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TrainofThought
09-15-2006, 01:03 AM
Does this mean their smarter than women when using their brains, or smarter than women when using their additional brains? Does this prove that they actually use them? I think this article is funny, especially the readers’ comments.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=405056&in_page_id=1770


“his conclusion after scrutinising the results of university aptitude tests taken by 100,000 students aged 17 and 18 of both sexes…Prof Rushton believes the differences are directly linked to brain size, with other studies showing men having slightly bigger brains than women.” Does the mind’s maturity level peak at ages 17 and 18?


“His work appears to confirm British research which showed men have bigger brains and higher IQs than women, which may explain why chess grandmasters and geniuses are more likely to be male.
And also why serial killers are more likely to be male.


“Women needn't feel despondent, however, as the scientists believe women can achieve just as much as men - as long as they work harder.” Thanks, I feel so much better knowing I can be just as smart as long as I work my little brain harder.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

billythrilly7th
09-15-2006, 01:04 AM
Cool.

My-Immortal
09-15-2006, 01:06 AM
Does this mean their smarter than women when using their brains, or smarter than women when using their additional brains?


Do you mean: Does this mean they are smarter.....?

;)

dclary
09-15-2006, 01:06 AM
Another interesting tidbit:

If this same study had come out stating the opposite, not one man would have complained. Men think studies are a load of sh*t, and don't base any personal opinions on anything outside of personal experiences.

tiny
09-15-2006, 01:07 AM
Not one? You know that for sure ClaryBoy?

(could care less about the study, I was just interested in your interest in English Dave over in the other thread :D)

billythrilly7th
09-15-2006, 01:17 AM
Why is it such a hot potato to say that men and women have different strengths and weaknesses?

I don't know if this study is accurate or not, but I fully believe that it's possible.

And if it was reversed, I'd say the same thing.

Regardless, men still have to do what their wives say, so what's the difference.

Thank you.

Anya Smith
09-15-2006, 01:18 AM
Is this Prof. Rushton male or female?

Whatever Rushton is, the studies are inconclusive. There are different types of intelligences, and Rushton should know that we can't compare oranges to apples. Obviously the testosterone infused brain funtion differently than estrogen infused brains. Humans are creatures of hormones. Males, of course, have more competitive drive, so that could also explain their higher success rates. Also, the size of the brain does not determine intelligence; the speed with which the neurons fire impulses determines it. And other factors.

So no, I wouldn't put much credence in those studies.

Opty
09-15-2006, 01:19 AM
It's just one study. I haven't gotten a copy of the actual publication but, from the article, it seems that there may be dubious data-gathering and analyses techniques involved.

Also, when it comes to IQ, it's best to keep a few things in mind: 1) A less than 4 point variance doesn't really make that much qualitative difference; 2) IQ doesn't always correlate with success; 3) In this study, IQ seems to have been inferred from aptitude scores, which may not be an accurate extrapolation.

There could have been any number of reasons why women scored lower on these tests: a larger number of women in the sample population might have statistically "watered down" the mean female score; perhaps there is a difference in sociological factors which affected the scores, such as public vs private schooling, socio-economic status of males vs females, etc.

I could speculate all day, as I'm only inferring from the news article and not the actual study publication. I'll try to get a copy and report back if you guys would like.

Overall, though, I wouldn't give much creedence to this study. Even if it's correct, it really doesn't prove much.

Opty
09-15-2006, 01:21 AM
Not one? You know that for sure ClaryBoy?

(could care less about the study, I was just interested in your interest in English Dave over in the other thread :D)

Following Immortal's lead...

Do you mean...could not care less?


;)

Shadow_Ferret
09-15-2006, 01:25 AM
Why should I care? If, according to this study, men ARE smarter, will that help sell my novel any quicker?

It certainly hasn't help me grasp the concept of the query letter.

tiny
09-15-2006, 01:26 AM
Following Immortal's lead...

Do you mean...could not care less?


;)

Naw, I could probably care less. I'd not have posted at all don't you think?

Anya Smith
09-15-2006, 01:28 AM
It's just one study. I haven't gotten a copy of the actual publication but, from the article, it seems that there may be dubious data-gathering and analyses techniques involved.

Also, when it comes to IQ, it's best to keep a few things in mind: 1) A less than 4 point variance doesn't really make that much qualitative difference; 2) IQ doesn't always correlate with success; 3) In this study, IQ seems to have been inferred from aptitude scores, which may not be an accurate extrapolation.

There could have been any number of reasons why women scored lower on these tests: a larger number of women in the sample population might have statistically "watered down" the mean female score; perhaps there is a difference in sociological factors which affected the scores, such as public vs private schooling, socio-economic status of males vs females, etc.

I could speculate all day, as I'm only inferring from the news article and not the actual study publication. I'll try to get a copy and report back if you guys would like.

Overall, though, I wouldn't give much creedence to this study. Even if it's correct, it really doesn't prove much.

Yes, thank you, DrSpork.

TrainofThought
09-15-2006, 01:40 AM
Do you mean: Does this mean they are smarter.....?

;) Funny. I can't believe I did that. I will use the excuse of being at work and had to post quickly.

persiphone_hellecat
09-15-2006, 01:56 AM
Actually, I think it just means that men have additional brains stashed in their little heads. But women have always known that extra brain was what a man actually used to think. No news to me there.

Opty
09-15-2006, 01:59 AM
Naw, I could probably care less. I'd not have posted at all don't you think?

Nice save.

;)

WerenCole
09-15-2006, 02:00 AM
My "little brain" is actually smarter than my big one. . .


My big brain always get caught up with women with pyschological disorders. . . my little one seems to know the difference.

WerenCole
09-15-2006, 02:01 AM
Following Immortal's lead...

Do you mean...could not care less?


;)



Are you a Doctor, or do you just play one on AW?:Hug2:


(just teasing buddy)

Opty
09-15-2006, 02:02 AM
Also, a woman has a larger corpus callosum in her brain, therefore the two sides of her brain communicate a little better (though, a man's brain make up for it by having slightly faster synaptic impulses).

So, I think everything almost evens out in the end. Men have higher IQs and women have more patience to put up with the gloating.

persiphone_hellecat
09-15-2006, 02:03 AM
My "little brain" is actually smarter than my big one. . .


My big brain always get caught up with women with pyschological disorders. . . my little one seems to know the difference.

As Dr. Watson once said, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Sh!t Sherlock!"

dclary
09-15-2006, 02:04 AM
Not one? You know that for sure ClaryBoy?

(could care less about the study, I was just interested in your interest in English Dave over in the other thread :D)Excellent point. English Dave can be relied on to complain about anything.

And god knows what grommy will think is insane.

WerenCole
09-15-2006, 02:04 AM
As Dr. Watson once said, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Sh!t Sherlock!"


Hey. . . I least I realize it.

Wordworm
09-15-2006, 02:12 AM
Personally, I've always felt that women were smarter than men, due to their larger corpus callosums and overall ability to utilize both hemispheres faster and more efficiently than men.

Assuming this study has any merit at all (which I doubt), one explanation that I might suggest is that most IQ tests are focused more on left brain (logic and linear thinking) capabilities, and that due to their smaller corpus callosums, men tend to use that side of their brains more heavily than women, which could possibly result in marginally higher IQ scores.

Just conjecture, mind you. I've been fascinated with Roger Sperry's work for the last 35 years, so I always tend to view discussions about "intelligence" with his left brain/right brain theories in mind.

Besides which, I scored 160+ and 99+ percentile on the IQ tests I took when I was a teenager, which made me decide that all of this so-called "intelligence-testing" was rubbish. I spent seven years at a school for genius kids, and as far as I can see, the lot of us wound up no richer, no happier, and no less f*cked-up than the rest of the population.

It ain't how smart you are that matters, it's what you do with it.

Wordworm
09-15-2006, 02:13 AM
I see that while I was writing my post, Spork made a similar observation.

Thanks for the confirmation, Doc.

billythrilly7th
09-15-2006, 02:23 AM
Also, a woman has a larger corpus callosum in her brain,

So, that's what that is.

Wordworm
09-15-2006, 02:29 AM
I might also add that gay men also have larger corpus callosums, just like women.

TheGaffer
09-15-2006, 03:55 AM
As Ron Burgundy would say, "It's science."

tiny
09-15-2006, 04:58 AM
Nice save.

;)

Like that? I thought it worked well.

The Commatose Kidd
09-15-2006, 11:45 AM
it's my understanding einstein had a 20% smaller than average brain.

aadams73
09-15-2006, 01:03 PM
Men aren't smarter. We women just let you guys think that because we feel sorry for you. :D

Bamponang
09-15-2006, 01:51 PM
I might also add that gay men also have larger corpus callosums, just like women.

So, are gay men smarter than heterosexual men?

kikazaru
09-15-2006, 05:58 PM
"British-born researcher John Philippe Rushton, who previously created a furore by suggesting intelligence is influenced by race, says the finding could explain why so few women make it to the top in the workplace.
He claims the 'glass ceiling' phenomenon is probably due to inferior intelligence, rather than discrimination or lack of opportunity."



Interesting, however the so called "glass ceiling" can be explained in far more likely ways than a difference of less that 4 points in IQ - since often it's not what you know but WHO you know which dictates a rise in job status. I think everyone can think of examples of people who rose to the top, who were utterly unqualified for the position they've achieved. Also, many women take time out from their careers to have children, and they often refuse promotions because it may take more time on the job when they feel their first obligation is to their children. In addition since this study was done on 17 and 18 year olds, he has not taken into account other studies which indicate that women may actually become MORE intelligent after they give birth.




All in all, Rushton's findings should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Wordworm
09-15-2006, 10:47 PM
So, are gay men smarter than heterosexual men?
I'd say yes, although my definition of "smart" isn't based on IQ.

ATP
09-16-2006, 02:09 AM
Interesting, however the so called "glass ceiling" can be explained in far more likely ways than a difference of less that 4 points in IQ - since often it's not what you know but WHO you know which dictates a rise in job status. I think everyone can think of examples of people who rose to the top, who were utterly unqualified for the position they've achieved. Also, many women take time out from their careers to have children, and they often refuse promotions because it may take more time on the job when they feel their first obligation is to their children. In addition since this study was done on 17 and 18 year olds, he has not taken into account other studies which indicate that women may actually become MORE intelligent after they give birth.

Related but slightly tangental - the 'glass ceiling' is oft-quoted, and often supported with the recognition that there are considerably less women in upper level management positions eg. CEO. However, this doesn't preclude the fact that those women who DO obtain these management positions would seem to exhibit the same sort of behaviour/ 'management style' as a lot of their male counterparts.

This then begs the question: is this 'smart' or otherwise?

dclary
09-16-2006, 02:19 AM
If you girls were so smart, you'd have figured out how to come first.

Literally.

Opty
09-16-2006, 02:20 AM
Ew.

Unique
09-16-2006, 02:20 AM
This then begs the question: is this 'smart' or otherwise?

Otherwise.

When you swim with sharks you better have big teeth.

aadams73
09-16-2006, 02:28 AM
If you girls were so smart, you'd have figured out how to come first.

Literally.


Here ya go:

http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Dummies-Dr-Ruth-Westheimer/dp/1568843844

dclary
09-16-2006, 02:30 AM
Oh, is the wife complaining that you're not getting the job done?

Here ya go:

http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Dummies-Dr-Ruth-Westheimer/dp/1568843844

It's an intermittent problem, which is frustrating. I can't really figure out why sometimes we can go for hours, and other times I'm like a batter facing Mariano Rivera on a hot night.

And...

We already have that book. :|

aadams73
09-16-2006, 02:35 AM
You need to follow John Mayer's advice:

“You have to run every single fantasy you’ve ever had through me. You’ll never cheat. You see a cute guy at the gym, I’ll be him. Or we’ll get him. I don’t care.”

Opty
09-16-2006, 02:58 AM
If I know Dave, I can promise you that he'll never follow anything John Mayer ever says (or even listen to anything John Mayer ever says).

dclary
09-16-2006, 03:27 AM
Damn straight.

C.bronco
09-16-2006, 06:12 AM
If you girls were so smart, you'd have figured out how to come first.

Literally.
I do.

Anyhoo, I'll weigh my small brain against any big brain out there. It's true what they said about Einsten... he did have a small brain. It's in the Guiness Book of World Records.
My Grandfather used to play poker with him. I love Einstein, and my late Grandpa. Both were real genuises.

TrainofThought
09-16-2006, 06:40 AM
If you girls were so smart, you'd have figured out how to come first. Literally. We need tools that perform properly. If they are missing, we do come first.

Shadow_Ferret
09-16-2006, 08:16 AM
Leno had a joke about this tonight. He said the reason why men have on average 4 more IQ points is because Jessica Simpson is a woman and she drags their average down.

SpookyWriter
09-16-2006, 08:24 AM
it's my understanding einstein had a 20% smaller than average brain.That was his penis, the other brain.

aadams73
09-16-2006, 02:45 PM
Leno had a joke about this tonight. He said the reason why men have on average 4 more IQ points is because Jessica Simpson is a woman and she drags their average down.

Unfortunately, we also have Paris Hilton on our team...that's other ten points right there.

oswann
09-16-2006, 03:09 PM
I remember this kid at school with a really big head. Everyone thought he must be brainy well, because of his head. Kid logic. Big head, big brain, I mean what else is in there? One day I met his father who had an even bigger head than his son. Turns out the kid wasn't any smarter than the rest of us, just born into a family of bigheads. What was this thread about again? Damn it.



Os.

Godfather
09-16-2006, 04:02 PM
Yeah, different types of intelligence.

A friend of mine does well in school, but really he's not that smart when it comes to other things. He gets A's, b's and c's, but I wouldn't consider him very intelligent. I guess he can retain information well. Good for him.

But, personally, I'd prefer to have other types of intelligence. Creative and quick, able to think, instead of remember other people's thoughts.

Shweta
09-16-2006, 04:05 PM
Two points.

[edit: actually, three]

1) I don't know anyone respectable who studies cognition who thinks that IQ tests are worth anything, or that IQ is a score that means anything (except in the very broadest terms; a difference of 10 or 20 might mean something). That's really kind of... '50s.

2) There are studies showing that if you let people know that the test is about race, or gender, or whatever, the group that's supposed to do badly... does. If you remove that information (which I think does not need to be too explicit) the effect goes away.

3) If I remember right, current research suggests that slower maturation is what leads to better performance, so the one data point that might have supported this guy's claim, he thought was evidence against it. Eeejit.

So yeah, I think this study proves conclusively that idiots who don't do their homework make it to professorial positions, and that's about it.

Incidentally, I'm commenting on this because I detest bad science, not because of the gender thing.

Also incidentally, "could care less" and "couldn't care less" do mean the same thing in spoken english, whatever logic says they should mean.

ok I'm done being the pedant now.

robeiae
09-16-2006, 04:05 PM
Unfortunately, we also have Paris Hilton on our team...that's other ten points right there.
We have Gilbert Godfried.

Godfather
09-16-2006, 04:07 PM
I think everyone can think of examples of people who rose to the top, who were utterly unqualified for the position they've achieved.


Do you mean George Bush or Bertie Ahern?




.... or both?



(ba dum dum tschish)

Shweta
09-16-2006, 04:12 PM
How 'bout John Philippe Rushton :D

kikazaru
09-16-2006, 05:53 PM
Do you mean George Bush or Bertie Ahern?




.... or both?



(ba dum dum tschish)

Ha ha, well no I wouldn't make political statements in the OP and I don't know Bertie Ahern. I was just referring to the fact that that in general, a lot of people who are in the upper postions are there, not because they are more intelligent than anyone else (and often it is woefully apparent that they are really not that smart) but because of other reasons - office politics, length with the company, relationship with the owner, back stabbing abilities or just because they were in the right place at the right time. This is not to say that they won't do a good job (especially if they hire smart people) but to say that they are there because of their intelligence as is implied in the article, is probably not accurate in many cases.

oswann
09-16-2006, 06:59 PM
We have Gilbert Godfried.

And the guy who designed Sean's costume in your avatar.



Os.

Opty
09-16-2006, 10:50 PM
1) I don't know anyone respectable who studies cognition who thinks that IQ tests are worth anything, or that IQ is a score that means anything (except in the very broadest terms; a difference of 10 or 20 might mean something). That's really kind of... '50s.

I do. However, what the public thinks of IQ scores and their usefulness/purpose is rather different from what researchers think of the usefulness/purpose of IQ scores.

One of the problems with IQ scores is that tests are designed to measure "general intelligence," but few can agree on what, exactly, that is and how to use that information. IQ can be a decent predictor of job performance, academic achievement, interpersonal success/dysfunction, and economic status. But, the question remains as to how precisely IQ tests measure what they purport to.

A person might score poorly in certain areas of intelligence tests, yet blow the doors off of other areas. But, the way many popular IQ tests are scored, this person would possibly receive a low grade. What if Da Vinci sucked at verbal reasoning; would this make him less of a genius? Of course not but, given the current state of IQ testing, the possibility is significant that an incredibly intelligent person might score not-so-great on an IQ test.

My favorite current against-the-grain theory is Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triarchic_theory_of_intelligence).



2) There are studies showing that if you let people know that the test is about race, or gender, or whatever, the group that's supposed to do badly... does. If you remove that information (which I think does not need to be too explicit) the effect goes away.

There are also studies that might aruge that (overall) certain groups will always perform a certain way on certain tests, regardless of social factors (remember the furor over the book, The Bell Curve, several years ago?). In some ways, that's more true than not. I'm a male therefore I'm supposed to outperform the average female on a math test. However, I suck at math so my performing better than a female peer would not be a likely outcome.

The self-fullfilling prophesy effect (or, the notion that referential information about the test is some sort of nocebo) is a "sometimes" type of effect when it comes to testing. If the info is removed, there is sometimes seen a statistically significant difference. Sometimes, no significant difference is seen. It all depends on the beliefs of the groups being tested, how the test is administered and how the results are interpreted (there is always a chance of observer-expectancy bias on the part of the test administrator).

It is also quite difficult to keep a person from knowing that a test is about a certain subject (e.g. it'd be nearly impossible for one to take a math test and not realize that it is a math test). So, the effect in question is an "iffy," fuzzy one, at best and certainly not one that always applies.


3) If I remember right, current research suggests that slower maturation is what leads to better performance, so the one data point that might have supported this guy's claim, he thought was evidence against it. Eeejit.

You'll get no argument from me that Rushton's an idiot who conducts biased research merely to see his name in the paper.


Also incidentally, "could care less" and "couldn't care less" do mean the same thing in spoken english, whatever logic says they should mean.

ok I'm done being the pedant now.

(I'll be a pedant now. ;) )

Not really. "Could care less" is both grammatically and idiomatically incorrect, even though many people say it (and, just because many people say it, doesn't make it correct). It's existence is simply a case of something wrong being repeated in certain regions of this country without thought or question given to it. Another example would be when people use the incorrect idiom, "That's gonna be a tough road to hoe."

The actual/correct phrase is "row to hoe."

You don't hoe roads.

Well...unless you score very poorly on an IQ test. ;)

Peggy
09-16-2006, 11:48 PM
I was just referring to the fact that that in general, a lot of people who are in the upper postions are there, not because they are more intelligent than anyone else (and often it is woefully apparent that they are really not that smart) but because of other reasons - office politics, length with the company, relationship with the owner, back stabbing abilities or just because they were in the right place at the right time. This is not to say that they won't do a good job (especially if they hire smart people) but to say that they are there because of their intelligence as is implied in the article, is probably not accurate in many cases. The Peter Principle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle) in action.

Robert Toy
09-17-2006, 12:16 AM
The Peter Principle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle) in action.
My favorite saying on this subject:

“Women will only reach true equality when there are as many incompetent women in the boardrooms, as there are incompetent men.”

Shweta
09-17-2006, 05:00 AM
Just a disclaimer: I'm arguing because I agree with you in part, not because I utterly disagree; but we have different perspectives in a way that might be interesting :)


I do. However, what the public thinks of IQ scores and their usefulness/purpose is rather different from what researchers think of the usefulness/purpose of IQ scores.
Clearly you know different researchers than me.
I cannot imagine someone talking about IQ in a cognitive science conference without being laughed out of the room. Problem solving, yes. Memory, yes. Functional fixedness, yes. Our traditional notion of "intelligence" is one that doesn't hold up as a unified thing.


One of the problems with IQ scores is that tests are designed to measure "general intelligence," but few can agree on what, exactly, that is and how to use that information.
I think the current beliefs in cog sci tend to "there's no such thing as general intelligence; there's domain-specific ability and there's the ability to map information over from one domain to another."
Of course, "current beliefs" in cognitive science are ll over the map and often in vicious dispute, so... *shrug*

The problem with intelligence tests comes down to exactly this: which domains you choose to test for. And they test for domains that allow you to have multiple choice answers -- which are in fact really really restricted. Math, logic, "verbal" (which is mostly just vocabulary knowledge within a high-status dialect).. -- yeah so what?

We don't really know what different scores mean, even if we know they mean something.



IQ can be a decent predictor of job performance, academic achievement, interpersonal success/dysfunction, and economic status. But, the question remains as to how precisely IQ tests measure what they purport to.
There are better predictors. The guy who writes about emotional intelligence (can never remember his name) talks about a longitudinal study of kids who started off at (I think) Stanford's college preschool -- and found that their "emotional intelligence" was a much better predictor of long-term success than their scores on IQ tests.


Of course not but, given the current state of IQ testing, the possibility is significant that an incredibly intelligent person might score not-so-great on an IQ test.
I suspect that will never change, given what they test for.


My favorite current against-the-grain theory is Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triarchic_theory_of_intelligence).
Ah, Sternberg. I like him, though I think his penchant for dividing things up into boxes is considered a bit dated :)
Oldskool cognitive psychology does it, of course.



There are also studies that might aruge that (overall) certain groups will always perform a certain way on certain tests, regardless of social factors (remember the furor over the book, The Bell Curve, several years ago?). In some ways, that's more true than not. I'm a male therefore I'm supposed to outperform the average female on a math test. However, I suck at math so my performing better than a female peer would not be a likely outcome.
Uh no, this is a misunderstanding of statistics. No given male is supposed to perform well at math. It's just that on average, over many individuals, the numbers are supposed to work out better. This doesn't deny that there are men who suck at math and women who don't.

There's also evidence that if you teach math in terms of multiple cognitive models, instead of the chug-in-plug-out mentality, girls start doing better than boys. Can't remember study names, which is annoying, sorry.


The self-fullfilling prophesy effect (or, the notion that referential information about the test is some sort of nocebo) is a "sometimes" type of effect when it comes to testing.
Everything is a "sometimes" effect when it comes to testing. If you dump in enough confounds, everything goes away. The fact that it has ever been found (and as I understand, replicated) says that it is an effect --- though obviously, one of many.


It is also quite difficult to keep a person from knowing that a test is about a certain subject (e.g. it'd be nearly impossible for one to take a math test and not realize that it is a math test). So, the effect in question is an "iffy," fuzzy one, at best and certainly not one that always applies.
Oh sure, but in the study I'm thinking of, students were either asked to report their gender or not. That's all that changed. Where they didn't have to write in their gender, both groups did about equally. Where they did, the males showed no change, but the females did significantly worse.

Nobody overtly said "girls do worse in math" -- at least not at the time of testing.

There are other similar studies.


You'll get no argument from me that Rushton's an idiot who conducts biased research merely to see his name in the paper.
:D



Not really. "Could care less" is both grammatically and idiomatically incorrect, even though many people say it (and, just because many people say it, doesn't make it correct). It's existence is simply a case of something wrong being repeated in certain regions of this country without thought or question given to it.
Oog, prescriptive linguistics. No, in fact, what many people say is all we have to really base our understanding of a language on; and it will be considered correct in a hundred years. What people tend to focus on as "correct" is generally what many people said a hundred years ago, some of which was considered incorrect then.

Live languages are constantly changing. Grammar is not out there in the world; it is in our heads. And "could care less" is becoming grammatical, and has become grammatical in some dialects. Dropping negatives is a very standard thing in language change. For example French "Jamais" which can now be used to mean "never", though it originally meant something more like "ever" (and ne jamais meant/means never). It happens. There are no good grounds for arguing with it except the historical.


Another example would be when people use the incorrect idiom, "That's gonna be a tough road to hoe." The actual/correct phrase is "row to hoe."

You don't hoe roads.
And you don't kick buckets when you die either.

You probably don't hoe rows either, when you use the phrase, not literally; it's an idiom that is currently transparent. If most people start saying "a tough road to hoe" then that'll become an opaque, literally-nonsensical idiom -- but it will still mean what they think it does, because they think it means that.

Opty
09-17-2006, 09:49 AM
Just a disclaimer: I'm arguing because I agree with you in part, not because I utterly disagree; but we have different perspectives in a way that might be interesting :)

I imagine some of our perceived "disagreements" may not actually be disagreements at all, rather simply instances of me not communicating cleary.


Clearly you know different researchers than me.
I cannot imagine someone talking about IQ in a cognitive science conference without being laughed out of the room. Problem solving, yes. Memory, yes. Functional fixedness, yes. Our traditional notion of "intelligence" is one that doesn't hold up as a unified thing.

I was being non-specific so as not to make this cluttered and soporific for those people who don't study this for a living (to keep the discussion as nontechnical as possible), which is why I only superficially mentioned the conceptual differences between the public's view of the usefulness of "IQ/IQ scores" and the scientific view of its usefulness.

To address your point, though, there've actually been quite a few presentations at various SEPA conventions in recent years regarding comparison and/or concurrent validity studies involving the General Abilities Measure for Adults and the Wechsler Adult Inventory (including whether the GAM-A is, in fact, a measure of some form of intelligence), as well as a few presentations on Nonverbal Intelligence scales. None were "laughed out of the room."

Granted, these aren't studies of "IQ" or at least g intelligence in the traditional sense, but I was trying to be "close enough" in what I said for the sake of the non-psych-doctoral students here. ;)


I think the current beliefs in cog sci tend to "there's no such thing as general intelligence; there's domain-specific ability and there's the ability to map information over from one domain to another."
Of course, "current beliefs" in cognitive science are ll over the map and often in vicious dispute, so... *shrug*

I agree. However, I believe that the notion that there's "no such thing as general intelligence" only exists because no one can agree on what general intelligences comprises. Once they do (which will likely never happen), they'll be singing a different tune.

Personally, I think IQ tests should include a "Cognitive Monitoring" domain of some sort. I think it's an important domain to consider when assessing how "smart" a person is.

For example, one of my old roommates has an IQ of 172 and speaks 12 languages, but it took him a week to figure out how to work the toaster.

We called him, "World's Worst Genius."


The problem with intelligence tests comes down to exactly this: which domains you choose to test for. And they test for domains that allow you to have multiple choice answers -- which are in fact really really restricted. Math, logic, "verbal" (which is mostly just vocabulary knowledge within a high-status dialect).. -- yeah so what?

We don't really know what different scores mean, even if we know they mean something.

I agree.


There are better predictors.

I never said there weren't. I only said that IQ scores were "decent" predictors of those areas, not "good" or even "great."


The guy who writes about emotional intelligence (can never remember his name) talks about a longitudinal study of kids who started off at (I think) Stanford's college preschool -- and found that their "emotional intelligence" was a much better predictor of long-term success than their scores on IQ tests.
You may be thinking of Goleman, though I'm not sure. I know that Mayer and some other dude* do a lot of work with EI right now, though they focus more on emotional knowledge (believing it to be more important) than emotional intelligence.

*(I can never remember the other guy's name. I only ever remember Mayer's because his name is John Mayer, and my girlfriend is obsessed with the "other" JM).

I'm of the opinion (like Eyscenk and Costa & McCrae) that EI (EQ) is probably nothing more than a measure of personality, especially considering how significantly (negatively) it correlates with Neuroticism (and, I think Extraversion...but it may be Agreeableness...which wouldn't make much sense...but I forget). Also, the fact that EI hasn't really been conclusively shown to be a predictor of...well...anything, makes me really "iffy" as to what I think of it as a construct.


Uh no, this is a misunderstanding of statistics. No given male is supposed to perform well at math. It's just that on average, over many individuals, the numbers are supposed to work out better. This doesn't deny that there are men who suck at math and women who don't.

Uh no, this is not a misunderstanding of statistics (if I misunderstand stats, I'm in real trouble at this point in my life). This is me making a totally crappy example at 3:00 in the morning and not really communicating clearly what I was wanting to. Call it a fatigue-induced cognitive failure.


There's also evidence that if you teach math in terms of multiple cognitive models, instead of the chug-in-plug-out mentality, girls start doing better than boys. Can't remember study names, which is annoying, sorry.

Yes, but in some studies scores go up for boys, too. Much of the deficit in math scores, IMO, is due to a teaching expectancy bias within our educational system, and culture at large. Girls are presumed not to do as well in math, so the teachers unconsciously teach them in "lesser" ways than they do the boys. They aren't encouraged as much, etc.


Everything is a "sometimes" effect when it comes to testing. If you dump in enough confounds, everything goes away. The fact that it has ever been found (and as I understand, replicated) says that it is an effect --- though obviously, one of many.
Yes, but in the specific situation you were discussing, I wonder if it's as significant as you're implying.


Oog, prescriptive linguistics. No, in fact, what many people say is all we have to really base our understanding of a language on; and it will be considered correct in a hundred years. What people tend to focus on as "correct" is generally what many people said a hundred years ago, some of which was considered incorrect then.

Perhaps, but I'm not one to just sit by and let "grammatical guttersnipes" butcher our language in such ways as the specific way we were discussing. ;)

*that's meant as a joke, to show my old-fashioned, fuddy-duddy attitude about this, not to insult people