percent is well below the threshold that is used to recognize race in other species," Templeton said. "In many other large mammalian species, we see rates of differentiation two or three times that of humans before the lineages are even recognized as races. Humans are one of the most genetically homogenous species we know of. There's lots of genetic variation in humanity, but it's basically at the individual level. The between-population variation is very, very minor."

Among Templeton's conclusions: There is more genetic similarity between Europeans and sub-Saharan Africans and between Europeans and Melanesians, inhabitants of islands northeast of Australia, than there is between Africans and Melanesians. Yet, sub-Saharan Africans and Melanesians share dark skin, hair texture and cranial-facial features, traits commonly used to classify people into races. According to Templeton, this example shows that "racial traits" are grossly incompatible with overall genetic differences between human populations.

So fine, you claim that there are significant genetic differences between "groups", but how do you define the groups? "Black" and "white" according to skin color and facial features apparently won't do, since there are larger differences within the groups than between. You could just as well define your groups based on height or ear size.

I think you should try this test:

You have a woman which you consider "white" and a man which you consider "black". The two have a child. Do you consider the child "white" or "black"? Assume that you will have to determine this using a double-blind procedure, so that you will not know what "race" the parents are when you categorize the children.

I'm quite convinced that you would pick "black", as would most western governments. This shows that what our cultures define as races has nothing to do with genetics.

For example, Halle Berry has a "black" father and a "white" mother, yet there was a huge stir because she supposedly was the first "black" woman to receive an Oscar. Why isn't Halle Berry "white"?

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

here's (4.22 / 9) (#81)
by tichy on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 11:15:54 PM EST

another link: American Anthropological Association statement on "Race".

This shows that what our cultures define as races has nothing to do with genetics.
Another example is the "latino" race. "latinos" are widely divergent in their ancestry, most are mixtures with african or native americans but there's also an important percentage of pure european descent. Yet they are lumped into the same "race" because of language, a purely cultural criterion.

[ Parent ]

pc science is as bad as religious science (3.18 / 11) (#85)
by Godel on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:02:08 AM EST

The problem with your point is that humanity does not have biological races. This scientific conclusion has been in the news a couple of times. Here is from an article on a large study by a molecular biologist:

Use whatever term you like, instead of race, use "historically geopgraphically isolated human populations". If "race" doesn't exist, why can forensic scientists determine a victims race by studying the skeleton?

I'm well aware that a few politically correct scientists have tried to claim that genetic differences are so slight that races don't exist. While I agree the differences are slight, that doesnt mean that definite quantifiable differences don't exist. Remember than humans and chimps share 99% of the same DNA.

You have a woman which you consider "white" and a man which you consider "black". The two have a child. Do you consider the child "white" or "black"?

What a foolish question, the child is a mixture of both. By the same token, a wolf and a dog can breed, and produce offspring, but that doesn't mean there is no difference between a wolf and a dog. Just because the resulting child lies partway between a wolf and a dog doesn't mean that differences between a wolf and a dog don't exist.

You're argument is similar to the logical fallacy known as the argument of the beard. You can have a full beard, and you can be clean shaven, or can you be somewhere in between, but no one could seriously argue that being clean shaven is the same thing as having a full beard.

[ Parent ]

try reading the links (4.33 / 4) (#118)
by tichy on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 10:23:46 AM EST

Denying the concept of race is not denying that differences exist between humans or that different groups of humans differ in a single trait or even a group of traits at a particular time. The concept of race requires that entire groups of traits are inherited together, so that some (visible) traits like skin color are predictive of other traits, visible or not (such as shape of skull or intelligence). This is what genetics has shown to be not true. Traits are mostly inherited individually so a dark skinned person with European features is possible, for instance. So the commonly known "races" are cultural devices; they do not exist for biology, although of course they are real, just not for the reasons you'd think.

To use your own example:
[...] a wolf and a dog can breed, and produce offspring, but that doesn't mean there is no difference between a wolf and a dog.
His point wasn't that there is no difference between wolf and dog (or black and white) but that most people will say that the offspring of a dog and a wolf is always a wolf. This shows that the division between wolf and dog is not along the lines of (biological) race, but cultural.

[ Parent ]

That's ridiculous. (3.30 / 13) (#99)
by NFW on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:24:29 AM EST

It just means that in the jargon of a certain branch of science, "race" is not the correct term for what lay people commonly call "race."

Would you be happier if we selected a different word? Breed? Subgroup? How about "common groups of traits the correlate highly with geography and/or ancestry?" I'll proceed with that last one so as to avoid confusion.

People with certain CGOTTCHWGAOA tend to have epicanthic folds. Other CGOTTCHWGAOA traits include skin color, width of nose. People with my own CGOTTCHWGAOA frequently have blonde hair and red beards. (Wanna guess where people with my CGOTTCHWGAOA usually find big parts of their family trees?)

Is intelligence a trait that correlates highly with other CGOTTCHWGAOA? I doubt it. Call it CGOTTCHWGAOA if you object to the use of the word race, but the question is still there. Trying to un-ask the question by saying that there's no such thing as "race" is freaking ridiculous.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

Halle Berry (5.00 / 2) (#227)
by ogre on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 05:02:57 PM EST

I read an interview with her (probably siting in a doctor's office or something) where she talked about her conscious decision to present herself as "black". She says her mother (the white parent) encouraged her to do this and she offered some lame reasoning about how she is sacrificing her career to be an inspiration to the black community. I wish I could recall her wording; when she says it it doesn't sound so condescending or egotistical, but that's basically what she said.

I was wondering how much of a sacrifice that was. It isn't going to change how racism effects her career since racists don't care what you call yourself, if you had a black father, you're not white. The only people who care what you call yourself are blacks and liberal white racists, and both of those groups reward you for calling yourself black. The liberal white racists reward her by giving her Oscars and giving her roles where they want a white-looking actress, but they want to get cudos from other liberal white racists for being so progressively color blind. Meanwhile a lot of lucrative parts are available to black actresses only and by calling herself black, she can get those parts. I think it was a clever business decision.

Meanwhile I'm prejudiced against Berry because I don't like short hair on women. Very few women actually look good with short hair and Berry isn't one of them. I sure hope it doesn't start a trend.

Everybody relax, I'm here.
[ Parent ]

Politics (2.00 / 3) (#257)
by duffbeer703 on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 08:35:37 AM EST

It makes Hollywood get warm-fuzzies to think that one of "those-people" have made it. If Halle Berry were an actress in 1963, she would have been "white" and her family background a secret.

Political distinctions between races are not really relevant. (Although I disagree with your contention that Pacific Islanders would be categorized as "black"). Take a sample of Norweigans, Nigerians and Koreans and you'll find alot of similarities, but plenty of differences.

Discriminating against people because of the color of their skin or where they come from is shameful and disgusting. Pretending that there are no difference between people is (politically-correct) ignorant and equally repugnant.

[ Parent ]

Ugh. (3.30 / 10) (#143)
by Noam Chompsky on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:37:02 PM EST

In fact it defies credulity, to believe that over 50-100k years that skin colors, facial features, bone structure, hair color, eye color, disease resistances, onset of puberty, gestation time, etc could have all changed, by magically, brains and intelligence are the one feature that is somehow untouched by any aspect of evolution.

You idiot, one of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others by the time I finish my song?

{faces, bones, hair, eyes, brains, "INTELLIGENCE"}

Did you guess which thing was not like the others? Did you guess which thing just doesn't belong? If you guessed "INTELLIGENCE" one is not like the others, then you're absolutely... right!

<snip>

You idiot, what two words (ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES) are missing from the following sentence and your windy stupid comment: "There are two fallacies committed by amateur geneticists. Determinism, the idea that all characteristics of a person are 'hard-wired' by the genome; and reductionism, that idea that an understanding of gene functions and interactions will provide a complete causal description of human variability. These are fallacies because every experiment ever done suggests exactly the opposite of determinism and reductionism: _______________________ _______ play a greater role in our development than anything else we can account for."

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

behold the "scientific" racist, (3.75 / 8) (#158)
by Noam Chompsky on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 04:59:14 PM EST

on kur0shin of all places.

The solution is to stop categorizing people as groups, stop penalizing groups that perform well by accusing them of racism, discrimination, or even worse, making them endure racial discrimination such as affirmative action, in order to "level the playing field".

Sorry, I didn't connect the dots in my last comment so I'll have another go. Yours is the discredited racist crank Charles Murray's thinking: there are substantial individual and group differences in intelligence; these differences profoundly influence the social structure and organization of work in modern industrial societies, and they defy easy remediation. Thus, we should not throw good white money after bad black genes.

Of course, it helps that Murray's data was compiled by genuine Nazis.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

strawman adhominem genetic, 3 fallacies in yr post (1.00 / 1) (#182)
by Godel on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 09:17:29 PM EST

Thus, we should not throw good white money after bad black genes.

No, I'm pointing out the sillyness in trying to categorize people into groups and then use discrimination to make them equal. If more asians get into medical school then blacks, good for them. I don't see how that justifies discriminating against innocent INDIVIDUALS because of their race and making it harder for them to get educational or employment opportunities.

No matter how you discriminate against people trying to enforce your utopian vision, people will always be born with slightly different abilities. We should give people equal opportunity, which means we DON'T discriminate against people just because they happen to be members of a group that tends to do well in a particular field.

The fault doesnt lie with the individuals, it lies with those like yourself who are obsessed with classifying people as groups. It's not about black money, white money, asian money, its about letting people be individual without discrimination.

[ Parent ]

I'll make this short. (4.66 / 3) (#184)
by Noam Chompsky on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:30:57 PM EST

"strawman adhominem genetic, 3 fallacies"???

Is that the way you talk to people in person? I wonder, would you tell me, to my face, that my logic is fallacious--impugn my good name and visit ruin on the trusted "Noam Chompsky" trademark people have come to rely on for perspicacious, limpid comments? Under normal circumstances, I would assault you; but this is the Internet so I shall argue with a kur0punk instead.

You claim I committed the genetic fallacy, presumably because Murray used Nazi tainted data. Many people have spent a lot of time discrediting Murray's thesis. They have shown that his work has nothing to say about genetics; that crucial data establishing Murray's position had been falsified and that it referred to thoroughly discredited work; and that Murray's research was sponsored by the Pioneer Fund, a Nazi organization (literally) that funds pseudo-scientific research supporting racist themes. In short, I did not commit the genetic fallacy, and more importantly, Murray is a scientific racist.

You repeated Murray's racist themes: I said, and I quote, "Yours is the discredited racist crank Charles Murray's thinking: there are substantial individual and group differences in intelligence; these differences profoundly influence the social structure and organization of work in modern industrial societies, and they defy easy remediation."

What does it mean to say, "they defy easy remediation?" It means what you wrote (your so-called "straw man"):

I think its important that we acknowledge truths like [the genetic differences in intelligence between races] because the media and university elites have shown an unfortunate tendency to assume that any inequalities in performance are ipso facto proof of racism. If asians consistently outperform blacks in school, eventually we're going to have to admit that it's not racism, just differences in innate ability. The solution is to stop categorizing people as groups, stop penalizing groups that perform well by accusing them of racism, discrimination, or even worse, making them endure racial discrimination such as affirmative action, in order to "level the playing field".
It will now occur to you that if there are no differences in "innate ability," then it does not make sense to talk about penalizing anybody for their purported innate superiority. In other words, it is not at all important that we "acknowledge truths like this," because they are falsehoods. Thus, your argument crumbles and conclusion is suspect.

You claim I committed the ad hominem fallacy, presumably because I called you a scientific racist. However, calling you a scientific racist is not an argument; it is an insulting (true) proposition. A proposition is not "fallacious." Moreover, using your racist premises against you is not necessarily a fallacious argument, and is often rhetorically effective. Had you written, "I believe in affirmative action," and I replied, "then obviously affirmative action is bunk because ogre is a scientific racist," then that would have been an example of argumentum ad hominem, because your racism, sexual peccadilloes and poor posture are perfectly good red herrings but do not entail the conclusion "affirmative action is bunk."

I don't see how that justifies discriminating against innocent INDIVIDUALS because of their race and making it harder for them to get educational or employment opportunities.

Ah yes, the reverse discrimination canard. You are spinning well-known lies into mojo whoring rhetoric, unsubstantiated palaver and moonshine. Your rhetoric would be more accurate if you included the truthful claim that white males have had affirmative action since the Constitution and are now crying because they are being forced to share their privileged position in society.

The myths you repeat without substance about AA obscure the very real, very pressing social and philosophical goals of AA policy. These myths abound in an abyss of absurdity and misinformation, which is why they found you. The belief that government forces companies to hire unqualified and inferior employees--while white males are denied jobs--is overwhelmingly false.

The nature of AA is reformative by method and is based on principles of fairness and promotion whose objective is unrepentant equality. Equality stands to reason, because people are innately equal. Understand what I am telling you: AA is a matter for law and ethics, not genetics. From Employment Law for Business:

Affirmative action consists of actions taken to increase the numbers of an underrepresented demographic group in an organization. Affirmative action plans are not permitted to involve strict quotas or to force the organization to hire or promote unqualified employees. But, they may involve consideration of demographic status in making government decisions. Discrimination in employment decisions is assessed by comparing the selection ratios for different demographic groups. In such analysis, the comparison group consists only of those actual or potential applicants who are qualified for the position.
But there is an additional problem with slinging the words "innate ability" around--namely, the assumption that you are in a position to recognize this ability and measure it absolutely. One of the things that AA does is alert people to previously unobserved, unexplored and unappreciated abilities in the very people it targets. What you mean by the brother's "innate disability" is often "what I, godel, do not understand", or "what some honky who didn't get the sysadmin job told me in a pathetic defense of his innate superiority." By making organizations ponder their standards and the effects of their management policies, affirmative action has promoted equal opportunity, because organizations do not, as a rule, make pro-active and fair decisions. We know that AA works because before AA the brothers were not being hired in proportion to their demographics. I wonder, does honky have a similar problem with government subsidies going to demographically depressed areas or Silicon Valley? I wonder, do the geeks resent the government's massive transfer of funds to the military-industrial complex that employs them for their overrated skills?

Finally, if you are going to criticize someone's logic, at least offer an argument in your turn instead of making empty assertions about reverse discrimination being wrong. Why is it wrong to discriminate? Why is it necessarily wrong to do anything? It clearly is not. "It is wrong to kill" is a moral platitude, but it turns out that it is actually Right to kill under various circumstances, some of them with popular but not universal support. If you have an ethical argument to replace your spurious genetic reasoning, make it or admit that action is morally neutral.

In an ideal world populated by insufferably platitudinous racist dorks, it might be Wrong to do X, but unlike in the real world, it would also be *unnecessary* to do X. Let us agree then that racial equality in the real world is a matter of justice. After all, your moral platitudes amount to advice about what is Right, which is precisely the wisdom behind justice. Since it is a matter of justice, it should not be left up to the individual's discretion; individual discretion is what gave us this racial mess in the first place, as well as a real world requirement for enforceable justice in all our other affairs.

Now AA is a judicial attempt to bring our reality in line with your ideal world. I am certain you think the ideal of racial equality is an excellent idea, one that White moral people are bending over backwards to accommodate. Well this is very convenient, because it reduces AA to the level of an administrative convenience. You should be grateful.

"Still," you might object, "it is Wrong to force people to do anything. It would be Right to educate people rather than redress institutional prejudices that prevent minorities from attaining the equality that AA is demonstrably attaining." But there are a few obvious problems with this. Assuming your anti-discrimination message will be a matter for schooling, you will be Forcing people to take certain classes. But your previous moral platitude was based on a principled objection against Force; now you appear to concede the existence of gray areas as "levels" of Force. This needlessly muddies the debate and shows that your ethics are unprincipled. Whereas before you would have claimed it was Wrong to force people to do anything, now you are not so sure.

Let's make you sure.

To tell you the truth, I do not want my children to waste their precious schooling and innate abilities on something so damn obvious as to bugger belief. I think my childrens is better served learning the three R's in depth rather than entertaining your needless brainwashing at the behest of racist cranks like Murray and an emasculated state that cannot do the Right and obvious thing to begin with.

If discrimination is Wrong, it must be because it results in inequality, and since we have a state of inequality right now, there must have been discrimination sometime in the past which we are morally obligated to make Right. AA does this and it does it very well.

We should give people equal opportunity, which means we DON'T discriminate against people just because they happen to be members of a group that tends to do well in a particular field.

Then you'll love AA, for all the reasons I've given.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

how is what you advocate not racist? (1.50 / 2) (#192)
by Godel on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 03:36:58 AM EST

Your rhetoric would be more accurate if you included the truthful claim that white males have had affirmative action since the Constitution and are now crying because they are being forced to share their privileged position in society.

Here you prove your racism. Because members of group X did something 100 years ago, how does that justify discriminating against innocent people today?

Explain to me why the descendants of dirt poor asian immigrants who came here and were discriminated against should now be discriminated against through the new, kinder, gentler racism known as affirmative action.

Basically it just comes down to a fundamental difference in world view. When I see a person, whether asian, black, white, etc, I judge them as an individual. You judge them as a member of a group deserving of special benefits or discrimination.

Just imagine how insane and divisive it would be if we broke up people into groups by other criteria, hair color, eye color, height, etc, and decided that certain groups were over or under represented, and then started discriminating against people in order to achieve your utopian ideal of perfect balance. All you're going to do is exaggerate the importance of the differences, and teach people to judge others as part of a group instead of as individuals. People would start to resent the other groups because of favoritism and enmity would be created where none would have existed before.

[ Parent ]

your argument could only conceivably work (4.50 / 2) (#200)
by adequate nathan on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 09:29:23 AM EST

If there were no such thing as an underprivileged group. The very existence of massively underprivileged groups gives the lie to your assertion that people rise and fall predominantly on their 'ability.' Unless you mean to tell me that the bruthas are down because they jus' all happened to make the existential choice to drink fo'tees and smoke the marihuana all day.

If the world were a genuine, as opposed to a spurious meritocracy, there could be no underprivileged groups except insofar as they were less meriting groups. How convenient that the less meriting groups in this construction of yours happen to be the weakest, poorest members of society. Perhaps you can see how one might take your post to be an apologia for oppression. It's funny - in my native country, Canada, the Injuns form in many places (eg inner Winnipeg) an unedumacated criminal underclass. Most of the blacks I knew growing up were middle class. But then, perhaps here the blacks are really white and the Injuns are really blacks incognito.

Anyway, your concept of ability is inadequate if it creates inequality. Should drunken idleness be rewarded? Ask Mozart; it did more for him than diligence did for Salieri. I think that your posts conceal oodles of pernicious, unarticulated assumptions.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Such a cunt. (1.00 / 1) (#262)
by derek3000 on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:38:51 AM EST

Anyway, your concept of ability is inadequate if it creates inequality. Should drunken idleness be rewarded? Ask Mozart; it did more for him than diligence did for Salieri. I think that your posts conceal oodles of pernicious, unarticulated assumptions. Why do you tempt me like this?

What would Mozart think of parking cars on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and spending the rest of his free time getting liquored up and rawking out? That's what I'll ask myself when I'm puking by 2 pm.

Thanks.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

he was more of a pool player (none / 0) (#264)
by adequate nathan on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:57:40 AM EST

It was Schubert who was into the club scene. And, eh, different strokes; Beethoven was a loner and probably kicked dogs on the street.

Nothing succeeds like success, I always say.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Yes, exactly (n/t) (none / 0) (#348)
by gzt on Fri Jan 10, 2003 at 10:42:31 PM EST



[ Parent ]
The record is broken, Godel (5.00 / 2) (#201)
by Noam Chompsky on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 09:29:29 AM EST

Because members of group X did something 100 years ago, how does that justify discriminating against innocent people today?

Why are you asking me this question--do you want me to answer it again?

When I see a person, whether asian, black, white, etc, I judge them as an individual.

Yeah sure, you judge them as individuals modulo the innate abilities (or lack thereof) of their race:

I think people are so afraid of racism that they run from the obvious truths. If you look at people as groups, its obviously impossible for two different groups to have exactly the same average IQ. Of course the individual deviation is huge, there are plenty of blacks that are smarter than asians, but when you take the averages, certain patterns start to emerge.
Therefore, on average, your position forces you to judge some individuals more harshly than you do others, all nice and mathematical like. Moreover, you ask us to acquit you of your racism and plead we not force you to, and I quote, "endure racial discrimination such as affirmative action, in order to level the playing field".

Just imagine how insane and divisive it would be if we broke up people into groups by other criteria,

That is precisely your advocacy:

I think its important that we acknowledge truths like this because the media and university elites have shown an unfortunate tendency to assume that any inequalities in performance are ipso facto proof of racism. If asians consistently outperform blacks in school, eventually we're going to have to admit that it's not racism, just differences in innate ability.
<snip aa=reverse racism crap>

I have already presented an argument against your broken record. I am not intrigued by your lack of argument in repetitive assertions of opinion.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Justification (4.00 / 2) (#202)
by greenrd on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 09:50:37 AM EST

Because members of group X did something 100 years ago, how does that justify discriminating against innocent people today?

It doesn't. That's not the argument. Nowhere did Mr. Chompsky make this argument. That was a side comment on what you ommitted to mention in your ridiculously one-sided analysis.

This isn't a reparations argument (although one like that could be adduced). The argument is that a significant number of white people are still racist against blacks, consciously or not, and therefore affirmative action is needed to act as a brake on those prejudices.

White racism against blacks hasn't gone away. It's not a hundred years in the past. It's still here - as exemplified by these bogus "studies". It's so simple even a child could understand.

To this you can also add arguments about the need to redress currently-existing inequality of opportunity, which is also very important.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

illogical justification (1.00 / 1) (#233)
by Godel on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 07:49:23 PM EST

This isn't a reparations argument (although one like that could be adduced). The argument is that a significant number of white people are still racist against blacks, consciously or not, and therefore affirmative action is needed to act as a brake on those prejudices

Just curious, aren't a significant number of blacks still racist against whites? Do we now need affirmative action for whites to balance that? In fact blacks commit PER CAPITA, twice as many hate crimes against whites as vice versa. Blacks commit 11 times as many violent crimes against whites as vice versa. These are DOJ statistics.

So if racism by certain groups requires the government to discriminate in the opposite direction to even things out, whats the solution, should the government start randomly shooting blacks and committing hate crimes against them in order to even things out? Because thats apparently what you think should be done to combat white racism.

BTW, which racism is more damaging, being shot to death or raped, or someone deciding not to hire you?

[ Parent ]

here you go again (5.00 / 1) (#193)
by Godel on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 03:48:50 AM EST

If discrimination is Wrong, it must be because it results in inequality,

Just had to address this. Inequality will ALWAYS exist as long as free will exists. Some will choose to work hard and become rich, some will choose to do drugs or be lazy and have nothing. Inequality is an essential consequence of free will, it cannot be avoided. Discrimination is not wrong because it creates inequality, it is wrong because it harms INDIVIDUALS. Again you appear completely unable to think of individuals instead of groups. Discrimination isnt wrong because it lowers the percentage of group X in field Y down to 11% from 14%. Discrimination is wrong because, specific real living breathing people, John and Sue are unfairly denied the same opportunity that others have, solely because of their race. Groups don't matter, people do.

Hence the silliness of your argument, because discrimination is wrong, we'll discriminate even more against other people. All you're doing is compounding the problem by depriving more INDIVIDUALS of opportunities. Black people aren't just some huge homogenous block you know, they are living individuals as different as night and day, the same as every other race. Why do you insist on grouping people together instead of judging them as individuals?

[ Parent ]

racist (5.00 / 3) (#203)
by Noam Chompsky on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 10:06:25 AM EST

Just had to address this. Inequality will ALWAYS exist as long as free will exists. Some will choose to work hard and become rich, some will choose to do drugs or be lazy and have nothing.

Some of us will choose to be racists.

I like your thinking, Godel: "OK, my genetic argument is spurious. I must think of another racist argument. I know: since AA has in fact improved the lot of innately inferior groups of people, AA has rewarded them for choosing to be lazy crack bitches and dogs." You are forcing me to repeat myself:

Affirmative action consists of actions taken to increase the numbers of an underrepresented demographic group in an organization. Affirmative action plans are not permitted to involve strict quotas or to force the organization to hire or promote unqualified employees. But, they may involve consideration of demographic status in making government decisions. Discrimination in employment decisions is assessed by comparing the selection ratios for different demographic groups. In such analysis, the comparison group consists only of those actual or potential applicants who are qualified for the position.
<snip>

What part of the block quoted text above don't you understand for the second fucking time? Pay attention: AA policies are not an issue unless both candidates--individuals--are qualified. If both candidates are qualified for a position, then obviously they are equally qualified to do the work demanded of that position. It stands to reason. At that point, "discrimination in employment decisions is assessed by comparing the selection ratios for different demographic groups." That way, godels are not chosen based on their skin color much as they have been throughout American history, and black people are give the chance to raise themselves out of their historically imposed, artificially depressed demographic.

Why do you insist on grouping people together instead of judging them as individuals?

I don't.

Do you have an argument to make or are you content to string a series of ignorant assertions into speeches? I called you on your bullshit by arguing how and why your opinion was based on fundamental misunderstandings of race, genetics and AA. You have reasserted your unmodified opinion with the same disregard for evidence, knowledge, reading comprehension and logic, spiced up with a smattering libertarian piety for good mojo measure. The time for argument is over. I shall be succint: don't squander any money on IQ tests; I assure you, you're quite the dull.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

last response (1.00 / 2) (#236)
by Godel on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 07:54:22 PM EST

lazy crack bitches ... second fucking time? ... your bullshit

There's no point in trying to conduct an intelligent conversation with someone who spews insults and vile language which have no place in a logical conversation. If you can't temper your language for a few seconds during the day to conduct a rational argument then I really have nothing to say to you.

I've said everything I have to say already, you choose to ignore it and respond with vile language. That is your choice. Choosing not to respond to it after this is mine.

Goodbye.

[ Parent ]

Eh? (5.00 / 2) (#258)
by Noam Chompsky on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 08:52:11 AM EST

There's no point in trying to conduct an intelligent conversation with someone who spews insults and vile language which have no place in a logical conversation.

Spoken as if a pious trope could possibly dispute your alcoholism, you fascist pederast. OK, I said that wrong. What I meant to say was your concern kindles my sympathy, but I'll talk to racists if I want to.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Oh, for the love of...! (1.00 / 1) (#318)
by tekue on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 09:53:38 AM EST

That way, godels are not chosen based on their skin color much as they have been throughout American history, and black people are give the chance to raise themselves out of their historically imposed, artificially depressed demographic.

When will you understand you are a racist? Racism means judging people by skin colour, not by their individual traits. The very sentence I'm quoting is racist, and until you can see why, there's no point it discussing such issues with you.

In a (utopian) non-racist society, the colour of your skin has no value whatsoever in employment/etc. The more value is assigned to race in society, the more racist that society is.

In short, if two man are equal in every other aspect, and one of them is hired because of his race, he was hired for racist reasons. If it was because the law requires that, the law is racist. I can't think of an simpler way to put this.

Given a choice, I would probably hire the black dude instead of the white one, because (where I live) it would be unusual to employ a black man and I dig being unusual. And yes, that would mean I'd employ him for racist reasons.

One more thing, there's no such person as a "black person", just as there's no such person as "an average Joe", and there's no person with 2.3 children.
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

You're going to have to connect the dots for me. (5.00 / 1) (#323)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 01:18:59 PM EST

Racism is a prejudice for inequality between races in outcome and outlook; AA merely discriminates. Human beings continually discriminate, almost exactly as if they were cursed by intentionality and will. The question is can they justify the procedure by which they distinguish between choices and thereby animate their intentions and will. "That is racism!" is something Humpty Dumpty might say in a rather scornful tone. "Three words and an exclamation mark mean just what I choose them to mean, neither more nor less. The question is who shall be master--that's all." Perhaps, but the answer is whether Humpty Dumpty can make an argument showing AA is not reasonable or necessary. You do not believe in AA. I wonder, do you believe in the vote? Voting presumes candidates can be discriminated according to their policies. If interminable elections cannot be justified, their expense is not reasonable or necessary, and the fate of black and white men alike should be left to the flip of a coin or random lotteries.

I never claimed AA did not discriminate. If you read up thread, you will find where I admit AA discriminates, and where I argue why its procedure for distinguishing between applicants is reasonable and necessary. Whether or not you have a different procedure in mind, can or cannot articulate it or defend its consequences, believe you me, you will hire only one of the two applicants.

In short, if two man are equal in every other aspect, and one of them is hired because of his race, he was hired for racist reasons.

Nevertheless, one of the two men must be hired. Why one and not the other?

Given a choice, I would probably hire the black dude instead of the white one, because (where I live) it would be unusual to employ a black man and I dig being unusual.

I agree! We are both of us good men.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

One-two-three... (none / 0) (#332)
by tekue on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 03:26:50 AM EST

[T]he answer is whether Humpty Dumpty can make an argument showing AA is not reasonable or necessary. You do not believe in AA. I wonder, do you believe in the vote? Voting presumes candidates can be discriminated according to their policies. If interminable elections cannot be justified, their expense is not reasonable or necessary, and the fate of black and white men alike should be left to the flip of a coin or random lotteries.

I guess the difference is whether it should be the government to discriminate against certain groups — most countries have a history of that — or should that be left alone to personal decision. I believe in free markets, and discrimination should also be free. The companies that, for example, don't hire blacks and asians for racist reasons, will probably loose competetive edge to companies that don't use skin colour as a factor in hiring (in the long term). This way the companies that are not discriminating will win and take over the market.

On the other hand, with AA the reason to not discriminate is only monetary. I don't think you can reasonably pay people not to be racists. The problem with AA is then that it doesn't work. To draw the conclusion further, AA may make people racists — "those damn negroes even made a law that says it's a crime to hire a decent white fellow!" — see what I mean? It's not reasonable, but people tend not to be, racists in particular.

Nevertheless, one of the two men must be hired. Why one and not the other?

Exactly! Why the black and not the white one? Why should the government decide about hiring practices in a private company? The more the government has to say in a private business, the closer to communism we get, and we all know how great communism works.

I think that every man should have the right to choose for himself regarding his private properity (including his person).
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

But, everything you describe existed before AA. (5.00 / 1) (#334)
by Noam Chompsky on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 08:54:43 AM EST

And all that got us was a necessary and reasonable requirement for AA. Thus, it appears we cannot fix racism by straining market metaphors.

"Still," you might object, "AA stratifies society along racial lines. It would be better if we purged race from the collective and individual consciousness." Of course, that would be better, that would be ideal. However, it is not clear how the abnegation of AA policies would accomplish this ideal state of affairs, or why AA might defer its attainment. For one thing, AA is a response to what happened, so we know very well what happens when we abandon policies based on principles of fairness and promotion whose objective is unrepentant equality. In an ideal world where racism was unknown, AA policies would be intrusive and unnecessary; but in the real world--well we tried your way in the historical past, that is why AA became necessary in the real world present.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

You know... (5.00 / 1) (#335)
by Noam Chompsky on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 09:24:18 AM EST

Except for a lingering current of resentment, for which I blame misinformation and ignorance, AA-like policies deserve some consideration in an explanation of why there is less racism in the heterogeneous American population today than existed in the past or elsewhere in the world. Racism is still institutionalized in America and don't let anyone tell you different; but racism (and sexism!) is tolerated much less in America than in (e.g.) Europe, so obviously something was done right, something that just happens to coincide, contemporaneously, with AA policies. Give the militant brother his due is all I'm saying.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

One last thought. (none / 0) (#343)
by tekue on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 03:14:11 AM EST

Have you ever considered, that the establishment of AA policies may have been caused by decreasing racism, not the other way? May that be that it was the work of many generations of open-minded men — like Malcolm X, Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and many others — that opened our minds too, and enabled for making policies like AA? I think we could call AA the ills of young age of the struggle for racial equality.
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]
Ha ha! (none / 0) (#204)
by Noam Chompsky on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 10:11:06 AM EST

Inequality will ALWAYS exist as long as free will exists.

Then we are wasting valuable time arguing. Since you are prepared to accept inequality, let it be yours.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Cites, please. (3.83 / 6) (#49)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 07:17:58 PM EST

Since I've never heard of Jensen before, can you give hard cites of his racism? I mean, harder than "Joe Random Citizen says Jensen is actually the anti-christ"...


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

Okay (3.12 / 8) (#57)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 07:51:19 PM EST

Jensen does claim I.Q. is correlated to race so he is a hard and fast racist. If you read the article he claims that blacks have an average I.Q. two standard deviations below normal. This means that blacks have an average I.Q. of 70, which is in the high end of the retarded range. Here's the firs link I got when I typed "Arthur Jensen" racist into google: here. It isn't very accusational but you'll see more if research him. Here's an article from Z magazine. Look near the bottom, it refutes Jensen pretty well. I believe the book "The Bell Curve" was based on Jensen's work.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Slow down! (4.00 / 1) (#289)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:32:50 PM EST

He claimed that African Blacks, a population set which includes a large number of tribal cultures, score 2 standard deviations below the mean on IQ tests.
I don't see how this could NOT be true. When you test a culture which has no damn reason to CARE about an IQ test, you are obviously going to get lower scores because their skillset doesn't match what the test is measuring. He never said this meant blacks are dumber tha anyone else. He specifically went out of his way to mention that all this meant was that one group of people scored less on a test than another group of people. So calm down.
Don't read things into the article that aren't there.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Yet it would seem to explain so much. (1.83 / 6) (#150)
by smartass on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 03:25:49 PM EST

Like why have blacks never contributed anything to science.

Why have conditions in Africa only gotten worse since they got independence.

Why is AIDS a bigger problem in Africa than in India or China.


Feel free to call me a racist if it makes you fell any better. But that doesn't make the above any less true.

[ Parent ]

And so neatly, unless you're interested in... (4.09 / 11) (#155)
by localroger on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 04:18:25 PM EST

Like why have blacks never contributed anything to science.

Three words: George. Washington. Carver.

Why have conditions in Africa only gotten worse since they got independence.

Two words: British. Partition.

Why is AIDS a bigger problem in Africa than in India or China.

One word: Origin.

Feel free to call me a racist if it makes you fell any better.

Not at all. There is the perfectly possible alternative that you are an idiot.

But that doesn't make the above any less true.

No, but it couldn't make them any less relevant, either.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Racist? (none / 0) (#315)
by tekue on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 08:33:31 AM EST

While I'm against racism in any form, couldn't that be that in a culture that encourages abstract logical thought people are more likely to do well on a test that tests exactly that?

In a technological culture it's better to have a high IQ (i.e. be better at solving abstract logical problems), while in a tribal society such as most Africans (used to?) live in, it's not that much neccessary and has less evolutionary potential for growth?

Of course, this may also be bull*, as the separation of human races took place not so long ago (evolutionary speaking) and perhaps such differences should not be apparent right now.

What we need to understand is that IQ is (roughly) just a measurement of the ability to solve abstract logical problems, which ability is certainly not necessary for a happy, productive life.

Do you remember the name of the guy, who had the highest IQ ever measured? My point exactly. (And for the geeks who do know it, what did he accomplish in life?)
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

Has anyone... (2.50 / 5) (#14)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 05:55:39 PM EST

Has anyone ever conducted a study comparing the genes of high, average, and low IQ people in an attempt to find the genes for intelligence?

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

They can't even find the genes for race (4.00 / 9) (#126)
by localroger on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:38:32 AM EST

Really, this is one of those things like IQ itself you can expect the racist shitheads to have jumped on, and they did, and oh to their astonishment what did they find? You can't tell a person's race by looking at their genome. There is no correlation at all. Genetically, there is only one race of humans.

Here's one of the top articles to pop up in a Google query.

Now, at least we can tell what race our test subjects are supposed to be -- most of the time at least (Tiger Woods, anybody?). Given that we can't even define IQ and you have IQ-morphing people like my girlfriend who went from 65 to 190 (and this was in a professional setting, with tests like the Stanford-Binet administered by school psychologists, because they wanted to know whether to send her to the 'tard school or not), it's hard to even get a handle on who you're trying to compare with what gene.

The most likely thing is that, barring some dramatic fuckup or nutritional deficiency or getting whacked over the head or what we program into it, there is really very little difference in how our bodies grow our brains. It's simply not the kind of process where a small change will produce a small result.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Dr.Duck, King o' the Rate Don't Reply School (nt) (none / 0) (#186)
by localroger on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:34:47 PM EST


I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Intelligence is a commodity (3.33 / 6) (#16)
by imrdkl on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 05:58:42 PM EST

But wisdom is a gift.

But (3.66 / 3) (#17)
by medham on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:02:05 PM EST

Jimmy Carter is smarter.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

And (3.66 / 3) (#23)
by imrdkl on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:08:26 PM EST

He drives a mean tractor.

[ Parent ]
Major nitpick (4.20 / 20) (#21)
by localroger on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:06:45 PM EST

Twin studies show that g is around 80% inherited and 20% environmental. This leaves little hope of increasing g,

This has been beaten to death but my opinion is that the kindest thing that can be said about twin studies is that they are complete bullshit, and the kindest thing that can be said about anybody who draws a conclusion from one is that he is a complete fool. Nothing personal, but there is a long and sordid history of both padding the results and using those padded results to justify all manner of evil reverse-Robin-Hood social engineering.

Incidentally, when my girlfriend took her first IQ test her score was 65. The last one she ever took it was 190. If that's all test wiseness then the standard deviation of g itself must be interestingly large.

Incidentally, speaking as someone who has measured at least 100+2.5 SD on every standardized test I've ever taken, my own experience suggests that the whole idea is bullshit. People with exceptional abilities often have them because they have diverted energy from developing other common skills which the tests aren't measuring, such as how to flirt or memorize every baseball statistic since 1957. And people who do poorly on them often have exceptional skills which the tests aren't measuring, such as keeping straight hundreds of subtle relationships and minor skills that contribute to survival in an inner-city jungle.

I also think nutrition, appropriate early stimulation, and affluence have a lot more to do with it than the genetic code, inasmuch as it has anything to do with anything other than random thermal noise during development at all.

I can haz blog!

Exactly! (4.00 / 6) (#46)
by omegadan on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 07:04:24 PM EST

People with exceptional abilities often have them because they have diverted energy from developing other common skills

Exactly, at 13 I was a genius in both computers and music I was writing games and demos, in x86 assembley ... But I would get nervous and flustered doing anything where I had to interact with anyone. Even simple stuff like ordering a pizza terrified me.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

i am with ya bro (or sis...) (4.00 / 5) (#129)
by zzzeek on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:03:00 PM EST

our peers got remedial education for their bad academic grades...yet they didnt offer us any remedial education for our pathetic social skills. of course, we were told "we can do anything" so I set out to put all of my superior intelligence into correcting that situation.....now I am as dumb as anyone else.....hooray !

[ Parent ]
how now, dr. duck (none / 0) (#240)
by zzzeek on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 09:28:56 PM EST

that was my actual uneditorialized experience....childhood can get moderated down now ?

[ Parent ]
Heh (3.00 / 2) (#47)
by X3nocide on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 07:07:15 PM EST

Actually my understanding of g is that its based partially on corellation of tests. That is people who do well on one test are likely to do well on most tests. How its extrapolated from that I'm not sure but I'm sure the formula is skewed to favor the academic author's nationality.

Not to say that your girlfriend is smart nor stupid but that the IQ test was originally created by social engineers and quickly adopted by those who gained its favor. Not that intelligence spells success. Rather, a good work ethic and rich connections are what makes for successful carreers. Gates didn't get where he was by pure intelligence, nor simply through money. He was at the right time at the right places and had enough parental endowment to make the first million. Gates went to an excellent school which had computers and access to a university ala teletype. There were many intelligent people when he was a kid, but few had access to the kind of technology that was ready to explode. In short, have friends and Asperger's Syndrom.

pwnguin.net
[ Parent ]

twin studies (3.00 / 2) (#65)
by pathetic on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 09:09:34 PM EST


I also think nutrition, appropriate early stimulation, and affluence have a lot more to do with it than the genetic code, inasmuch as it has anything to do with anything other than random thermal noise during development at all.

Absolutely; many things affect development. Even height can be affected psychologically, people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds but who have perfect nutrition are still on average shorter.

But I wouldn't dismiss modern twin-studies. They are essential for studying inherited disorders such as schizophrenia to isolate genes. They are probably better used for studying disorders than for studying general traits.

[ Parent ]

Statistics (none / 0) (#320)
by tekue on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 10:14:03 AM EST

Even height can be affected psychologically, people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds but who have perfect nutrition are still on average shorter.

Yeah, or people who are shorter, despite perfect nutrition, still generate lower average income.
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

Comments (3.75 / 5) (#71)
by sigwinch on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 09:49:42 PM EST

Nothing personal, but there is a long and sordid history of both padding the results and using those padded results to justify all manner of evil reverse-Robin-Hood social engineering.
Some people did poor twin studies, ergo all variates in all twin studies are statistically independent? Poor reasoning.
People with exceptional abilities often have them because they have diverted energy from developing other common skills which the tests aren't measuring, such as how to flirt or memorize every baseball statistic since 1957.
When you practice, your skill plateaus. There is a huge range of plateaus in different people, from lower than the average chimp to super-amazing.
And people who do poorly on them often have exceptional skills which the tests aren't measuring, such as keeping straight hundreds of subtle relationships and minor skills that contribute to survival in an inner-city jungle.
There are plenty of people who can't survive in an inner-city jungle, even though their life depends on it and their nose is rubbed in that fact every day.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

Twin Studies (4.20 / 5) (#115)
by localroger on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 08:48:09 AM EST

Some people did poor twin studies, ergo all variates in all twin studies are statistically independent? Poor reasoning.

Around 1980, after the Cyril Burt fiasco was unearthed, a longitudinal study was done showing that every twin study ever done up to that time was either fraudulent or so flawed as to be worthless.

In any other field that would have set off hands-off klaxons for at least 50 years. Anyone who pursues such a thoroughly discredited line of reasoning has to expect to have their credit questioned too.

The motives of the people who fund twin studies are usually very clear; the very fact that they would attempt a twin study is itself revelatory. Doing a twin study that is not scientifically worthless would be require a superhuman dedication to objectivity which, quite frankly, I don't think any human being alive (including myself) could possibly manage in the current political climate.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Recently, (none / 0) (#282)
by jforan on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:01:53 PM EST

I did a study that found that 100% of all studies were, are, and always will be intrinsically flawed.

Except for that one.

Jeff

I hops to be barley workin'.
[ Parent ]

Once again (4.00 / 1) (#311)
by sigwinch on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 02:55:09 AM EST

In any other field that would have set off hands-off klaxons for at least 50 years.
So I suppose the fradulent element discovery work means we should keep our hands off of nuclear research for the next 50 years?

Again, the flaws of particular studies 20 years ago do not speak to whether twin studies can produce meaningful information. You seem to be arguing that because some yahoos did bad twin studies, that twins are therefore no more similar than random chance would dictate. And that is dumb on a cosmic scale.

Doing a twin study that is not scientifically worthless would be require a superhuman dedication to objectivity which, quite frankly, I don't think any human being alive (including myself) could possibly manage in the current political climate.
That is just catastrophically dumb. A good twin study is utterly straightforward:
  1. Develop a test procedure.
  2. Make sure the test procedure includes parameters that are known to have a strong genetic component (hair color, height, diabetes, etc.).
  3. Have different experimenters run the test procedure over and over on the same people.
  4. Refine the procedure until it is repeatable "enough".
  5. Test a large population of twins, and a large population of singles. (How large is basic statistics.)
  6. Calculate the correlation coefficients.
  7. Verify that the known-correlated parameters are indeed highly correlated between twins, and uncorrelated between non-twin pairs.
Which is no harder than any other type of study. Which is to say you have to be damn careful no matter what you're measuring. The universe is a bitch, she will tell you what you want to hear.

So enough with the FUD campaign against twin studies. If you want to criticize, then criticize flaws in particular studies and particular researchers.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

Hmm (1.66 / 3) (#212)
by dipierro on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 12:27:47 PM EST

Incidentally, when my girlfriend took her first IQ test her score was 65. The last one she ever took it was 190.

I don't believe you.



[ Parent ]
I do. (4.00 / 1) (#285)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:18:22 PM EST

The first IQ test I took I scored pretty poorly on, slightly above average, like 101, 102. The reason was that I was VERY VERY hungry, and had only had about 2.5 hours of sleep the night before. I had not known I was going to be taking an IQ test, so I stayed up all night reading. Which meant I overslept and got no breakfast. So I couldn't concentrate on ANYTHING. I was retested a week later at my parents request and this time I KNEW I was getting a test. So I got 9hrs of sleep, ate a good breakfast and took a snack. My score was 142 on a test where 150 is high genius. So I was much happier.
I could see some pretty dramatic swings in score based on initial testing conditions such as amount of sleep, hunger, mood, etc...

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

101 to 142 (none / 0) (#297)
by dipierro on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 04:08:53 PM EST

is a lot different from 65 to 190. 190 is a whole lot higher than 142. Most tests don't even go up to 190.

[ Parent ]
Yeah... (4.00 / 1) (#298)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 04:31:00 PM EST

There are a couple of IQ tests where high genius is 200+... So it's theoretically possible. I'm not saying it's true, just that it's possible.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

I'm not saying it isn't possible... (none / 0) (#305)
by dipierro on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:48:29 PM EST

just that I don't believe it to be true. Of course a hearsay report from a psudonymous internet person trying to prove a point using anecdotal evidence starts out at about -2 SD on the believability scale to begin with.

[ Parent ]
What are "subtests"? (3.50 / 3) (#22)
by borful on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:08:04 PM EST

I got through most of the material on the page linked as "factor analysis" and I'm not sure I understand it. Also, I've not seen an IQ test in some years so this is working from memory.

IIRC, the IQ tests I've seen have different sections; many of the sections have questions of the "What comes next" genre. They'll list some numbers or letters or pictures or something and give choices as to the next in sequence. (I also recall word definition sections.) Are each of these sections what you mean by "subtest"? One subtest is the "What number comes next?" section and another is the "What picture comes next?"

Moving on to the "q factor", again if I understand the "factor analysis" page and your own explanation of it, the "q factor" measures correlation between these sections, right? This means that if I do well on "What number comes next?", I'm also likely to do well on "What picture comes next?" . . . isn't that what correlation means?

If you end up doing a rewrite on the article, some examples might clear this up.

If I'm understanding this correctly, it seems to me that the "q factor" would not be any better than the raw IQ test scores when moving on to try to correlate with various demographic attributes. (Off topic, I don't see how skill at answering "What <x> comes next?" questions correlates to "intelligence", but that's just me.)

Good story; should produce some good discussion.

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.

Beavis and Butthead (3.70 / 10) (#24)
by SanSeveroPrince on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:09:38 PM EST

I am going to give this the attention it deserves:

'hu, hu... he said G-spot, dude'
'eh, eh, yeah. Cool. G-spot'

It's a bunch of old wives' tales mixed up to look scientific. Shame on you.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


Fundamentally flawed? (4.00 / 10) (#26)
by sto0 on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:15:54 PM EST

Surely the results of any IQ test display an individual's ability at that test and bear no real affirmative advice on the individual's general ability? Sadly, the limitations of IQ tests do not address factors such as social intelligence, dexterity skills and so forth.

For instance, what about managerial roles that require a person to deal with people in a very skilled way? How can a paper-based test take those kinds of things into account? I've know people who are incredible when it comes to dealing with other people compared to my own ability, yet have lesser academic ability. Are they less intelligent? Or, say we are taking the case of a highly skilled musician: how can a paper-based test take into account talents in musical interpretation? What happens if they score low in a test? Are they stupid?

IQ test as a whole are all very well, but what you get is people such as Jansen applying results in a wholly spurious way, and resulting in misconceptions about what IQ test "prove".

Intelligence is a very hard thing to measure, and IQ tests can only measure one very limited aspect if it.

I'm not sure who you're arguing with (3.66 / 6) (#61)
by Delirium on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 08:36:18 PM EST

I've never met anyone who has claimed that an IQ test measures things like "social intelligence" or fitness for managerial roles. What they do purport to measure is the classical view of intelligence: ability to reason logically, form associations, recognize patterns, and so on. If you're familiar with Howard Gardner's proposed seven types of intelligence, an IQ test is designed to measure a combination 2 of them: "logical-mathematical" and "spatial."

Frankly, that's still what I consider intelligence. I fully agree that other things are very important -- ability to deal with people, ability to learn skills and facts, and so on. Some of those might even be more important than traditional intelligence in terms of success in life or in a career. But that still doesn't mean that someone who has them and is bad at reasoning is intelligent. They are not; they merely are good enough at other things that they can succeed without being intelligent (and by the same token, the fact that someone intelligent is completely inept at everything else doesn't mean that they weren't intelligent to begin with).

[ Parent ]

intelligence testing (3.63 / 11) (#30)
by pathetic on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:30:15 PM EST

is just yet another reason for people to think that they are better than others. Some people have such low self-esttem that they want to think that they are better than others somehow, anyhow.

IMHO, people who go around saying that they have an IQ of 163 are unintentionally amusing. If they had any clue about people they would know to keep their mouth shut. It just goes to show you that IQ tests definitely don't measure social intelligence.

BTW I am somewhat disturbed by the fact this obviously racist, inaccurate article is being voted up.

People are not equal (3.66 / 6) (#34)
by jabber on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:37:07 PM EST

You can stuff it in your Politically Correct pipe and smoke it, but only is you don't offend anyone in the process.

I'll be right over there, pissing on the handicapped stencil in front of the non-OSHA compliant "whites only" water fountain.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

the problem is (3.66 / 6) (#38)
by pathetic on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:47:24 PM EST

using iq tests this way is not good science, just justification for racist beliefs, and a statement of the obvious.

Yes, Africans are poorer and thus have a poor education system. That does not mean they are racially any less intelligent than Jews, or whatever.

Obviously poorer people (i.e. Africans) will do less well on an intelligence tests than richer people (i.e. Ashkenazi jews) just because they could suffer malnutrition, poor education, whatevr. Not to mention cultural differences which could affect the testing. And I doubt that the differences measured where that high.

So waht is the use of stating the obvious, apart to further a racist agenda?

[ Parent ]

well, actually, it depends (4.00 / 5) (#50)
by jabber on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 07:20:32 PM EST

It may very well depend on which "blacks" and which "Jews" are tested, before such a sweeping generalization is made.

However, I submit for your consideration that nobody likes a smart-ass, nor a free-thinking subordinate.

I would never deny the fact that blacks have been denied opportunities. Nor would I deny that there are even now economic (and other "nurture") factors which can be accountable for intelligence differences between races.

Also, there are cultural differences, in that races tend to put emphasis on different abilities, and thereby reinforce them. Assuming intelligence is a hereditary trait, how can this not have an effect?

But, my point is that, given the American population, the black race has been the subject of selective breeding up until just a few generations ago. The slaves who were allowed and encouraged to have families, were the ones who were well-suited to do physical labor. Those who were intelligent enough to contemplate their position were, I would suppose, quickly killed, lest they caused rebellion.

I think that even racist scientists serve a very valuable function. They cause us to consider WHY the differences they find exist - not only DO they exist.

Assuming on average, the American black is less intelligent than the American white, why might this be? Are the groups compared equivalent on the "nurture" axis? If so, what is the difference on the "nature" axis? Can we find another group to test? How about blacks and whites from Brazil? Egypt? Does the difference still hold?

I think that dismissing a study which implies racial (or gender or whatever) differences because it demonstrates differences, is short-sighted. Even if the people behind the science are prejudiced, if the study is sound, then the findings are valid. Now, WHY are they valid?

It's really a problem of truly isolating the variable being tested, and that is a really huge challenge when dealing with so many side-effects.

Then there's the whole other argument on the nature of intelligence, and how IQ is not a valid representation of mental ability because mental ability is a much more complex thing than can be tested in the limited fashion allowed by a relatively simple test. But that's a completely separate discussion.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Yes that all makes sense (4.20 / 5) (#56)
by redwolfb14 on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 07:49:14 PM EST

Until someone says.

"What is Intelligence?"

The study isn't sound that is why it's being dismissed. Also there once hasn't been a study that I can think of in history that can find a scientific difference in behavior based on race between cultures. Infact it's been shown more than none that cultures somehow revolve around the same systems even if they don't come into contact with one another (Aztecs/Egyptians/Vikings/etc). Which leads me to believe that all the scientists who are discriminatory and or racist operate on unfound studies such as intelligence and other nonsense. We know about jackshit 0.00001% of anything about the brain itself and this is where intelligence stems from; at least one has to suspect.

The scientist who doesn't waste time on trying to find differences because he/she knows there is no difference but actually trying to find a couple of answers to important questions so that in the future people can find more answers is doing a service for humanity. The discriminatory/racist scientist is just wasting his time on psuedo science, fairy tale ideas and is in my opinion neither a scientist and/or professor as they are blinded by hate which isn't required and has no place in science, or for that matter, any other profession where honest important questions need to be asked and answered.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

Spot on (3.33 / 3) (#64)
by pathetic on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 09:02:41 PM EST

And because some cultures with different races are so similar, some anthropologist have even come up with the (IMO, quite bizarre) idea that there was an original master-culture to explain the similarities.

[ Parent ]
The dread, unspoken fear (none / 0) (#287)
by jubilation on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:27:21 PM EST

The scientist who doesn't waste time on trying to find differences because he/she knows there is no difference but actually trying to find a couple of answers to important questions so that in the future people can find more answers is doing a service for humanity.
(Emphasis mine, I added it.)

How do you know there is no difference? It sounds like you've already decided. Wouldn't it be weird if thousands of years of isolation and genetic drift produced only changes in outward appearance? How would the genes know not to change anything else? But wait, there has been a Scientific American article last year (too lazy to look up) about how different populations within Africa have substantive differences in fast- and slow-twitch muscle fiber (accounting for, roughly, marathoners from East Africa, sprinters from West Africa).

Wouldn't it be weird if thousands of years of isolation and genetic drift produced only changes in outward appearance and muscle fiber arrangement? How would the genes know not to change anything else?

Point being this: It is a psychological and historical and philosophical necessity to believe that all races are inherently equal. Not a scientific one.

What will you do if the day comes when it is proven that New Guineans are 4.5% more clever than (insert-race-here)?

Now, before we panic about genetically superior New Guineans (J. Diamond, anyone? ;) taking us all over, let's take a deep breath. Any genetic differences are so minor that any two humans on Earth can interbreed, given a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and one another [1]. Also, experience shows us that geniuses can come from any race; any differences must be minor, else there wouldn't be any controversy -- we'd know. Hence any (unproven one way or another) differences in intelligence are sufficiently small that differences in training swamp any such effect. Everyone happy now?

[1] What about pygmies? Are they still fertile with other folk? Somehow I suspect that if one day they are not, we will have "a new species" on hand, but nobody will care. ;)

[ Parent ]
I never said there wasn't (none / 0) (#291)
by redwolfb14 on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:41:37 PM EST

Any difference at all but if there is difference; and one can only suspect it's so tiny it's irrelevant. My point was this, with things like race and intelligence and the like it's futile trying to find a difference because humans are so close. Sure there is gonna be difference between people, we are dealing with something highly volitale and dynamic; a human. However if we each can share blood or have the same blood types, if a heart out of one man can be transplanted into the next the differences are so menial that it's not worth bothering wasting time on. There are more important questions to be asked and answered, why waste time trying to find the .000020% difference in humans? Really? What are you gonna try to find the intelligence difference between Begal Tigers and Snow tigers? They are both tigers equipped for the area they live, does that make one more intelligent than the other? Be serious, mankind needs to advance, not bother with such trivial nonsense.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]
Hmmm (3.75 / 4) (#62)
by pathetic on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 08:55:31 PM EST

I'm glad your reply was better than your original post...

But, my point is that, given the American population, the black race has been the subject of selective breeding up until just a few generations ago.The slaves who were allowed and encouraged to have families, were the ones who were well-suited to do physical labor. Those who were intelligent enough to contemplate their position were, I would suppose, quickly killed, lest they caused rebellion.

That's a very controversial statement, to say the least, and in my opinion fallacious.

Firstly, I have never heard of breeding being performed seriously on slaves with intelligence in mind. Just because you select for one variable (strength, stamina), does not mean you select against another (intelligence).

Secondly, equating intelligence with rebelliousness is quite wrong. Intelligence is associated with impulse-control and introspection, so a more intelligent slave would know to keep his mouth shut to avoid being persecuted.

And using your logic, American blacks should be more submissive and respectful of authority nowadays than whites. Is that the case? I don't think so.

I think that even racist scientists serve a very valuable function. They cause us to consider WHY the differences they find exist - not only DO they exist.

Yes, but when their findings (that races have differenct average IQ scores) are


  • Scientifically meaningless

  • Vulnerable to popular misinterpretation which leads to racist stereotyping

I don't believe they are valuable at all.

If we want to measure povery and lack of education amongst minorities there are far better ways of doing it.

Our society does not want to do anything to alleviate poverty, affirmative action or anything to support minorities, and refuses to accept responsibility for centuries of discrimination. And we give them a test written by and for white culture and then act surprised when they perform poorly on it.

And it amazes me that even scientists still think that people are primarily divided up by race, when there are far more relevant and important divisions which can be made such as : social status, education, vocation, etcetera. Numerous studies have shown that the difference within races is far greater than the difference between races.

[ Parent ]

Define 'respectful' (3.00 / 2) (#123)
by Phillip Asheo on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:18:13 AM EST

And using your logic, American blacks should be more submissive and respectful of authority nowadays than whites. Is that the case? I don't think so.

African-Americans show little sign of rebelling against authority or redressing the balance. Indeed one African-American definition of the pinnacle of success is to become a self-hating so-called 'rapper' spewing out filthy mysogynistic and racist lyrics for the entertainment and amusement of the "white" masses.

I'm talking about Ice Cube and people of his ilk here, not truly insightful rappers like KRS-1 or Paris.

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#183)
by redwolfb14 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 10:28:21 PM EST

You're talking about Ice Cube who isn't recognized as being an insightful artist at all. How about Mos Def, Nas, The Roots, Guru etc etc. An example of rebelling against authority is clearly heard in what they say not only that but takes Nas for example. His father was a member of the Black Panther Party etc etc etc. However, I agree it would take something egregious to get rebellion on a large scale not that it's the way to go in most cases but in some it's required.
Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]
No rebelling? (none / 0) (#191)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 02:26:18 AM EST

African-Americans show little sign of rebelling against authority or redressing the balance.

Are you forgeting the many black civil rights movments that occured in the 60s and 70s that were mostly killed off the US .gov?

[ Parent ]

not at all (1.00 / 1) (#196)
by Phillip Asheo on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 06:31:34 AM EST

but by and large, the history of the african american has been one of collaboration with the white oppressor. no systematic racism such as that which cuurently exists in the usa could survive without some level of tacit support from those being oppressed.

if the african americans had taken a few states for themselves and kicked the whites out, that would be my idea of reasonable resistance.

heres another thought, what would have happened if the african americans on the 'million man march' had exercised their constitutional rights to bear arms ???

i am sorry to say it, but african americans are partly to blame for the racism they face in the usa today, due to their historic lack of militancy against the white oppressor.

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Take over a few states? (none / 0) (#234)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 07:50:33 PM EST

if the african americans had taken a few states for themselves and kicked the whites out, that would be my idea of reasonable resistance.

Considering they're a suppresed monority. Do you really think that's realistic? Not to mention that chasing all the while people out is just as bad as what happened to them.

heres another thought, what would have happened if the african americans on the 'million man march' had exercised their constitutional rights to bear arms ???

They would have been labeled a dangerous guerilla/terrorist group. They would have lost pretty much most support from white people, and that means most of the people in power--the millitary and police. Maybe it could have worked, but it could have easy backfired and made the situation much worse.

i am sorry to say it, but african americans are partly to blame for the racism they face in the usa today, due to their historic lack of militancy against the white oppressor.

I think you will find that it's just plain human nature. Most people aren't rebelious. Can't expect every black man to be Malcom X or M L King just because they're suppressed. Racism is nothing but lack of understanding, it's purly the fault of the person who is being racist.

[ Parent ]

Hi (none / 0) (#242)
by Emissary on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:12:21 PM EST

I was reading your diary the other day and you posted this, which asks anyone who sees you inadvertantly trolling to point it out to you. So, I'm pointing out your trolling to you: You're Trolling. kthx ^.^;;;

"Be instead like Gamera -- mighty, a friend to children, and always, always screaming." - eSolutions
[ Parent ]
Ooops (none / 0) (#250)
by Phillip Asheo on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:32:26 AM EST

Thanks for pointing it out, but I do in fact, believe this. the african american is at least partly to blame for his/her current position in the usa.

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

What would be really interesting (3.40 / 5) (#39)
by redwolfb14 on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:51:24 PM EST

To see is the correlation and statisical data had to come up with these statements. The problem with IQ test simply are that someone had to create them and they are based on what exactly? Intelligence comes from where? How much do we know about the human brain to say someone is stupid based on a test made up by someone (who scored the highest you would have to presume). The idea is silly, furthermore to say that Jews scored the highest and African Americans score the lowest is also just silly considering that most historical knowledge of sciences come out of Africa, and any history or science buff will tell you the same. Not only that but how long are they talking about? Are they speaking recently? How many African Americans were allowed to be educated until recently? It just doesn't make any sense. If people of Jewish background have always been more intuitive and smart then they'd clearly be ahead of the game in mostly everything. The ideas about IQ test are just silly and the people that believe in them are even more silly.

Personally I believe that IQ and intelligence have very little to do with an actual group of people and more about chemical balances in the brain along with personality, which make social personaility test alot more beliveable than say someones IQ score.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

You're right, it would be silly (4.00 / 3) (#133)
by Control Group on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:28:14 PM EST

to say that Jews scored the highest and African Americans score the lowest is also just silly (redwolfb14)

Highest scoring are Ashkenazim Jews (100 + 1 SD) and some groups of Asians. Lowest scoring are black Africans (100 - 2 SD). (the article)

Aside from the fact that this doesn't say that Jews scored the highest and African Americans scored the lowest (unless, in your mind, anyone who is black is an African American...which might say something about the validity of the political correctness movement), how is it silly to report a fact? Unless the author is simply lying about the research, a statement regarding which group scored higher is not a matter of debate, it's a matter of record. This is true regardless of how much of the history of science comes out of Africa.

You may want to claim that the results don't say anything valuable, or that they measure only a single trait out of any number which determine "success," but you probably oughtn't argue that what is actually a measured result simply isn't. Not without good counter-evidence, anyway.

***
"Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
[ Parent ]

Read the article (3.00 / 2) (#137)
by redwolfb14 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:44:25 PM EST

To see is the correlation and statisical data had to come up with these statements. The problem with IQ test simply are that someone had to create them and they are based on what exactly? Intelligence comes from where? How much do we know about the human brain to say someone is stupid based on a test made up by someone (who scored the highest you would have to presume). The idea is silly, etc etc etc

Also look at the context in which the study was done and oh wait.. where the statiscal data etc etc had to come from to come up these statements. Somehow I feel like I'm repeating myself.

The rest of your post is silly simply because you don't have that info, and neither do I and in scientific analysis of situations you usually have this thing called data as which you make your claims. Therefore I don't want to claim anything because it would be silly which is what this study seems to have done. Claimed to understand intelligence or IQ to the point they could actually measure it between groups to come up with an answer. That's highly unscientific and I don't have to have counter-evidence for that.

Here's is what is needed for a proper study, a random pool of people from every race, and an understanding of what intelligence and IQ is. Then a system to which we could measure by. Till then it's all silly psuedo, I am GOD nonsense to me.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

None of which changes 1 thing: (3.00 / 2) (#163)
by Control Group on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 05:50:10 PM EST

The fact that the claim is simply that one group of people (the Ashkenazim Jews) outscored another group of people (black Africans). That's not an issue which is open to debate - and that is my only point.

Whether that measurement means anything regarding intelligence is an open question, whether it means anything regarding anyone's worth as a human being is yet another question (a closed question, IMHO, since it doesn't indicate anything of the kind). Simply because you don't like the idea of measuring IQ isn't a valid reason to claim that the data aren't exactly the way the article states they are.

You may have a valid point about whether or not IQ is a useful metric, but stating that the article claims African Americans aren't as intelligent as Jews doesn't help (since it doesn't say that). Nor does stating without any sort of evidence that the recorded data have been falsified.

Of course, I've now simply restated my original point, albeit in a lengthier manner. If it didn't do any good the first time, I have no reason to believe it will the second.

***
"Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
[ Parent ]

Ummmm (none / 0) (#178)
by redwolfb14 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 07:54:13 PM EST

Simply because you don't like the idea of measuring IQ isn't a valid reason to claim that the data aren't exactly the way the article states they are.

How could the data be exactly the way the article states if IQ can't be sufficiently measured or tested if no one knows what intelligence is? I'm asking because scientifically this is a question that needs to be answer for your statement to hold any water. Where did this data come from? Has someone figured out how to measure intelligence on a scale that makes sense if we know very little about the human brain, intelligence or iq? How is it we can measure intelligence but don't know what it is or how it works? How come nueral nets around the world are still waiting for quantum computing to be realized? So many questions still unanswered yet the data has not been falsified; right. Oh yeah by the way 82.4% of readers will agree with this 17.6% will not. Also note I am God.

You may have a valid point about whether or not IQ is a useful metric, but stating that the article claims African Americans aren't as intelligent as Jews doesn't help (since it doesn't say that). Nor does stating without any sort of evidence that the recorded data have been falsified.

It is false until the above question(s) is answered sufficiently. You can't make measurements on something if you don't know what that something is can you? Does that scientifically make any logic or reasonable sense to you? I don't really care about the African American vs Jews it could of been Whoever vs Whoever. The whole idea is bunk and silly. It just so happens that those two groups were jotted as highest and lowest so I used them for correlation purposes this isn't a race issue for me, it's merely one of science. I don't deal in fairy tale science or data or statistics I like my science real, raw and full of evidence, when I can't get that I like it based on as much facts and history as humanly possible and a relatively logical theory. Thus far the above is fairy tale science to me as all of the exisiting evidence shows that we don't know enough to get data, provide statistics or make correlations. If you don't believe that you can believe in it, it doesn't make it real. Forcing the issue doesn't make it real either.

Of course, I've now simply restated my original point, albeit in a more lengthy manner. If it didn't do any good the first time, I have no reason to believe it will the second.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

I know I shouldn't bite, but (none / 0) (#222)
by Control Group on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 02:19:49 PM EST

Whether or not intelligence can be measured, the test scores are what they are.

Perhaps boldface will make my point clearer. I don't care if the data mean ANYTHING AT ALL. Maybe an analogy? If I drop a bowling ball and a feather off my roof, I will recover data which indicate that the bolwing ball falls faster. You're arguing that this data is wrong, because gravity doesn't act more strongly on heavier objects. You're right about that. Nonetheless, the bowling ball DID fall faster. Whether or not it's a valid test for the strength of gravity DOESN'T CHANGE THE MEASURED RESULT.

***
"Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
[ Parent ]

Ahhhhhh... (none / 0) (#229)
by redwolfb14 on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 06:23:11 PM EST

Perhaps boldface will make my point clearer. I don't care if the data mean ANYTHING AT ALL. Maybe an analogy? If I drop a bowling ball and a feather off my roof, I will recover data which indicate that the bolwing ball falls faster. You're arguing that this data is wrong, because gravity doesn't act more strongly on heavier objects. You're right about that. Nonetheless, the bowling ball DID fall faster. Whether or not it's a valid test for the strength of gravity DOESN'T CHANGE THE MEASURED RESULT.

LMAO... "I don't care if the data mean ANYTHING AT ALL." Your analogy is funny in that you provide something that has been proven. Why don't you use a IQ or intelligence analogy or something like that my friend. Why something like gravity that has been proven? "Nonetheless, the bowling ball DID fall faster.(to prove his point he breaks the laws of gravity) Whether or not it's a valid test for the strength of gravity DOESN'T CHANGE THE MEASURED RESULT". You're a fool; and as I said before and this is becoming so funny I've invited people to read it is HOW CAN YOU MEASURE SOMETHING THAT YOU KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT?!.

To people viewing this as you can see "Control Group" needs to take an introductory course in Science. Feel free to interject, i'm gonna see if I can get a psychology major to maybe help him out.

Cheers!

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

Rampant Stupidity, it must be intentional.... (none / 0) (#283)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:02:29 PM EST

You can't possibly really be this brainless...

You claim that dropping a feather and a bowling ball off of a roof will result in them  both falling at the same rate. This is NOT TRUE. Gravity may act on them both with the same force, but there are factors  OTHER THAN gravity at work. The feather will take quite a bit longer to reach the ground because it is affected by the wind, etc...

I've already explained the rest of your issues in a post above. Go, read, learn.

Oh, and stop being a wanker.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Getting ahead of yourself there... (none / 0) (#280)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 01:55:07 PM EST

You seem to have made the connection somehow that IQ and Intelligence are the same thing. The article never says that. The article says that the author believes that people who exhibit traits which we consider to fit the word Intelligent will ALSO score highly on IQ tests. That does not mean that those two are the same thing.
IQ tests measure a specific set of knowledge and problem solving skills. The ability and knowledge measured by an IQ test is called the IQ. It's just a shorter way of saying, "The amount of knowledge and proficiency at solving this set of problems that this person has".
Having a high IQ won't automatically make you an intelligent person, but it almost certainly means you are knowledgable and able to solve problems. These are qualities that most people would see as aspects of being Intelligent. So you can draw paralels between Intelligent behaviour and high IQ. That's all. The article says nothing more and nothing less.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Obviously Kintanon (none / 0) (#288)
by redwolfb14 on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:30:57 PM EST

Understand what IQ and Intelligence is;

Having a high IQ won't automatically make you an intelligent person, but it almost certainly means you are knowledgable and able to solve problems.

Oh really?

These are qualities that most people would see as aspects of being Intelligent. So you can draw paralels between Intelligent behaviour and high IQ. That's all. The article says nothing more and nothing less.

Did we read the same article? Maybe you should publish a paper or something. It would be great to  read.
Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

Way to go... (none / 0) (#296)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 03:41:47 PM EST

You manage to say precisely nothing.
I applaud you for your complete lack of content. Maybe you should try making some rational arguments that address the content of the article instead of making things up and arguing against them?

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Fuzzy Math (none / 0) (#245)
by BCoates on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 12:15:50 AM EST

Highest scoring are Ashkenazim Jews (100 + 1 SD) and some groups of Asians. Lowest scoring are black Africans (100 - 2 SD). (the article)

you probably oughtn't argue that what is actually a measured result simply isn't. Not without good counter-evidence, anyway.

Elsewhere in this thread, it was pointed out that it's unlikely at best that a group which represents somewhere around 13% of the population would have a mean score that puts them in the second percentile.

Which puts the 'measured result' on pretty shaky ground.

--
Benjamin Coates

[ Parent ]

Ahhh... i feel guilty... (3.33 / 3) (#40)
by sto0 on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:52:49 PM EST

I did, mainly because i was sucked in by the pseudoscience. I apologise :)

Maybe K5 should have a new "Pseudoscience" section...

[ Parent ]
Strange that it's often the people with low esteem (4.42 / 7) (#41)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:53:34 PM EST

that work their butts off and change the world thereby, while prisons are packed with people who consider themselves to important to behave like other people.

Hey, you! The shy guy in back! Stand up! Raise your fist! Now shout "I have low self-esteem and I'm proud!"


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

You're probably right. (3.33 / 3) (#60)
by pathetic on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 08:34:02 PM EST

I meant to say "insecure" maybe, rather than low-self-esteem.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps. (4.00 / 3) (#67)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 09:28:51 PM EST

The world is certainly full of people who overcompensate for their self doubts.

What? Why are you looking at me like that?


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

Careful... (3.83 / 6) (#45)
by paine in the ass on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 07:01:44 PM EST

I am somewhat disturbed by the fact this obviously racist, inaccurate article is being voted up.

The fact that something mentions race doesn't make it racist.


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]

But the fact that (3.60 / 5) (#59)
by pathetic on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 08:30:14 PM EST

it makes inaccurate sweeping generalisations about different races, such as "one race is smarter than another race", does. I'm not saying that it's Neo-nazi, just that it supports that kind of thinking.

That kind of observation we can do without.

[ Parent ]

No jumping (3.83 / 6) (#77)
by rustball on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 10:41:17 PM EST

Different ethnic groups scoring differently does not mean that one has more "intelligence" than the next. The author equates IQ scores with intelligence, but that is hardly the consensus in the academic world.

A small group of Australian psychologists once set out to give IQ tests to groups of Aboriginies. Many of them were not very literate and did not have much or any education. Unsurprisingly, they scored very low. The psychologists came back a year later with a test that was specifically design to measure the "intelligence" of this group. This test was made up of problems that, traditionally, Aboriginies would normally encounter. Instead of word and math problems, the questions involved shapes and sounds and such. The Aboriginies scored very well, in fact, they scored much higher than the white Australian sample. Over thousands of years, different groups of people specialize their "intelligence" to that which would be useful to them. Comparing different scores based on a test which was designed with a specific audience in mind is silly.

[ Parent ]

Science is prejudiced, biased, and discriminating (4.33 / 4) (#80)
by kholmes on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 10:57:29 PM EST

on behalf of reality.

It was a wholly fair, and from other secondary sources, seemingly accurate article.

"it makes inaccurate sweeping generalisations about different races, such as 'one race is smarter than another race', does."

First, the article all out admitted that it was a sweeping generalization. But your claims to inaccuracy hasn't been backed up other than because you don't like the conclusion. That is the "I don't like it therefore its wrong" fallacy.

Second, what does it mean to say that one race is smarter than another? The article was talking about the average, a statistical mean. Which doesn't imply anything about one race being BETTER than another.

Third, is intelligence the most important thing about being human? By your claims of racism, you are implying that it is. I would disagree with this highly.

Fourth, not how carefully the article uses the word "correlates". Whenever you hear the word "correlate" treat it with suspicion. If it can be shown that the average black person correlates with lower intelligence than the average white person, that doesn't mean that lower intelligence is inherent to black people! I sat through a presentation on The Bell Curve (yes...moan about how you hate that book) and one of the arguments was that intelligence can be bred. That is, intelligence in some way can be inherited. So don't you think that in a few hundred years the statistics could all change?

I do hope that in a few hundred years folks would realize that it doesn't really matter. In my opinion, we should be trying to breed intelligence--what? does this make me a nazi? I think it happens naturally. We certainly don't need the government to interfere.

But the task ultimately should be after accurate science and then we should base our politics on this science. And because science in its very nature is prejudiced, biased, and discriminating doesn't mean that it should be dismissed altogether but rather, it is because of this disturbing fact that it should be relied upon most heavily.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]

Did you bother to read the article? (4.33 / 6) (#87)
by paine in the ass on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:27:47 AM EST

Or did you see the word "race" and mount the soapbox? Here's a few choice quotes from the "innacurate sweeping generalizations" the author made:
Many things of real life importance are correlated with g. Positively correlated with g are for instance length of formal education, occupational success, income, altruism, creativity and social skills. Negatively correlated are for instance crime, psychoticism, racial prejudice, authoritarianism and number of children.
Hm. Racial prejudice equates to lower scores on average. Yup, I can see how Neo-Nazis would love being told essentially that racial prejudice makes you dumber; that really lends credence to their position.
It is therefore not the case that somebody with an IQ of 200 is twice as intelligent as somebody with an IQ of 100. From IQs we can only infer relative information, namely where on the distribution somebody lies in comparison with the rest of the population.
Races do differ in IQ scores.
Yup, this sure seems to indicate "one race is smarter than another race", especially in the part where it denies that IQ can be used to gauge that kind of thing...
Lynn has considered the connection between nations' GNPs and their average IQs. It turns out that there is a positive correlation.
In other words, while there is a noticeable difference among different races, it seems that race isn't the root cause. For example, living in an area with poor or no educational facilities might hamper your performance on standardised tests...
It is possible to increase scores on IQ tests through practice.
Yup, even more evidence that IQ is racially-based. Or not.

I could go on, but I'd rather you read the article for yourself and find out what it actually said. However, one of your points scares me a little:

That kind of observation we can do without.
Down that road lies fascism. Watch yourself.


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]
Yes, but you obviously didn't (2.66 / 3) (#92)
by pathetic on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:32:42 AM EST

The author of this article IS obviously stating that black Africans are less intelligent than Ashkenazi Jews.

He believes IQ equates to intelligence:

My take on this issue is that I believe that there is a high positive correlation between who people label as intelligent and IQ scores of those persons.

And he says that Ashkenazi Jews have a (much) higher IQ score than African blacks. You really can't get much more overt than that. To deny he is saying one race is smarter than another requires impressive mental gymnastics.

This is from another post of mine, which answers why I don't like studies like these:

Such findings (that races have differenct average IQ scores) are

    * Scientifically meaningless

    * Vulnerable to popular misinterpretation which leads to racist stereotyping

Therefore I don't believe they are scientifically valuable at all.

If we want to measure povery and lack of education amongst minorities there are far better ways of doing it.

Our society does not want to do anything to alleviate poverty, affirmative action or anything to support minorities, and refuses to accept responsibility for centuries of discrimination. And we give them a test written by and for white culture and then act surprised when they perform poorly on it.

And it amazes me that even scientists still think that people are primarily divided up by race, when there are far more relevant and important divisions which can be made such as : social status, education, vocation, etcetera. Numerous studies have shown that the difference within races is far greater than the difference between races.

down that road lies fascism. Watch yourself.

So advocating against publishing this inaccurate and racist article on K5 amounts to fascism? Get lost, troll.

BTW The fascists I know about were big fans of the "science" of racism. They would enjoy this article.

[ Parent ]

OK, let's try it in a different way. (4.42 / 7) (#103)
by paine in the ass on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 03:43:39 AM EST

Consider the following:
  • It is possible to get to be really good at running marathons by practicing and running long distances regularly.
  • Many Kenyans run long distances regularly.
  • Most Americans do not run long distances very often.
  • On average, Kenyans are much better marathon runners than Americans.
Does that in any way imply that there is something inherently "better" in the Kenyans or "inferior" in the Americans? No. Now consider the following:
  • It is possible to increase scores on IQ tests through practice.
  • Many Ashkenazim Jews and Asians are raised in cultures and environments which allow them to practice the skills tested by IQ tests.
  • Many blacks grow up in environments where education is poor to nonexistent.
  • On average, Ashkenazim Jews and Asians do much better on IQ tests than blacks.
Does this in any way imply that Jews or Asians are smarter than blacks? If you think so, you're an idiot.

As for fascism, your tone originally suggested that even though the article was reporting facts, you felt such observations should not be made or disseminated because "Neo-Nazis" might use them to support their cause. Tough. If they shout something reprehensible fomr the street corner, you shout a response twice as loud; that's how free speech works, bud.

And don't start me on affirmative action and how "white culture" oppressed all sorts of people; that's one of the biggest loads of evasive BS that I've ever seen. My ancestors got screwed up the ass in Europe, got screwed up the ass on their way to America, and got screwed up the ass when they got here. And somehow I'm not completely socioeconomically crippled because of how they were treated. Anybody who blames his lot in life on how people vaguely related to him were treated in the past is suffering from a victimhood complex and needs to just get over it.


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]

Wrong (3.50 / 4) (#116)
by pathetic on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 08:57:16 AM EST


    * It is possible to increase scores on IQ tests through practice.
    * Many Ashkenazim Jews and Asians are raised in cultures and environments which allow them to practice the skills tested by IQ tests.
    * Many blacks grow up in environments where education is poor to nonexistent.
* On average, Ashkenazim Jews and Asians do much better on IQ tests than blacks.

Does this in any way imply that Jews or Asians are smarter than blacks? If you think so, you're an idiot.

Yes, but the point is that this isn't news. There is no reason to be surprised with these results or to be interested in them unless you have a second agenda. The only purpose they can serve is to fuel racist argument and thought.

Intelligence tests, IMO, have little or no merit for cross cultural studies. If we want to measure poverty, education, skills there are much better ways to go about it. Measuring IQ across completely different cultures has no use and can only lead to a racist discussion and thought. I don't like discussions based upon flawed and fundamentally misconceived data and that's my right as a K5er.

And I'm not the one bringing up race here. The author is, by using data which is about racial rather than cultural or national groups. Why african blacks, instead of africans (which include arabs and whites)? Why Ashkenazi Jews in particular, a prominently racially distinct, as opposed to culturally distinct, group? Why not just "Jews"?

You have to read between the lines.

And that being said, what can we learn from this  anyway? Circumcision, kosher diets will make you smarter? Prosperity and education lead to greater performance in intelligence tests. We know this already; it's simple. Why aren't we talking about how to transfer the wealth and the skills to Africans?

As for fascism, your tone originally suggested that even though the article was reporting facts, you felt such observations should not be made or disseminated because "Neo-Nazis" might use them to support their cause.

Exactly. But you must understand racism is far more common and inherent in society than neo-nazis. And I didn't want to censor it any more than I would any other story I didn't like (and I don't like most storys). I thought it was below standard for K5. I didn't think it should be banned or any books burnt. And I understand nobody likes being called a racist, but it's hard to talk about this issue at all without people being outraged that they are being compared  to "neo-nazis".

Tough. If they shout something reprehensible fomr the street corner, you shout a response twice as loud; that's how free speech works, bud.

So if I was a black person stuck in a small town in the middle of America where people think that black people are racially inferior and they beat me up, I should just shout back at them? If I am an Asian student who performs well at school and people think this is because I have a racial advantage and I'm not working hard for it, and take this fact out on me by bullying me, I should just shout at them?  You obviously have never me the victim of racism, bullying or simply being in a persecuted minority of any kind. Reason and speech means jackshit in those situations.

And don't start me on affirmative action and how "white culture" oppressed all sorts of people; that's one of the biggest loads of evasive BS that I've ever seen.

Of course I won't, people like you like living in fantasy land. I wouldn't want to see it crumble.

My ancestors got screwed up the ass in Europe, got screwed up the ass on their way to America, and got screwed up the ass when they got here.

Were they forcibly removed from their family, their country, their culture? Where they forced into the cargo hold like animals, not enough space to move at all? Forced to stay there, immobile, next to dead bodies for months? Were they denied all and every human right and treated worse than horses? If they spoke out were they punished without justice by their masters? Were they denied their fundamental rights until as recently as the 1950s?

And somehow I'm not completely socioeconomically crippled because of how they were treated. Anybody who blames his lot in life on how people vaguely related to him were treated in the past is suffering from a victimhood complex and needs to just get over it.

So you think blacks are poorer than white Americans because they deserve to be? Because it is the fault of all blacks? Because all blacks are stupid and lazy? Because blacks don't get with the program?

Can you explain why so many black people are in prison? Why they are poorer? Why white people run this country? Without either making some racist statements and without referring somehow to the dark history of slavery in America?

No, I didn't think so. BTW I'm not black, I have just seen racism happen one too many times.


[ Parent ]

Here we go again... (none / 0) (#173)
by paine in the ass on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:51:16 PM EST

And that being said, what can we learn from this anyway?
Well, the article was about IQ, testing, how it's measured, statistics you can do with the results...I'd say this is relevant.
So if I was a black person stuck in a small town in the middle of America where people think that black people are racially inferior and they beat me up, I should just shout back at them?
You really need to work on your reading comprehension skills. I said "If someone shouts something reprehensible, you shout back". You apparently read, "If someone beats you up, don't fight back". Where, pray tell, did you get that idea?
Of course I won't, people like you like living in fantasy land.
I hate to break it to you, but "white culture" is not some vast unified oppressive evil spread over the earth like the shadow of Sauron or something. There are all sorts of groups and sub-groups of "white people" and the injustices you blame "white culture" for were perpetrated by about 0.01% of them. When you make a blanket statement like "our society" or "white culture" you lump me in with them, and that's wrong. Don't do it.
Were they forcibly removed from their family, their country, their culture? Where they forced into the cargo hold like animals, not enough space to move at all? Forced to stay there, immobile, next to dead bodies for months? Were they denied all and every human right and treated worse than horses?
Actually...yes, on a couple of counts. Have you ever read up on what happened to some of the poor European immigrants who cme here at the end of the 19th century? Former slaves might have recognized some of the ships that brought them over...
So you think blacks are poorer than white Americans because they deserve to be? Because it is the fault of all blacks? Because all blacks are stupid and lazy? Because blacks don't get with the program?
Ah, the good old "he's not saying this, but I'll act like he did anyway" tactic. I love that one. Personally, I think 99% of people start out in life screwed. I also think America encourages people to think of themselves as victims and act like everyone else owes them a living instead of standing up on their own and overcoming what's against them.

Injustice is bad. It should be fought. But to argue, as many do, that we need legalized racial discrimination (which is what affirmative action is, like it or not) or reparations to descendants of slaves is pure stupidity. Discriminating against one group in the present because another group was victimized in the past is wrong. Forcing one group to pay for the actions of people who are only vaguely racially related to them is wrong. Thus tactics like affirmative action and reparations (which you openly seem to have advocated in one of your earlier comments) are wrong. That's all I was pointing out.

Like I said, 99% of all people in the world start out screwed from birth. Life is all about making something of it anyway. Fight injustice, fight discrimination, fight hatred. But remember that the vast majority of people are in the same boat with you.


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]

I can explain it. (5.00 / 1) (#278)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 01:42:56 PM EST

I went to a highschool that was relatively poor and about 50/50 racial mix of black/white. Intelligent kids who made good grades and were white got a little bit of shit, got picked on a bit, got bullied a bit. Black kids who were smar and got good grades got the HOLY HELL beat out of them on a regular basis by their peers. They were put down and derided at every turn by their peers. They were reviled for "Acting white" frequently. I watched a couple of very intelligent black guys and one who was an amazing artist get worn down over 6 or 7 years and eventually pulled into crime and violence by their peers. This destroyed all three of them. They had potentially very very bright futures and those futures were crushed by their own peers and the culture they existed in. The fact is that being smart and doing well in school does not seem to be valued by black culture in the US. I've heard my story echoed by others in the south and the midwest. I don't know the situation elsewhere in the country, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were similar.
The reason middle class and upper middle class black kids don't have these same issues is that there is no culture of anti-intellectual, anti-white racism around them to drag them down.
It's not a racial problem, it's a cultural problem.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Ahem, "Hell Yeah!" (none / 0) (#277)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 01:31:31 PM EST

You said:
And don't start me on affirmative action and how "white culture" oppressed all sorts of people; that's one of the biggest loads of evasive BS that I've ever seen. My ancestors got screwed up the ass in Europe, got screwed up the ass on their way to America, and got screwed up the ass when they got here. And somehow I'm not completely socioeconomically crippled because of how they were treated. Anybody who blames his lot in life on how people vaguely related to him were treated in the past is suffering from a victimhood complex and needs to just get over it.

I just have to add:
Damn strait! My ancestors on one side came over here because they were so fucking poor they were in debtors prison in England! The other side is filled with mongrel poor from a half dozen other countries.
The fact is that somewhere in the past EVERYONE's ancestors got SCREWED. Fact of life, people need to learn to deal.

Kintanon


[ Parent ]

Could be several reasons (4.50 / 8) (#58)
by pyro9 on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 08:13:12 PM EST

There could be several reasons for voting this article up:

  • The voter does not find the article to be racist
  • The voter is racist
  • The voter does not like the article but believes the discussion will be worthwhile

The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what it means (3.00 / 2) (#37)
by levesque on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:42:11 PM EST

Ability and willingness to provide the required answers to certain types of questions in a particular environment corrolates somewhat with the probability of certain types of behaviour occuring.

The "intelligence" test predicts performance on similar tasks in a similar environments.

Exceptions can be accounted for, to avoid the mesurement of a mirage.

No, i'm not saying anything that i did not clearly stated.



Baldrson?!? Is that you?!? (3.66 / 3) (#42)
by AmberEyes on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:56:58 PM EST

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
To answer the poll... (4.25 / 5) (#44)
by CtrlBR on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:59:34 PM EST

...I need to know the SD for the test at www.iqtest.com.

It awarded me genius sized score but I really wonder if anyone get under 100, given that they want to sell you a certificate with your results, no one is going to hang a "your're fucking dumb" certificate over his desk...

Anyone know of any honest test online?

If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Gully Foyle

No you don't (4.12 / 8) (#52)
by jman11 on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 07:28:46 PM EST

You want to know the mean, this is where the centre of this data is.  The SD (standard deviation) is a measure of how spread out the data is.  The root mean square of the distance between the data point and the mean, if anyone is interested.

By definition every test is honest.  The tests measure IQ.  What is IQ?    It's what the test measures.

[ Parent ]

huh? (4.00 / 4) (#101)
by NFW on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:33:42 AM EST

I think it's safe to assume that the mean is 100. IQ tests just work that way. If it doesn't, it's broken.

The standard deviations vary from test to test, though. The only reasonable way to compare two IQ scores is to compare them in terms of the SDs used on the tests in question. (Assuming, of course, that you think it's reasonable to compare IQ test scores in the first place.)


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

The parent... (5.00 / 1) (#187)
by jman11 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:55:11 PM EST

...was asking IF the test was broken, so who gives a toss what it was meant to do?

[ Parent ]
If you really want to know . . . (4.33 / 4) (#121)
by acceleriter on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:05:32 AM EST

. . . clear your cookies, go back, and throw the test. If it still says you're a genius, you know they're fudging to sell certificates.

[ Parent ]
Did it... (3.66 / 6) (#124)
by CtrlBR on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:30:04 AM EST

Took two minutes (you're supposed to take the test in thirteen) to fill in completely random answers (really random since I didn't read the questions).

The result is an IQ of 98, so randomness give me average intelligence, highly suspicious.

I could have skewed the test by going to fast for it to be meaningful, someone should try randomness in thirteen minutes and post the results in this thread. (the test requires an email address).

If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Gully Foyle

[ Parent ]
All false and 13 minutes (3.71 / 7) (#136)
by acceleriter on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:41:05 PM EST

yields a score of 81.

[ Parent ]
Dude, there's only two answers each time (none / 0) (#350)
by mozmozmoz on Sun Jan 12, 2003 at 07:52:22 AM EST

So a random set of answers should give you half correct, plus whatever boost they give you for speed. Doing it as accurately as I could be bothered and wrong every time, in 13 minutes, gave me 80. I must be dumber than the other guy.

There's lots of comedy on TV too. Does that make children funnier?
[ Parent ]

Is it science? Is the assertion falsifiable? (4.00 / 5) (#48)
by borful on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 07:14:32 PM EST

This article discusses how researchers have correlated IQ test results with demographic information and concluded that, for example, Ashkenazim Jews score higher than black Africans.

Has anyone seen or heard of tests that correlate differently? Are there standardized tests that do not correlate to ethnic group? Are there tests that do correlate, but not in the same way that these abstract pattern matching tests correlate? Have researchers done such work?

Looking at it another way: Is it possible to design a pattern matching test for which black Africans would score higher than Ashkenazim Jews?

- borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.

Test where blacks outperform whites (none / 0) (#340)
by JensAAMC on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 05:33:52 PM EST

Jensen mentions in his book a type of subtest where blacks outperform whites (probably within the US population). This subtest measures a particular type of short term memory.

[ Parent ]
Against IQ tests (3.60 / 15) (#51)
by jman11 on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 07:22:28 PM EST

IQ tests are frequently used to justify racism, sexism and any form of elitism you care to mention.  Complete ignorance of statistical certainty, mean and standard deviation comparison all aid most analyses of IQ scores.

The old stalwart of "people from race X score higher than race Y" has appeared.  Of course the test was written by someone from race X, which might have something to do with it.  Also one of the following correlations is often used wealth and high IQ score.  This is taken to mean high IQ ==> wealth, where as it could mean wealth ==> high IQ, or even neither.

-The first question to ask yourself is what is an IQ test measuring?
-Your IQ of course, so what is IQ?
-Well it means Intelligence Quotient.
-What's that?
-It's got something to do with intelligence.
-So if mine is higer I'm smarter?

Of course I've never heard a good definition of what intelligence is.  So how the fuck can you measure it?  You have to understand something before you can measure it.  Of course a circular definition allows you to get over this minor flaw.

So why is the IQ test so popular, because it tells the people who wrote and encourage them what they want to hear.  People, even for the most part nonracist, don't mind being told they are better than others.  The people who write (and for the most part sit these) tests are stroking their own ego.  Other cultures and groups are forced to take them at the outer skirts and always end up doing worse.  Thus we are better.

Of course no one wants to hear this, as it is evidence for what alot of people don't want to think of themselves.

I propose a simple test for everyone. (4.00 / 3) (#75)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 10:23:23 PM EST

Take all the people that you consider to be intelligent and all the people that you consider to be dumb.

Subject all of them to a well-regarded IQ test and perhaps the SAT while we're at it.

See which group comes out with a higher average.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Looks good, but (3.00 / 2) (#117)
by jman11 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 10:06:00 AM EST

While this appears quite convincing at the outset there are some issues with it.

Firstly it's just wrong, I'm currently in a group where almost everyone has taken a test similar to the SAT and results do not match opinions.  Although you should be warned that I value creativity quite highly, something IQ tests test against.

Also you are suggesting we take the polar opposites, if this is all an IQ test can distringuish between then there isn't much to say in it's favour.

Another flaw is the sample, most people know well only those people from a similar culture as them.

[ Parent ]

yer comments don't hold water (3.57 / 7) (#148)
by Jim Tour on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:39:19 PM EST

You like so many others have what you think is an enlightened social agenda that directly causes you to obfuscate the clear and simple results of IQ tests, not to mention the clear and simple definition of what IQ is. If IQ tests and the concept of g were created and promoted, as you say, for the glorification of the creators' demographic (white central/northern European and extractions thereof), then why is it that they credit Ashkenazi Jews and East Asians with the highest scores?... Measurable IQ does not equal overall worth. Superior measurable IQ does not equal overall existential superiority. I believe there are a number of basic mental functions that are not measured by any current tests and would not be surprised if sub-Saharan Africans are at or near the top in them. But let's not chuck what we can measure out the window because it goes against the grain of your agenda. Truth and fact above all.

[ Parent ]
WHAT are we measuring? (n/t) (3.00 / 2) (#165)
by jman11 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:21:12 PM EST



[ Parent ]
IQ (3.00 / 2) (#168)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:30:40 PM EST

That's what we are measuring. Now we have to figure out exactly what it means.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Well then (4.00 / 1) (#170)
by jman11 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:35:21 PM EST

I suggest we use penus length, or for women the length of the 2nd metcarpal bone instead.  If you can't tell me what it measures then what good is it?  My issue is that these tests are used for various things, irregardlessof their suitability - we don't know their suitability because we don't know what it is.  My issue is that the results are usually used for other purposes.  Here's my new idea:

Step #1:  Write test
Step #2:  Make people sit test.
Step #3:  ?????
Step #4:  Hire people based on high results.

[ Parent ]

well (none / 0) (#210)
by Jim Tour on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:43:19 AM EST

We are measuring the phenotypic performance of the brain in a subset of important mental tasks, and this phenotype has been empirically linked to genotype, hence the populational element. Abstract problem solving, which is the generalist specialization of the human animal, is not done by the kneecap or the bellybutton. It is a function of the organ that sits inside the skull (it's absurd to have to state this, but your comments below make it necessary). The organ of the brain is known to have definite populational differences, and *some* of these differences can be isolated and compared using the methods of IQ testing... I have no doubt that as our knowledge of both the brain and the human genome grows we will find gene-based cognitive performance differences that favor those groups not presently favored by the current tests. The enlightened response is to acknowledge our differences and sincerely "celebrate diversity" instead of trying to hush it up in deference to imagined social sensitivities. The key is to avoid the old, spurious overall valuations of superiority and inferiority. Brain function will be seen to be so multilayered that, although it will be vaild to say "such and such group on average is better at this or that", it will never be valid to say "such and such group is smarter than such and such group".

[ Parent ]
The Spark has the best IQ tests (3.25 / 5) (#68)
by BinaryTree on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 09:30:17 PM EST

See for yourself.

I doubt it... (none / 0) (#310)
by Integer on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 01:27:43 AM EST

I got a 176 and I know I missed some answers...

And 96% of test takers are dumber than me?  Doubt it.  I spent two hours on it though :)

[ Parent ]

poll (2.00 / 4) (#69)
by nodsmasher on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 09:30:32 PM EST

you never explained what 100 + sd was score wise
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
Yes, he did. (3.66 / 3) (#93)
by NFW on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:35:49 AM EST

Typically tests use SD=16, but tests with SD=15 and SD=24 can also be found.

So the answer depends on the SD used for scoring the test you took.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

best and most fun IQ test I know of (3.60 / 5) (#70)
by speek on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 09:41:01 PM EST

http://www.tnelson.demon.co.uk/mazes/

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

heh (3.50 / 5) (#72)
by postindustrialist on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 10:07:31 PM EST

i've never taken an iq test and i doubt i ever will.. there's more to a person and how they handle problems than IQ.. i find myself to be a horribly simple person and not quite as well educated as most people here,and yet my problem solving skills are in themselves a force to be reckoned with. there's always more than one way to skin a can and beyond that, the real world is a most illogical one and filled with things that not even science can explain.
oooh.. looks likes somebody has anger problems.
question everything.
this sig is only one hundred and fifty characters long and it's still not eno
you forgot the best book link of all (4.09 / 11) (#73)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 10:15:47 PM EST

Stephen Jay Gould's Mismeasure of Man which gives a history of how every method for measuring intelligence has been debunked up to and including the early IQ tests.

While some people think he's setting up a straw man, he's making a very good and subtle point. Do we have enough confidence in the assessment of these intelligence tests that we can hold a person's life accountable to their score? If not, then why perform any measurement at all? Frankly, I don't care whether I have a high IQ. The score doesn't matter; it's what I do with it that counts.

-Soc
I drank what?


it doesn't have to be perfect to be useful (4.00 / 4) (#76)
by Delirium on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 10:35:09 PM EST

I don't think anybody is suggesting that IQ scores bed used as an absolute measure by which to judge everyone. They can still be useful however; they do, to some extent at least, give an indication of a person's ability to reason logically, associate related concepts, and recognize patterns. They certainly don't do so perfectly, but they do so with some degree of accuracy. With any assessment measure you're going to have inaccuracy and bias -- it's certainly not true that the A students at universities are always the ones who best understand the material, it's not true that the people who get promoted are always the ones doing the best job, etc.

[ Parent ]
Also fairly flawed... (4.00 / 3) (#79)
by seebs on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 10:50:46 PM EST

Mismeasure was itself fairly aggressively debunked.  Who's right?  I dunno.  I do have concerns about many of his claims; there is an underlying problem with his reasoning.  e.g., he cited that the parents to German women of U.S. servicemen showed no IQ variance with race.  Sure - but the servicemen were all people who had *been selected* partially based on IQ!  Sample bias; Gould should have known better.

http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/stalkers/jpr_gould_paid.html

The above site is probably biased, but does address specific concerns, and shows a few instances of what certainly looks like poor scholarship on Gould's part.


[ Parent ]

Ha ha! (5.00 / 2) (#213)
by Noam Chompsky on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 12:32:32 PM EST

The above site is probably biased,

You think?

The article you linked to appears in the Eugenicist rag Personality and Individual Differences. Personality and Individual Differences and Mankind Quarterly are funded by the Pioneer Fund, an organization established in 1937 to spread the Nazi eugenics program in America. The Pioneer Fund advocated sending blacks back to Africa. Its chartered mission is the "racial betterment" of people "deemed to be descended primarily from white persons who settled in the original 13 states prior to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States." Rushton is an especially vulgar racist, who uses the academic acronyms after his name to promote master race propaganda about black people. Rushton has measured correlations between penis length (code for black people) and intelligence (code for white people). Except, of course, that he didn't. Rushton has accosted people in shopping malls with questions about how big their penises are and how far they could ejaculate.

A 1986 article by Rushton suggested that the Nazi war machine owed its prowess to racial purity, and worried that demographic shifts were endangering our "Northern European" civilization. Rushton co-authored a paper that argued that blacks have a genetic propensity to contract AIDS because of their "reproductive strategy" of promiscuous sex (cited in Newsday, 11/9/94). The other author was Bouchard, the author of those amazing twin studies celebrated in mainstream news outlets. [source]
So yes, I do believe your link is probably biased. Moreover, I think you'll find that it is biased against true statements such as those found in reputable peer reviewed journals, journals Rushton knows only by their reputation.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Just goes to show... (none / 0) (#306)
by SocratesGhost on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:51:45 PM EST

My favorite piece of text from the linked "rebuttal" is this: "Brain size and IQ are correlated. Men do average larger and heavier brains than do women. Asians and Europeans do average larger and heavier brains than do Africans." I'm guessing that Rushton is a black lady, then.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Your point? (none / 0) (#355)
by seebs on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 12:39:21 AM EST

So, the question is - do you have evidence to contradict the claim?  It seems to be a fairly trivial claim to verify.

What you make of information is obviously a matter of some debate, but the basic facts about brain size ought to be verifiable or testable - and I don't think we're doing *anyone* any favors by insisting that there cannot possibly be anything worth knowing.

If the belief in racial differences is false, let's *prove* it false, rather than asserting, and kill it properly.


[ Parent ]

FWIW (none / 0) (#321)
by tichy on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 10:20:12 AM EST

Online article by Gould on "The Bell Curve" and the g factor: "Curveball".

[ Parent ]
Mensa (4.41 / 24) (#78)
by StephenThompson on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 10:45:26 PM EST

I have been to many Mensa meetings (though I am not a member and have never taken an IQ test) and I must testify that although they may all have done well on some standardized test, they are nearly all fools.  They pay somebody to tell them they smart, and meet at cheesy hotel ball rooms to socialize with alcohol.

I found them to be very single minded (usually in their chosen field) and very bad dressers.  Few struck me as especially smart.

IQ is a fantasy clung to by those who have trouble coping in society and need something comforting to explain their alienation. Or sometimes their superiorty complex.  Often both.

That's because: (3.57 / 7) (#82)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 11:36:13 PM EST

All the REAL smart people are in the Prometheus Society or at least the Triple Nine Society.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

While I agree with your suspicion... (3.50 / 3) (#83)
by gr3y on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 11:44:00 PM EST

that most IQ tests measure poorly actual intelligence, and that some people with high IQs use their intelligence as the basis for the feeling of social superiority engendered, I do not agree that Mensa members are "very bad dressers". They're probably just trying to emulate Jeff Goldblum in "The Fly", whose character said he learned not to waste brain power picking a wardrobe from Einstein, and that may be true. In addition, their wives probably have no taste, because most men wear whatever the wife buys, even in this later age.

Also, social alienation is a very real effect of increased intelligence, but I shan't debate that here.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

lack of social competence (3.75 / 4) (#111)
by Platy on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 07:44:16 AM EST

Also, social alienation is a very real effect of increased intelligence, but I shan't debate that here. I reckon this is only if the increased intelligence is coupled with decreased social competence (if extreme even ignorance). Like Oh, I am so smart I can't do anything with those not so smarts, they're just too stupid for me (Yea, it is exaggerated but you get the point)
--
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, I.
[ Parent ]
It ain't necessarily so (3.50 / 3) (#151)
by epepke on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 03:38:06 PM EST

I reckon this is only if the increased intelligence is coupled with decreased social competence (if extreme even ignorance).

Alienation is different from social incompetence. Example: when I was home for Christmas, I went to one of my mother's parties. It was full of people I had known for a long time and liked and could socialize just fine with, but they were all theatre people, and I don't share that, so I felt a bit alienated. However, for a while, one friend of the family was there who had an interest in literature, and I didn't feel aleinated when talking with her.

Socializing with people who know what you're talking about (and vice versa) is quite different from socializing with people with whom you don't have much in common. I'm not specifically saying this with respect to Mensa; as I already pointed out, I don't go for that kind of socialization. However, there is still a difference.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
I agree. (3.00 / 2) (#161)
by gr3y on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 05:41:59 PM EST

Common interest is one thing that brings people together and makes a group out of individuals. Elementary socialization skills are simple enough to master, but some individuals have narrowly-defined interests which make it hard for them to meet others with the same interests. I will not discuss the effect the ascension of the internet and online discussion, forums, etc. have had on this.

However, I was specifically speaking to the effect of growing up in the classroom. Every comment the teacher makes within hearing of other students, from, "I won't bother asking you, because I'm sure you know the answer", to "She has a 108 average in this class" underscores the difference between those that have no problems learning the material and those for whom it is challenging. Children being what they are, that causes resentment. Good socialization skills can mitigate that somewhat, but not in every case.

It has less to do with "decreased social competence" than normal human prejudice and insecurity, in my opinion. Much of a child's early experience and self esteem is tied up in success in education. School systems don't make it any easier by devaluing almost every other developing skill in favor of raw intelligence and rote memorization. And the push in recent years to value "other" activities to bolster self esteem in those that have difficulty learning has not helped matters; in fact, it's made them much worse. Now not only do children have to deal with others for whom education is not challenging, but now they have a school system telling them they will not be graded or that "everyone gets an A" because it would surely ruin their self esteem to give them the grade they earned, in effect reinforcing the idea that some children just don't get it and never will.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

I understand (5.00 / 1) (#223)
by epepke on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 02:50:45 PM EST

However, the prejudice and insecurity of which you speak continues into adulthood, even amongst K5 members. And one of the effects of prejudice is to blind the user to the fact that their prejudice exists. I recently spent an unpleasant time in Atlanta, Georgia, which is chock full of racists who will consistently deny that they are racists (because they are racists, and that's how they see the world).

When trying to discuss basic concepts, such as in this case that social alienation is not necessarily related to social skills, I generally find it useful to shift the focus of the example to sidestep the prejudice. It's just a way of breaking the problem into smaller segments. Since I haven't been jumped on and called names, I think that it was at least partially successful.

Nevertheless, I agree with you. The introduction of the re-release of Ender's Game contains a fascinating account of a woman who wrote Card that illustrates the multifaceted nature of the problem extremely well. Of course, the book itself is fine for those who grok it, but this account in the intro helps explain why those who don't grok it are so hostile about it.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Ender's Game (5.00 / 1) (#275)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00:13 PM EST

I remember reading about people who had sent in letters saying things like, "Gifted children don't talk or act like that! You have it all wrong!" and his response being, "They don't talk or act like that AROUND YOU." Which I completely understand.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

So, I have to ask... (4.00 / 8) (#91)
by NFW on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:32:41 AM EST

If the meetings sucked that bad, and you're not even a member, why did you go to so many?


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

A good question.. (3.66 / 9) (#96)
by StephenThompson on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:08:24 AM EST

I had a friend who wanted me to join.  His girl friend who was also in the club was very persuasive.  So I went to quite a few outings across the state, including overnighters.  It wasnt for me, but its one of those things where you keep thinking, it must get better..maybe next time.

I finally got fed up with lame drink fests with a bunch of weirdos.


[ Parent ]

Not surprising (4.33 / 12) (#104)
by epepke on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 05:35:10 AM EST

I have been to many Mensa meetings (though I am not a member and have never taken an IQ test) and I must testify that although they may all have done well on some standardized test, they are nearly all fools.

Mensa members are, by definition, people who choose to associate with each other on the basis of an test that measures an ineluctable characteristic. That is one thing that they all have in common, no matter what else you may know about them. In that respect, it is similar to clubs like the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Personally, I dislike that kind of association. When I associate with certain groups of people, it is generally because of shared interests. However, in Mensa, you're primarily going to find people who do like that kind of association.

IQ is a fantasy clung to by those who have trouble coping in society and need something comforting to explain their alienation. Or sometimes their superiorty complex. Often both.

Now, don't go that far. This comment is as dismissive as anything I've heard from a Mensa member.

IQ tests have one perfectly valid use, the use they were designed for: to identify shoolchildren who may need different teaching styles. The idea, which I still think is correct, is that both children significantly below and significantly above the mean require a different teaching approach than children who cluster around the mean. Admittedly, the U.S. public school system has expanded these ideas into a farce with their advanced and remedial courses, but don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Also, admittedly, IQ is not a perfect predictor, but it predicts better for a longer time and amongst a larger range than any other means of assessment.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
teaching styles (3.28 / 7) (#160)
by krkrbt on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 05:06:07 PM EST

... to identify shoolchildren who may need different teaching styles.

Yes, different kids thrive under different teaching styles, but for a different reason.  Everyone has a primary 'modality' that they tend to represnet the world in.  VAKOG - visual, audio, kinesthetic, olefactory, or gustatory.  (90-99% of everyone falls under just VAK).  Do you say, "Oh, I see what you're saying", "Oh, that sounds right to me", or "Oh, that feels right"?  A teacher whose primary modality is Visual will think a Kinesthetic kid is dumb as rocks, while that just isn't the case.

Visual kids need to be taught visually, Kino kids kinesthetically, auditory kids auditorily.  Mismatched modalities between kids & teachers leads to inefficient learning.  Pick up any (good) introductory book on Nuero Linguistic Programming for more on this topic, such as NLP:  The New Technology of Achievement.

[ Parent ]

VAKOG (5.00 / 1) (#194)
by IriseLenoir on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 04:14:59 AM EST

What you say is all true, and not taken into consideration enough, but... The primary 'modality' as you say is the one which should be used most, but what is also very important to help kids (people, actually) memorize is to stimulate as many of their sences as possible, in as many different possible ways. I.E. Read a poem, give them a poetry book which you make them read at home, get them to find another one they like and read it aloud to the class, give them an object you think will be meaningfull to them and make them compose a poem about it, take them to the theather, make a small poetry act, etc, etc. D&D could be a fun way to teach to teach oral and written language(s, could be used in a second-language class), self-confidence, cooperation, developping creativity, plastic art and sowing, math and plan-making, some applied science, etc. There are many good books on teaching through art which I want to read. I like the idea because it keeps kids motivated, stimulateds many sences and skills, and give concrete ways to show how the different subjects relate to each other and the more abstract things find their place in daily life. Lecturing classes might have the advantage of keeping the teacher-student ratio low, but they are not very efficient, at least when used alone. They should be used, but only as one tool amongst others. I know I used to have a very hard time following what the teacher said, being always 'on the moon', and mostly only read the books and did the exercices. Yes, I succeded well (as long as I did that), but I lost interest quickly (and I was a very curious kid who loved to learn) and dropped out of school at 15. I would have loved to elaborate on the subject, but I'm tired. You might want to check out Herbert Read's Education through art...
"liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
[ Parent ]
How do you teach the other 1%? (none / 0) (#269)
by ethereal on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 11:48:10 AM EST

Are there really people that learn best by eating things? Or is "gustatory" just the kids that always put things in their mouths?

I wonder if the VAK distinction is mostly due to early childhood experiences - i.e. if you were raised in a drab home and weren't hugged a lot, but your parents argued and talked a lot, would that tend to make you an auditory modality child?

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

You're just jealous because your IQ can't compare. (3.42 / 7) (#131)
by MessiahWWKD on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:14:47 PM EST

I've met many people no different than you who are also jealous of my superior intellect. In fact, they have a hard time believing that my IQ is actually over one million.
Sent from my iPad
[ Parent ]
High IQ gives me warm and fuzzy feeling (3.20 / 5) (#149)
by dufduf on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 03:09:41 PM EST

IQ is a fantasy clung to by those who have trouble coping in society and need something comforting to explain their alienation.

I think that IQ is a measure of succes in an IQ-test. I can't run 3000 meters in 12 minutes, I can't dance very well, I'm a lousy singer and I even fail miserably in Farnsworth-Munsell. But I'm not a total failure, I did score 160 in Cattel&Cattel. Beat that, you athlete popstart with a perfect vision! I do feel better because of that result.

No, I'm not a member of Mensa. I have enough smart friends already, and most of them know how to dress properly.

[ Parent ]

I *LOVE* MENSA!! (none / 0) (#272)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 12:51:27 PM EST

In my various communications over the years I made the acquiantance of some MENSA folks who found out I was smart. I took their test and scored not quite well enough to get in. But I scored high enough that they (being a relatively snobbish group) didn't dismess me out of hand and I ended up hanging about with some of them. Eventually I found out that a few of them played cards. I had a little cash to burn and thought, "Hell, why not. It might be interesting to play cards with some super geniuses" well we sat down and I'm at a table where the average IQ is supposedly about 170 and the cards are dealt out, the bets are made. And 2 hours later I'm walking out with $600+ out of the $50 I'd started with. These guys were the WORST card players EVER! They became visibly excited when they made a hand, they tried to fill a low inside straight and moaned about it when it didn't happen. They played to the showdown in 7 card stud games when they couldn't beat my up cards. It was CRAZY bad.
So, I love MENSA. I just wish I could get them to let me back to play cards again...

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

I voted +1 FP (3.50 / 3) (#84)
by gr3y on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:01:13 AM EST

because I want to see what other people have to say on the subject of IQ. Reading what has been said so far has been great fun, and very interesting.

The article was a little technical, by which I mean that an attempt was obviously made to explain your proposition, and that it seems self-consistent and reasonable, but that I don't agree with all of it. I don't believe there is "kinesthetic", "interpersonal", or "intrapersonal" intelligence. I don't believe there is such a thing as "emotional" intelligence.

Personally, I prefer the concept of "EQ" or simply "wisdom". Emotion is every bit as real as intellect, and disregarding one for the other generally causes problems in adaptation, but neither is equivalent to the other. I also believe "EQ" is harder to measure, to the point of being almost unmeasurable.

But the subject of IQ generates a lot of opinion, and I like to hear what people have to say.

I am a disruptive technology.

IQ and raising (3.78 / 14) (#86)
by strlen on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:13:17 AM EST

Regarding the racial differences in IQ, it's my opinion, that may be due to parenting techniques. From what I've heard, blacks raised in white families, actually, do not differ IQ-wise from whites. My guess, is that far too many black families in the US, aren't aware of proper parenting techniques. Great deal of what is the IQ is determined at an early age. Children are very curious and very interested in learning, and that curiosity and interest must be stimulated from now on.

Being an Ashkenazim Jew, I could also easily argue, for the reason for such a high score, too being, the way children are reared. In many Jewish families, especially the religious ones in the US, you won't even find a television set inside the house. Why? Because there's a great emphasis on raising children by parents, not by televisions sets. In addition, the cultural atmosphere of required literacy (religion required many jews to read the Torah, which requires literacy), again, fosters an atmosphere, which causes parents to stimulate and enhance their children's desire to learn.

Knowing a certain amount of Asians, I can also say that the same goes for their families as well: the culture places a very high value on children's intelectual development at an early age.

Now, why doesn't the black culture do the same, in the United States? Not to sound like a race-whoring liberal idiot, but the legacy of slavery may have indeed had an effect; as well as the legacy of living in a subsitenence agriculture-based society, in a climate and environment where most all life necessities are naturally available. But the news is, is that it's totally correctable, and that is what I'm trying to say.

Now, as for IQ tests themselves, I've taken a couple online ones, but they're far too fake, in my opinion, to matter. Yes, the scores I got are high, but so were the scores of most anyone else I know who took such a test. Someone I know took an on-line test and scores a 200, which likely, isn't possible. In addition, an online IQ test, won't even allow for all techniques that can be done in a standard test. I'll also refuse to take a normal IQ as well. Why? If I score low, I'll consider myself stupid and lose all motiviation to try and lorn; if I score high, I'll consider myself "better than everyone" or "exceptional", and again will simply not do any hard work. IQ and success in life may be correlated, but there's no way that correlation of individuals with IQ and succesfully individuals (basically the assertion "if you have a high IQ you;ll be succesfull") is 100%.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

This is the biggest crock of shit (3.25 / 8) (#122)
by redwolfb14 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:16:41 AM EST

I've read all morning, IQ if it's even measureable has very little to do with child rearing, that's just a highly assanine assumption. Not only that but i'm African-American and I can tell you that the same emphasis put on education and child rearing in an African-American household is strict. Simply because you don't know any better doesn't make it ok to talk out of your ass. Now let me give you a real life example of what I'm talking about.

I'm what you would call upper middle class, my family at least. My dad is the director of operations/human resources etc for a prominent hospital, my mother works for a big  accountant firm. They live out in the burbs in one of the highest taxed counties in the US and they just generally work and bitch and sit out in the backyard. However it wasn't always like that when I was younger I used to live in Bedford Stuyvesant..( infact i'm here typing on my computer now; thats another discussion for another day) where I went to school like any other kid. I had school then I had school after school, which was some little project learning thing and a high emphasis was put on my schooling. This has highly viewable in any kid on this block. Some of the same people went off to be lawyers, doctors etc etc. However I was lucky in that my parents eventually got better jobs, higher pay and decided to keep this house and buy some big burb house. That was also when I was young around 5th grade or so. Education remained important, I played piano and did all sorts of things at the Brooklyn Academy of Music etc etc. The people still here in Bedford Stuyvesant couldn't do that, the school system went literally to shit (Boys and Girl High), private school(St Marks over on Bushwick) was too expensive for some families and education wasn't as important as what someone would probably eat for the night. Mind you this doesn't make anyones IQ (if measurable) any lower. It DOES make then value different things. For me talking about how I like Bach or Beethoven, or why some HIG guidelines suck, or how i'm sick of this fucking netra X isn't as important as to someone out there on the street. Some people make it out; you got your Rap stars (jay z) etc etc who group up in Marcy which is right next to Bushwick, high population of jews. Infact if you go there right now you'll see Marcy Projects and a block over there are a bunch of Jewish people who send their kids to private school. The people that make it out is rare though and really the only way to get a better education is to have parents who can pay for private school. If you can't do that you gotta follow that Jay-Z path, or sling crack rock or have a wicked jump shot.

Simply; there is a larger systematic problem.

It's too easy to poke holes in your argument and it's simply because you base it on child rearing. Infact if i'm not mistaking I see black women taken care of the same jewish children you speak of in Manhattan, even in parts of Brooklyn (Eastern Parkway) where there is a high percentage of Jews and Blacks even though this is rear typically speaking because of the community. Blacks and Jews live in the same area without much of a problem. Except for that incident where some kids got ran over. Living conditions the same.. everything the same. Except that Jews probably have a higher income on their side and thats about all I can think of.

Still, it doesn't make it ok to talk out of your ass; if you are genuinely mistaken then you really need to read up on the situation. I'm going to be providing more information on problems like this and other popular misconceptions over on bedstuy.org soon.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

He was not talking about you... (4.33 / 4) (#127)
by CtrlBR on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:47:28 AM EST

He was talking about the children of teenage crack addicts that make the news.

It seems that white Americans do their best to ignore that there is a black middle-class that live exactly like they do. When they think black they think ghetto, even if they work and live with black people they somehow think that the one they know are the exception. It was really surprising to discover that from me (I'm European). The black community doesn't help either with its black colleges and so on (I don't know how pervasive it is...).

Somehow I think I can kiss my trusted user status goodbye after this post ;-)

If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Gully Foyle

[ Parent ]
I understand that (3.00 / 2) (#132)
by redwolfb14 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:19:47 PM EST

However the original statement makes a classification regardless of, the original poster spoke about race. He didn't say black poor or poor destitute, or simply poor who don't give a shit. Which is why I had to give an example of why his theory was just silly. Especially given the fact that Jews and Blacks live in the same areas. I gave a basis of why he was incorrect and why the theory of child rearing is no where on base. If the original poster said because of poverty or a lack of proper educational facilities or anything else it might of made sense but child rearing is highly, grossly off base.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]
Well not really (3.00 / 2) (#159)
by strlen on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 04:59:52 PM EST

The bad habits child rearing, is what, in my opinion, may be caused by income difference and poor education facilities. Of course, it doesn't mean that's the way all blacks are, obviously, as I'm talking about average IQ. But since some other study, found that the IQ difference lessens, but still stays after the data has been normalized for income, I hypothesized that it may be child rearing practice -- which aren't immediately affected by income (but may have a one or two generation lag), that are the cause (even if there is the problem, as many have pointed out IQ tests are hardly relevant).

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Right (none / 0) (#177)
by redwolfb14 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 07:36:44 PM EST

That bad habits of child rearing may be caused by income difference and poor education facilities.

That is highly incorrect, normally I don't mess with ones theories or hypothesis but this is just incorrect information. There is nothing left to argue really, if thats the way you feel more power to you. Should you ever be in a situation to discuss this in a forum saying something like that will get you a list of books to read on socio economics in ghettos. You'll find that child rearing has about 0 to do with anything  except personality. It would do you good to read the book "The Black Underclass". Your theories and hypothesis will get you laughed at in a professional forum or debate. Again; no offense to you.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

Let me get this straight... (none / 0) (#271)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 12:43:23 PM EST

You're saying that a person who is raised alone in a small room, with no human contact is going to have as much knowledge and score as well as if that person had been raised in a more traditional setting? And that the traditionally raised child will score as well as a child raised in a more intellectually intensive household? Are you saying that a child who is wellfed and gets enough sleep will score the same as if that same child barely got enough to prevent them from dying and only managed to get 3 hours of sleep every night? Do you think that being in squalid conditions, barely getting enough to eat, barely getting any sleep, and having almost no mental stimulation from birth to 3-4 years old WON'T affect someone years down the road? I'm making no judgement whatsoever about whether black/white/poor/rich/asian/venusian/whatever parents raise their children well or poorly, but growing up in conditions which do not stimulate thought and that lead to malnutrition are not going to lead to a person with a healthy mind or body and the result will be someone who scores poorly on tests of all kinds.
You seem to be saying that the way someones children are raised has no bearing on the childs intelligence, which would seem to argue for 100% inherited and genetically dependent intelligence. I find that hard to believe.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Ummmmmmmm (none / 0) (#286)
by redwolfb14 on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:25:50 PM EST

I never said that. From what I read; in my previous post(s) that is. I seem to be saying that the rearing of a child has absolutely zero to do with intelligence and more so with personality. What you are talking about isn't intelligence it's personality. The easiest rebuttal or refute to your argument is that there have been many poor, malnutrioned, zero mental stimulation from birth children that have done extremely well in life. Many kids that have come from slums and ghettos have done extremely well in music, art, math and science. I'm not saying that it doesn't have an affect; just that you are talking personality not intelligence. These people might not be the most sane people but they are genius. I'm also not arguing that intelligence is 100% inherited, I don't know how you could deduce that from what I've said previously. Granted I never denied it but I also seem to recall saying "We know jackshit about the brain and this is where intelligence stems; at least one has to suspect". Which would easily leave one to deduce that I know jackshit about the brain or how to measure intelligence which would then leave the question; what is intelligence and how is it measured? Of course you gloss over that in an effort to come up with your stuff above. That's nice and I'm glad you know what intelligence is and how it is affected; as well as how it can be measured by 'tests".

If people are still reading thread; I'm done.
Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

ARGGH! (none / 0) (#295)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 03:36:51 PM EST

You are arguing nonsense in circles.
You are the ONLY person talking about measuring intelligence. Everyone else is talking about measuring IQ and a possible connection between IQ and intelligence.
You claim that the way someone is raised doesn't affect intelligence. I say it does. I say that being raised in an environment where there is no mental stimulation whatsoever will result in a person who is less able to perform mental tasks. That person will exhibit fewer characteristics which we associate with the word Intelligent than someone who is raised in an environment with a lot of mental stimulation.
IQ tests measure a specific set of problem solving skills and a certain subset of knowledge. That information can be useful in determining someones knowledge level and problem solving ability, which is what the tests are for. Why is that so hard for you to grasp?
You seem to have assigned some concrete definition to Intelligence which allows you to seperate it from personality completely. I don't follow that definition.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Ok (none / 0) (#300)
by redwolfb14 on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 06:15:52 PM EST

You are the ONLY person talking about measuring intelligence. Everyone else is talking about measuring IQ and a possible connection between IQ and intelligence.

So what you are saying is that IQ has nothing to do with intelligence? Or that it might have a possible connection? What does IQ stand for? I'm lost.

You claim that the way someone is raised doesn't affect intelligence. I say it does. I say that being raised in an environment where there is no mental stimulation whatsoever will result in a person who is less able to perform mental tasks. That person will exhibit fewer characteristics which we associate with the word Intelligent than someone who is raised in an environment with a lot of mental stimulation.

When did I claim this? I said that individuals being reared has nothing to do with intelligence I never said that someone being reared in an environment desolate of mental stimulation would perform better than someone that didn't. Please, do yourself a favor an re-read my post and stop coming up with "You claim" unless I really did claim that. Infact I didn't even imply it.

IQ tests measure a specific set of problem solving skills and a certain subset of knowledge. That information can be useful in determining someones knowledge level and problem solving ability, which is what the tests are for. Why is that so hard for you to grasp?

Intelligent Quotient tests; "Everyone else is talking about measuring IQ and a possible connection between IQ and intelligence". I seem to remember saying somethign like how can you measure IQ if you don't know what Intelligence is; based on the fact that IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient they fit in the same category no? If even it's for a "specific set of problem solving skills and a certain subset of knowledge". To get IQ you have to understand Intelligence; no? Do you get it now?

That information can be useful in determining someones knowledge level and problem solving ability, which is what the tests are for. Why is that so hard for you to grasp?

So knowledge level and problem solving ability has something to do with IQ? From what you are saying. IQ might have somethign to do with intelligence even though the abbreviation itself clearly states this. So if knowledge level and problem solving ability have something to do with IQ they might have something to do with intelligence? Is this what you're saying? If so, maybe you can answer what intelligence is.

You seem to have assigned some concrete definition to Intelligence which allows you to seperate it from personality completely. I don't follow that definition.

I don't either as I seem to recall talking about personality tests being alot more believable that intelligence tests. That doesn't mean I think they are seperate as most personality tests factor in what is believed to be behaviorial attributes which would show knowledge seeking types of behavior.

You haven't made a point or given concrete evidence at all for IQ or Intelligence except to say that IQ might be related with intelligence and that somehow IQ even though it might be or not, related to intelligence, tests subsets of knowledge and problem solving skills and that someone void of mental stimulation wouldn't exhibit intelligence OR at least have a serious detriment regarding intelligence.

Whats your point? You are arguing against things I never even said in previous posts. Lets see what he comes up with this time.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

Sigh, one last time then... (none / 0) (#316)
by Kintanon on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 09:04:02 AM EST

I never said that. From what I read; in my previous post(s) that is. I seem to be saying that the rearing of a child has absolutely zero to do with intelligence and more so with personality.

So, right up there, where I'm quoting your text, you AREN'T saying that how someone is raised has no affect on their intelligence? Because, that's what I got out of that statement.

What you are talking about isn't intelligence it's personality. The easiest rebuttal or refute to your argument is that there have been many poor, malnutrioned, zero mental stimulation from birth children that have done extremely well in life.

You will find that the above is statistically untrue. Yes, out of the billions of people who have gone through malnutritioned, mentally void childhoods 3 or 4 may have been succesfull. But they are anomalies.

Many kids that have come from slums and ghettos have done extremely well in music, art, math and science. I'm not saying that it doesn't have an affect; just that you are talking personality not intelligence. These people might not be the most sane people but they are genius. I'm also not arguing that intelligence is 100% inherited, I don't know how you could deduce that from what I've said previously. Granted I never denied it but I also seem to recall saying "We know jackshit about the brain and this is where intelligence stems; at least one has to suspect". Which would easily leave one to deduce that I know jackshit about the brain or how to measure intelligence which would then leave the question; what is intelligence and how is it measured? Of course you gloss over that in an effort to come up with your stuff above. That's nice and I'm glad you know what intelligence is and how it is affected; as well as how it can be measured by 'tests". Ok, in the above, and in your previous posts, you've made several assumptions that no one else has made. No one else is claiming to have defined intelligence. Only characteristics of intelligence. An IQ test (Intelligence Quotient, yeah I know) measures what you could call symptoms of intelligence, but not the WHOLE of intelligence. There is obviously a link between the things which are measured by an IQ test and the greater concept of Intelligence. However it wasn't up to ME to name the test and apparently there wasn't a better name for it than an IQ test. You seem to have decided that everyone who talks about IQ tests believes that the IQ test is the be all, end all of measuring intelligence of any kind. I don't see anyone saying that. You also make spurrious assumptions regarding what I claim to know. I never said I knew what intelligence is. I said that people who score well on IQ tests exhibit qualities that we associate with "intelligence". I don't see how you can possibly argue against that... The original article, as I read it. Was saying damn near the same thing. That people who do well on the tests exhibit symptoms of intelligence. But just as knowing the symptoms of Cancer or AIDS doesn't mean I know the cure, knowing the Symptoms of Intelligence doesn't mean I can define Intelligence beyond the symptoms.
Now do you understand?
Kintanon

[ Parent ]
This is the most confusing crock of shit (3.00 / 2) (#128)
by geekmug on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:48:25 AM EST

I dunno what you just said, but you sure did say a lot of it. :P

The parent had a nicely formed scientific hypothesis formed (I am not debating its validity), but you just spat out how you don't fit that. How in the world does that disprove that 100 million other people don't?

Beyond that, you made it pretty clear that you had a "reared childhood," so what in the world did you just say?

I think you just said "we are a minority, thus we are inheritently disadvantaged." Which is a similar hypothesis as the parent, but instead you place the blame on society and not on the individuals with the problem.

Umm.. yah.. so what did you say? cause I'd like to understand your point.

-- Why reinvent the square wheel?
[ Parent ]
Here let me help you out (3.00 / 2) (#130)
by redwolfb14 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:03:27 PM EST

The parent had a nicely formed scientific hypothesis formed (I am not debating its validity), but you just spat out how you don't fit that. How in the world does that disprove that 100 million other people don't?

Your Question

Regarding the racial differences in IQ, it's my opinion, that may be due to parenting techniques. From what I've heard, blacks raised in white families, actually, do not differ IQ-wise from whites. My guess, is that far too many black families in the US, aren't aware of proper parenting techniques.

Original Statement.

My Answer; How is that true if black women are walking around raising and rearing a Jewish child in what you would relatively call the ghetto.

Beyond that, you made it pretty clear that you had a "reared childhood," so what in the world did you just say?

Yeah and i'm not an exception to the rule. There happens to exist more than black poor. There is a black middle class/upper and filthy rich.

I think you just said "we are a minority, thus we are inheritently disadvantaged." Which is a similar hypothesis as the parent, but instead you place the blame on society and not on the individuals with the problem.

Yes I did and it's about how you come to that hypothesis that matters. You might want to look up the definition of hypothesis, The original statements made are simply a crock of shit and CAN'T be a Hypothesis simply because it's bunk. I'm basing my own hypothesis on fact and real life experience,  whats the original poster basing his theory on? Because thats what it really is.

Umm.. yah.. so what did you say? cause I'd like to understand your point.

My point is simple and I said it before, there is a larger systematic problem to as why Blacks would score lower on an IQ test than Jews. I've given plenty of real examples to back that up. It has nothing to do with child rearing because thats simply a crock of shit and I gave a blindingly real example regarding that; which is why would Jews allow black women to rear their children while they work in some instances if Blacks have a lower iq? Surely you could have deduced that yourself, right? Whats your IQ score? :) j/k

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

Hmm (3.00 / 2) (#157)
by strlen on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 04:51:06 PM EST

You misconstrued my argument. I never argued about income, I argued about the moor root cause. Income may be yet another cause, but I argue that the problem may not stop, even with the move into lower middle class. An upper middle class family, may have addressed the problem, but what I'm talking about is a low-income, or lower-middle-class family, where there isn't always two parents. There's no way such a family could place that same emphasis on early childhood, education.

You've also said that income, as well effects child-rearing, which is not something I can't deny. In addition, the child-rearing I was talking about occurs at a much earlier age, before education, quite possibly before the age of 5.

As for child-rearing, I'm talking a very specific custom, that is developing a curiosity and an interest in further learning. And honestly, what would you use to explain the IQ difference? From what I've read of biology, the racist explanation simply won't cut it in many cases, as there's only 98% DNA difference between a human and a chimpanzee -- and since intelligence has to do a lot with learned behaviour, I'd wager that genetics simply can't play that big of  a role.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

I don't believe (none / 0) (#176)
by redwolfb14 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 07:28:43 PM EST

I miscontrued, i'll read it again but I've read it several times........ The root cause of the problem you say is child rearing; that is absolute nonsense in my opinion.

What would I use to explain the IQ difference? I don't know because I don't know anything about IQ or Intelligence because I know very little about the human brain and how it operates. Answer this question; If I took you out into lets say a field and asked you to hit something with a bow and arrow, survive in the wild for a week without any tools and make clothes from hide and based on that I determined your IQ would you do well?

The whole idea of IQ is silly the way it is now and the idea of child rearing somehow having some effect on IQ is even more silly. Give me some conclusive evidence, give me comparisons with factual data. Just don't say "I suppose child rearing must have something to do with it". You're first basing your statement on statistics and data that you don't have, which is based on some system that makes absolutely zero sense because no one knows what IQ or intelligence is and then you're asking me to explain the difference? That doesn't seem a tiny bit pie in the sky to you? I can solidly make the statement that it's really silly and thats no offense to you if you feel happy believing in some weird off the wall cult science you're free to do so.

I'd also like this information you have on intelligence having alot to do with learned behavior. As far as I know the reason the Neatherdal doesn't exist is because they could not learn behavior from one another, each generation had to relearn the same stuff and they never progressed. So if you could point out where you got your information from that would be great as it would be ground breaking at least for me to read. Also it would really help in the area of neural networks etc etc. As far as I know if learned behavior had anything to do with intelligence we would have computers that did the whole AI movie thing.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

Are You For Real? (3.50 / 6) (#156)
by Juppon Gatana on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 04:24:42 PM EST

I greatly disagree with the parent comment. I think the amount of time a parent spends on his or her child, past a certain point, has very little effect on IQ score. Obviously an ignored child is going to be unhealthy in a variety of ways, and probably have stunted intellectual growth, but I've never seen anything to suggest that black parents ignoring their children is a "cultural phenomenon." It's what aspects of life are emphasized that are important. I too am an Ashkenazi Jew, and having gone to Stuyvesant High School, I am friends with a good deal of Asians as well (the Stuy student body is 52% Asian). I can say, if only from anectdotal experience, that Asian and Jewish families put far more academic pressure on their children than white Christian parents do. Probably more than most black families, too.

For the most part, the Jewish and Asian parents I know who pressure their children do so to an extreme degree, making the prospect of failure entirely unacceptable and creating an extremely unhealthy academic atmosphere that most certainly does not involve learning for its own sake. The result, however, is that these children do well in school and learn how to excel on tests, motivated by the prospect of great parental dissatisfaction, and in severe cases, beatings.

When these kids take IQ tests (or the SATs, for that matter), they've already learned many nuances of test taking, and know exactly how to succeed on a multiple choice test much better than other students without a pressure-filled academic background. Many of my friends studied very hard for the SATs, starting months before their took the test, and an extremely high percentage took prep courses. Why this phenomenon surfaces in Jewish and Asian families in particular, I have no idea. My family is not like this, but many, many other Jewish families I know are.

When it comes to "letting the TV do the parenting" being a trend among black families (which I don't believe for a moment), I think that has little if anything to do with the topic at hand. Obviously spending a certain amount of time with your child is very important for his or her intellectual development, but the pressuring parents I know of are not necessarily particularly doting or even attentive. strlen's parent post seems to be designed to be incendiary, or perhaps he's just woefully ignorant; I'm not sure.

- Juppon Gatana
能ある鷹は爪を隠す。
(Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu.)
[ Parent ]
Except that (3.75 / 4) (#166)
by mmealman on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:24:59 PM EST

IQ tests themselves are most definately culterally dependent. So it's little suprise that a black kid raised by whites would have a higher IQ than a black raised by blacks. IQ exams are aimed at white educational values.

[ Parent ]
Please elaborate. (none / 0) (#169)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:34:18 PM EST

Explain the white educational values.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

IQ tests (3.00 / 2) (#167)
by mikelist on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:28:08 PM EST

I've taken several online tests, and they match my aggregate AFAT score, which I took in February of 1978. Low score 147, high score 156, AFAT score 155. I'm skeptical of IQ tests for other reasons, it doesn't measure my learning disabilities (why a 155 IQ guy is working in building trades, but I like the work so it's a moot point).

[ Parent ]
Much ado about nothing (3.50 / 3) (#95)
by stpap on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:07:11 AM EST

Ok consider this.
Say we agree on what intelligence is. Now, assume I have irrefutable evidence that all European males are, on average, less intelligent than African males. Considering that most of the population in the two bellshaped (normal) curves overlap (and that is true in every result I have seen so far - please correct me if I am wrong) does it really matter if the remaining 10-15% is smarter and by how much? And what would it really mean to be 2-3% smarter than someone else?
Anyway, it is highly unlikely that a common view on what intelligence is will be reached anytime soon. And the effect of upbringing on intelligence will still have to be measured.   And then the moral implications (if any) of such findings will have to be examined. I am not too concerned with this :)  

intelligence (3.00 / 2) (#120)
by Phillip Asheo on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:05:07 AM EST

And what would it really mean to be 2-3% smarter than someone else?

it could be the difference between being Bill Gates and Joe Sixpack. its all at the margin...

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Funny you mention that. (4.00 / 3) (#141)
by webwench on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:09:11 PM EST

Every time someone brings out the old saw that 'women are better with verbal tasks; men are better with spatial orientation', I imagine they picture that there is a huge difference between the sexes in those respect. Yet, on every graph I've seen illustrating things like verbal and math scores on the SATs, or different components of any intelligence or achievement tests, what's shown is two bell curves, 95%+ of which overlap -- just the midpoint of one is slightly past the midpoint of the other. Yet, it is perceived to be this dichotomy -- women can read and speak, andmen can't. Or men can do math and build things with tools, and women can't. It's a huge misperception.

[ Parent ]
Actually it's the top 5% I'd watch. (none / 0) (#195)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 06:21:30 AM EST

What you say is true, but I figure the middle of the curve is often not the most interesting part. Because on average the average are just average :).

It's the exceptional ones that you'd watch out for. e.g. the 6 sigma ones.

So if the curves are close at the middle but at the edges there are a lot more VERY exceptional A than B, you could say A tend to be more exceptional than B.

How about the rest? I'd say pick a different scale to distinguish them. Probably silly to use that scale for them.

When you want to pick the right person/tool/item for the task, it is not usually useful to pick a measurement where the best candidates are average (middle of bell curve).

[ Parent ]

The right person for the task (none / 0) (#224)
by webwench on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 04:15:26 PM EST

When looking for 'the right person for the task', it's actually best to treat the candidates strictly as 'individuals', rather than as a member of a group, with all the perceived or 'typical' qualities assumed to go along with it. Because we can speak of groups as being better at this or that, but really, how many 'typical' friends or coworkers do you have?v That's the thing this "These people are better at yada-yada, and those people tend to do etcetera." It's meaningless at the individual level.

I had a boss once who was into religious discussions (he was a nonbeliever, as am I). At the time I was married to a 'believer'. My boss commented that 'usually, it's the man who is less religious, and the woman he marries who pulls him into the fold.' I felt like smacking him.

[ Parent ]

Hehe (none / 0) (#345)
by Anonymous Hiro on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 04:05:17 PM EST

Yep. But some tasks narrow people down by groups (e.g. by sex). Seem to see lots more tall black guys playing basketball too :).

Funny you mention smacking. I've been kicked and smacked by more women then men.

OK so it's usually a playful[1] kick/smack: the ladies tend to playfully smack/kick me, the men don't.

Fortunately+Maybe because the guys usually pack a bigger punch/kick. Backslapping doesn't seem that common around here so maybe there is a cultural factor.

Have fun being pulled to the fold... Dragged kicking and smacking perhaps? :)

[1] I say playful coz I'd like to believe they don't hate/dislike me :).


[ Parent ]

Definition of intelligence (none / 0) (#216)
by borderline on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 12:54:18 PM EST

Intelligence is the ability measured by intelligence tests. So there.

[ Parent ]
Scoring Under 100 (4.09 / 11) (#98)
by jjayson on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:14:44 AM EST

Am I the only person here that scored under 100 on an IQ test? I know I am not the brightest person out there. I don't need a test to tell me that.

However, I probably did better than almost everybody else on this site on their SAT score, and I did go to Cal, so that might mean something. Not that I deserved either of these.

It just seems like attempts to categorize intelligence tend to fail. I don't understand how people can actually trust them?
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

No (4.00 / 3) (#105)
by epepke on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 05:37:32 AM EST

Since, at the time of this writing, there are 10 votes for below 100, it seems that the answer is "no."


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
good. (3.75 / 4) (#106)
by jjayson on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 05:55:52 AM EST

It's nice to know that I'm not the only unintelligent fool here.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Well... (3.50 / 5) (#107)
by epepke on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:08:23 AM EST

It's nice to know that I'm not the only unintelligent fool here.

I know this is probably a bit tongue-in-cheek, but why put yourself down? IQ is just a characteristic, like having a big nose or red hair or going prematurely bald. Whatever the statistics are, IQ doesn't limit individual intellectual accomplishment in any meaningful way, though it may take more time. One of the wisest people I know has an IQ of 90 on a good day.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
That was part of the orignial comment... (4.00 / 4) (#109)
by jjayson on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:23:15 AM EST

On the one IQ test I took I was below 100, yet I seemed to do well in other things that might require this mythical quantifyable quality called intelligence. I think they tests are bogus, personally.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
of course they are bogus (4.00 / 7) (#119)
by Phillip Asheo on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:03:23 AM EST

anyone with an ounce of intelligence realises that :-)

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

I've read K5 long enough (none / 0) (#290)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:36:06 PM EST

to know that you're definitely NOT the only unintelligent fool here, IQ notwithstanding. :):):)
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Under 100 (3.57 / 7) (#112)
by StrontiumDog on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 07:58:05 AM EST

My father has a measured IQ of about 90, has an MSc in engineering, speaks three languages fluently and two others passably, and was dean of his faculty.

[ Parent ]
Nice (4.33 / 4) (#134)
by r00t on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:29:33 PM EST

I have scored between 130 and 150 on several IQ tests speak English and a wee bit of french and have no degree.

-It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn. - Isaac Asimov
[ Parent ]

Don't worry (3.00 / 2) (#138)
by StrontiumDog on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:45:32 PM EST

I've always found my dad to be something of a bore. Must be his low IQ.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (3.00 / 2) (#139)
by webwench on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:04:50 PM EST

Last test I took in high school, I scored over 150, but you know, I meet people all the time who I perceive to be smarter than I am. On top of that, I don't *feel* all that brilliant, generally speaking. I can't say I'm wildly more successful at work than most people I work with, either. I think some level of intelligence (however you define that) is just one of many factors required for success (however you define that). Really, when most people don't agree on the answers to the questions 'what is success' and 'what is intelligent', of what value is a score on one of the several accepted IQ tests?

[ Parent ]
feeling intelligent (3.16 / 6) (#142)
by jjayson on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:15:43 PM EST

On top of that, I don't feel all that brilliant, generally speaking.
That might be a good thing. The sooner people realize that they don't know anything, the sooner they stop being intellectual snobs and asses, and the sooner they begin to really learn. Many of the people I have met in school and work that have through they were brilliant were too busy believing they were right to ever learn from their mistakes... of course there were a few people that I knew that could back it up, too.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Yeah. (2.33 / 3) (#146)
by Noam Chompsky on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:00:09 PM EST

On top of that, I don't *feel* all that brilliant, generally speaking. I can't say I'm wildly more successful at work than most people I work with, either.

At least you have tits, which make the men around you stupid.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Only the ones... (none / 0) (#241)
by webwench on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 10:39:22 PM EST

...who are pretty stupid to begin with.

[ Parent ]
I resent that comment. (none / 0) (#253)
by Noam Chompsky on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 05:08:14 AM EST


--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

And you should. (n/t) (none / 0) (#260)
by webwench on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:26:03 AM EST



[ Parent ]
yeah (none / 0) (#354)
by r00t on Tue Jan 14, 2003 at 06:49:45 AM EST

I think a high IQ just gives you the ability to figure out patterns that most people are oblivious too. That is what IQ tests predominately test for. Second languages and degrees (depending on what it is in) rely heavily on memory... I'm sure many bilingual people speak lousy english and lousy french and say stupid things in both languages.

-It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn. - Isaac Asimov
[ Parent ]

You've been replaced with a space alien (4.00 / 3) (#164)
by Will Sargent on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:20:57 PM EST

I really don't get how you can score under 100 on an IQ test and kick butt on an SAT test considering that they both measure vocabulary and mathematics.  Of course, you can crack an SAT much easier than an IQ test.

Furthermore, this "I'm not the brightest person" stuff doesn't sound like you at all.
----
I'm pickle. I'm stealing your pregnant.
[ Parent ]

people change (3.50 / 2) (#181)
by jjayson on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 08:43:04 PM EST

Of course, you can crack an SAT much easier than an IQ test.
I studied for the SAT quite a bit. I took many practice tests and I read some of the Princeton Review stuff (but didn't take the classes). My PSAT wasn't very good, either, so it could have been the study.

Furthermore, this "I'm not the brightest person" stuff doesn't sound like you at all.
People change? As you get older you get better perspective. After working at Ask Jeeves were pretty much everybody was smarter and a better programmer than me, it was a humbling experience. Plus some other very major life events.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Hmm (none / 0) (#243)
by BLU ICE on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:31:14 PM EST

Intelligence can't be measured by IQ tests. They're bullshit. I've gotten anything from 80-200 on tests before.

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

When I took my IQ test (none / 0) (#292)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:43:19 PM EST

they had a policy of not telling the victim, er, testtaker his score, but I got the impression that I was only slightly above average. But, in spite of that, I had a reputation as an "egghead" in school, and I'm quick at picking up my tech stuff.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
My favorite IQ test. (4.40 / 10) (#100)
by NFW on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:28:11 AM EST

It's very simple. Do you know your arse from your elbow?


--
Got birds?


Beautiful! (3.00 / 2) (#125)
by epepke on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:31:11 AM EST

I love it. Of course, I got 14/14 first time.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
There is no IQ (3.75 / 12) (#135)
by fhotg on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:39:09 PM EST

This article, though nicely written, tries to gloss over the main problem with "IQ-testing" with technical terms.

The "g-factor" describes the tendency of the various "subtests" to correlate. As such it says something about the people making up the tests, it says nothing about the existence of an "IQ".

It is possible to increase scores on IQ tests through practice. However, when analyzing such results it turns out that the increases are not in g. Rather such increases mean that people have increased their test taking skill.
Oh no, you didn't get stronger. You just improved your weight lifting skills. Come on, the only way to measure a person's g is by testing. So you improve your g by getting better at tests. It does not help to argue that this can't be, because as everybody knows, g is independend of the tests and a nearly unalterable quality of people. It just isn't.

The old saying that an IQ tests just measures the ability to score at IQ-tests holds.

Also you seem to believe "correlation" would have something to do with "causation", else you wouldn't write sentences like

It therefore seems like g does not only have consequences on the individual level but can also be used in explanations of demographical phenomena.
Classical example of "carried away by stats 101". For sure, g (remember, it's a test score) doesn't have consequences neither on the individual nor on demographic phenomena. For sure the other way round, though.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

IQ test vs g test (none / 0) (#351)
by JensAAMC on Sun Jan 12, 2003 at 07:43:20 PM EST

Oh no, you didn't get stronger. You just improved your weight lifting skills. Come on, the only way to measure a person's g is by testing. So you improve your g by getting better at tests. It does not help to argue that this can't be, because as everybody knows, g is independend of the tests and a nearly unalterable quality of people. It just isn't.

The old saying that an IQ tests just measures the ability to score at IQ-tests holds.
-------------
Note that g is measured on tests that are varied and balanced. Measuring g scores is a lengthy process.

Taking IQ test, on the other hand, is relatively uncomplicated.

We therefore have two types of test. What I am saying is that one can improve the IQ test taking skill, whithout improving the g.

[ Parent ]

Some comments... (4.37 / 16) (#144)
by merkri on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:39:44 PM EST

I had a lot of comments on some of these replies, and rather than comment on them individually, I thought I'd post a single comment here. I'm an advanced graduate student in clinical psychology who specializes in psychometrics, statistics, and behavioral genetics, and so I have a lot to say--not because I know everything, but because it's closely related to what I do (I tend to specialize in personality measurement, but there's a lot of overlap).

First, I have something to say to those who say twin studies are nonsense: they're not. I think that, based on the literature, a heritability of 80% is stretching it--it's probably more like 50-70%. I could give some cites, but I can't remember them exactly and I'm too lazy to post them. I think there was a Bayesian meta-analytic review of twin and family studies published in Nature not too long ago, so if you have access it, go look there. IQ tends to be more heritable than other traits, such as personality, but it's also measured better, and there's less error.

It's important to recognize that a heritability of 50-70% leaves a lot of room for environmental effects. No one in behavioral genetics--almost no one, anyway--believes that intellectual ability is entirely due to genes. The problem isn't that people believe environment doesn't have an effect, it's that it's difficult as hell to pinpoint how environment does have an effect. It's notoriously difficult to demonstrate that any environmental factor has any effect, although family and twin studies do support their existence.

In that regard, it's important to note that heritability changes with age. My understanding of it is that g tends to be very heritable at very young ages, then becomes less heritable through childhood and adolescence, then increases in heritability again throughout adulthood. My understanding of the literature is that, in addition to prenatal variables (alcohol during pregnancy, etc.), the current environment has a big effect, but not necessarily the past environment. That is, the environment you're in right now has an effect on you right now, but if you change the environment, there aren't usually any lingering effects (short of brain damage). That seems to be true of personality especially, and may be less true of g. Current thinking about the Flynn effect doesn't necessarily contradict this, although what causes the Flynn effect is very poorly understood.

The biological substrates of g are poorly understood. However, it's worth noting a relatively recent study in Nature or Science (again, I'm on vacation, so I won't bother with HTML) demonstrating that performance of tasks highly correlated with g (i.g., "loading" on g) tends to be associated with neural activity in a specific region of the brain. I think this region was the lateral prefrontal cortex (sort of in the front and side of your head, by your forehead and temples). It's a cool study because it suggests that there is a general brain area associated with g.

Second, a comment about those statistics and the reality of g. The psychometric theory underlying g --and other psychological traits--is essentially identical to current statistical accounts of causality. So, if you're familiar with Judea Pearl's work on conditional independence and causality, it may help you to understand the notion of g. To simplify immensely, the idea is that if two variables are conditionally independent on a third variable, that third variable can be thought of as a cause of A and B--i.e., if A and B are statistically independent given C, C can be thought of as a cause of A and B. So, if you have a set of correlations between a bunch of variables, and those correlations go to zero once you consider another variable, that variable can be thought of as a cause of all the other variables.

Thus the theory of g: you model a variable (g) that, once considered, renders other variables uncorrelated with one another. Of course, you never observe g directly, you infer it from the pattern of correlations.

You may thus think that g is a bunch of nonsense. But then you have to explain why performance on all these tasks are correlated with one another. To do so, you have to posit something. And that something will probably be something like g.

Third, about those who have taken intellectual tests or whatever and feel they're nonsense because the scores change a bunch. I have given some IQ tests in clinical settings, and I can tell you that (1) if you are super anxious or whatever, your performance won't accurately reflect your intellectual abilities, (2) if someone who doesn't know what they're doing gives you the test, it may not be accurate, and (3) those self-administered tests aren't anywhere near as valid as clinically-administered tests, because there's no one making sure you aren't cutting corners, so to speak. None of these things, however, is to say that a properly administered IQ test is invalid. Correlations between different measure of g, or different tests at different times, are remarkably high (about .8-.98).

Finally, g doesn't reflect every ability that's important. g, for example, tends to be correlated only about .4 with academic performance. Job performance studies show that personality traits such as conscientiousness add significantly to the prediction of job performance, over and above g. Finally, even within the realm of cognitive abilities, there seem to be certain things lacking on certain tests and in most IQ tests in general. The WAIS, for example--the most commonly given IQ test--tends to be heavily speeded and thus biases scores in favor of those who are just fast; it neglects memory to a certain extent. The Stanford-Binet, similarly, is biased toward unspeeded memory tests. And both tests seem to be lacking measures of what might be called "creativity": the ability to generate new ideas (although creativity has been notoriously difficult to measure historically speaking). They also seem to lack, in my mind, measures of logical reasoning--the sort of stuff that used to be on the GRE analytical subtest.

Interesting (3.33 / 3) (#145)
by epepke on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:46:50 PM EST

Most of this in interesting, but I particularly noticed, "My understanding of it is that g tends to be very heritable at very young ages, then becomes less heritable through childhood and adolescence, then increases in heritability again throughout adulthood."

This seems to be consistent with the folk concept of "reverting to type." That is, while many people seem to go off at a tangent while adolescent, they more often than not become indistinguishable from their parents as they get older.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Twin studies (4.33 / 15) (#147)
by localroger on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:33:20 PM EST

Speaking as "that person," let me ask you something.

Suppose Alternate Henry Ford funded a lot of studies in the 1920's that showed gasoline fumes are good for you, tetraethyl lead makes grass greener, and that wheat grown by the side of the road tastes better. Let's say Henry and his heirs threw a lot of money into these studies, dozens of them until his death in the 1970's, all proving that the more cars there are in your enivoronment, the cleaner, healthier, and longer-lived you will be.

Now let's say there were some doubters but none of them had enough of a voice to counter such a generous, erudite, and powerful industry figure. But let's say that once he was dead the doubters finally started to timidly examine some of this research, especially the early research, and they were shocked -- shocked! -- to discover not only that the data were fudged, mind you, but that the data were entirely made up out of a whole cloth. Not only that, Henry had made up whole researchers who "helped" him, in some instances by writing letters praising him to magazines he was peer-reviewing.

Now let's say our researchers extended their focus and found out all this research was either similarly fraudulent, or so poorly done as to be meaningless. The real research, what little can be trusted, shows that gas fumes cause cancer, lead makes you retarded, and that cars are slowly eating the planet.

Now, having re-adjusted my thinking in the wake of this sudden and shocking revelation, how the hell do you expect me to feel about someone else who takes money from Henry's industry and who shortly thereafter claims to have done yet another study with Henry's same discredited methodology which, this time, is done "right" but just coincidentally happens to come to a very similar result?

It doesn't matter whether a good twin study is possible. It may even be true that there are some now that have been properly done, but it doesn't matter. The benefit of the doubt was exhausted by those who went first. There are clearly strong biases at work and the research is very easy to fudge, even unconsciously. The burden is on the twin study researchers to prove that they are not charlatans or secret racists before I will waste my time with their results.

Meanwhile, any researcher with an ounce of dignity should be aware of a taint like this before entering a field, or before perpetuating it if he's stuck in it when the scandal unfolds. Twin studies are in the same class as cold fusion, perpetual motion machines, and antigravity. Only the fact that a lot of rich fascists would like to believe otherwise keeps them in funding.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

A quick, fairly asinine question. (3.25 / 4) (#188)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 01:52:54 AM EST

Why do rich fascists want to fund studies on cold fusion, perpetual motion machines, and antigravity? Just genuinely curious here.

Cheers
DLS
---

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

Hell (3.66 / 3) (#190)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 02:09:36 AM EST

Fusion energy research has actually been used as a Communist frount, never mind fascists...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

I'm sorry, but... (2.33 / 9) (#162)
by MessiahWWKD on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 05:48:10 PM EST

Unless your IQ level is at least 190, we have no reason to take you seriously. As for the g factor, that sounds as if it'd make a good title for an adult film.
Sent from my iPad
[ Parent ]
Time for Occam (4.00 / 12) (#172)
by fhotg on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:46:38 PM EST

You may thus think that g is a bunch of nonsense. But then you have to explain why performance on all these tasks are correlated with one another. To do so, you have to posit something. And that something will probably be something like g.
Right. So instead of assuming some hard to grasp, not construtively definable quality attached to persons, the cause of which presumably lies somewhere between inherited brain-chemistry and exposure to Lego at a young age, you might as well posit the obvious:

Performance of these tasks is correlated, because the subjective ideas of "indicators of intelligence" of the people inventing the tests are correlated. The (statistical) existence of g owes to the fact that these tests (and our idea of "intelligence") spring from a relatively homogenous cultural and temporal background of the test-makers.

... So, if you have a set of correlations between a bunch of variables, and those correlations go to zero once you consider another variable, that variable can be thought of as a cause of all the other variables.
Sure the other way round is true: A variable being causally related to two others might result in a correlation of those two others, despite their causal unrelatedness. It's mysterious to me how you can state that the reversion of this can be used to statistically prove causation. Particularly, if the "causing" variable is a derived one, which cannot be directly observed. I am assuming that the "causation" you are referring to is a technical term in stats and is very different from the ordinary scientific meaning.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]
About your concerns... (4.00 / 5) (#189)
by merkri on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 01:56:37 AM EST

You raise important issues that deserve some comment.

Performance of these tasks is correlated, because the subjective ideas of "indicators of intelligence" of the people inventing the tests are correlated. The (statistical) existence of g owes to the fact that these tests (and our idea of "intelligence") spring from a relatively homogenous cultural and temporal background of the test-makers.

It's worth noting that historically, people have not always been good at devising measures of g. The earliest attempts to measure g, which failed horribly, were largely measures of pure response speed. It's not at all the case that whatever you think should be related psychologically speaking will be related. It's true of intelligence, but also true of psychology more generally.

It's also worth noting that the g phenomenon can be demonstrated throughout the world with all sorts of tests that have no ostensible relationship with a specific language or culture whatsoever.

It's important to remember that what's correlated is people's behavior on the tests, not behavior on the part of the test creators. That is, in order to explain g in terms of cultural homogeneity on the part of the test creators, you'd have to come up with some theory that posits some "press" from the tasks acting on people's behavior, a press that acts across cultures varying from New York to the Native South American tribes living in the jungle. That's something that's more complicated, at least to me, than positing individual differences in a general neuropsychological system.

Having said all that, however, it is true that g is a latent variable, something ultimately inferred from correlations among tests but not observed. And there is something to be said for the position that latent variables aren't "inferred causes" but rather, summaries of variables.

I respect those concerns, and sometimes have related concerns myself.

However, I do have some responses to them.

A classic response to the unobserved cause problem is to point out cases in the physical sciences in which the existence of something is inferred without direct observation. For example, how many times are planets inferred from their gravitational effects on other bodies without direct observation? It is true that inferrring things without observing them is often dangerous. But in a way, we're always indirectly observing something. And more importantly, it's important to note that unobserved does not mean unobservable. It's entirely possible that 10 years from now a compelling neuropsychological account of g--that is, in terms of physical networks, etc.--will emerge.

As to the issue of latent variables being unobserved causes or mere summaries of patterns of relationships--I'm not sure how different those perspectives are. It's true that it's possible that g is just a convenient summary of multiple measures, and these measures are related because they're similar. However, that position doesn't really explain why the tests are "similar", nor does it explain why they are empirically related to one another.

That is, all these tests may be similar to one another because of "cultural or temporal homogeneity". But what makes them homogeneous? In particular, what makes them correlated with one another, but not, e.g., measures of neuroticism, even though both sets of measures are being created in similar cultural settings? Furthermore, why are measures of g slightly correlated with measures of personality traits such as curiosity but not personality traits such as neuroticism?

It seems to me that to account for these empirical findings, you have to posit something more than cultural homogeneity--some sort of theory that explains why g is related to some things and not others.

I agree with you that there's a lot that's fuzzy about g and psychological traits in general. But I'm not sure that parsimony necessarily suggests that g isn't appropriate.

[ Parent ]

nit (5.00 / 4) (#198)
by tichy on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 07:35:43 AM EST

A classic response to the unobserved cause problem is to point out cases in the physical sciences in which the existence of something is inferred without direct observation. For example, how many times are planets inferred from their gravitational effects on other bodies without direct observation?

I don't think this really applies here because when e.g. the existence of a planet is posited it is to conserve consistency with well established laws of nature like gravity that have huge amounts of independent verification everywhere. Either there is a planet or gravity is wrong and then we have a lot of re-explaining to do.

No such situation exists for g - g only conserves the consistency of the idea that the factors all have the same cause, which is what g proponents are trying to prove! (From what I can understand).

[ Parent ]

Tricky (4.50 / 2) (#205)
by fhotg on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:15:19 AM EST

Thanks for your extensive reply.
The earliest attempts to measure g, which failed horribly, were largely measures of pure response speed.
There seems however a similar simple variable, the "inspection time", for trivial tasks (i.e. decide wich line is longer) to correlate very well with g, and actually result in the same ranking of persons as complex IQ-tests.
It's also worth noting that the g phenomenon can be demonstrated throughout the world with all sorts of tests that have no ostensible relationship with a specific language or culture whatsoever.
I doubt this. For one, to arrive at a generally valid definition of g (comparable across cultures), cultural differences would have to be explicitely taken into account. However, the cultural effect on task-performance and problem-solving is not at all understood (and probably never will be). An indicator for this is, that even tests designed to be "culturally fair", usually yield higher g-scores for the cultural group of the test-maker. How do you test "logic" for a culture that is not connected to Aristotle, "verbal skills" across the multitude of languages, account for "spatial skills" adapted to life in the jungle ? How do you test cultures without written language anyways ?
It's important to remember that what's correlated is people's behavior on the tests, not behavior on the part of the test creators.
More precisely: The correlations defining g are between the variables describing the performance on various 'skills', i.e. logical, verbal and spatial reasoning and inspection time. g therefore is determined by the choice of the 'skills' to be tested (and the method to test and the experimental setup ..). This is a very subjective choice and reflects the idea of "intelligence" of the test-makers. And here is the cultural relativity. Except of course, you are claiming that IQ-research is not more dominated by North-Western scholars than by Yanomami medicine-men. Summing it up: If g has an interesting meaning, it's only defined for a particular cultural background, even if it's the dominant one.
...For example, how many times are planets inferred from their gravitational effects on other bodies without direct observation?
Nonono. Here you have an underlying theory, based on direct observations, which gives you very strong confidence in the causal relationships involved. Mass and only mass causes a gravitational field, G-field and only G-field causes observed movement of bodies. So the reasoning backwards, to the existence of mass is of a totally different quality than the reasoning from a derived statistical variable to the existence of something real (IQ), which is able to cause something.
It's entirely possible that 10 years from now a compelling neuropsychological account of g--that is, in terms of physical networks, etc.--will emerge.
Agreed, even though I don't believe this will happen. If it did, you would have a scientific theory which you could back up with the data we're considering now. Without it, the stats pulled out of the data have only little explanatory value and merely serve to speculate about where to look for a theory.
But what makes them homogeneous? In particular, what makes them correlated with one another, but not, e.g., measures of neuroticism, even though both sets of measures are being created in similar cultural settings? ... [Why correlated with curiosity ?]
Because our (culturally defined) idea of intelligence, the most sophisticated representation of witch seems to be g, includes curiosity but not neuroticism.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]
I bite. (none / 0) (#237)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 08:21:45 PM EST

Has anyone ever experimented with having qualified people of various races design IQ tests and then see if the "Race of the test's maker scores better" idea is true?

Because, if they haven't, and so far only white people have devised IQ tests, then the whole idea that white people are scoring better because white people designed the test is wholly unproven.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

both unproven (none / 0) (#248)
by tichy on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 01:52:57 AM EST

The opposite theory (that white people scoring better has nothing to do with the fact white people make the tests) is also unproven, until someone performs the crucial experiment that you aptly describe.

[ Parent ]
bitten the wrong lure (none / 0) (#255)
by fhotg on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 06:37:13 AM EST

I didn't talk about races, at all.

If it were so, that whities are scoring better, generally, and this is not caused by the test itself, that would mean whites are more intelligent than differently colored people.

You are sure you want to propose that ?
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

Race / Culture (none / 0) (#284)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:04:04 PM EST

"An indicator for this is, that even tests designed to be "culturally fair", usually yield higher g-scores for the cultural group of the test-maker."

You said culture, I said race. While the technical terms have different meanings I believe we meant the same thing.

"If it were so, that whities are scoring better, generally, and this is not caused by the test itself, that would mean whites are more intelligent than differently colored people."

Not so. That is one explanation. If you consider IQ test ability (whether or not they measure intelligence) to be a learned, rather than innate, behavior, there are many more explanations, based on things like socioeconomic status, discrimination, inferior schools, different cultural emphasis, or even the self-fulfilling fear of a lower score.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

right (none / 0) (#301)
by fhotg on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 06:28:18 PM EST

You said culture, I said race. While the technical terms have different meanings I believe we meant the same thing.
well, I meant what I said :)
Not so. That is one explanation.
Your explanation puts the chain of causation like this: race -> various environmental factors -> IQ-test ability. The IQ-score hence would primarily be a result of those factors. And then the IQ would be nothing that terribly important, more like in the league of ones income or size of car. I tend to believe that is so. However, the "IQ is real and important" - fraction denies that and tends to diminish the effect of those environmental factors on the IQ-test ability and paints the IQ as a primary cause. You can see this in the use of "twin-studies" as an argument, which supposedly "prove" the unimportance of environmental factors. In my statement I was silently taking that position to show how it results in a not at all pc conclusion.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]
Learned (5.00 / 1) (#307)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 11:39:00 PM EST

If intelligence is learned (nurture), and IQ measures intelligence (now these two assumptions are of course unproven), then the chain of causation holds without IQ being a meaningless test. Under these conditions, intelligence itself would be a result of environmental factors. (Of course, it gets more complicated if you posit nature AND nurture combined in various degrees as determinants of intelligence.)

This would mean that the average Black is not learning intelligence as well as the average Asian, due to the environmental factors.

I don't think that's necessarily a racist idea, more a call for some sort of improvement in environmental factors.

Of course, we can't assume that conclusion at all until there is a proper definition of intelligence, an answer to the nature vs. nurture debate, and a revelation as to whether or not IQ measures intelliR="#e.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

"Quotient" means division (4.25 / 5) (#152)
by Shimmer on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 04:03:26 PM EST

I don't see how you can discuss IQ without mentioning that IQ is supposed to represent a quotient, a ratio of two numbers.

IQ = mental age / physical age

-- Brian

Wizard needs food badly.

If I follow this... (none / 0) (#180)
by iamadingy on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 08:32:26 PM EST

my mental age is somewhere around 2780.(180*15.46575342)

[ Parent ]
Factor of 100? (4.00 / 1) (#207)
by srichman on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:23:39 AM EST

I don't know much about IQ, but considering that 100 represents average intelligence, you probably want to take out another factor of 100. Otherwise, a ten-year-old of average intelligence would have a mental age of 1000. In your case, if you divide by 100, you get 27.8, which seems a bit more reasonable.

[ Parent ]
No 'Quotient' (5.00 / 2) (#209)
by runlevel0 on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:41:20 AM EST

If you read the article you will find out that IQ is not a 'quotient' in the sense of a plain-vanilla division.
It's a statistic distribution (I don't know if it's a Gaussian dstribution) with a _mean_ of 100.
This 100, BTW, does not represent the *standard* intelligence; indeed 90% of the people scores under 90. The average rate is between 70-90.

[ Parent ]
Normal distribution (none / 0) (#214)
by srichman on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 12:38:59 PM EST

If you read the article you will find out that IQ is not a 'quotient' in the sense of a plain-vanilla division. It's a statistic distribution (I don't know if it's a Gaussian dstribution) with a _mean_ of 100.
If you read the article, you will find out that it is a normal distribution with a mean of 100.
This 100, BTW, does not represent the *standard* intelligence; indeed 90% of the people scores under 90. The average rate is between 70-90.
If a normal distribution has a mean of 100, then about half the people have a score below 100, and about half a score above. This is by definition. Given the Flynn Effect and the fact that scores aren't being re-normalized, there should be more people scoring above 100. Where did you get that "90% under 90" figure?

[ Parent ]
100 isn't average... (none / 0) (#303)
by Lord Snott on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 09:00:23 PM EST

if I understand this right, it's the median.

I'm not to sure how to word what I'm saying, so I'm gonna over-simplify and exagerate to make my point.

The distribution forces the population into a bell curve. But most people (average intelligence) are a little smarter than the dumber people, but are a lot dumber than the really smart people.

You might say people like Hawking, Tesla, and Newton bring up the average IQ of the masses, which then gets re-normalised to 100.

So the true average IQ is *below* 100. The graph of a populations intelligence (NOT IQ) would look kinda like a bell curve, but be elongated to the smarter end. The IQ graph has been normalised into a nice (symetrical) bell curve.

Not that I'm an elitist (much!), but it appears to me (from life experience) that more than half the population is below average *intelligence*, even though exactly half is below 100 IQ.

Is my logic sound? Or is my IQ obviously below 100, too? :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

[ Parent ]

I did read the article (5.00 / 1) (#247)
by Shimmer on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 12:35:33 AM EST

It seems to redefine what IQ means. Perhaps this new definition is in common use nowadays, but if so the author should say so (and the powers-that-be should change the name of the measurement). IQ was originally defined as a quotient. Hence the name. -- Brian

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
Gaussian is normal (none / 0) (#358)
by perky on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 07:34:08 PM EST

A Gaussian Distribution *is* a normal distribution. Assuming that it is non-skewed, then 100 is by definition the mean value. If the article is correct in its description of the calculation of IQ scores from test results, then this does indeed represent the "standard intelligence" as you phrase it. 90% of people do not have an IQ of below 90.
-- "Freedom is the by-product of economic surplus" Aneurin Bevan
Note: spamblocker...
[ Parent ]
Yes, sorry (4.00 / 1) (#246)
by Shimmer on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 12:33:03 AM EST

IQ = 100 * (Mental Age) / (Physical Age)

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
Yes... but no. (5.00 / 1) (#314)
by NFW on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 03:31:03 AM EST

I don't see how you can discuss IQ without mentioning that IQ is supposed to represent a quotient, a ratio of two numbers.

One's test score was presented as a quotient, in the early days of intelligence testing, but test scoring has changed completely. The acronym is so outdated now that it's actually quite misleading, but it remains in common use just for historical reasons.

How long has it been since the last time you dialed a telephone? :-)


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

Damned dirty apes (2.50 / 2) (#174)
by anyonymous [35789] on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:57:56 PM EST

What use does an intellignece have? Do we use it on children to gauge their process in our leanring institutions? Or is it used more often for people to compare themselves to one another? Really, what use is this test if not to compare yourself to other people? Lower I.Q.s will not tell anyone, and higher I.Q.s will brag about it. I hate these tests. Does a persons "intelligence quotient" tell you about thier morals, thier beliefs, if they are good or evil? Do these tests tell you if a person is lazy or a hard worker? Does this test tell you if a person can contribute something important to our communities? I've met many people of good character whom I resepect very much that I doubt very much would score in the genious range, or very high at all for that matter. But they are good people. People deserving of my friendship and trust. Being "intelligent" isn't everything. I'm sure there are pleanty of people with high I.Q.s who are completely useless. These tests breed errogance.

RE: Damned dirty apes (5.00 / 1) (#208)
by runlevel0 on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:36:16 AM EST

In my case I took an IQ Test as a kid, at school.
The test was intended to see if we where mature enough to enter to the Gymnasium (this is a kind of highschool in Germany).

So in may case and in the case of many German children of my generation IQ testing represented a helpfull tool for our educational institutions.

BTW: I scored quite high, as high as 100+2SD ;)

[ Parent ]

Obviously Germany has better learning institutions (none / 0) (#226)
by anyonymous [35789] on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 04:59:05 PM EST

because here in the U.S. I was naver made to take these tests.

[ Parent ]
Bragging (none / 0) (#313)
by NFW on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 03:11:45 AM EST

higher I.Q.s will brag about it

Unless their IQ is sufficiently high for them to see that bragging about it makes them look like an idiot.

I, for example, would never tell anyone that my IQ is... well, never mind.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

oy (3.42 / 7) (#179)
by Rainy on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 08:02:50 PM EST

Measuring one's or other's IQ with tests is, I think, a sign of foolishness. I wonder if there's any correlation between a man being a fool and having a high or low IQ score. But we'll never know, I guess.

Let's talk about psychology of this topic. If I say iq tests are bullshit, you will probably say (or, if you're ashamed to say that, you'll certainly think it!) that I scored low or am afraid of scoring low. If I intently object that even though some test or even all may be somewhat flawed, they're still verrry verry interesting and surely are not without merit and in fact there's a whole wagon of merit in them; why that means I scored high and that touched that snobbish trait of mine.

Guess what? Even saying you got a high score and that you still think it's bullshit, does not prove anything. What if you're certain you're smart+++ but your score "only" shows you're smart++?

So let's put this behind us for now and talk about IQ. Is it a good thing to score high or a bad thing? Is it imaginable that a high score would be a bad sign? With my imagination - sure. It could mean you're so anxious and insecure you had to try really hard so you'd have a *number* that says you're worthy. Others may have been smarter yet but they just don't give it much weight. They think "oh, a test, iq test, big deal, I'll scribble something quickly and then get back to thinking about my new theory connecting gravity and QED in 15th dimension" while you sit there and "THINK THINK DAMN IT WHICH TRIANGLE LOOKS MORE LIKE THE SQUARE WITH SQUIGGLY LINE IN IT?"

It could be that other people taking the test are better than you when solving problems that are interesting to them. You have higher capacity for solving abstract, useless problems, but don't do as well in real situations. They do it better when they love it, when they dream about it. Perhaps TV inventor had a dream of having greatest scientists of the world (or best writers, painters, etc) giving lectures that billions can see at the same time all over the globe. But give him a pencil and a paper with shapes printed all over it and he'll be bored despite his best efforts, could that be?

What if good score simply shows that you are not doing anything useful? Dostoevsky's are home, feverishly developing characters for their upcoming books, Saddams are planning takeover of the world, Platos are thinking about man's soul, and a dumbass in wrinkled jeans is passionately trying to prove the world that he's in top 0.1 percentile for matching squares with triangles.

Oh, that 'g' seems so reassuring, "hey, it correlates over subtests!". But, if any or all possibilities I listed above are correct, g correlation does not prove anything.

So, what's the point in taking the test if we don't know if doing good at it is good and doing bad in it is bad and not vice versa?
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

Thoughts (4.00 / 1) (#336)
by phybre187 on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 10:24:10 AM EST

I wonder if there's any correlation between a man being a fool and having a high or low IQ score.

I personally think that the further away one is from the mean IQ, the greater a fool they are. Having scored a minimum of 160 on all such tests I've taken (they're a fun waste of time), both online and on paper, I think I can say that without feeling like I've insulted someone.

I'm surprised your post is scored so low, but it's a nice irony. I agree with you, though. Not only are such tests ultimately inconsequential, but you raise the good point that most debating about it is also. The bottom line is most people need to "know" exactly the ways they are better and worse than their peers. Not necessarily for self esteem, but at very least for a sense of individuality. This is also why so many little bullshit tests in Cosmopolitan and Pop Culture Now and Bullshit Bimonthly and the Weekly World News and any other tabloid you care to cite or invent are so popular. It's why many people think there's a correlation between shoe size and penis size. It's the reason Nixon lost that debate with Kennedy (the shifty-eyed, sick bastard!).

I don't think people are gullible simply because they are eager to differentiate themselves from others with these tests. I think people are gullible because they come to believe the results of such tests have external meaning. Of course IQ tests aren't without some merit. No test is without merit. Any test, if implemented correctly, can be useful in providing SOME kind of information about those tested. Not necessarily the intended information, but useful nevertheless. There is always something to be gained by subjecting many diverse people to similar circumstances and recording the result.

And, of course, all of this equally applies to Myers-Briggs-Jung typology tests, as was brought up on k5 not that long ago.

[ Parent ]
Some more or less intelligent comments (5.00 / 11) (#197)
by Termite on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 07:23:17 AM EST

JensAAMC wrote:
"Significance of g
Many things of real life importance are correlated with g. Positively correlated with g are for instance length of formal education, occupational success, income, altruism, creativity and social skills. Negatively correlated are for instance crime, psychoticism, racial prejudice, authoritarianism and number of children."

Well, I could have told you that without the need to administer one single intelligence test. Anyone's basic social prejudices will be enough to predict what people, and what groups of people, will score well or badly. Do intelligence tests do anything but confirming the judgment that society already has branded people with? Will an intelligence test ever be able to tell us that this bum sleeping in the street is in fact our generation's Mozart?

Things like this: "Races do differ in IQ scores. Highest scoring are Ashkenazim Jews (100 + 1 SD) and some groups of Asians. Lowest scoring are black Africans (100 - 2 SD)" should not surprise or shock anyone. This is just another way of saying that bookish kids from well educated families score better at written tests. I happen to be one of those bookish kids, but still all the intellectual garbage I have to accept if I'm going to believe in intelligence tests makes me bristle. I'd like to summarize JensAAMC's post as an intelligent statistical treatment of some questionable, perhaps even irrelevant, raw data. And you know what they say: irrelevant data in...

A human being is a very versatile animal, for lack of better words. Why should we take for granted that the best way of measuring a human's intelligence is doing a test where you sit at a desk with a pen and a piece of paper? This kind of test will give higher scores to people who feel comfortable sitting at desks, filling in written questions. Many of us do, since this - reading and writing texts, showing off what we have learnt in school exams - is what we have been taught to associate with intelligence. We should keep in mind that this is just a small slice of the big pie of human intelligence.

A good liar and con-man needs to use his intelligence just as well as a good mathematician. Other activities that need intelligence are: stalking and killing an animal without the use of firearms, composing an interesting piece of music, outsmarting a superior enemy at a battlefield, constructing a house without the need for drawings and written instructions, making other people feel intelligent, so they perform above their average level. Would people who score high in written intelligence tests feel comfortable in any of the above situations? I remember an interview with a Gypsy man who said: "I'm an analphabet, but I can read people". How would he score at a university intelligence test? How would you score if you had to do business with him?

And then we have the genes. JensAAMC writes: "Twin studies show that g is around 80% inherited and 20% environmental" - but how does this jibe with what he wrote earlier: "Positively correlated with g are for instance length of formal education, occupational success, income, altruism, creativity and social skills. Negatively correlated are for instance crime, psychoticism, racial prejudice, authoritarianism and number of children"? Are we to believe that people with higher income etc. are genetically superior to the rest of us? All his positive and negative factors (with the possible exception of psychoticism) are not genetically determined - they show that what really matters - in intelligence tests as well as anywhere else - is the cards that are dealt to you after birth.

Probably there is a common factor, something deep that's at the root of all these different kinds of intelligence, but are written intelligence tests the best - or most intelligent! - way of studying this? If we honestly want to measure the very essence of human intelligence, in a way that treats all kinds of intelligence fairly, I doubt that written exams are the best way to go.

actually (none / 0) (#230)
by pb on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 06:59:52 PM EST

I think it goes the other way around--we are to believe that people who are generally superior to the rest of us manage to make more money.  I don't think people necessarily bristle at specific examples here (like, say, Bill Gates) but somehow object to the idea in its entirety.

I tried doing some research myself, and I found the same sorts of correlations in the statistics that the author claims.  Also note that he generally refrains from using the term 'intelligence' in the first place, because it is a loaded term which can mean many things to many people.

Now if you know anything about statistics, of course there will be exceptions.  But the author of this article is saying that in general, this is how it works.  And if you want to dispute that, maybe you should find some evidence backing up your claims?  I suggest trying to resolve the nature vs. nurture debate first (and I've got some ideas about how to go about doing that as well...).

---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Let's hear them! (none / 0) (#252)
by Termite on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 04:10:11 AM EST

I suggest trying to resolve the nature vs. nurture debate first (and I've got some ideas about how to go about doing that as well...).

Resolving the nature vs. nurture debate is no small task, but I'll try. I suggest we view humans a little less like machines. Both the nature and the nurture position can be seen as viewing people as machines or computers - a specific input (genes or environment) will give a predictable output. Instead, we should view people a little more like... humans.

What are your ideas?

[ Parent ]
it's pretty simple, actually... (none / 0) (#276)
by pb on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 01:03:13 PM EST

As I understand it, the nature vs. nurture debate is basically about whether characteristics of people are shaped more by genetics or by their environment. So I'd test a population that has different genes and the same environment.  If the tests come out the same, then nature doesn't matter; if they don't, then it does, and can be measured.  And obviously you could also do the opposite, and test people with the same genes but in different environments, to see what difference 'nurture' makes.

For the first tests, I suggest finding very racially mixed countries with strong cultures.  I'd start looking for them in hispanic countries--South America, Latin America, etc.

The second tests should be easier, as all you need are people with similar genetic makeup in different environments; you should be able to do this just about anywhere with a little geneology, or you could conduct more of the infamous twin studies.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Sounds simple, but... (none / 0) (#324)
by Termite on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 01:45:04 PM EST

So I'd test a population that has different genes and the same environment.

Sounds simple when you put it that way, but let me complicate things a little. What is exactly "the same environment"? Would two kids growing up in the same family actually share the same environment? Think about it. People are not machines, you cannot talk about people the way you talk about machines: this kind of input (genes or environment) will give that kind of output (behaviour).

[ Parent ]
statistically, yes you can. (none / 0) (#325)
by pb on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 02:41:51 PM EST

If you have a large enough sample of people and take note of a few basic factors (location, income, marital status, etc., etc.) then statistically you can say how similar the environments in question are.  Like, say, children of married parents living in the suburbs of town X with a family income of $25,000-$50,000.  And you can check against each variable to see what makes a difference; any variables that ultimately don't affect your study can be removed.  If environment made no difference at all, they could all be removed; if not, some of them will correlate.

Actually you can talk about people however you want to, but you have to study them to make informed statements.  So you might say that you'd have to do the study first before you could say whether a certain kind of input can give a certain kind of output.  And even so, there's no guarantee that it will hold for individuals, just for populations.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Answer to comments (none / 0) (#347)
by JensAAMC on Fri Jan 10, 2003 at 02:45:57 PM EST

There are several questions raised in this post.

1. Are intelligence the best way to measure intelligence?

In so far as measuring the g factor IQ tests are doing a good job. It is of course possible that other and better methods exist.

If your question goes more deeply and asks whether it is reasonable to equate intelligence and g then again I am open to other possibilities. My claim is that to some extend and who we would label as intelligent correlate positively. This means that measuring g does measure something related to intelligence. Thereby of course not saying that by measuring a persons g we get a full picture of a persons mental abilities, far from it.

2. Do IQ tests only measure something "bookish"?

No, the g-factor is something that has been seen appearing in a variety of connections. In particular I would guess that g correlates positively with "ability to read people", "surviving in the wild" and "writing a good piece of music". Again we´re not talking about a high positive correlation, just that the corrtelation is positive.

3. Do IQ tests just tell us what we already knew, eg. that well-educated people score high on education type tests?

First we can for instance consider an initial job screening. I cannot think of another easy to administer and fast test that does as well as IQ tests in terms of selecting people for certain types of jobs.

Note also that IQ tests have been able to predict better than teachers evaluations pupils´ future educational attainment. It therefore seems that IQ tests can be used to measure something that we do not currently know how to do better.

[ Parent ]

IQ Tests (3.60 / 5) (#199)
by bugmaster on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 09:10:27 AM EST

I see a lot of comments to the extent of, "Your IQ only measures how good you are at taking IQ tests". But this statement seems a bit disingenuous to me. It's like saying, "Your algebra test score only measures how good you are at taking algebra tests, not how good you are at algebra". However, most people will probably concede the fact that knowing algebra well is, indeed, a cause of doing well on an algebra test.

Some people also say that there is no such thing as "intelligence", and that all people are smart in their own way. This statement seems to me to be more politics than science... In any population, there is usually some variation along any trait, and intelligence/problem-solving capability/being smart/etc. is not an exception.
>|<*:=

Well, it's like this (5.00 / 1) (#251)
by borful on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:59:21 AM EST

It's pretty clear to most algebra students what will be on the test - solving simultaneous equations or whatever. The algebra instructor and the algebra book tell you what types of problems you will be expected to solve. Algebra, as an academic subject, is pretty well defined.

Intelligence, on the other hand, is pretty hard to define. Psychologists (according to the article) get around this by saying that intelligence is what IQ tests measure. This is not a satisfactory answer for the layman.

IQ tests tend to have questons on pattern matching, quick recollection of facts, vocabulary, and logic. To the layman, these may be aspects of intelligence, but they are not the whole thing. They are not even the essence of the thing.

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#265)
by icastel on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 11:05:45 AM EST

However, most people will probably concede the fact that knowing algebra well is, indeed, a cause of doing well on an algebra test.

What if you study algebra for years, but never take a test? Are you saying that, as long as you don't take a test, you don't really know the subject well?




-- I like my land flat --
[ Parent ]
Huh ? (none / 0) (#273)
by bugmaster on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 12:52:04 PM EST

Eh ? No. I am saying that if you study algebra for years, then your chances of doing well on the test (should you ever take one) are good.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
Intelligence != algebra (none / 0) (#266)
by porp on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 11:15:26 AM EST

You have made some assumptions that perhaps you should question. Firstly, what is 'intelliegence'? The ability to survive alone in the wild? The ability to read quickly with high retention? The ability to write a moving piano sonata? The ability to combine various ingredients in the kitchen into a tasty and satisfying ad hoc meal? The ability to earn an above-average income? The ability to seduce your way into bed with many members of the opposite sex? It's not exactly clear, is it?

On the other hand, algebra is a well defined and self contained universe. Axioms, functions, rules. All have a place, and rules must be followed. There is no doubt what algebra is, so therefore it is testable.

So what should an intelligence test really test for?

[ Parent ]

Intelligence (none / 0) (#274)
by bugmaster on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 12:59:55 PM EST

Actually, I think you made it a lot clearer. As I see it, intelligence is the ability to quickly recognize patterns, infer logical conclusions, and make decisions based on known facts. Intelligence is the general ability that impacts all of the specific skills you mention. Thus, it stands to reason that a test which measures your intelligence would give you pattern-recognition (etc.) problems.

You could use the result of the test as one of the factors that predict how well the subject would do at one of the tasks you mentioned. However, it is only one of many factors -- for example, if the subject is hideously ugly, then he would have trouble with the seduction task, regardless of his intelligence.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

ploop (none / 0) (#293)
by porp on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 03:08:46 PM EST

Actually I believe all of the things I mentioned are useful. But if you think it's all clear and obvious what needs to be done then I think you're still looking at it superficially. I don't think your definition for intelligence is particularly useful. Making decisions? Seeing patterns? Why?

You haven't really addressed the issues, which are:

1) how to construct test tasks that will accurately and consistently map to useful real-world skills,

2) how to construct tasks which are good predictors of whatever intelligence is across cultures

3) how to assess and quantify these tests.

[ Parent ]

Ploop ? (none / 0) (#299)
by bugmaster on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 06:03:05 PM EST

how to construct test tasks that will accurately and consistently map to useful real-world skills
I think this issue is incorrectly stated. As I mentioned earlier, real-world skills are influenced by many factors, and intelligence is only one of those factors. IQ tests aim to test for intelligence alone, not any particular skill.
how to construct tasks which are good predictors of whatever intelligence is across cultures
Actually, I am quite content with ignoring the other cultures for now, and focusing on our own Western/USian culture. Yes, there are many IQ tests that are supposed to be multicultural, but for now let's focus on one thing. This should simplify matters for the purposes of this discussion, since the Western culture is more or less uniform. If you really want to simplify things, we can restrict our population pool even further, and exclude everyone who does not speak English fluently.

Note that I actually do believe that various IQ tests work across cultural borders. However, for the purposes of this comment, I am willing to concede this point.

how to assess and quantify these tests.
I think this issue has already been solved multiple times. You have your multiple choice tests, your written essays (which are graded SAT-style), your partial credit for correct derivation, etc. etc.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
You're only smart if you're American? (none / 0) (#312)
by porp on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 02:59:05 AM EST

Actually, I am quite content with ignoring the other cultures for now, and focusing on our own Western/USian culture.

That level of simplification will lead to a test that is simply not useful for pretty much anything at all. Are you ignorant of the number of immigrants in the United States? Formulating a test exclusively for people who were born and raised to parents that were also born and raised in the US leaves out a good portion of the population. How do you propose to account for immigrant school children? What will be the purpose of an evaluation system that misses a large fraction of the population? Will they simply be assigned a 0 rating? That would make things even simpler, woulnd't it?

I think this issue has already been solved multiple times. You have your multiple choice tests, your written essays (which are graded SAT-style), your partial credit for correct derivation, etc. etc.

I suppose you could think it solved if you believe written tests (which depend on cultural orientation and learned language) and math are good general predictors of intelligence.

[ Parent ]

Re: You're only smart if you're American? (none / 0) (#327)
by bugmaster on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 04:38:22 PM EST

That level of simplification will lead to a test that is simply not useful for pretty much anything at all.
Why ? As I see it, you are claiming that IQ tests are invalid for all cases. Thus, to prove you wrong, I only have to demonstrate that IQ tests are valid for at least one case. I chose the case (USian culture) to focus on; I made my argument. What is the problem here ?
What will be the purpose of an evaluation system that misses a large fraction of the population?
Actually, I do not care about any hidden purposes of IQ tests as far as this argument is concerned. In other words, you can assume that IQ tests have only one purpose: to assign a numerical ranking which measures the subject's intelligence. This ranking will never actually be used for anything; its only purpose is scientific inquiry.

Once again, this is just a simplification; I realize that real-life IQ tests have many other uses, but for now I don't care.

I suppose you could think it solved if you believe written tests (which depend on cultural orientation and learned language) and math are good general predictors of intelligence.
Since we are focusing on one culture, and one language, this point is now moot.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
EQ ?? (4.50 / 4) (#206)
by runlevel0 on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:22:06 AM EST

> Emotional intelligence has enjoyed success in
> terms of selling books. To the best of my
> knowledge there are no tests of EQ that rest
> on a solid scientific basis.

The concept itself is somehow confusing:

A person with a high degree of inteligence can perfectly figure out or "simulate" how other people feels, recognize it's feelings and even have a real big (and sometimes painfull) emotional live.

I talk from my own experience.
I already scored 100+2SD as I was 10 y.o..
The fact is that I sometimes feel like Asimov's character 'The Mule': I 'know' how peolple feel in a given situation, or better, I'm able to 'simulate' there emotions.
It's an automatic response and sometimes really painfull. I'm unable to watch the news at TV without getting ill.

The fact is that I know that this 'simulation' is not a result of some strange kind of "emotional inteligence" nor an ESP faculty but simply the result of a well educated brain functioning at top speed.
The same could be said from the 'intuition':
Somebody wrote "intuition is the mind in a hurry", and if you analize how you came to an intuitive reaction you can see that it in fact is a process which works in a way between rational thinking and a reflex action.

So IMHO, EG is just an excuse for the <100 ;)

EQ just another factor (none / 0) (#215)
by xL on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 12:48:06 PM EST

Intelligence, as it scales up, seems to grow in specific areas first before it can cope with specific skills on its own merit. Someone of reasonable intelligence likely excels in a few specific areas. He or she is said to have a talent for them. Social ability is just one of these areas. It is perfectly likely for someone to have this area well-developed and yet be measured at the 100-level in most other areas.

The "gifted" brain can operate at such a speed, that it can project and relate information well enough to grow skill and knowledge by deduction. The lucky owners of such fine material generally still need many years before they can wrap their head around the fact that most people don't acquire skill and knowledge in the same way.

What mystifies me is that social skills seem to be so visibly absent in a sizable portion of people with high measured IQ scores. Perhaps these are hardest to build up "from scratch", when compared to other knowledge. The benefits are perhaps not compelling enough for the developing brain, since not even the best social skills will rid the gifted person of feeling estranged from his surroundings.


[ Parent ]

Social Feedback (5.00 / 1) (#263)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:51:29 AM EST

My problem with learning social skills was always that the feedback was semi-random. Behavior of a given type, with a given person, would result in different reactions at different times without any change that I could find. The same behavior with different people would produce WILDLY different reactions. IT was very frustrating for me to try to figure out how I was supposed to act around people until one of my more socially gifted friends helped me out.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Interesting (5.00 / 3) (#219)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 02:01:52 PM EST

Africa has 13.4% of the world's population and I presume most of them or are black Africans. But this article claims the that the typical black African is only smarter than 2.5% of the world's population. It says that black Africans have an IQ two standard deviations below normal, which means that their average I.Q. is 70, which means the average black African is mentally retarded.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
Problem with their study... (4.80 / 5) (#259)
by Kintanon on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 09:15:14 AM EST

I think one problem with their study is that the Average Black African would probably need a 2 year course on just exactly WTF this piece of paper is and why they should scratch on it with this pencil for no damn good reason, and then a translator to tell them what the piece of paper says. Because their culture and their day to day life make it damn near completely unnecessary for them to know or care about 90% of the things on an IQ test.
I'd bet that if you drop the average White American into the Africa desert/jungle tribe environment the Africans would think we were pretty retarded too! We wouldn't have any of the basic survival skills they take for granted.
Of course if you limit the test sample to city dwelling Black Africans you get a much SMALLER population size that is probably much closer to "normal".

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

And Back in 1962 (5.00 / 11) (#225)
by czolgosz on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 04:58:46 PM EST

Banesh Hoffman wrote a well-reasoned book in 1962 called The Tyranny of Testing about the inherent folly of trying to boil intelligence down to a single factor, and of trying to measure it at all. Of course, Hoffman was not a psychologist. Instead he was just some guy, one of whose jobs happened to have been to help Einstein do his mathematics (there had been one embarrassing instance in Albert's early career where got some interesting conclusions in a paper and it was later found that he had divided by zero-- oops).

Since that time, people who have scored in the double digits include Jim Watson, the biochemist who, along with Francis Crick and others, worked out the structure of DNA.

I myself score very high on SAT's, GRE's and IQ tests, which has made me a beneficiary of the ignorant bias of academic institutions. But that hasn't stopped me from realizing that it's an arbitrary and falsely reductionist measure of human abilities, although it does appear to be a good measure of the extent of exposure to Western literate culture, and is even used as such by some anthropologists.

Anyone who has ever benchmarked a computer system will already know how little useful information is conveyed by a single scalar score to represent performance or capacity. Now consider the applicability of such a boneheaded measure to a system as dynamic, labile and complex as the human mind, and the injustice of taking such an inanity seriously in decisions that affect a person's future, even when those decisions and biases aren't as extreme as the excesses of the eugenics movement, which used IQ testing to bolster their mad political theories.




Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
Reductio ad numerum? (5.00 / 1) (#279)
by jubilation on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 01:46:36 PM EST

I myself score very high on SAT's, GRE's and IQ tests, which has made me a beneficiary of the ignorant bias of academic institutions. But that hasn't stopped me from realizing that it's an arbitrary and falsely reductionist measure of human abilities, although it does appear to be a good measure of the extent of exposure to Western literate culture, [...]
A lot of people have trouble with this, or any kind of testing where you get hierarchical results. That is, some people "beat" others. This gives the overly-egalitarian amongst us the willies. They claim that the numbers "mean nothing", or are biased, or otherwise meaningless, and we should use non-ranked evaluation techniques. For some reason this is more prevalent on the left (in America at least).

But these people are forgetting something; the ACT, SAT, etc. are doing exactly what their detractors complain about -- testing the student's ability to take tests -- this being a reasonable model of the kind of tasks people are asked to perform in school and on the job. In other words, The Powers that Be want to enroll/hire/promote people who can a) do math, and b) read documents & answer questions about them. SAT scores are a reasonable predictor of college success, you can look this up.

It seems eminently reasonable and useful to use standardized test scores and the like as filters, if you are trying to fill positions which require that sort of skill.

The IQ test portion is a little juicier, I give you. ;) It is probably a misnomer since, as you imply, it only measures part of "Real Intelligence". I haven't seen a good test yet for the following:
-- Ability to play a hunch
-- Salesmanship
-- Negotiation techniques
all of which could be counted under "Intelligence". Probably better to call the IQ test a "Logic test" and use it for those purposes, admitting it is incomplete. Heck, that's why we still do actual interviews, instead of just read resumes and test results!

[ Parent ]
Ranking (none / 0) (#328)
by czolgosz on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 05:26:34 PM EST

A lot of people have trouble with this, or any kind of testing where you get hierarchical results. That is, some people "beat" others. This gives the overly-egalitarian amongst us the willies. They claim that the numbers "mean nothing", or are biased, or otherwise meaningless, and we should use non-ranked evaluation techniques. For some reason this is more prevalent on the left (in America at least).


You raise a good point by distinguishing between equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes. I'm on the left myself, though I believe that competition is part of human nature and that systems that ignore or deny this fact are likely to fail (As a further digression, by no means do I accept that competitiveness encompasses all that matters about human nature). I'm more concerned about the use of measures such as the SAT or IQ testing as a proxy for more complex assessments of the prospects of an applicant for a college place or a job.

While standardized test scores are indeed a predictor of college outcome, high-school grades are a stronger one. And neither of them is all that good. This bodes ill for applicants to colleges that use rigid formulas based on these numbers when making admission decisions. I'm aware of a number of institutions (including those in my home state) that do so.

A more fundamental choice is whether to have highly selective policies, or to let just about everyone in, then wash them out in the first year or so if they can't cut it. I would argue that the latter approach is more brutal to those who subsequently fail, but is also much fairer and less open to manipulation and testing anomalies (test cramming, skewed results based on ethnic factors, etc). And, if anything, it's MORE competitive, since you're being judged on real work rather than on statistical measures of how you might do.

This was also part of Hoffman's argument. He wasn't against selection as such, only against imprecise proxy-selection. As a scientist, he couldn't plausibly argue that all attempts at science were equally good-- only that you can't rely on a technique like the SAT to ensure that you've just recruited the next Nobel laurate to your college. The testing industry has oversold the value of their tools, and academia has bought into it because it pushes the decision-making process onto an unaccountable third party.


Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
Whence from here? (none / 0) (#337)
by jubilation on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 01:37:06 PM EST

A more fundamental choice is whether to have highly selective policies, or to let just about everyone in, then wash them out in the first year or so if they can't cut it. I would argue that the latter approach is more brutal to those who subsequently fail, but is also much fairer and less open to manipulation and testing anomalies (test cramming, skewed results based on ethnic factors, etc). And, if anything, it's MORE competitive, since you're being judged on real work rather than on statistical measures of how you might do.
This is an interesting approach, and given budget enough and time, would probably work out, or at least be workable. Problem is, most universities don't have enough resources to follow a plan like this. Hence there have to be *some* criteria for filtering applicants out.

Almost all universities these days look at high school grades and standardized test scores. Grades are good to look at, as they show a 4-year pattern instead of a one-afternoon armageddon of test-taking. However, the test scores are still necessary to normalize across thousands of different high schools with different levels of "grade inflation".

Where it gets interesting is the extra stuff that gets thrown into the mix. Some colleges ask for an essay describing your life, or why you want to go to XY State. Some want to know what race you are, so that they can give you extra points. More on this later.
[...] The testing industry has oversold the value of their tools, and academia has bought into it because it pushes the decision-making process onto an unaccountable third party.
Ah, let's be careful here. I will suggest that the "extras" I mentioned above make the college selection criteria less accountable, as they take into account intangibles: "Oh, this guy had a hard life, let's bump him up a notch", "This guy was an Eagle Scout, give him extra points", "This guy is Bosnian, hell, throw him a bone". This kind of subjective weighing of applicants is much less "accountable" than if they just took the highest 10% based on grade/test scores. I'm thinking from the perspective of those who didn't get in... at least they'll know *exactly* how they got beat out.

I'll admit that the SAT can't really read your soul ;) ... however, they are as objective as possible. They don't care who you are, what kind of life you have had. They just care if you know mathematics and reading comprehension. (I understand they no longer care if you can make weird X is to Y as B is to ? distinctions)

In that, I suggest that they are more or less accurately measuring preparedness for college. These other, vaguer, measures are more oriented toward measuring someone's idea of worthiness to get in, a very different item.

[ Parent ]
Why leftists are so afraid of this subject (3.70 / 10) (#228)
by ogre on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 05:41:50 PM EST

First off, I don't believe there is any stasticial difference in intelligence among races. Over the last twenty years, average IQ has risen by a factor larger than the measured differences in races. Furthermore, the genetic differences between races are tiny, far less than the genetic differences within a single race so it is nearly certain that whatever genes are involved in higher intelligence were equally available in all populations. Finally intelligence is a survival facter and I find it implausible that living in Africa over the last twenty thousand years or so has selected for this survival factor less than living in Europe or Asia has.

Consequently, I believe any apparent differences in intelligence are due to environmental factors or to measurement problems, and the way to find out is to do more research. And it is important to find out for several reasons. First, it will help us to understand intelligence and may lead to better methods of education, better ways for people to find careers that they will be good at and enjoy, better ways to deal with learning disabilities, etc. Second, it will give better arguments to people about why racism is unreasonable. Third, it may identify environmental factors that can be changed to make everyone better off.

These are all goals that western leftists ought to share. So why are they so opposed to research in this area? They react with horror at anyone even trying to even do the measurements, and if you dare to publish, they bring out all the big guns in an effort to ruin your career and isolate you from society. K5 has it's own cadre of these leftist fascists, trying to suppress debate by calling people racists and downrating comments. So why is this? Why do these leftists want to stifle discussion and research in this area? What are they so afraid of?

They are afraid that Jensen is right. The leftists believe that blacks really are less intelligent than whites, and they are terrified that scientific study will bear this out. Why else would they want to prevent the study? Why else would they want to keep the truth from coming out?

That's the dirty little secret of the left. The left of the political spectrum is full of racists. Not arrogant nationalistic bigots who think they have the right to control the world and dominate the lesser races. No, these are condescending elitist bigots who think they have the duty to control the world and take care of the lesser races.

Everybody relax, I'm here.

drduck would (4.66 / 6) (#231)
by redwolfb14 on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 07:01:31 PM EST

Be a great example, not one comment, not one post, not one story. However his/her rating skills are phenom! Same thing goes for others; I see little problem though because the whole basis for the arguments made are whacko theories and the like. It doesn't matter what goes on in this forum here and the people that need to be told IQ's are worthless aren't a target audience. It's simple, there are people who don't care and for the people that care enough they'll use the scientific method to come up with answers. All the in-between, i'm your fairy god mother science, data, correlations and reports on the topic will fall on deaf ears.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]
drduck (5.00 / 6) (#232)
by ogre on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 07:39:26 PM EST

is probably a fake user for someone who does comment and doesn't want anyone to retaliate for his unfair ratings. He has managed to, almost single-handedly, remove my privileged user status. I was pissed at first and had all these plans to create fake users and counter his politically motivated ratings. But then I decided, who cares? In retrospect, the only reason I really cared about privileged status was because it was a sort of competition. But if one of the rules in the competition is that you can't say anything that annoys a leftist cheater like drduck, then I don't care about the competition.

I will say though that I've been on the fence about whether to sign up as a paying user and this pretty much pushed me off the fence. I no longer care enough about K5 to want to support it. Who wants to be part of a democracy where the people with integrity get one vote and people without integrity get as many as they want?

Everybody relax, I'm here.
[ Parent ]

Right.. (5.00 / 4) (#235)
by redwolfb14 on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 07:52:56 PM EST

Now there needs to be a solution to the problem which needs to be thought about. I believe that retribution from "fake users" is making k5 the place it has become, where a small gang of people can take control because others are afraid to post or no longer wish to participate in discussions where they aren't taken seriously. Something should be done or needs to be done, first things first though. Gotta think of a way to stop something like this and them propose implementation in scoop even if I have to code it myself. If that doesn't work thanks to the GPL we could always fork and setup something similar but I don't think the situation is that dire; yet.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]
pondering (4.00 / 2) (#329)
by NFW on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 05:48:40 PM EST

Why not extend the 'trusted user' concept a bit, and give new users no rating privileges at all when they sign up? Posting only, so they can build mojo but can't affect anyone else's.

Let them have the standard 1-to-5 rating options only after demonstrating their worthiness by building a certain amount of mojo.

The existing threshold for the 0-rating option would remain unchanged.

Perhaps not a perfect solution, but I bet it would reduce the rating games to some extent.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

Maybe (4.50 / 2) (#331)
by redwolfb14 on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 03:00:55 AM EST

but then someone could take the time to post a couple of items just to break the threshold which isn't difficult to do either. I would say having moderators would help but then that changes the whole k5 I know.

I've been playing with the idea in my head for a while and it seems that the only way to prevent such nonsense is to remove ratings/trusted user status all together.
Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

pondering still (4.50 / 2) (#342)
by NFW on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 09:55:09 PM EST

So set the threshold to a level high enough that it takes several +5 posts to get any rating privileges at all.

I still think ratings is better than no ratings, even with all its problems. Sites without rating systems have trolls, sites with them have moderation abuse. The latter is far less annoying (to me at least) than the former. I think that making moderation an earned privilege (as opposed to a random gift as with slashdot) could reduce the abuse.

Perhaps meta-moderation would help, too, if it allowed people with loads of mojo (beyond the zero privilege) to strip others of their rating privileges.

If people had to work to earn the rating privileges (I'm thinking of a higher threshold then you were thinking), and if they could have that privilege taken away by abusing it, I think that would reduce some of the stupid games.

Maybe it would just create new forms of nonsense, but since the only people with power would be people who contributed significantly to the site, I think there would be less nonsense overall.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

Yeah (4.00 / 3) (#344)
by redwolfb14 on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 01:50:14 PM EST

I agree however the problem is that it's not just one person or two people it's a group of people it seems that have banded together to help each other. So lets say it's 10 people, these 10 people will rate each other with +5. Eventually they will become trusted users. At that point they'll continue rating each others posts +5 until they are allowed meta moderation then all they need is a target. 10 people can remove someones privileged user status, and the target person won't be always seen or heard. Now one person doing something like this would take alot of time and probably be not worth it, but for a group of people it easy to do. If you remove ratings all together then no one has any power to remove anything because nothing exists. However it does also mean that people running through k5 that only want to view comments based on threshold and range would not be able to do so. You'd probably also have to read lots of comments to get anything out of the discussion.

The other solution is to simply have a couple of people keep a keen eye. A user like drduck shouldn't exist and when found out; should be deleted immediately. This would set a precedence that if you want to be apart of the community, if you want privileged user status, you have to participate.

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]

Interesting. (none / 0) (#346)
by NFW on Fri Jan 10, 2003 at 01:37:41 AM EST

I hadn't considered organized group attacks, that's an interesting scenario.

What if we decentralize trust even further... right now, when the system trusts a user, then that user's ratings affect all users. In effect, all users trust that user. Suppose users could decide whose ratings to trust?

It would make for a boatload of database records (up to N^2 with N users), but the UI could be done automagically... Each time you rate someone's post up, you increase your trust of that user. When the system displays a message, it's displayed (or not) according to ratings given to the message by the users you trust.

This would keep the server awfully busy while generating pages, but it would thwart group attacks. Members of an attacking group would only be able to affect what the other group members see. Would-be attackers would have to contribute value to regular users (by making good posts) in order to get the ability to affect what those users see.

It doesn't really solve one of the main goals (IMO), which is hiding trolls/flames/spam/etc from nonmembers and new members. But, that latter could be done by seeding new users' trust relations based on those used by the administrator or by a very small number of real-life-trusted friends of the administrator.

It sounds like it would take a lot of CPU power for a busy site, though.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

Actually that sounds like a good idea (5.00 / 1) (#352)
by redwolfb14 on Mon Jan 13, 2003 at 02:01:58 AM EST

Except for the cpu power problem even if it was multi-threaded it would suck. Maybe if k5 ran on a large machine with a 4 way sparc on top of solaris or something. Actually that idea could probably still work so long as you do a massive update once a week or something, it'd take a hit on cpu power but all in one gigantic gob.. Hrmm it's hard to test this idea without actually doing it. Next idea ;)

Say what you want because I already have.
[ Parent ]
He did it again. (4.00 / 1) (#357)
by Tezcatlipoca on Fri Jan 17, 2003 at 06:50:55 PM EST

The idiot does not even know that ratings in diaries do not add to your mojo....

European? Say no to software patents.
[ Parent ]
I'm afriad of "Eugenics" (4.33 / 3) (#239)
by BCoates on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 09:19:41 PM EST

So why is this? Why do these leftists want to stifle discussion and research in this area? What are they so afraid of?

I don't know if I meet your definition of a leftist, but I'm afraid because I think that it will, once again, be used to justifiy the (pseudo-)scientific marginilization/ extermination of a group of people (any group, whoever doing the killing doesn't like or wants to scapegoat).

I believe any apparent differences in intelligence are due to environmental factors or to measurement problems, and the way to find out is to do more research. ... it will give better arguments to people about why racism is unreasonable.

I don't care if one group of people has a higher IQ than another (imho, it would be more surprising if they didn't), and people that act as if everyone being exactly the same is the only reason people have rights worry me.

Even if IQ was a perfect measure of some desireable thing and some groups of people have more of it than others, it does not make racism reasonable.

--
Benjamin Coates



[ Parent ]

two points (5.00 / 2) (#254)
by ogre on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 06:36:45 AM EST

First of all, I can agree with your comments about the significance of IQ. I don't think higher IQ makes a person superior or more worthwhile. In fact that attitude is a form of elitism and I find it fully as objectionable as racism.

However your worries about eugenics are misplaced. No eugenicist needs hard scientific proof behind his policies, all he needs is popular political support, and that doesn't require any science either. The only effect you can get from scientific study of this area is to illuminate it. Reducing the confusion and doubt can only make the job of the eugenicist harder. If it did turn out that blacks have statistically lower IQ, this finding would be accompanied by a clear delineation of how insignificant that difference is. A clear agreement about the IQ isn't going to make it easier for a eugenicist to claim blacks are inferior, he can do that now. An open discussion and clear agreement about the meaning of this difference will make the eugenicists job harder. People like that thrive in the darkness.

Everybody relax, I'm here.
[ Parent ]

The consequences are much more serious (5.00 / 3) (#326)
by 42 on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 04:06:11 PM EST

Lets say that some ethnic group G does come out as having the lowest mean IQ. And now suppose you are hiring someone for some position. You have 5 candidate who have done equally well and you cant make up your mind as to which one to pick. One of the candidates belongs to ethnic group G. Since you know that the odds for G being dumber than the rest are high (thanks to the study), candidates from ethnic group G will always get eliminated. This is unacceptable : if your interviewing / testing has not shown any measurable difference, you shouldnt be rejecting candidates on some unmeasured criterion. That is being racist.

The fundamental problem here is that most people dont understand statistics. Not only would people fail to understand that a mean IQ for an ethnic category isnt indicative of the specific IQ of any particular individual, they would also misinterpret the numbers. If the mean IQ for ethnic group G was lower by 5% when compared to the mean IQ of ethnic group H, then people would start saying that ethnic group G is 5% stupider than ethnic group H - which doesnt make sense since an ethnic group is not an entity that has intelligence.

Did you see the movie "Gattaca"? That was an examination of the same type of issues. Only there there discriminatory factor was physical fitness based on DNA typing.

While pushing the borders of knowledge is a laudable goal, one musnt be blind to the social consequences. There is a reason why the Nazi medical experiments are considered repugnant even though they did advance science. If the world isnt capable of understanding the significance of the difference in IQ between ethnic groups (and I maintain that right now the world isnt ready) then it isnt ethical to publish results in this area.

[ Parent ]

The final climactic stage of racial genius. (5.00 / 2) (#256)
by Noam Chompsky on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 07:26:57 AM EST

Please stop using the terms intelligence and IQ interchangably. All you can really say about people with high IQ's--unmistakably your people--is that they look smarter. Also, scientific research is a very good idea, one racial IQ theorists should look into.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Mainstream psychology has rejected Arthur Jensen (4.66 / 3) (#270)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 12:02:02 PM EST

I'm afraid Arthur Jensen is, in fact, a racist lunatic with an agenda. If you even follow the links the author has given you, you'll find he is considered contraversal to say the least. The author of this story presents Arthur Jensen's work as accepted fact. He does not say, "Some people say race affects intellegence." He says, "Races do differ in IQ scores." And from there proceeds to say that blacks are, on average, retarded.

I'm not afraid of the subject of intelligence. I'm afraid of people thinking Arthur Jensen's work has been accepted by the mainstream psychology community as fact. You said yourself that you don't think races differ in IQ, so I don't see the problem.

Although the author of this article does not go this far, Jensen does say that intelligence is 80% hereditary. He used that as springboard to claim that spending money on public education is a waste because some races are too stupid to be educated.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Racial/ethnic differences in intelligence (4.00 / 2) (#341)
by tgibbs on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 06:27:25 PM EST

First off, I don't believe there is any stasticial difference in intelligence among races.
It is amazing to me that this is so much an article of faith. After all, you can find clear racial/ethnic differences, sometimes quite substantial, in just about any physical parameter you choose to measure--stature, physical strength, physiognomy, complexion. Yet many people readily presume that intelligence is the exception. The interesting question is why it matters so much that we are willing, even anxious to assume something that is so clearly contrary to common sense.

Clearly, the general perception is that if there were such differences, it would be a Bad Thing--so bad that it doesn't even bear thinking about. Indeed, there is strong resistance to any research on the subject, suggesting that many people secretly believe that such differences exist, but hope that it will not become generally known.

Unfortunately, this is all going to collapse like a house of cards. Very likely, specific genes affecting intellectual capabilities will be identified in the near future. And very likely, like most genetic polymorphisms, there will be racial and ethnic differences in distribution. We are going to have to confront them, and our long avoidance of the issue has left us ill-prepared to do so.

I think the real problem is that most people don't know how to think about statistical distributions. We tend to assign exaggerated importance to means, while the average person probably does not even know what a standard deviation is. From a practical point of view, the real question is not whether the means are different on some arbitrary measure of intellectual performance, but rather, how much overlap is there between the curves? This is what determines how well you will be able to predict somebody's intellectual capabilities based solely upon their race or ethnicity. And this is really what people are worried about: prejudice.

Let's stop trying to explain away the differences in means in IQ between different groups, and instead, for the sake of argument, take them at face value. The fact is that there is a large overlap between the curves. The differences in means, in about any intelligence measure you choose, tend to be small relative to the standard deviations. Race or ethnicity turns out to have low predictive value with respect to an individual's intellectual capabilities.

We should be clear on our definition of prejudice: prejudice is making an assumption about an individual on the basis of what we think we know about the average characteristics of a group to which he is perceived to belong. Prejudice does not become less injust if that knowledge is correct, because the injustice resides, not in what we think we know about his group, but in our trying to apply that information to an individual who may well not be average.

The other misconception that we need to address is the notion that gentically based traits are immutable, while environmental ones can be changed. Knowing that a trait is genetically based gives no real information as to how hard it will be to alter. Look at PKU--a clearly genetically based trait, resulting in sever retardation. Yet merely changing the diet eliminates the difference. So if a person shows reduced intellectual capacity, that could well be because we haven't bothered to figure out how to teach them effectively. Many so-called learning disabilities work this way--once a person learns how to take best advantage of his particular learning style, the disability virtually vanishes.



[ Parent ]

The nutrition question (4.00 / 1) (#353)
by olethros on Mon Jan 13, 2003 at 11:11:20 AM EST

There is the nutrition factor, which you should not forget. I think the results of one study that I had seen some time ago indicated that adequate protein consumption was the most significant factor contributing to IQ, the second being trace elements (vitamins & minerals). Of course this has a role only after you make sure that you have a sufficient total calorie intake.

I cannot find this study on the web, I did find one that talks about vitamins and minerals, but that comes from an age where all dietricians (?) were sure that the best diet was composed mostly of carbohydrates, supported with fruit and vegetables - which is a completely idiotic notion  and was based only on a couple of studies related to coronary disease. So in that study they did not consider proteins at all (proteins were bad at the time, as they came from evil meat).

Hm, anyway, the point I want to make is that people in different races have different cultures and thus different dietary habits - not only that, but living in different countries they might have different economic situations. So, while they might not be <i>under-nourished</i> (which means that they receive sufficient calories), they might well be <i>mal-nourished</i>, which in my vocabulary means "fed badly". If people cannot afford meat and fish they will subsist on bread.. rice.. and other high-carbohydrate foodstuff that does not offer much beyond simple energy.
-- Homepage| Music
I miss my rubber keyboard.
[ Parent ]

So where would one get an official IQ test? (none / 0) (#238)
by spectecjr on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 09:17:37 PM EST

And I'm not talking about the Mensa ones; I tried their at-home test, and found at least 7 questions which were fundamentally flawed (including several, where they were asking for only one answer and there were 2 or 3 correct answers for that question). Anyone know of anywhere doing the Stanford-Binet test in Seattle?

mensa admissions (none / 0) (#359)
by lorian69 on Wed Feb 05, 2003 at 04:02:15 PM EST

You noticed that too, eh? My fiance and I took the Mensa admissions test for the pure curiousity of it. At test time, we were sorely disappointed with two things:

a) They no longer report actual scores, just if you're within the top 2%. (Goodbye competitive nature...)

b) The entire test is seriously flawed and poorly written. Not just from an interpretive point of view either. There was blatant misuse of wording and grammar throughout the test, so that the actual instructions themselves were flawed. Both of us also found several questions with multiple possible and reasonable answers and ended up picking the ones we thought they were probably going for.

I'm also curious how to find a real IQ test... I seriously doubt I'm 170 as iqtest.com states. ;)

[ Parent ]
What's the big deal about intelligence? (5.00 / 3) (#244)
by ryochiji on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 12:11:48 AM EST

I think a lot of people exaggerate the importance (or inadequacy) of IQ and forget that it's a number that's appropriate for some things, and inappropriate for others.  It's neither the absolute measure of humans, nor a pile political bullshit.

Personally, I've always been told that I was smart.  It did seem like I've always been able to solve complex problems that many people struggle with, and I do seem to learn new things with less effort than a lot of people.  So a few days ago, I decided to take an IQ test for the first time in my life, and see what it had to say.  I scored 142 and the little chart at the end said one in 200 people get that score or higher.

What does this all mean?  It means I'm better at solving certain types of problems than the majority of the general public.  And that's all it means.  As far as I'm concerned, it's a characteristic, not a quality.  Like the color of your eyes, it's something that makes you who you are, but it's not something that makes you better or worse than anyone else.  I can do a lot of things better than a lot of people, but heck of a lot of people can do heck of a lot of things I can't do.  In fact, even if I am "smart" it certainly doesn't make me happier or even more "successful" (whatever that means).

Does IQ measure a person's intelligence?  In my opinion, yes.  Does a person's intelligence mean anything?  In the greater scheme of things, no, I don't think it does.

---
IlohaMail: Webmail that works.

i'd choose a higher dexterity anyway (4.00 / 3) (#261)
by waxmop on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:34:06 AM EST

intelligence is such an overrated attribute. i suppose it's important if you're a magic-user, but even then, it doesn't help all that much. the thing to max out on is dexterity. it improves your strike bonus, helps out the armor class, and everybody needs to sneak around successfully sometimes.

and don't get me started on how unimportant charisma is.


--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
[ Parent ]
don't forget! (none / 0) (#281)
by Ryan Singer on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:00:57 PM EST

DEX also provides a boost to initiative.-Ryan

[ Parent ]
Charisma (none / 0) (#302)
by bugmaster on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 07:46:02 PM EST

Man, don't even get me started on Charisma. It's so damn useless that d20 specifically makes Intimidation Charisma-based ! Just so that there would be something to use that useless attribute with. Of course, I could either Intimidate someone or beat them senseless... gee which one do I pick ? That's right. Charisma is still useless.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
Lead Paint and Intelligence (4.00 / 1) (#268)
by rujith on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 11:29:40 AM EST

People downplay the significance of intelligence, saying that it's hard to define, a cultural construct, insufficient for success in life, etc. All true, to some extent. But let me ask you this: would you bring up your children in a house with lead paint or lead plumbing, given that lead is well-known to decrease intelligence? If not, then I suggest that maybe intelligence is more important than some people are willing to concede.

Lead affects more than intelligence (none / 0) (#304)
by LrdChaos on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:19:07 PM EST

Lead affects more than just a person's intelligence. Lead poisioning is a possibility, as are a number of other things. So there may be several other reasons a parent would not want to raise their children in a house with lead paint/pipes/etc.

[ Parent ]
IQ-reducing Factor X (none / 0) (#317)
by rujith on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 09:34:37 AM EST

Yes, you're quite correct, lead affects more than intelligence. So let's pretend there's a chemical called Factor X that has been shown to reduce IQ in children, but has no other measurable effect. Will those who downplay the significance of IQ be willing to bring up their children in a house contaminated with Factor X?

[ Parent ]
Most of the information here is FRAUDULENT (4.66 / 6) (#309)
by Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 01:17:05 AM EST

Literally here.  Not just wrong, but based on actual scientific fraud.  Cyril Burt for decades did the bulk of the work reported around Q and the heritability of IQ.  It turns out that Burt committed outright falsification for decades--inventing co-authors, subjects, results, etc. whole clothe to support eugenic notions of the heritability of IQ.  This is probably the largest fraud ever committed in science.  But then, it also fits a number of prevalent racist and sexist belief systems, so the fraud has been largely downplayed in mainstream discussion.

Jensen, of course, is Burt's principle student and advocate.  While he was not involved in the outright fraud, he certainly failed to take any lesson from its exposure by Richard Lewontin.  All that stuff about 80% heritability and the like is pure Burt numbers, it has absolutely no other basis or origin.

I don't think the author of the article means to perpetuate a fraud... I just think s/he was deceived, and a bit naive.  But most of the writeup should be taken with a truckload of salt.

Bwahahahaha (4.75 / 4) (#322)
by Wolf Keeper on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 11:38:12 AM EST

Look at the poll!  28% of the 300+ respondents have an IQ in the range of 100 + 3 standard deviations (top 0.1% of population) and over 30% have an IQ in the range of 100 + 2 standard deviations (top 2.2% of the population).

No wonder kuro5hin is so enlightened!  We are in the midst of genius!  I must bow down and worship in awe.  For over half of the members here are smarter than 49 of every 50 people they meet, and fully one quarter are smarter than all but one person in every thousand.  The average IQ is 100, but somehow this website's average is actually well above 100 + 1 full standard deviation.  Amazing.

Let me guess.  Most of you took a few online IQ tests and were pleasantly surprised by the high results you received in your email.  The email also had advertisements for more information.  The company posting the test couldn't have inflated your scores, could they?  They might try something like that flattery to get your business, but of course you are all way too smart to fall for such a trick.

Of course, I with my ridiculously low IQ could be wrong.  Perhaps I truly am surrounded by Einsteins, Kants, Newtons, and Hegels.  


Yes... (5.00 / 2) (#333)
by joto on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 05:48:37 AM EST

A reasonable assumption would be that most people here would be around 100+1 std deviation, as that tends to be typical of people doing or having taken higher education. There is no doubt these online tests are inflated. I too, got an insanely good score on it (and I don't think I'm that smart).

Sure, there are probably a few Einsteins here as well, but not 28%.

[ Parent ]

blah (none / 0) (#361)
by relief on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 07:05:34 PM EST

i'm sorry if you got a low score. but this comes from a guy with 100 + 4SD's... intelligence exists in so many other parts of our lives, it would be stupid to think that the IQ score measures potential even remotely accurately.

----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]
heritability and malleability are separate issues! (5.00 / 1) (#349)
by roffe on Sun Jan 12, 2003 at 05:00:39 AM EST

Twin studies show that g is around 80% inherited and 20% environmental. This leaves little hope of increasing g, unless we find out a way to produce larger environmental difference than the one experienced by monozygotic twins reared apart.

I think this should be stated more strongly - there is no correlation between heritability and malleability!

At school, we learn about heritability and eye color, and yes - eye color does not change and is highly heritable. But the high heritability is not the reason why it is difficult to change eye color - eye color is difficult to change because of the way eye color is implemented in the body.

heritability says something about the variation of the environment in which heritabilty has been measured. it is impossible to tell in advance from heritability data alone what will happen with heritabilty if the environment changes.

so we have it, then, that IQ is highly heritable in the environments in which heritabilty of IQ has been measured. we also have that IQ has proven itself to be very difficult to change. but neither is due to the other.

Disclaimer: I am a psychologist and a profiessional in the field. I know what I am talking about :) For a great introduction to heritability issues, read Plomin et al's Behavioral Genetics.


--
Rolf Marvin Bøe Lindgren
roffe@extern.uio.no


Brief history of "I.Q." (none / 0) (#360)
by urdine on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 03:06:21 AM EST

A brief little history of I.Q. you all might find interesting.

History of the I.Q. Test

Intelligence, IQ and the g Factor | 361 comments (334 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
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