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single9-Feb-2003opinionwas_Frostbrand unsorted66759.4%


Do you think IQ tests are a true measure of intelligence?

1Yes, it is the best way to measure intelligence
23Yes, but it's only one of many ways to measure intelligence
5I'm not sure

posted 10-Feb-2003 6:46pm  
No because I don't think they take into consideration the person's personal experience, emotions during the test, etc.
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
posted 10-Feb-2003 7:05pm  
posted 10-Feb-2003 7:38pm  
It depends on what you want to define as "intelligence". The straight-forward answer is YES, intelligence tests absolutely predict how "smart" someone is.

People who score high on IQ tests are better problem solvers and are more intellectually able.

That being said, there are other characteristics a person might posess that wouldn't be directly measured by the IQ test but which still would be useful... long-term memory, musical abillity, artistic abillity, inter-personal skills, etc.

People who think that the tests aren't measuring anything significant or substantive are foolish and need to see the research correlating IQ at age 10 with levels of success later in life. Smart people go farther in life AND do better on IQ tests... both for the same reason-- they are smart and good at figuring things out and solving problems.
posted 10-Feb-2003 8:15pm  

I have pitifull hunderen tweny something... and I'm much smarter than more than four fifths of the bullcrapers that I go to school with. I may not be that good at math, but that' simply because it bores the hell out of me. And Chemistry is just God's punishment to all the people. After I studied Chemistry last year, I don't think I'll find hell bad at all.

Remember that guy played by Dustin Hoffman in the Rain Man? The autistic one? Well wasn't he damn smart? Able to remember all the facts and do maths with big numbers. And yet he's unable to live in normal world. Is that smart? Someoen who would probably score like 160 on Mensa test, but can't even cross the street?
posted 10-Feb-2003 8:59pm  
I don't think that this is really a question that can be accurately answered within the available options. I think that IQ tests are probably the best way for someone to get a rough idea how intelligent someone else is, in relation to the general population, without really getting to know them. It can be handy, because it is expressed as a number, so it can be compared, placed on a chart, etc..

The best way to measure someone's intelligence is to get to know them, discuss a large variety of topics...

There probably isn't such a thing as a "true measure of intelligence". The act of designing IQ tests is fraught with problems. Cultural differences is one of the major ones. Most IQ tests tend to only measure ability in one or two areas. This can easily lead to inaccurate results if the subject's area of expertise is entirely within or outside of those areas.
(reply to cody) posted 10-Feb-2003 9:10pm  
In reference to your last paragraph:

I haven't seen this research you speak of, but I will concede that it exists and that the results resemble what you said in your comments.

How is success defined in these studies? I find the word somewhat nebulous and open to subjective interpretation.

However, don't you think that it is possible that one could extrapolate a slightly different meaning from these results? Is it not possible that children who perform well on ANY test could be more likely to be "successful" later in life?
posted 10-Feb-2003 9:33pm  
They measure an aspect of intelligence, but the intelligence required for a statesman, musician, or engineer are all a bit different. Archetypal intuitive subjective thinking and deductive objective thinking are different. IQ tests mostly measure ones ability to interpret, define, and forecast objective pattern templates. They measure 'computer ability', not the sort of talents that a computer couldn't easily replicate.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
posted 10-Feb-2003 9:42pm  
I don't know enough about it. I've heard some educated opinions about it that say it's not, but I haven't heard much of the other side of the argument.
(reply to Zang) posted 10-Feb-2003 10:31pm  
Well, actually, if you'll give me a minute I can find the research...

I'm happy to post this as well because I think it specifically addresses Iseult's claims as well, which are bogus.

The study I was thinking of specifically, is that starting in 1921, Lewis M Terman set out to investigate the common notion that genius-level intelligence is related to social and personal mal-adjustment, physical weakness, and mental instability.

1500 kids, californian, 8-12 y/o, IQ over 140. Average IQ 150, 80 kids with IQ's over 170. (To put this into perspective a standard deviation on an iq test is 15 or 16 points, mean=100, so these kids were over THREE standard deviations above average, putting them at 99.7%ile, the kids over 170 were 4.66 SD's above... or literally <1 per hundred thousand.)

In 1926, the students were better adjusted, taller, stronger, and healthier than average children, fewer illnesses, fewer accidents. Not surprisingly, they performed exceptionally well in school.

Terman died in 56, the study lives on to this day with the living kids.

In 1955, when average income was 5,000, the average income for the group was 33,000. (Thats a TOTAL mind-fudge!). Two thirds were college graduates... many doctors, lawyers, scientists, professors, executives, etc. 2200 journal articles had been written by them, 92 books, 235 patents, and 38 novels. One individual was an oscar winning movie director, one was a famous science fiction writer.

The group was split into three sub-groups based on level of success. Attempts were made to determine what most seperated the lowest group from the top. The top group was more likely to demomnstrate "prudene and forethought, will power, perserverence, and the desire to excel." (achievement need).

Adult top groups showed only THREE personality differences... more goal-oriented, more perserverance, greater self-confidence. Winner in 1997 followed up on this, as did Brody, 1997 and Sternberg 1997 looking at broader ranges, and they all insist that intelligence is apparently NECESSARY for success in *any* field. That is to say that although there were many high-IQ people who were unsuccesful, there were no low-IQ people who were particularly succesful at anything. Now isn't that dreary? Sorry Forest Gump... (And yes, if you are picking it up, I do actively resent stupidity, sorry. I know it's mean.)

Among intelligent people personality factors already listed, especially achievement need, seems to be the critical determinant of who will and will not be succesful. Even more dreary, apparently even the high-scorers with the least desirable personality characteristics in the original study all did significantly better than average.

You can look at it and come to your own conclusions. This page here is fairly critical of the study so it might appeal to you more but it is a fair account of both sides of the issue still.

Succesful isn't necessarily a great word to use, but, essentially, any measure of success you can possible imagine other than things that are really extraneous are going to positively correlate with IQ. Even social skills, emotional intelligence, etc., positively correlates with IQ. ATHLETIC SUCCESS positively correlates with IQ (now isn't that mind-boggling?). Even height positively correlates with IQ.

Yes, it is true that IQ positively correlates with bad vision. Might relate to damage caused to the eyes by reading, some have suggested.

I don't think we should constrain people in life on the basis of what their IQ is, but we should be realistic in saying that someone with an IQ of say, 120, might make a better lock-pick than a Ph.D. The reality is that the intellect, which is a primarily heritable characteristic according to twin studies (Correlation= .85 among identicals seperated at birth! That's HUGE!), is the predominate determinant of success in our current society, and will be unless we some-day regress to a point where physical strength plays the major role.

I like to think about it this way. Picture a ghetto. In that ghetto imagine a gang. Now imagine the leader of that gang, the most-bad-ass-mother-fudgeer-on-the-front-lines who always manages to dodge the cops and not get his ass SHOT, bi-atch.

Chances are he has a significantly higher IQ than the other gang members.

posted 10-Feb-2003 11:02pm  
Intelligence isn't something that can be measured numerically.
(reply to Zang) posted 11-Feb-2003 12:41am  
Actually, I take back the social skills correlation. I'd really have to think a little more about this before I can say anything worthwhile.
(reply to cody) posted 11-Feb-2003 2:10am  
Well, that was certainly a lot more information than I was looking for, but you did answer my first question. I kind of suspected that success was measured by earnings and status-oriented achievements, which turned out to be correct. I didn't expect that the study would have selected such an exclusive group (as you say "<1 per hundred thousand"). Under those circumstances, the findings are hardly surprising at all. And then to start factoring in things like "will power, perseverance, and the desire to excel", it's obviously a foregone conclusion.

My first impression from your earlier statement was that you were referring to something more general and common, like say the top 33% of the population, rather than the top miniscule fraction of 1%.

Do you think that a study of statistical anomalies makes a good basis for a blanket-statement?
(reply to Zang) posted 11-Feb-2003 2:32am  
We'll, it would generally be stupid to make predictions for groups of individuals who are out-side the spectrum of the sample group, but in this particular case it's clear that the findings extrapolate.

If really smart people are REALLY succesful and there is a trend line in that group showing that the smarter they are the more succesful they are, and if REALLY stupid people are really unsuccesful (and that's A-Priori), it's simple enough to fill in the intermediary information. There has been research on these specific groups as well but the study I referenced had a $20,000,000 grant backing it (in 1921!!!!) so it is the only one that has followed a large group of people throughout their life-times. In retrospect they WAAAAAYYYYY over sampled the higher IQ ranges (the study had about 100 times the statistical power that it really needed) and they might as well have just selected a normal cross-section with some intentional over-sampling of the edges of the bell-curve.

Essentially though, in this case it isn't going to do any harm to extrapolate that the generalized trend of More IQ=More Success isn't just anomalous to the edges. Like I said, there are studies specifically addressing this but I don't have the time to research it right now.
(reply to Zang) posted 11-Feb-2003 2:38am  
Interesting chess games going on here.
(reply to cody) posted 11-Feb-2003 3:05am  
Okay, I'll take your word for it. I hope you see my point however. Although in this case, it may be the extreme end of a trend, statistical anomalies are more often ignored than cited.
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 11-Feb-2003 3:06am  
Hmmm? smiley:::smile
posted 11-Feb-2003 6:18am  
Not in the slightest.
A high score on an IQ test is simply a sign that you're good at that sort of test. Intelligence goes a long way beyond knowing which number/pattern/word/whatever comes next in the sequence.
posted 11-Feb-2003 6:20am  
Darn it. According to the world of Cody I'm foolish.

posted 11-Feb-2003 6:58am  
I`m not sure about this, if its the best or if it should be combined with other ways, I`m not sure.
posted 11-Feb-2003 7:36am  
Its only one of many. You can train to pass do better at IQ tests. I did a set and got better the more I did.

There are also a lot of questions which are cultural.

They also don't take into account common sense and creativity and social IQ. Very different if your using them to view employment prospects or educational achievement.
posted 11-Feb-2003 10:13am  
Not really. Maybe book smarts but not common sense and smarts through the real world. You'll never find on an IQ test "Your friend has a broken arm. What do you do?". Pathetic question, I know, just an example to get my point across though.
posted 11-Feb-2003 1:50pm  
Yes and no. IQ tests measure a particular subset of intelligence, and as a rule they measure it reasonably well. But it's a serious mistake to think that raw IQ scores are particularly useful on their own.
(reply to cody) posted 11-Feb-2003 1:56pm  
I think you're making the mistake of assuming that correlation implies causality. Yes, it's true that "successful" people usually are found to do well in IQ tests. But that's also because successful people are usually better educated, and research has also shown that good education will improve a person's ability to do IQ tests. So it's more likely that high-IQ scorers are those who have been taught, or who have taught themselves, the necessary skills to do well in the tests, and that these skills also happen to be the ones that tend to be most helpful in the academic and business worlds.
(reply to Zang) posted 11-Feb-2003 2:41pm  
If he learns from you, he will approach formidable (and scary). He thinks wide enough (within his concern), but on such a tight frequency of big picture deduction. I can imagine the cheerleaders going wild everytime someone pulls out a new trick like 'draw a slope between the two' or 'a generality exists because of an extreme?'.
One thing though. I saw just what sort of point you were making before you spelled it out. I worry Cody gets too lost in the concrete details, and misses the meaning someone is trying to convey at times. If he isn't, he does an excellent job at playing ignorant, and pushing his own argument through until details are thrown his way forcing a specific angle to be addressed. If he were a lawyer, I'd still have to keep him away from natural law cases for the time being.
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 11-Feb-2003 4:06pm  
Check your email.
posted 11-Feb-2003 5:39pm  
It depends on which IQ test you are talking about.
(reply to msgman) posted 11-Feb-2003 6:58pm  
The original IQ tests were done when the children were between 8 and 10. They were all public school students.

You can never KNOW that there is a causal relationship without doing a controlled study, but you can't exactly randomly assign people to the MIddle and High IQ groups, you know?

It's pretty clear to me-- more intellect CAUSES more success. I think you must know this is true as well. There are other factors playing into it, sure. The way I see it though, you can spend your life doing what most social scientists do, which is try to itemize these other factors, or you can call a spade a spade and say that even if we could somehow control for all other factors IQ would almost certainly show a significant correlation with most standard measures of success, like "income".

You raise a good point though, that's why I told Zang to come to his own conclusions.
(reply to Zang) posted 11-Feb-2003 7:01pm  
Absolutely true. Great point Zang. It's a bad idea to make assumptions outside of the data you have.
(reply to cody) posted 11-Feb-2003 7:39pm  
That wasn't my point. What I'm trying to say is that if you do a study, and you have analysed the data, let's say you plot the results on a graph...often you will get a great big cluster around the middle, and a couple of random points scattered elsewhere. A researcher will often ignore the "statistical anomalies" (random scattered bits). Can you understand why they might do this?

As far as making assumptions outside the data you have, that is a natural part of the human condition. Sometimes it is all we have to go on. Sometimes you are right and sometimes you are wrong...
(reply to Zang) posted 11-Feb-2003 8:30pm  
Oh, I understand. No, researchers wouldn't do that for a reliable measure like this. You do that on unreliable measures because it is possible that the data point was corrupt. IQ tests aren't prone to corruption like that... there's no way someone with a 100 IQ is going to accidentally score 160 on a test. So, yes, you raise a good point but it isn't reliable here.

Incidentally, I'm sitting in stats class right now and I decided to get to the heart of this.

I got out the US NEWS DATASET that they use to rank colleges (I love having the inside line) and I did some complex statistical analysis (well, the computer did), to answer one simple question--

What factors MOST influence a college's graduation rate?

And they are... in no particular order...

Whether the college is public or private...
In state tuition...



% of students who were in top 10% of high school class had ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING on graduation rates (p>.4)

For sat we have a correlation of 6.2% change in graduation rate for each 100 point change in SAT score. p<.0001.

So the critical determinant of whether a school will graduate a lot of students is how well they did on the SAT...

I know MSGMAN is thinking "correlation is not causation", but I just did a multiple regression on the other major variables in this analysis which CONTROLLED FOR %ile rank in high school class... in fact, the data set controlled for 4 other variables (TOP 10%, public/private,Alumni donations, in state tuition). Anything that MSG can imagine was possible confounding I've got data on and I'd be happy to rule it out by doing some more analysis... though it's pretty straight forward-- SAT IS A BETTER PREDICTOR OF GRADUATION RATES AT A SCHOOL THAN HIGH SCHOOL SUCCESS OF ACCEPTED STUDENTS. And SAT was a pretty good predictor. Standard error .008. (keep in mind we are talking about SAT-score units vs. percent graduation rates so it's a little cooky until you standardize it, but it is still low.)

There is still a lot of variation that is unaccounted for by the SAT data but I will remark that it is interesting that average SAT has a significant effect on graduation rates but % of students who did well in HS does not... interesting, no?

That APTITUDE test of basic intelligence has done it again.

(For MSG-- on the SAT data, which was the most significant predictor by far n=590, t=7, and of course therefore p<.000001 :).
(reply to msgman) posted 11-Feb-2003 9:30pm  
Also, I just read your post again and you are saying that these IQ test skills are skills that people "taught themselves" (which has truth to do it, definitely, they are tests of "concept mastery" and the reality is that you can teach people new concepts with some considerable coaxing.)

Consider this though-- taking your hypothesis for granted, what motivated them to teach themselves? Seperated at birth identical twins show correlations of .85 on intelligence (It's dangerous to call a trait "genetic" or non-genetic, but if ever there were a case where we could say that something is genetic, this is it. It is much more heritable than say, PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS such as motivation, goal-oriented behavior, etc.)...

So the question becomes, if IQ is more heritable than any identified personality characteristic, how can we attribute the scores on IQ tests to differences in personality? They are more heritable than the personality characteristics, therefore this intermediate step you are proposing is only possible if you can identify some sort of personality characteristic that has a heritability of .85, or about 4 times the heritability (as measured by seperated twin studies) of any currently known personality characteristic...

Any ideas what that might be?

Unless you can propose what this elusive personality characteristic is with a correlation coefficient that is unprecedented in the history of psychology, we've ruled out the possibility that a personality characteristic is playing a determinative role in IQ tests. I'm CERTAIN that personality characteristics, heritable or otherwise, are playing some role in the scores people get on the test, but the are relatively small compared to the effect of (genetically transmitted) basic innate intelligence on the test scores.

Isn't it simpler just to accept that we can shape a rudimentary concept of generalized cognitive ability, which results on high scores on IQ tests and also success in life by some measures-- and to accept that these IQ test scores are not a result of personality characteristics due to their being many times more heritable than any known personality characteristic?

Is this concept perfect? No. But the more resolution you want in terms of describing someone's abillities, the more complicated the measure has to be. A single number is simple, maybe overly simple, but still. And the IQ test has been designed so that scores on it are good predictors of generalized cognitive abillities as measured by other tests, and interviews, etc.

And now let's hypothesise that some non-personality, psychological characteristic other than IQ exists which is affecting these IQ scores... doesn't that characteristic BECOME a part of "G" by definition? Let's call this abillity something like "Internal and never socialized desire to think about things..."

Isn't this "high cognitive need" which is having such a profound effect on IQ scores but isn't manifesting itself in the external personality characteristics of the individual essentially "G". I never said G had to do with the structure of the brain-- no one has any idea... maybe it is a result of a genetic pre-disposition to have excessive neuro-cognitive activity surrounding external stimuli, which over time results in a lot of thinking, and thus the learning of numerous concepts, and an improvement in concept mastery skills, and then good scores on IQ tests... all of this happening before age 8. Isn't THAT "G"? Who ever said it was something structural or whatever?

And fudge, maybe all of these psychological events ARE ANALOGOUS to structural differences... I mean, essentially they must be on some level... mind is matter.

I hate to say it MSG, but I've got you on this one.

Yes, the scores are corrupted to a significant extent by motivational factors, but even accounting for this corruption there is statistical and practical significance to the correlation between IQ measured early and say, income later in life. There are numerous other factors which will have a significant impact on the degree of success a person experiences, and to simplify life success to the regression line for a single numerical score on a single test is nuts. However, even when every other factor imaginable is regressed along with it, you are going to see the major influence on income being that IQ score, with honorable mentions for motivational concerns, desirable personality characteristics, and physical characteristics.
(reply to msgman) posted 11-Feb-2003 9:46pm  
The danger of saying it isn't important lies in what you are talking about. Learning to master these concepts (and no one is born with concept mastery of anything, so it is all learned, yes), is important to IQ scores. IQ scores are important to life success..

Mastering these concepts is important to life success. Just admitting that will do good things for society as we can develop ways to guide people (especially young children) along the path of concept mastery, and increase their IQ. The "Head-Start" program takes for granted that IQ is measuring something meaningful and sets out with the goal of increasing it's students IQ's by preventing intellectual neglect from hurting them.

I don't know if you've seen the studies on smart-bred vs. dumb-bred rats in enriched vs. unenriched environments, but this is kind of the idea. For rats there are mazes to assess abillities, and we take for granted that the mazes are measuring some meaningful generalizable characteristic about the rats. In people we just use these tests that are like mental mazes, and we take for granted that we are measuring some meaningful generalizable characteristic of the people.

IQ right now is the best tool we have for this job. Sure, there are other things like "musical abillities" and social skills which are more difficult to quantify and which it is also important to nurture early on if the child is going to be good at them, but that's just plain out-side of the scope of the IQ test...

Saying the IQ test doesn't measure anything meaningful about intelligence would be like saying an aural-skills test doesn't measure anything meaningful about musical abillity.

And saying that the particular slice of "intelligence" that is measured by the common IQ tests doesn't predict anything meaningful about the life outcome of an individual is an idea that needs to do something impressive in order to stand up to the considerable research correlating the two variables and the reasoning I presented earlier.
(reply to cody) posted 11-Feb-2003 10:55pm  
I understand that SAT scores are an excellent indicator of American high school attendance. By correlating the data, it can be shown that 100% of people who did not attend high school in the United States, also didn't have an SAT score...and even more amazing, the converse was true as well! smiley:::wink

This goes back to my initial statement regarding testing in general. People who do well on tests tend to do well in other areas related to approval by authorities. It is an indicator of a certain personality type.
(reply to msgman) posted 11-Feb-2003 10:59pm  
"I hate to say it MSG, but I've got you on this one."

Now that doesn't sound the least bit self-congratulatory does it? smiley:::winking raspberry
posted 11-Feb-2003 11:31pm  
Pretty much. I've never met a stupid person with a high IQ. I have met very intelligent people with severe emotional problems and social inadequacies, but they are still brilliant.
(reply to Zang) posted 11-Feb-2003 11:58pm  
Zang, you and MSG are suffering from the same problem.

You want to attribute the relationship to some tangential factor instead of going with the obvious one. If the correlation doesn't back up my obvious causal schematic, it sure as hell doesn't back up your extraneous one. :).

It's fine to do what you are doing, but you are going to be wrong more often than not. What we need is we need a correlation between two variables, and then generally there is a fairly obvious relationship in terms of which is affecting which or what a third variable might be. There are always going to be some other factors slipping in there, but generally this isn't going to have a significant effect on the correlation coefficient. The way you do this, incidentally, is that you do a multiple regression with any other factors you want to blame. It is a simple statistical test and they are done all the time because people like you often try to argue that two variables which are obviously in a causal relationship are not in that causal relationship. Doing the multiple regression "weeds out" or controls for other factors and then we can find out if you are right or not.

What has to be done is that there has to be a study, and there have been studies addressing specifically what you are talking about.

"This goes back to my initial statement regarding testing in general. People who do well on tests tend to do well in other areas related to approval by authorities. It is an indicator of a certain personality type."

You've presented here a testable hypothesis as though it were true. Your testable hypothesis is either so obviously wrong that nobody has ever bothered to test it, or such an unbelievable show of genius that nobody has ever thought of it before, because there is no research on the specific subject of whether SAT scores correlate significantly with any of the tests of obedience to authority that are out.

I can tell you from seeing similar studies what it's going to tell you, but I'm sure you won't be convinced until you do the study yourself.

They aren't going to show a correlation of practical significance. You will eventually find a correlation of statistical significance if you include enough subjects, but the "r^2" or how much of the variance in SAT scores is attributable to this particular variable is going to be rather low, possible along the lines of .01 or .02.

My null hypothesis is that there is no way that the one variable you have supplied is having a significant effect on the scores.

If we bundled that together with every other personality factor imaginable that might influence scores on the test, we'd still see a fairly low correlation because the tests are designed to measure intellect instead of personality factors. They did research as the tests were being designed to try to eliminate any effects of the type of personality factors you are describing, and the research was well-controlled and the result is a test that does dodge these concerns as well as any test could be expected to.

If desire to be liked by authorities is the predominate factor in the score people are getting on these tests, it should be easy enough to prove. If you are right, your article will be published in the Journal of the American Psychological Association, without any doubt. Feel free to do the research Zang, but, don't be surprised when it doesn't pan out.
(reply to cody) posted 12-Feb-2003 12:16am  
You seem to have a profound delusion that we are having a major disagreement. I totally accept the gist of your position. I have already said as much.

I said:

"This goes back to my initial statement regarding testing in general. People who do well on tests tend to do well in other areas related to approval by authorities. It is an indicator of a certain personality type."

You responded:

You've presented here a testable hypothesis as though it were true. Your testable hypothesis is either so obviously wrong that nobody has ever bothered to test it, or such an unbelievable show of genius that nobody has ever thought of it before, because there is no research on the specific subject of whether SAT scores correlate significantly with any of the tests of obedience to authority that are out.

Now I respond:

No, I did not "present a testable hypothesis as though it were true", I presented a fairly vague and general statement with qualifiers like: "in general" and "tend to". I didn't even specify a test. You've said yourself that IQ tests and SAT scores corroborate this. I don't think that I'm really going out on a limb here.

You said:

" They did research as the tests were being designed to try to eliminate any effects of the type of personality factors you are describing, and the research was well-controlled and the result is a test that does dodge these concerns as well as any test could be expected to."

I respond:

I'd be very interested in finding out how they accomplished that.

(reply to Zang) posted 12-Feb-2003 12:57am  
No, no, I don't think we are having a major disagreement. I think you're one of the few people on SC who is reasonable and combined with my being reasonable it would be kind of tough for two reasonable people to have a profound disagreement on something because reason dictates certain things and will lead any two people to the same conclusion.

Your statement about correlating SAT and High School attendance struck me as though you were arguing that the predominate factor I'd described (intellect) wasn't the predominate factor and that instead you were suggesting the majority of the difference was a result of the alternative factor you supplied. I guess I misunderstood you.

There are standard methodologies for the type of controls on the tests I am talking about. The agency that runs SAT doesn't release the research related to their tests (for various and oftentimes obvious reasons) so I don't know specifically what they have done, but they employ countless Ph.D.'s in psychological testing and related subjects, so it's pretty clear that they are doing the research. It wouldn't have been any trouble for them to design good tests surrounding what I'm describing, if that's the issue.

The standard ways to do the tests on the tests would be multiple regression charts with people whom you have loads of data on (and if you need a sample group you just put the survey questions on the front page of the SAT TEST that year and people will answer them... (they do do this)), and then you try to figure out what factors are playing into the scores kids are getting... whether they studied, where they went to school, etc. There's a lot of information you give them when you register, and then they can get other data from your university once you start due to a form you never-knew-you-signed.

The data is available to them. I'm sure they do experiments as well, I can picture hundreds of variations on how to do such experiments myself.

Just trust me, there are ways. It's amazing how hard it can be to pack years of psychological learning into a post like this Zang, I'm sorry. There are just methods to do the research with, many of them are extremely clever but they were only invented once and then other people re-use them.

(reply to Zang) posted 12-Feb-2003 1:34am  
(reply to cody) posted 12-Feb-2003 2:35am  
More intellect is one of many factors that assist in achieving academic and financial success. But it's only one of the factors. As you point out yourself, determining causality could only be done with a tightly controlled study that is effectively impossible in human society. So all the rest of your comments are simply speculation, however plausible they may sound.
(reply to cody) posted 12-Feb-2003 4:14am  
"Started"? Gosh thanks! I've been meaning to get started. smiley:::grin

Here's an interesting bit from that link you just posted:

Test scores also correlate with measures of accomplishment outside of school, e.g. with adult occupational status. To some extent those correlations result directly from the tests' link with school achievement and from their roles as "gatekeepers." In the United States today, high test scores and grades are prerequisites for entry into many careers and professions. This is not quite the whole story, however: a significant correlation between psychometric intelligence and occupational status remains even when measures of education and family background have been statistically controlled. There are also modest (negative) correlations between intelligence test scores and certain undesirable behaviors such as juvenile crime. Those correlations are necessarily low: all social outcomes result from complex causal webs in which psychometric skills are only one factor.

(reply to cody) posted 12-Feb-2003 4:36am  
I think, by anomalous data, Zang didn't mean 160 IQ's, so much as using that population segment with 160 IQ's as the end of the success vector. It may be possible that those with 140 IQ's have dismissed placing value in material success, and only those eccentric tweaks with 160's lacking social sense so mightily prize success, perhaps even on the par with those with 100 IQ's. A larger body of 90 - 140's would make a better sample than the possibly anomolous example of 70 & 160 types.
I don't disagree with you or zang. and speaking of non-causal correlations, it could very well be that success (including SAT's and IQ tests) comes entirely down to how well one grooms their toe-nails.
(reply to cody) posted 12-Feb-2003 8:02am  
As usual, in some of your earlier statements you misunderstand logic.

"Y implies X" does not follow from "X implies Y".

You have shown in your earlier statements that intelligence implies high IQ. It is a very common logical mistake to then believe that high IQ implies intelligence. All that you can infer from "X implies Y" is that "not Y implies not X". You can infer nothing about the truth of "Y implies X".

It sounds good though, and is an easy way for someone who hates to lose arguments to confuse both himself and his audience.
posted 12-Feb-2003 2:58pm  
Yes, but it's only one of many ways to measure intelligence.
(reply to msgman) posted 12-Feb-2003 5:20pm  
"As you point out yourself, determining causality could only be done with a tightly controlled study that is effectively impossible in human society. So all the rest of your comments are simply speculation, however plausible they may sound."

You are overly skeptical, more skeptical than would be taken seriously in any of the major journals.

You can never know anything... you can always bring up things like this but all you are doing is obscuring what's being discussed instead of saying something meaningful about what the evidence is suggesting. You aren't telling me anything I didn't already know about the process, MSG, you are stonewalling.

The evidence is suggesting certain things. You can be "certain" of very little, but in as much as a 95% confidence interval is good enough to correlate two variables, so too is a good research base and a sound logical foundation enough to determine causation.

Intelligence, beyond any personality factors, is the primary predictor of life success. If you have to choose one aspect of a person which seperates the "successfull" from the unsuccesfull, this is it. If you understood more of the science behind the conclusions you'd have more confidence in them on a personal level.

I'm done arguing this particular subject with you because I don't feel like either of us are going to gain anything meaningful from it until you get a background in the research. The link I posted for Zang is good for you too probably.
(reply to anonymous) posted 12-Feb-2003 5:25pm  
A correlation coefficient is always reversable. If you reverse the dependent and independent variables the relationship will remain unchanged.

Any other questions that would have been addressed in a psych 101 class or high school statistics, had you bothered to take either before arguing with me about a statistical/psychological issue?
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 12-Feb-2003 5:39pm  
Could is a dangerous word Kristal. It could be that Zang is the only real human being in the world and that the rest of us are computers.

I'd thought that's what he meant originally, too, Kristal, but he clarified. It did kind of seem like that was what he was saying.
(reply to anonymous) posted 12-Feb-2003 5:48pm  
(Addendum)-- For the population sampled. That doesn't apply in this case because IQ tests sample the general population as opposed to some sub-set, but I wouldn't want you to get confused in other cases where specific populations have been sampled.

For instance, you couldn't sample a bunch of Alzeihmers patients and discover that 90% of them have gray hair, and then turn around and say, "90% of people with gray hair have Alzeihmers."

But if you find a correlation between TWO NUMERICAL VARIABLES such as %gray hair and %Alzeihmers symptoms, then in that group the correlation does go both ways.

You are confusing inter-group comparisons with comparisons of two numerical variables. In the general population, if two numerical variables correlate (such as "theoretical IQ" and "Tested IQ") the correlation is the same whether it's coming or going.

Before MSG points it out, the causal relationship only goes one way (the high theoretical IQ was causing the high tested IQ), and that can't be reversed, but if there is a correlation of say .1 between gray hair % and number of alzeihmers symptoms in a sample of the general population there is also going to be a correlation of equal value between numbr of alzeihmers symptoms and gray hair % in those samples.

posted 12-Feb-2003 8:00pm  
IQ tests do not measure intelligence, at least not enough to qualify as a true measure of intelligence. What most people mistakenly call intelligence is simply knowledge, absorbed by living in a certain environment. A child may seem to be a genius at math, yet may simply be an average child with physicist parents. IQ tests ask questions dealing with supposedly common knowledge, or with things that the writers of the tests felt that smart people should know. A true measure of intelligence is nearly impossible anyway, as there are so many kinds of "intelligence", from the kid who can solve complex quadratic equations in his head to the kid who can draw a portrait of a person that looks exactly like that person, to a kid who can always sweet-talk himself out of a situation, to a kid who is simply a natural leader, and who always has a group of people around him willing to listen to him.

Intelligence is not something that can be easily measured, and the very notion of a test that can be given to everybody and that is guaranteed to give you an accurate idea of their intelligence is ridiculous. So no, I do not believe that IQ tests, or any tests of that nature, are anything other than a very general idea of a person's knowledge.
(reply to Zang) posted 12-Feb-2003 8:23pm  
I've just read your interesting chat with Cody. I really liked the discussion. Made me think a lot. Keep up the good arugments! :)
(reply to cody) posted 12-Feb-2003 8:24pm  
Cody, remind me never to openly disagree with you over anything. You'll just drown me in statistical data that's way beyond my grasp anyway. You did make some nice points, though.
(reply to mrnemo15) posted 13-Feb-2003 1:44am  
We'll try! I promise to do my best to keep up my end anyway... smiley:::smile
(reply to cody) posted 13-Feb-2003 2:33am  
I am surprised that you are as trusting of science as you are. For someone who is otherwise determined to present himself as young and radical, you are extraordinarily willing to take the pronouncements of scientists and researchers as gospel. I suspect that my scepticism is primarily because I am older and much more experienced than you.

Remember, there is no such thing as an absolute certainty in science, and anyone who tells you there is is no scientist. All the science we have is simply the best current knowledge.
(reply to cody) posted 13-Feb-2003 3:18am  
In the context of SC that could almost be true except that I've met a couple folks here, and had telepathic communications with some others. When I first arrived here I did seriously consider the possibility. One of my handles at the time here was even Turin (both as in '..test', and 'shroud of..').
(reply to msgman) posted 13-Feb-2003 2:13pm  
Your skepticism is a result of not experiencing the science first hand. Scientists are always very skeptical MSG, but some conclusions are more certain than others.

It's like Christian Apologists who try to argue for the reasonableness of the religion on the basis that "science isn't sure of anything."

Some things are simply concluded, unchangable, realities of the sciences-- even the social ones. There are basic ideas that have been researched to death and exist in a state of very high certainty. There is no doubt where the truth lies in these situations.

Hearing "science has determined this" is something I'd be skeptical of. But when you've read the articles and actively questioned the logic, as I do, you eventually realize that there comes a point where you can't question the conclusions anymore and expect to be taken seriously. The scientific method is extremely exact, and the major journals are very good about ensuring that it is followed through their open forum policies where all realistic view-points are discussed.

And if you think you can, you do a study or publish an article. I wish science had more flaws-- the reality is that finding them is tough.
(reply to cody) posted 13-Feb-2003 3:11pm  
I have experienced considerably more science than you have, by an order of magnitude. And you are merely showing your own ignorance by making claims for science that simply don't hold up. I would advise you to stop making unsupported claims, before you make yourself look even more of a fool than you already are.
(reply to cody) posted 13-Feb-2003 5:11pm  
Sometimes it is the very exactness of science which makes it invalid. Science limits the domain and variables, and takes very strict relationships for granted, and then human nature is to take a domain as limited as say mathematics and expect to apply it as a generality outside of a studies domain. We can never replicate a controlled environment as broad as reality itself. The larger understanding of scientists is no less a hunch than anyone else is going on, yet they can delude themselves in the same fashion that a person will have greater faith in digital intruments, ignoring that the sensors are analog. I'm reminded of a NASA scientist I once knew who created a device called an 'impulse generator' for turning mechanical motion (an engine) into force vectors independent of space and gravity. He had volumes of formulae and computer simulations to prove his theory, but he wouldn't listen to me when I pointed out that he never even considered that he was forgetting more formulas which created an opposite force. He was booted off the Lunar Module team and thinks to this day it was office politics or some conspiracy against his brilliance. That's the danger of thinking a limited variable set has greater implications. Religious nuts do it, but so do scientists. Medical science, the composition of the sun, gravity, matter: all these understandings are superceded by new ones when we get new tools and templates of creation behavior. What einstein did to newton, someone else will do to hocking. The most brilliant of scientists are generally the ones that embrace that they DON'T know how it works. Don't fall into closed-minded traps.
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 13-Feb-2003 6:39pm  
That's my city.
(reply to msgman) posted 13-Feb-2003 11:53pm  
You haven't experienced THIS science, MSG. What is your background in psychology, specifically? Unless there's some bomb that you've been waiting to drop, it's clear to me from the way you are forming your arguments that you don't have any knowledge that is directly relevant to this discussion.

Today, I raised these questions with two people. The first has a Ph.D. in Psychology, emphasis statistics, and the second has a Ph.D. in Behavioral Genetics.

I said, "Given the fact that you can only establish cause with 100% certainty with a controlled study, do you think it is reasonable to establish cause in a situation based on a sound argument and a good research base of correlations?"

The statistician nodded in generalized agreement. He said, "You'll be wrong sometimes, but, often that's the best you have to go on."

I asked him specifically if there were people who drag their feet intentionally on these kinds of things and are anal about the lack of specific controlled studies.

He thought for a minute and said essentially what I'm saying, which was, that there comes a point where you just have to cut through the crap and say something is established. He cited a few examples.

1) I can't remember the name he said but there was a statistician who refined the multiple regression test and therefore had the "F" statistic that you see named after him. He argued his whole life that correlation doesn't suggest a causal relationship. One of his big arguments was against tobacco and cancer correlations. He said they were merely correlations. The irony of course is that he was a smoker and eventually died of lung cancer.

2) The first time Polio vaccine was administered nationally, 1/2 of the school-children received a placebo because someone "wanted more data". He said this was absurd and he never likes to hear people say, "We need more data." when there is clearly enough for a reasonable person to be convinced of something. He said that there comes a point where consensus are formed on things and nobody is making an argument against them that is being taken seriously.

I asked him specifically about IQ tests in general, and their validity. He said, "Their validity for what?" (Paraphrasing).

And I said, "Do they measure something meaningful about an individual?"

He said of course they measure something meaningful, they measure intelligence. He looked at me like it was an extremely stupid question and I decided to end the conversation there.

The behavioral genetics Ph.D. said, and I quote,

"IQ is the most solidly based research area in all of behavioral genetics, due to the # of studies that have been done on it."

(From here I am paraphrasing.)

"There is no reasonable case to be made that the figure does not reflect something meaningful about an individual. If it didn't reflect something meaningful, people wouldn't be studying it. (He tangentially added.) There is no reasonable case to be made that variation in IQ in the US population isn't primarily accountable to genetic factors."

I asked if he would agree that it was the single best variable for predicting life success. He pulled a Zang and said, "Define life success."

I said "Income and level of educational attainment." He thought about it for a few minutes and said, "I can't imagine anything that would correlate more with educational level than IQ..." And he kind of suggested it was obvious.

He went on about the personality factors, I asked him if they were secondary, he said, "I don't like to think of anything as "secondary", but, certainly they aren't playing the role that intelligence does. I mean, look at the situation, we are talking about level of educational attainment..."

And went on to explain how intuitive it was that intellect was going to be tied to that.

This was before class, so during class, he took about 15 minutes to say a lot more about intelligence.

These are appeals to authority but I encourage you to read into them as far as you wish.

(reply to msgman) posted 14-Feb-2003 12:51am  
Just to remind you what the scientific basis of your argument is, in case you had forgotten...

"But that's also because successful people are usually better educated, and research has also shown that good education will improve a person's ability to do IQ tests. So it's more likely that high-IQ scorers are those who have been taught, or who have taught themselves, the necessary skills to do well in the tests, and that these skills also happen to be the ones that tend to be most helpful in the academic and business worlds."

You said, "It's more likely." and now you are attacking me?

No, it's not more likely, it's impossible because infant IQ tests correlate at a rate of about .33 with later on IQ tests. The reason they don't correlate better is because it's difficult for obvious reason to measure an infants IQ, and because IQ, being related to age, is prone to being affected by developmental differences so there is more variation at a young age than there would be later on.

So the idea that people have "taught themselves" these skills is not a primary factor in the situation.

There are also strong correlations between seperated at birth identical twins, and, like I said before, there are no personality characteristics that are as heritable as IQ so therefore your intermediary personality step doesn't work.
(reply to cody) posted 14-Feb-2003 2:30am  
Excuse me, I have no study to back me up, but I think it's safe to say that income (one's own, one's parents, one's estimation of their future income, other's estimation of one's future income) has much more to do with level of educational attainment than IQ. Few people spend a dozen years in junior colleges, not willing to gamble on coming up with $60k in the future. Either they land the $60k somehow, or quit school and go to work. It is a precondition, which will then be followed the secondary condition of having enough IQ to handle the classes. This is exactly the sort of example I meant when I said the danger of science is mistaking a few control variable correlations for the big picture. Throw in the money variable, and it turns out that those who are successful in school were raised by parents successful enough to pay for the kids college. That in turn had both a genetic and environmental effect on the childs IQ. However, I'm sure that if the study was done done at tuition free colleges they would (incidental to the former primary condition) still find that IQ correlated with education level of attainment. Statistical science could probably prove anything, if the right variables were chosen. I think the next tier of statistical science should be a means of ascertaining if the control variables themselves were chosen correctly. 'The 2nd derivative of variable sampling' so to say, and even then, how is one to know when the actual variables that count were outside of the entire domain of consideration? I can see some scientist 300 years from now saying 'ah yes, but they entirely missed the primary variable, the effect of fractalling sub-neutrino-flux matter-juxtaposition-composition on dendryte-configuration when Pluto is in Capricorn.'
(reply to cody) posted 14-Feb-2003 10:35am  
What is your background, cody? How old are you? How many years experience do you have of working in a science-based environment? What is your college degree in? What doctorate level research have you carried out?

Answer these questions, and I might start to take you a bit more seriously. But, at the moment, you're just behaving like a typical arrogant teenager who can't accept that his knowledge isn't exhaustive. Prove to me that you know how to *learn*, instead of just repeating what you're read, and then I'll explain to you what you need to understand.
(reply to Zang) posted 14-Feb-2003 11:16am  
Just in case you're not following this survey anymore, I thought you'd be interested to know that young cody here has turned "pulled a Zang" into a figure of speech.
(reply to msgman) posted 14-Feb-2003 3:52pm  
Three years of classes, many psychology courses, 1/2 year at a major research institution in the field. 4.0 Psychology GPA. 20 credits in directly relevant psychological fields.

My current research which is on the same level as what graduate students at most universities are carrying out focuses around the Stroop Effect (I'll admit that grad students at THIS University are doing even more promising research, but I'm comparing this to typical school). I am attacking some conclusions drawn by researcher Ardi Roelofs at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. He recently published a 100 page paper in the Psychological Review on the subject of attentional control during Stroop Task.

By complete coincidence I had read an obscure paper that contained information that 0contradicts the Roelof's Theory.

Roelofs had said that the reason that the Stroop Effect fairs to reverse under stimulus onset asynchrony circumstances is due to the "verbal" part of the Glasser and Glasser (1989) model actually being composed of two seperate pieces... the Lemma and the Word-Form. He argued that information cannot pass from the lemma to the Word-Form without being flagged by the anterior cingulate. This was a plausible theory but had a major flaw... but not so obvious.

In a task paralell to the Stroop Task, the Durgin Reverse Stroop (2001), the effects ALSO fail to reverse under SOA conditions. However, you cannot break down the concept-oriented area of the brain that the Durgin effects are occuring in under the set of rules which Roelofs is suggesting for the Verbal area.

The Roelofs rules for the Verbal area seperation into lemma and word form are entirely based on linguistic principals which have no paralells in the color-concept center where Durgin's obscure research focused. Needless to say, this brings into question whether the Roelofs idea works.

My work in the area specifically is to reproduce the Roelofs and Durgin experiments (which I've written a program for and tested), and then later on I have two other paths...

The first is to find out if the reversals show some influence in subjects where there may be problem breaking down the lemma (whole words) into word forms (syllables and letters). Assuming Roelofs is right there should be noteworthy differences in reversals between dyslexics and controls on this reversal.

Later, I intend to do the experiment with graphemic based languages like Korean and Japanese, on Korean and Japanese subjects, because again, you can't break down the verbal area into lemma and word-form in these languages.

When that's not keeping me busy, I've got what is currently a half-baked set of theories that one day will change the way we look at complex systems... especially complex cognitive systems. For now there needs to be some work done to refine them. The truth is that it is all kind of obvious--

It turns out that any system that displays a certain noise in the results it produces tends to aggregate at the extremes (as opposed to regress to the means, which is the current theory for everything). This idea that there are all these different systems that tend to aggregate at the extremes allows us a new way to look at such issues as evolution and decision making. WHY are decisions made? Because it is the basic nature of the cognitive system which makes the decision, due to it's meeting certain criteria, to have attractor basins at the extremes... and therefore decisions will be made as opposed to the null hypothesis of minds that don't stay stable over time. This explains why the "low-ball" technique works... the system falls into a stable "yes" decision state, and it takes quite a POP to get it out of there. So even after the seller comes back and changes the arrangement... the system's already made the decision.

For the first time in history, I've explained a social reality in detail at the *systemic* level. We always knew this happened, but for the first time, I am saying WHY it happened. In the past there have been Biological, Social, Psychological (internal), Chemical, Medical, etc. etc. etc. explanations for human behavior. People got locked into this early and current researchers are not able to view it in the way I am viewing it... as an entire system. I can describe what is happening based on the characteristics of the entire system. It should be as promising as the biological theories once were. There are other people looking at these types of things (obviously it's a huge field known as cognitive science), but everyone else is focusing on learning, as a tool for writing programs, but I am focusing on the simpler and more unviersal aspects of these systems. Why, for instance, if you drum your index fingers on the table such that one is going up as the other is going down, can you do it easily at low speeds but not at all at high speeds? Well, I didn't answer THIS particular question, but someone at MIT did and I'm on board for using similar logic elsewhere. Systems theory is the closest to an "ultimate theory of everything" that the world has ever seen. For the past few centuries, science has focused on breaking large complex systems down into their components. My research, and the research of many others, will usher in the time where we FINALLY put it all back together! Gestalt!!!!!!!

I think in the past people did look at whole systems, but they were wrong about a lot (I mean way back millenia ago). Now we have broken them down and we can put them back together again and see them correctly. Huge finds will come from this.

For now the theory needs complex cognitive modeling to be demonstrated, and that entails computer skills I am only now working on developing. Additionally I need to do more research because it is possible that someone has thought of something relevant to these types of ideas before (though I haven't seen anything in many books I've read and articles). It will be several years before anything comes of it.

The theory also explains why HUMAN evolution has been able to occur so quickly. Normally you'd expect regression to the mean in terms of IQ, etc, but my theory demonstrates that because the human evolutionary system overall displays certain characteristics, there is a tendency for it to move towards the extremes. Generally, I'm just saying that there are "subsets" of the population... people mate with people who are similar to them (similiarity), and therefore the reality is that characteristics are more on "Brownian Walk" patterns than random patterns, and therefore instead of regression to the mean over successive generations we'd expect a slow move away from the mean towards the two extremes. At each extreme is an absorbing barrier for the system where, if the characteristic becomes any more pronounced, the organism will die. On a normal Brownian walk these absorbers would act as reflectors. Because the absorbers represent death of the organism, they don't have the potential to reflect in future generations. So what happens with people and other socially developed animals is that even without "natural selection" there is a tendency for the population to drift significantly over time towards extremes. Even without selection, I'm saying, the population will slowly segregate itself into camps where there are characteristics in opposition to one another, and they will display the extremes of these characteristics. I've got a class now but I'd love to tell you more later.

Now, how much of that did you understand? Most of it?

MSG, again, you have absolutely no relevant experience to the particular field that is being addressed? I KNOW MORE ABOUT PSYCHOLOGY THAN YOU EVER WILL, MSG!

Just accept it and move on. Whatever your area(S) of expertise happens to be, which you are being elusive about, I'm sure you know much much more about it than I do. This area is one in which you know absolutely nothing, and that is clear. The scientific theory you presented for IQ's had been addressed by existing research and therefore is not correct. When you posted it, my mind immediately went to the research disproving it. If you had the background in THIS PARTICULAR FIELD that I do, you would have realized that and posted something more plausible...

(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 14-Feb-2003 3:59pm  
Sorry Kristal, I don't have time to address everything, but...

When you do a multiple regression on Education Vs. IQ Vs. Income (as the dependent), the coefficient for IQ is bigger. This is because any relationship between IQ and Education (as long as IQ was measured BEFORE the education) will have IQ as the independent and education as the dependent.

The relationship between the two therefore is one where you have to subtract the fact that education is just another measure of IQ from the Education/income coefficient, and it all becomes clear. This is MSG and I's argument, he's trying to argue that the IQ is dependent or that there is a third variable. IQ can't be dependent because we can measure it from very young ages, hell, even using mechanical/electrical devices. A third variable influencing both is unlikely because of the same reason and because IQ correlates so well in twins reared apart. (Though, children are generally adopted into families that are similar to their birth families so consider that when looking at the R of .85).
(reply to cody) posted 14-Feb-2003 6:06pm  
You haven't answered all of my questions. Until you do, I see no reason to take you seriously.
(reply to msgman) posted 14-Feb-2003 6:29pm  
MSG, the number of years that someone has worked in a lab inversely correlates with the quality of research they do. The old theory that good ideas come young prior to the "culling" phase turns out to be correct.

What happens is that if you don't get the ideas young they are culled during the teenage years when the brain is streamlining operations and you get stuck in the way of thinking that everyone else does and you aren't going to make any major break-throughs. Einstein's Relativity is something he had been thinking about since he was a child. Mozart had been writing music since a very very young age... (it wasn't as good as the later music, but it was based on the same understandings.)

I'm 17. I have an extensive knowledge of all fields related to psychology due to many years of study and a reasonably high IQ.

I haven't worked in a "scientifically oriented field," but I have been a research assistant (unpaid) in psychological labs which you haven't so that essentially negates that point. My degree WILL be in psychology, which out-does yours... which I'm guessing is in chemistry.

What I'm saying isn't anything extraordinary, it is the type of information you'll learn if you have 101 with an honest teacher or if you have read any of the relevant literature. There are some straight-forward conclusions.

There are a lot of not-so-intelligent "social theorists" and whoever who try to stir up rhetoric. There are always going to be people who are fighting the truth because they don't like the social implications, it is a lot like the catholic church did on several subjects.

You have failed to demonstrate even an understanding of the science you are attacking, and as such, I'm disinterested in continuing the secondary and tertiary aspects of this discussion.

I encourage you to address the science that I have hit you over the head with.

If you walked into my apartment and looked around this argument would be over. I've got 25 psychologically oriented books scatterred across the floow, and to my right there is a DSM, and to my left there is a stack of studies which I'd estimate at totalling 1000+ pages (many of which on intelligence because our discussion has stirred my interest). Under my sink I've got a cardboard box filled with old studies I'd printed and read... and three card-board boxes filled with journals that I subscribe to.

This doesn't even get into all the articles that are only available in print that I've read... fifty or more on this topic alone, well over a hundred on Stroop....

or any of the books I've returned (I wonder if I can "audit" my library account?) on this and related subjects after reading them. This is all I do msg, essentially, is study people.

The problem is that you are mistaking this particular issues for one of the more controversial ones. The only place this research is controversial is in the press and in journals without good review processes. In the major journals there is nearly unanimous agreement on a list of 25 points related to IQ, which address everything that is being said here.
(reply to cody) posted 14-Feb-2003 7:00pm  
You're 17. So, you have no experience working in a science related environment, you haven't studied to degree level and you have carried out no research yourself. And you expect me to take you seriously. Yeah, right.

This week, I've been responsible for a 15 year old kid on work experience. And he was a heck of a lot more mature in his attitude that you are. And I predict he'll go much further.

Come back when you've grown up a bit.

(reply to msgman) posted 14-Feb-2003 7:01pm  
Since the publication of "The Bell Curve," many commentators have offered
opinions about human intelligence that misstate current scientific evidence.
Some conclusions dismissed in the media as discredited are actually firmly

This statement outlines conclusions regarded as mainstream among researchers
on intelligence, in particular, on the nature, origins, and practical
consequences of individual and group differences in intelligence. Its aim is
to promote more reasoned discussion of the vexing phenomenon that the
research has revealed in recent decades. The following conclusions are fully
described in the major textbooks, professional journals and encyclopedias in

The Meaning and Measurement of Intelligence

1. Intelligence is a very general mental capability that, among other
things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think
abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from
experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or
test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability
for comprehending our surroundings--"catching on," "making sense" of
things, or "figuring out" what to do.

2. Intelligence, so defined, can be measured, and intelligence tests
measure it well. They are among the most accurate (in technical terms,
reliable and valid) of all psychological tests and assessments. They do
not measure creativity, character personality, or other important
differences among individuals, nor are they intended to.

3. While there are different types of intelligence tests, they all measure
the same intelligence. Some use words or numbers and require specific
cultural knowledge (like vocabulary). Others do not, and instead use
shapes or designs and require knowledge of only simple, universal
concepts (many/few, open/closed, up/down).

4. The spread of people along the IQ continuum, from low to high, can be
represented well by the bell curve (in statistical jargon, the "normal
curve"). Most people cluster around the average (IQ 100). Few are
either very bright or very dull: About 3% of Americans score above IQ
130 (often considered the threshold for "giftedness"), with about the
same percentage below IQ 70 (IQ 70-75 often being considered the
threshold for mental retardation).

5. Intelligence tests are not culturally biased against American blacks or
other native-born, English-speaking peoples in the U.S. Rather, IQ
scores predict equally accurately for all such Americans, regardless of
race and social class. Individuals who do not understand English well
can be given either a nonverbal test or one in their native language.

6. The brain processes underlying intelligence are still little
understood. Current research looks, for example, at speed of neural
transmission, glucose (energy) uptake, and electrical activity of the
brain, uptake, and electrical activity of the brain.

Group Differences

7. Members of all racial-ethnic groups can be found at every IQ level. The
bell curves of different groups overlap considerably, but groups often
differ in where their members tend to cluster along the IQ line. The
bell curves for some groups (Jews and East Asians) are centered
somewhat higher than for whites in general. Other groups (blacks and
Hispanics) ale centered somewhat lower than non-Hispanic whites.

8. The bell curve for whites is centered roughly around IQ 100; the bell
curve for American blacks roughly around 85; and those for different
subgroups of Hispanics roughly midway between those for whites and
blacks. The evidence is less definitive for exactly where above IQ 100
the bell curves for Jews and Asians are centered.

Practical Importance

9. IQ is strongly related, probably more so than any other single
measurable human trait, to many important educational, occupational,
economic, and social outcomes. Its relation to the welfare and
performance of individuals is very strong in some arenas in life
(education, military training), moderate but robust in others (social
competence), and modest but consistent in others (law-abidingness).
Whatever IQ tests measure, it is of great practical and social

10. A high IQ is an advantage in life because virtually all activities
require some reasoning and decision-making. Conversely, a low IQ is
often a disadvantage, especially in disorganized environments. Of
course, a high IQ no more guarantees success than a low IQ guarantees
failure in life. There are many exceptions, but the odds for success in
our society greatly favor individuals with higher IQs.

11. The practical advantages of having a higher IQ increase as life
settings become more complex (novel, ambiguous, changing,
unpredictable, or multifaceted). For example, a high IQ is generally
necessary to perform well in highly complex or fluid jobs (the
professions, management): it is a considerable advantage in moderately
complex jobs (crafts, clerical and police work); but it provides less
advantage in settings that require only routine decision making or
simple problem solving (unskilled work).

12. Differences in intelligence certainly are not the only factor affecting
performance in education, training, and highly complex jobs (no one
claims they are), but intelligence is often the most important. When
individuals have already been selected for high (or low) intelligence
and so do not differ as much in IQ, as in graduate school (or special
education), other influences on performance loom larger in comparison.

13. Certain personality traits, special talents, aptitudes, physical
capabilities, experience, and the like are important (sometimes
essential) for successful performance in many jobs, but they have
narrower (or unknown) applicability or "transferability" across tasks
and settings compared with general intelligence. Some scholars choose
to refer to these other human traits as other "intelligences."

Source and Stability of Within-Group Differences

14. Individuals differ in intelligence due to differences in both their
environments and genetic heritage. Heritability estimates range from
0.4 to 0.8 (on a scale from 0 to 1), most thereby indicating that
genetics plays a bigger role than does environment in creating IQ
differences among individuals. (Heritability is the squared correlation
of phenotype with genotype.) If all environments were to become equal
for everyone, heritability would rise to 100% because all remaining
differences in IQ would necessarily be genetic in origin.

15. Members of the same family also tend to differ substantially in
intelligence (by an average of about 12 IQ points) for both genetic and
environmental reasons. They differ genetically because biological
brothers and sisters share exactly half their genes with each parent
and, on the average, only half with each other. They also differ in IQ
because they experience different environments within the same family.

16. That IQ may be highly heritable does not mean that it is not affected
by the environment. Individuals are not born with fixed, unchangeable
levels of intelligence (no one claims they are). IQs do gradually
stabilize during childhood, however, and generally change little

17. Although the environment is important in creating IQ differences, we do
not know yet how to manipulate it to raise low IQs permanently. Whether
recent attempts show promise is still a matter of considerable
scientific debate.

18. Genetically caused differences are not necessarily irremediable
(consider diabetes, poor vision, and phenal keton uria), nor are
environmentally caused ones necessarily remediable (consider injuries,
poisons, severe neglect, and some diseases). Both may be preventable to
some extent.

Source and Stability of Between-Group Differences

19. There is no persuasive evidence that the IQ bell curves for different
racial-ethnic groups are converging. Surveys in some years show that
gaps in academic achievement have narrowed a bit for some races, ages,
school subjects and skill levels, but this picture seems too mixed to
reflect a general shift in IQ levels themselves.

20. Racial-ethnic differences in IQ bell curves are essentially the same
when youngsters leave high school as when they enter first grade.
However, because bright youngsters learn faster than slow learners,
these same IQ differences lead to growing disparities in amount learned
as youngsters progress from grades one to 12. As large national surveys
continue to show, black 17- year-olds perform, on the average, more
like white 13-year-olds in reading, math, and science, with Hispanics
in between.

21. The reasons that blacks differ among themselves in intelligence appear
to be basically the same as those for why whites (or Asians or
Hispanics) differ among themselves. Both environment and genetic
heredity are involved.

22. There is no definitive answer to why IQ bell curves differ across
racial-ethnic groups. The reasons for these IQ differences between
groups may be markedly different from the reasons for why individuals
differ among themselves within any particular group (whites or blacks
or Asians). In fact, it is wrong to assume, as many do, that the reason
why some individuals in a population have high IQs but others have low
IQs must be the same reason why some populations contain more such high
(or low) IQ individuals than others. Most experts believe that
environment is important in pushing the bell curves apart, but that
genetics could be involved too.

23. Racial-ethnic differences are somewhat smaller but still substantial
for individuals from the same socioeconomic backgrounds. To illustrate,
black students from prosperous families tend to score higher in IQ than
blacks from poor families, but they score no higher, on average, than
whites from poor families.

24. Almost all Americans who identify themselves as black have white
ancestors-the white admixture is about 20%, on average--and many
self-designated whites, Hispanics, and others likewise have mixed
ancestry. Because research on intelligence relies on self-
classification into distinct racial categories, as does most other
social-science research, its findings likewise relate to some unclear
mixture of social and biological distinctions among groups (no one
claims otherwise).

Implications for Social Policy

25. The research findings neither dictate nor preclude any particular
social policy, because they can never determine our goals. They can,
however, help us estimate the likely success and side-effects of
pursuing those goals via different means.

The following professors-all experts in intelligence an allied fields-have
signed this statement:

Richard D. Arvey, University of Minnesota
Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., University of Minnesota
John B. Carroll, U.N.C. at Chapel Hill
Raymond B. Cattell, University of Hawaii
David B. Cohen, U.T. at Austin
Rene W. Dawis, University of Minnesota
Douglas K. Detterman, Case Western Reserve U.
Marvin Dunnette, University of Minnesota
Hans Eysenck, University of London
Jack Feldman, Georgia Institute of Technology
Edwin A. Fleishman, George Mason University
Grover C. Gilmore, Case Western Reserve U.
Robert A. Gordon, Johns Hopkins University
Linda S. Gottfredsen, University of Delaware
Richard J. Haier, U.C. Irvine
Garrett Hardin, U.C. Berkeley
Robert Hogan, University of Tulsa
Joseph M. Horn, U.T. at Austin
Lloyd G. Humphreys, U.Ill. at Champaign-Urbana
John E. Hunter, Michigan State University
Seymour W. Itzkoff, Smith College
Douglas N. Jackson, U. of Western Ontario
James J. Jenkins, U. of South Florida
Arthur R. Jensen, U.C. Berkeley
Alan S. Kaufman, University of Alabama
Nadeen L. Kaufman, Cal. School of Prof. Pshch., S.D.
Timothy Z. Keith, Alfred University
Nadine Lambert, U.C. Berkeley
John C. Loehlin, U.T. at Austin
David Lubinski, Iowa State University
David T. Lykken, University of Minnesota
Richard Lynn, University of Ulster at Coleraine
Paul E. Meehl, University of Minnesota
R. Travis Osborne, University of Georgia
Robert Perloff, University of Pittsburg
Robert Plomin, Institute of Psychiatry, London
Cecil R. Reynolds Texas A&M University
David C. Rowe University of Arizona
J. Philippe Rushton U. of Western Ontario
Vincent Sarich, U.C. Berkeley
Sandra Scarr, University of Virginia
Frank L. Schmidt University of Iowa
Lyle F. Schoenfeldt, Texas A&M University
James C. Sharf, George Washington University
Julian C. Stanley, Johns Hopkins University
Del Theissen, U.T. at Austin
Lee A. Thompson, Case Western Reserve U.
Robert M. Thorndike, Western Washington University
Philip Anthony Vernon, U. of Western Ontario
Lee Willerman, U.T. at Austin

Discussion over. Pay careful attention to 9-14.

Any other questions? The document, BTW, is entitled "Mainstream science on intelligence."
(reply to msgman) posted 14-Feb-2003 7:02pm  
Did you read my post MSG? Your IQ must be low or something.

I've carried out PLENTY of research. Give me your email and I'll send you a paper. I haven't FINISHED my empirical research yet if that's what you are getting at, though I have run several subjects and I'll send you the data if you'd really like (though, it's over your head, and I fudgeed something up so it's not good for anything.).
(reply to cody) posted 14-Feb-2003 7:05pm  
Quoting stuff you've read is no substitute for real knowledge. Everytime you write stuff here, it becomes more and more clear that you have nothing more than a superficial understanding of it.

Do you realise how foolish you are making yourself look here? I really enjoy taking the piss out of jumped up little pillocks. This is the best fun I've had in ages.
(reply to msgman) posted 14-Feb-2003 7:15pm  
Did you read that paper? I am arguing for my points. Part of arguing for points is supplying references. I was happy to argue this with you from a scientific perspective but it became clear that you weren't understanding, at which point I casually inquired as to whether you happened to be involved in the field or whether you had any related knowledge? You dodged these inquiries so it turns out that no, you do not know.

The person who looks foolish is you.

You have no background in psychology and you argued with me by saying something which was factually incorrect. I have an extensive background in psychology and this argument was won before it began because you said something unbelievably stupid.

I explained it to you, and you never again addressed any of the main points. You did not address my twin-studies evidence, you did not address my reference to APA journal articles, and most importantly, you didn't address my logic or my argument.

You have no background in this field. You are in over your head. You also don't appear to be very bright, no offense.

Remember when we argued about rats? You realize Biggles noted a few weeks ago that I had been right (she majors in biology at oxford?).

Stop Ad-Homineming me, and lets argue the points. My understanding of the research is so far beyond yours that you will never catch up. It's that simple.

Whatever you do, I'm sure your good at it MSG, but know your limits. Did you, or did you not, read the article I posted from 50+ researchers in the field which addresses your specific points?

The reason I posted that is because you were caught up on my being 17, so I figured I'd list off who agrees with me.

It's me and them Vs. Little ole you, MSG.

(reply to msgman) posted 14-Feb-2003 7:18pm  
Incidentally, you are officially black-listed from my psychology discussions because you DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
(reply to msgman) posted 14-Feb-2003 7:28pm  
Let's go back to where this discussion started...

You: "research has also shown that good education will improve a person's ability to do IQ tests. So it's more likely that high-IQ scorers are those who have been taught, or who have taught themselves, the necessary skills to do well in the tests, and that these skills also happen to be the ones that tend to be most helpful in the academic and business worlds."

Me: The original IQ tests were done when the children were between 8 and 10. They were all public school students. [This specifically addressed your point about education improving scores.]

You can never KNOW that there is a causal relationship without doing a controlled study, but you can't exactly randomly assign people to the MIddle and High IQ groups, you know? [I agreed with your premise that you can't be certain, but suggested that you have to take some leaps sometimes.]

It's pretty clear to me-- more intellect CAUSES more success.

[I was pretty humble in stating what was intuitively obvious.]

I think you must know this is true as well. [And you do.]

There are other factors playing into it, sure. [Agreeing with your other factors.]

The way I see it though, you can spend your life doing what most social scientists do, which is try to itemize these other factors, or you can call a spade a spade and say that even if we could somehow control for all other factors IQ would almost certainly show a significant correlation with most standard measures of success, like "income". [I rather humbly again stated something which is profoundly obvious and has been concluded to the satisfaction of everyone in the science].

You raise a good point though, that's why I told Zang to come to his own conclusions.

[I flattered you even though you had made some major logical mistakes and betrayed a misunderstanding of the science in your original post, just because I didn't want this to happen.]

You may not realize this, but everything after that has been you trying to defend your original position... and I'll mention it again in case you forgot...

"So it's more likely that high-IQ scorers are those who have been taught, or who have taught themselves, the necessary skills to do well in the tests, and that these skills also happen to be the ones that tend to be most helpful in the academic and business worlds."

This was your hypothesis, which you made prior to seeing the evidence. It was wrong, and I've demonstrated that. Now please do what a real scientist would od and say,

"Okay, I guess my theory was wrong. Thanks for helping me to see the light on this issue. Maybe I can teach you about chemistry some day."
(reply to cody) posted 14-Feb-2003 7:37pm  
You crack me up, you really do.
(reply to msgman) posted 14-Feb-2003 7:45pm  
Once more for msg's original position...

"You: "research has also shown that good education will improve a person's ability to do IQ tests. So it's more likely that high-IQ scorers are those who have been taught, or who have taught themselves, the necessary skills to do well in the tests, and that these skills also happen to be the ones that tend to be most helpful in the academic and business worlds."

All I'd like to hear you say is that you realize the error of your ways, and acknowledge that this is wrong.

Your a chemist, right? So let's put this into perspective. What if someone who had won a Nobel Prize for work on Psychology came up to you one day and said...

"You realize that Hydrogen atoms have four protons, right?"

And then you said,

"No they don't."

And then THEY said,

"I'm a scientist! I won a nobel prize!" blah blah blah.

Wouldn't you get a little cocky, msg?

I don't know what you really do, (though I'm going to keep calling you a chemist until you admit it), but you are probably good at it, like I said.

Psychology is what I do, and my directly relevant knowledge of these subjects should have caused you to either

1) Have the common decency to disagree with me through the median of a sound scientific argument.
2) Remained silent.

It wasn't appropriate for you to come to me and say "You are mistaking correlation and causation." That was an insulting statement which didn't give me credit for the level of understanding of the field that I have. I was still pretty nice to you, but when you continued to disagree with me, and without even providing a sound scientific argument!, I had little choice but to question your background in this field...

A background which is still dubious and I suspect amounts to a 101 class.

Say it, say it MSG, say, "OKAY! You're right! Intelligence CAUSES success! The evidence is conclusive, overwhelming... strong!"
posted 14-Feb-2003 7:57pm  
To summarize the three arguments so far...

Cody: "IQ measures something meaningful about people. Whatever it measures, this leads them to be more succesful in life as measured by income."

Zang: "This goes back to my initial statement regarding testing in general. People who do well on tests tend to do well in other areas related to approval by authorities. It is an indicator of a certain personality type."

MSG: "So it's more likely that high-IQ scorers are those who have been taught, or who have taught themselves, the necessary skills to do well in the tests, and that these skills also happen to be the ones that tend to be most helpful in the academic and business worlds."

These were the hypothesis. They are all good guesses prior to the evidence coming out, and at some time all three would have been considered reasonable. The research has been done however, and it turns out that... as detailed in that big report up above, MSG and Zang's theories don't hold up, and mine does. There was no way to know for sure prior to seeing the evidence, I can see why MSG would have guessed what he did, (though I'll admit that Zang's theory was a little weird.), but after the evidence, it turns out that IQ does measure something meaningful about people and whatever meaningful factor is being measured leads to later life success.
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
(reply to cody) posted 14-Feb-2003 9:06pm  
I do *not* major in Biology at Oxford. I thought stating facts was important to you Cody?

And even if you were right, the more I study, the more I realise how little I know. Don't quote me as some source of authority in the field of Biology (you were either doing that, or mocking me - with you I can never be sure) just because I'm at Oxford. It doesn't mean anything. It's just a university.

If you had wanted people to agree with you on the rat thing, you would have explained your point clearly. You didn't. Which implies that what you were really after was a fight.

Is that all you are ever after?

Do you ever intend to do any teaching, Cody?
posted 14-Feb-2003 11:19pm  
Compulsive arguing and a pathological need to be correct and to prove others wrong is surely not a sign of intelligence.
(reply to Biggles) posted 15-Feb-2003 12:29am  
Biggles, you are on the bandwagon of everyone else in being excessively dick-headed. I did explain the facts, several times during that argument, including over twenty solid references. There was a trend in that argument that shows up in all my debates.

Biggles, I know when I'm right. And it's fairly often.

I WILL NOT agree to disagree with people when they are wrong. If you look at this discussion you'll see that MSG is clearly wrong and isn't willing to admit it. This is the same as in the situation with the rats/mice... ya'll just were incapable for some reason of listening to what I was saying.

Eventually people get to the point where they learn not to argue-- perhaps I'll get there some day. They are simply conceded with the fact that they are right and don't bother to try to bring the truth out. The truth is important to me.

I think you know, on some basic innate level, that I end up being correct in the vast majority of my arguments on SC. I've only been wrong two or three times that I can remember... I think all of those cases were talking to Phi ages ago.

I'm sorry I forgot what you major in, if that's the issue?
(reply to anonymous) posted 15-Feb-2003 12:30am  
Actually, doesn't correlate.

Isn't MSG also showing a pathological need to be correct? I get flack for being right, that's what I get flack for. FUDGE YOU.
(reply to Biggles) posted 15-Feb-2003 12:38am  
I know enough about things to make solid arguments. I encourage you to read over this particular debate from the start (skip the long parts) and see how it is another situation where I'm right and I know it and I'm arguing with someone who doesn't have any facts.

I'd like to think you are smart enough to figure this out.

People take issue with my "personality," but what they are really taking issue with, and what is really upsetting them, is that I make extremely strong arguments which put stress on their cognitive models of the world. What people are taking issue with is that I won't let them be wrong about something in peace.

In the old days, I used to start arguments whenever I saw someone say something that wasn't true. I'd do a "reply" and tell them that they were wrong.

These days, I don't do that anymore. These days I just answer the surveys and I only bother to debate with someone if they reply to me. Here, if you'll go back, you'll see MSG (who again, knows nothing about this issue and should have kept his mouth shut), replying to my post and essentially suggesting that I'm an idiot with his "correlation is not causality" comment.

Worse still, he attached to the comment some of the most pseudoscientific bullcrap I'd seen in ages. I tore him up, and again, instead of arguing the merit of the points he diverts attention from it... he starts suggesting...

"I'm older than you. I have more exposure to these things."

I said

"You don't have ANY exposure to this science. I can see clearly that you don't understand the methodology."

I think inquired as to what his background is, which is a question that wasn't answered and won't be.

He turned it around on me with a personal attack founded on the idea that I don't have any "life experience"... etc. etc. etc.

The worst part is that it is an issue where he's been demonstrating his naivety (there are other issues where people will make pretty strong cases and it is more difficult to see where their misunderstandings come from, but in this case MSG simply knows absolutely nothing about the subject and he won't just fudging admit it.)

I'm not a politician.

My and Zang's discussion remained reasonable because Zang essentially accepted my basic premises after I presented them. This is something I like about Zang, he is more interested in the merits of a discussion than other people are.

MSG continued to argue. He was wrong and it was and is obvious.

Why don't you say it to yourself out-loud?


"Cody said something on a survey. Then MSG replied and suggested he was an idiot. Then Cody kindly replied clarifying. Then MSG got offended and started suggesting that Cody "didn't understand the science" and didn't have the life experience necessary to understand the issue. Cody then mentioned that MSG clearly had no understaning of the science behind the issue, and asked MSG what his background in the field was (given the fact that MSG had begun an Ad Hominem he couldn't win.) MSG used a clever social tactic and turned it around, asking Cody what Cody's background was. Cody listed his background and went back to the original post to continue the real discussion. MSG suggested Cody didn't understand the science. Cody continued on the original discussion. MSG hasn't addressed the ISSUE in about 5 posts now..."

This is what always happens. It's not arrogant of me or naive or underdeveloped or anything else.

Get a Ph.D. and tell them something that isn't true. They'll kindly clarify. Keep pushing the issue and they'll tell you that you are an idiot and pull rank on you.

I can't pull rank because I don't have the type of credentials that Impress MSG (who apparently is a chemist), so instead all I can do is argue the merits of my scientific position.

Don't you see how this develops Biggles? I mean, you really must be seeing how these things go?

Don't call yourself a scientist if you aren't worried about the truth coming out.

Just don't do it. Mine is the right mindset to have for research, yours is the right one to have for politicing.
(reply to Biggles) posted 15-Feb-2003 12:59am  
What I'm getting at is that what we are having isn't even a debate. It's a situation where there is scientific fact and MSG was arguing with it meritlessly. What would you do if someone told you that evolution is "just a theory", and "there are other theories that are just as good" and that "there's no way that could have happened so fast" and "evolution's never been proven", Biggles?

You'd straighten em' out, wouldn't you? I'd like to think you would. The issues that I argue on SC having to do with psychology are as clear cut as that evolution debate. PSYCHOLOGY IS A REAL SCIENCE, it employs legitimate methods, and therefore there are conclusions and facts in the science. You CAN prove things psychologically.

What's happening Biggles is that I've got an understanding of these issues that goes far beyond what anyone else on SC has, and instead of just acknowledging this and listening (or at least having the courtesy not to disagree with me), people will try to argue. And then I'll argue my position like a mad-man. They won't know what to say! When I don't know what to say in an argument, I change my position because I'm clearly wrong. Instead of doing this they start commenting on my...

Personality Characteristics.

Time and again. The discussion shifts to my personality characteristics, which are irrelevant to the issue.

If you want to have a discussion about my personality characteristics, I'd love to start a thread and have that discussion some-time, and essentially you'd probably be surprised to discover that I agree with your major premises about my personality not being useful for making friends, and possibly being offensive to people. In exchange, I expect you to agree with my basic premise that I'm almost always right about these issues that I'm arguing with people.

The internal debate I have is whether to fight for what is clearly true in a situation, or whether to ignore posts like MSG's. I would hate for it to appear to someone like MSG had said something I didn't know, and I'd hate for someone to be confused and think he is right or that he's brighter on the issue than I am. Imagine I hadn't responded to MSG's second post. People would have assumed he was right. I needed to smash the theory he'd put forward before other people contracted it. (It's an intellectual disease, being wrong is.)

So, again, if you want to talk about whether my personality is good for politicing or not, I'd love to have a discussion about it. However, what you'll find is that I don't come on SC to make friends (because this isn't real life), and I'd prefer to argue the merits of my positions than to ignore responses to my posts which are obviously wrong.

What I'm not going to do is let a scientific discussion turn into a discussion of something else.

It doesn't piss people off that I argue. It pisses them off that I win.

I don't know about some of the other people on this board, but you can handle it. YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES to seriously debate with me on a debatable scientific issue. This isn't one of them but there have been cases where it has come up. (The genetic/environmental homosexuality was another case where the science of the issue is clear-cut and not debatable.)

I get very angry and I will be mean to people when they are insulting the science. Kristal doesn't offend me because I decided ages ago that on some level, even Kristal realizes the absurdity of many things she says.

(If you're here Kristal, I'm not trying to be mean, what I'm saying is that you look at the world metaphorically and philosophically, and you have never claimed (that I've seen) that this was scientific, rather you have claimed that the different way of looking at things can bring insight science can't... which I agree with.)

I won't have people who are wrong about something criticise me. My first step is always to start citing studies. That's always my first step. I'll argue the merits of the argument and I'll express frustration at having to teach people things they should have learned by age 14 or 15. For instance, realizing that intelligence correlates with life success is a common sense observation that an intelligent individual would have picked up around age 7 or 8.

I do plan to teach. If any of my students say something like what MSG is saying, I'll do the EXACT same thing to them I did to MSG.

"That's an interesting idea," I'll say, "But it doesn't really hold up to the research. For instance, how does it account for the fact that IQ scores can be measured very early on? That's a good theory though, keep thinking into things like that and you'll go far."

And the student, unless they are horrendously rude, will remain silent as I finish my lecture.

But what if the student asserts something false, as MSG was doing, as though it were true...

I've got to clarify. The reality is that I'm going to have to tell the student that they are wrong. I'll be less nice about it but I'll still be cozy. IF THEY START TO ARGUE THE ISSUE, I'll bury them with more citations than they know what to do with, and that'll be the end of the argument as the class says "Professor's right" and social pressure shuts the kid up.

MSG is essentially that student in the class. He has no background in this. He hasn't even taken Psych 101. He referenced a study in his original statement that doesn't even exist. (He actually said "There have been studies demonstrating.".. well, there have been studies, but they demonstrate the opposite-- that people can't really make meaningful gains in long-term intelligence, short of teaching to specific intelligence tests (which doesn't generalize to other tests!)!)

And realize, professors have a HELL of a time with this issue! There are always kids who are saying things, out-loud, in class, that aren't true. They are never sure how to respond when that happens-- on one level they don't want to be mean, but on another level someone is wrong and the truth needs to come out.

The fact that they have Ph.D.'s gives them the benefit of being able to do something I can't... to say "Just trust me" and have it be an effective method of convincing people of something.

I wish I could say, "Just trust me, MSG, I'm right." but I can't, and therefore I need to post my argument and the science behind it, which isn't going to happen in two or three lines because the cases are oftentimes built over many decades! If I'm going to argue something in a meaningful way I've got to cite studies and the like.

Why don't you join me in the mystical, magical, enlightened, land of science, Biggles? It'll be fun. I promise.
(reply to Biggles) posted 15-Feb-2003 1:33am  
Modesty is interpersonally attractive. Saying things like, "The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know" are good statements to make friends at a cock-tail party, but they aren't true. The more a person learns about something, the more they become an expert on it, and the more they can say certain things with certainty. The whole point of science is to establish things for certain. When Socrates said ""All I know is that I know nothing," in my opinion he was making a statement which reflected the unscientific nature of the world that he lived in at the time. These days we say, "All we know is what we've filled millions of journals with."

What I'm saying on this subject is clearly true, and somewhere in your mind you are acknowledging that. There is no room even for a debate. INTELLIGENCE TESTS MEASURE SOMETHING MEANINGFUL ABOUT PEOPLE WHICH DIRECTLY PREDICTS LIFE SUCCESS TO A SIGNIFICANT EXTENT, PROBABLY BETTER THAN ANYTHING.

It's psych 101. It's EXTREMELY BASIC ideas. I'm not going to say, "Well, you know, the more I learn about this the more I realize..."

It would be detrimental to the science to allow clearly established conclusions to be called into question by absurd arguments against them that have already been addressed in the literature and which have basic flaws that make them implausible.

I'm not saying, "There's no way there isn't something else playing into this." (though I do doubt it).

What I'm saying is, "The science is currently established on this issue, it has been for the better part of a century, and you aren't raising any points that haven't been addressed before. You aren't calling these current understandings into question with what you are saying."

That's my only conclusion. MSG is wrong. The science is, always has been, and always will be against the specific points that he is raising. He is raising hypotheses which can only be disproven. But the thing is, THEY HAVE BEEN DISPROVEN!

My hypothesis CAN be proven, just like evolution can be, and the roundness of the earth before that can be!

MSG needs to get with the program and either accept it or make a NEW, PLAUSIBLE, case against it. That is the scientific process.

Science doesn't have room for personal opinions or preferences. MSG is trying to exploit the fact that there are always some uncertainties in things to make it seem like his position is true based on some "higher knowledge" of the "ultimate workings of the universe" that he has which I don't because I'm 17. His higher wisdom, which god bestowed upon him, allows him to know the truth of any matter without subjecting himself to the scientific process which rules over lower beings such as Cody.

I'm citing the science and this is what the science says.


THERE IS PROOF! That's the whole point of science. You always have to accept certain assumptions, but they are simple things like "Does the universe exist?" and "Do my senses deceive me?" and on and on and on, but once you have accepted these assumptions proof comes out and stays out.

Don't try to say that I should allow "room" for MSG's pseudoscientific bullcrap. There is no room for it in the current literature. IT IS DISPROVEN, INVALID, AND WRONG. Just like astrology, Jonathon Edwards, Scientology, Creationist "Science" and Bio-Rhythms. It's WRONG!

Part of science is accepting that certain theories have absolutely no merit. You label them pseudo-science if they have been disproven and you trash them.

But the theories, like the Herpes Simplex Virus, will live on through the minds and bodies of people who have been exposed to them a single time.
(reply to cody) posted 15-Feb-2003 3:13am  
What is really funny about you is that, even when I've told you that I'm deliberately making fun of you, you still can't resist falling into the trap!

Anyway, let's try a different question. One of your main reference books, if your comments on SC are anything to go by, is the DSM. As you know, homosexuality was originally in the DSM, but was removed from DSM-3. I'd like to know what you think of this decision to remove it. Do you agree with it? In your opinion, what are the reasons that it was removed?

(Incidentally, I am genuinely surprised that you are unaware of research which shows that education, among other things, significantly improves IQ, and that IQ is by no means predetermined or fixed. I found plenty of references to studies which show this with a quick web search. I would have thought that someone with your knowledge in the subject would be familiar with these studies, even if you disagree with their conclusions. But did you know that moderate consumption of alcohol also improves IQ, according to researchers in Japan? I have to confess that I didn't know that either, until I looked it up this morning.)
(reply to msgman) posted 15-Feb-2003 4:09am  
See my forum post, but, I'll continue this.

It's a semantic issue whether you want to label something a "disorder" or not. Homosexuality is well within my definition of the word, though. Different people can define the word differently if they so choose, and it's not a right or wrong issue.

Some facts can put the situation into context though--
Homosexuality was of course removed from the DSM for primarily political reasons (the change came in 1977). The person who led the charge to have it removed later changed his mind.

Another factor was that in determining if a behavior is a disorder, one of the criteria has been to determine whether it hurts the individual. In the old days, being offensive to society was grounds enough, but these days the trend has been more towards proving harm.

Reproductive harm had not historically been considered in this definition of harm, and allowing reproductive harm to be a criteria would beg the question "Why not diagnose everyone who is single with a disorder?"

So, of course, another explanation is that as the trend pushed towards proving harm, there wasn't any evidence suggesting that homosexuality was harmful and it was removed. This was also before twin studies had been done and a lot more people were believing in the now-disproven genetic determinance theories and the now-highly-doubtful biological determinance theories.

These days it is clear that homosexuality correlates with a truck-load of undesirable behaviors. There is debate about whether it is treatable in the majority of subjects, but it's clear that some people can re-orient (studies suggest that gay people often have a history of having reoriented). The trend is that the younger the individual the more effective therapy is going to be.

The issue is also one of self-determination. People would argue that if a gay person wants to be gay, that is their choice. I agree with this, but I think it is similar to saying "If a heroin addict wants to be a heroin addict"... or "If an hebephile likes being an hebephile...". Sure, it is an unalienable right, but that doesn't mean that they aren't pathological...

It's a tough issue. The APA has been historically Neutered on the issue, not really having the balls to say what most researchers are thinking. My impression is that most researchers are fine with it not being in the DSM for political reasons, but in practice I don't know of anyone who doesn't think of it as a disorder... something unusual that is causing the subject harm (because more recently it is proven to be correlated with harmful behaviors (and probably causing them due to an interaction of the gay person with society)). A good number of people have presented developmental theories of homosexuality, recently an extremely good one was published in the Psychological Review called "Exotic Becomes Erotic". Commonly referred to as the EBE theory, I think a lot of people believe it. I do.

The behavior has an r of ~.50 in twins reared apart, which suggests high heritability. On the other hand, the rate of the disorder (as I'd call it) varies in populations over time, so it is clear that there is a "Genetic predisposition" not a "genetic cause", and that you need the presence of an environment with certain characteristics for the behavior to show up. People who believe in the "Gay Gene" are simply wrong. That is pseudoscientific bullcrap pushed by homosexual activist and researcher Dean Hamer, who forged his results and used an unethical statistical procedure to "prove" that a particular gene correlated with homosexuality. What he really did is tested hundreds of genes and then found the one which had the least likely "by chance" rate of having had a certain correlation. Needless to say, since you only need a 95% confidence interval to prove correlation, looking at 100+ genes is going to be an effective way to (by chance) in a sample, find one that correlates. As if this wasn't good enough, he manipulated the data. His study failed to replicate and he hasn't published anything in years, some journals aren't accepting his stuff.

There are genes that play roles, but seperating genes from environment on the issue is extremely difficult. Picture a girl playing a flute-- how much of the music is being created by her and how much is being created by the instrument? Nonetheless, you could certainly change the flute around so that no music is produced, and you can certainly change the environment around so that homosexuality won't appear in a child. There is a book out on preventing homosexuality in children which rests on firm psychological principles.

It's controversial because the reality is that a lot of people don't see anything wrong with the behavior. The science of preventing the behavior, or at least the idea that the behavior can be prevented, is not controversial. Whether the authors of the particular book have an effective methodology remains to be seen, it's a lot of theory with no studies testing it.

Whether one sees something "wrong" with the behavior is a personal moral/ideal decision that needs to be made within each person, but those people who don't feel like it is wrong obviously don't agree with preventing it. I see it as similar to drug abuse-- it is going to lead to the evolutionary death of a strain, and therefore is undesirable from a utility perspective of organism functioning and therefore a disorder.

Given the fact that having NO sexuality is considered a disorder, I consider it extremely weird that having an abnormal orientation isn't.

It was a political decision to remove it, primarily. Ironically, if it were still in the DSM today, with all the new research that is out, there is no way it would have been removed.

It's just a political decision whether to have it in the DSM or not. It is what it is, regardless of what you call it. It reminds me of a girl asking me, "So, is this a date?" Does whether we call it a date (disorder) or not change what it is?

So the real answer to the question is that by doing a lot of research into homosexuality, you will form an impression of what it "is", and from there you can choose whether it fits into your definition of disorder or not. Regardless of how you label it, it is what it is.

On the subject of changing IQ's...

IQ appears to be fixed at birth within a pretty small range. You can decrease it but you can't really increase it.

You can increase IQ scores on specific tests by teaching to the test, but you aren't increasing the IQ, you are inflating the test result. This isn't a realistic concern for people who don't happen to be in the Head Start program (the very existence of which is based on this method of manipulating tests). In the general population as long as people aren't taking the test 20+ times the score isn't going to change more than a few points based on "Education". There were some studies asserting that this was true but they had bad methodology and there is now an enormous research base contradicting this idea.

In any event, it's irrelevant to the life-success correlations because you generally use IQ data that the now adult subjects' schools collected on them when they were kids (which thankfully was common practice at one point). It's called a "quasi-longitudinal" study. The alternative is real longitudinal studies which take longer and cost more, like the Terman study.

There's no reason to believe that short of actively trying to raise their IQ and studying for a specific test for many weeks, a person would increase it beyond a 5 point range, which is about the confidence interval to begin with. There are also significant differences between real IQ tests and the ones you buy in the store, take on the internet, etc.

I think that is important to note. A real IQ test takes several hours to administer, is administered by a psychometrist (it is a person-to-person test), and is a lot different than those that are available to people who don't have business administering them (you actually have to be registered to even get ahold of the real tests...), so the results of "practice" aren't common.

That being said, one of the specific methodological flaws with the study I think you are referencing is that they kept re-testing subjects with the same test over the course of their "educations".

What was really being demonstrated was that if you give the same subject the same test twice he'll get a higher score the second time. (Again, this isn't an issue for the studies I am talking about because those ones they took in fifth grade were almost always the first ones they'd ever taken, and there was no relationship between whether they'd taken one before and anything relevant.)

There is no evidence suggesting that "intelligence" can be changed over the life-time beyond the variation that is normally attributed to losing some due to head injuries and drug use and whatever else.
(reply to msgman) posted 15-Feb-2003 4:36am  
Actually, there is something I didn't think of that does kind of agree with you. In more intelligent populations IQ will *slowly* decline with age if there isn't some sort of active intellectual involvement. This doesn't suggest that IQ can be increased by education (like I said before, nothing appears to increase IQ), but it does suggest that it can be decreased by not being exposed to education or some sort of intellectual task, with the same result. This is being generalized from rat studies (rat studies being studies of large mice), though, there isn't a longitudinal test on people yet that's been completed.

I've actually turned around on this issue since the beginning of our conversation due to new research I've read (I didn't say anything definitively before, I just generally agreed with you that people could learn concept mastery).

The only ways currently known to improve IQ are to prevent the loss of IQ in at-risk populations (feeding the hungry, letting 12 year old Kaity out of the closet for the first time in her life etc.).

There doesn't appear to be any hope of taking people who are well-off and changing their intelligence. You can change their test-scores with some (considerable) work, but significant intelligence changes aren't going to occur. Sternberg claims that practical intelligence can be changed, but he's addressing a completely different issue than the type of innate intelligence most people are talking about. You may be more fond of Sternberg's idea of practical intelligence (learning how to be smart), but most researchers (and even Sternberg at times) will admit that you aren't really making people more intelligent or raising their "g", you are just teaching them to put the intelligence they have to better use.

This may be one of our differences. That's not the type of intelligence IQ is measuring, though, it's measuring "g" which is an inherent aspect of the mind and follows the 25 principles laid down before.
(reply to cody) posted 15-Feb-2003 5:39am  
You are being bamboozled by your own statistical technique. Consider the most extreme examples. Although a whole range of IQ's has varying degrees of educational success (in a correlative fashion), and a whole range of income with less correlation, EVERYONE attending college has to contend with forking up the $60k (except the 'statistically incidental' portion with grants). Once you have the money to attend college, IQ may be correlated to those within that precondition who are attracted to attending and succeeding in college in the first place (when people with lessor IQ's might possibly have as great if not greater a chance at educational success, if they were motivated)(and after all, as income increases, ones 'need' to succeed in college declines). In spite of the correlation between IQ vs. Income vs. Educational Success, several other explanations exist (and by my reckoning are more probable) explaining who succeeds and why in college. I hate to say it, but chaos theory is even valid here. When you intersect the sets of circumstances and attitudes surrounding different parts of the income and IQ spectrum, it won't be linear, just as flat rate taxes don't work when those in poverty are thrust in different circumstances.
I recall once when I was testing a motorized applianceI had just repaired. Three times in a row, I plugged it in and heard a terrible grinding noise correlating exactly with the time it was plugged in. The noise occurred a fourth time however, when I had not pluggen in the appliance. It turned out that a neighbor was using an electric chain-saw next door. This sort of experience is rather common for me, actually. {There's a higher explanation too. I was expecting the terrible noise, and therefore it manifested}. The variable with the highest correlation, like the noise upon plugging in an appliance, is not an indication that it is the dependant variable, no matter how large the sample size, especially in circumstances like the IQ-Income-Ed where the variables have multiple relationships.
Ask around at college. Perhaps 128 is the median IQ, some lower, some higher, but I'm sure you'll find that almost everyone you ask there has either paid for their education, or expects to one day. Perhaps that in turn happens to be product of IQ too, but even if so, it is not the direct cause for their attendance. Ask your stats professor.. 'can the correlation within a range of one variable be more significant than a closer correlation of the entire range of another variable (in this case, income vs. IQ)'. Actually that doesn't even quite explain what I'm trying to say. I think we also have to throw in predicate calculus. There was a quote,I think it goes 'Science explains that which we know already'. Really, it catches up to that premise. When we find the model doesn't quite explain what's happening, say in atomic chemistry, we have to improve the model (say by putting electrons, p's, & n's in atoms.) Math is just another model. Don't get lost in the model when reality will always be something more comprehensive. (or well have to bleed you next time you get sick). There was a show on Nash, and they passed the camera over his notes, supposedly nonsense, but what I saw made sense, a bit scary even. Consider this note "((((wrath) justice) mercy) love)" With this (slightly flawed) mathematical set model he has shown that Wrath is an example of Love.
I never said IQ wasn't 'a' dependant variable, just that it wasn't as important as expecting a means to pay for college. I bet your same statistical style would show that being born white instead of black had even more to do with educational attainment than IQ, especially IF (and this is one place where I wonder if your source data was drawn from the wrong domain in the first place), the domain is all US citizens (include an age range if you want), and not just those who arrived at college in the first place (and therefore already passed the pre-cursory hoops like income range).
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
(reply to cody) posted 15-Feb-2003 6:32am  
I'm not even going to read all that. You don't honestly expect me to waste my time? I haven't been following your discussion on these pages, I just happened to notice you mention my name. My comments related solely to that single sentence.

I couldn't care less about you and msgman trying to outdo each other. I know which of you I like more, but I really don't want to follow your little competition...
(reply to cody) posted 15-Feb-2003 10:04am  
Perhaps I stand corrected. My model for computer simulated decision making (prioritization) did not include the diverging noise model. My difficulty was that (categorizing instances in the potential activity pool) increasing the importance of the 'increasing potential income' criteria vs. the 'fun activity', or 'charitable', or 'educational' criteria just a smidgeon would entirely rearrange my entire priority list. The main conclusion though (relevant to this broader thread) is that I could never encompass all the variables required to arrive at a stable priority. It was endless of course. If I were to start considering whethar my brushing my teeth before making my bed had an effect on the colors of butterflies in the year 3010, or aurillions of other potential concerns that need summed in a big picture conclusion.
For what it's worth, I both get and enjoy hearing your research (even though I'm not familiar with much of the terminology (I can gather it through context though)). I too am a systems thinker. Applying a system like fractals or entropy to other systems often creates exciting discoveries, but it is an arbitrary association. Some of them turn out to have a convenient practical resemblance to the reality, others do not. Seen from outside science, the science of matching systems to reality is absolutely no different than the occult sciences. One just keeps appending the details, underlying causes, exceptional factors, etc to make the model (whethar it be statistics or astrology archetypes) fit reality. I think Hocking would understand that.
btw, your model of evolution was presented on a PBS adult cartoon years ago.
'Our' argument wasn't about so much about cognitive pschology as it was about social psychology. This is a field most people have a reasonable intuitive familiarity with, particularly with the wisdom of years. Do you recall my proof of Fermat's last theorm? As Fermat implied, it could 'almost' fit in the book margins. Mathematicians spent 3 centuries getting consecutively squirrely steering abstracting themselves quite far from the simple grain of understanding (applying calculus to calculus, multidimensional limits (but still, something you could explain to any first year calc student in 2 minutes)). Yet another example of how the scientific mind can sometimes put on blinders about larger or more simple intuitive revelations. Consider... limitation to controlled variables (blinders) is the basis of scientific process. It necessarily produces blind results. OOooh oooh... Does monkey dance after using scientific though to invalidate scientific thought.
As far as your domain goes, you are vastly proficient. SStop trying to prove yourself, but also stop presuming it's anything more than a part of the puzzle we call reality. Others here are looking at questions from another angle than yours. It doesn't mean they are less intelligent. btw, as long as you keep trying to prove yourself like this to gain acknowledgement, you will continue to meet adversity. {karma is my field of specialty (and it too overlaps immensely with psychology)}.
There was a show on scientific frontiers hosted by Alan Alda (I like the guy) on the Stroop effect. I just tried some interactive tests. I can tune it out (like my selective vision test (using polorised glasses) I described recently (I hadn't realised it was close to your own field of study.))
Re: Stroop. Colors are not thought about generally using words, so asking someone to use their speech center as a response feedback is certain to skew the results towards utilisation of verbal faculties. If one were to simply tap a button at the instant they 'recognized' a colored word rather than 'said' the color of the word you would find less disparate results. It may take longer to name a color than a word, but i for one 'think' in colors faster than words. One avenue of research i recommend you pursue is test subjects who have just woken up, particularly those reknowned for being groggy. If they are like me, they could mix paint colors from primaries much sooner than they could describe what they are doing. All sciences have specialties within specialties. Knowledge of anterior cingulate flags has little to do with scientific process, statistics, or even social psychology. Why you even bother to argue these things, I haven't a clue (well, unfortunately I do).
I was cocky once, even a couple years after my spiritual awakening. I'd have that quiet superior smirk as I'd demonstrate that I could rewrite the software more effectively for our purposes that the salesman was supporting at our shop. he told me now need to be cocky, and with some effert I rooted out that attitude pretty much entirely. It's one of those attributes mature people realise hinders straight pragmatic thinking and beneficial relations. Your quirks don't so much damage others as much as they damage you. You said "It doesn't piss people off that I argue. It pisses them off that I win." No one here, I'm fairly sure, in fact no one I've even met in recollection, is so bent on winning as you are. It seems, to use a psychology cliché, to underpin some insecurity. Alas, people here aren't always so kind, and goad you on. My jaw was dropped watching you spew pages to get some concession. It just occurred to me that you may additionally have attachment to the content of this debate, which is to say that you have grounds to be even less secure subconsciously if it turns out that IQ is not related to success (since both IQ and success are your crutches). Don't worry, it is. It's think it's also related to flipping out, if that's any comfort.
Apparently Biggles and I (and other famous scientists) (here I go, citing resources :( ) agree on the 'The more I learn, the less I realise I know'. Consider the troglodite who thinks they know everything then steps outside to discover stars. I've been researhing and contemplating heavily all my life, and every new thing I learn alludes to a thousand more I know nothing about.
Oh, and an aside on your homo aberrative behavior correlation; consider that any outcast or stigmatic identity might likewise have such correlation on that basis alone. As far as us here at SC not being real life, perhaps you are not having a real life here. I'm sorry to hear that. Sure, I'd rather be cheek to cheek with a woman than here at the moment, given a choice, but really dude, examine how you have let a debate over IQ correlations blow-up to saying good-bye to something close to friends on some 'sudden realisation' (gotta watch out for those too) that we are all some conspiracy dragging you into the depths of pseudo-science.
Please, what I say here (and in the forum) goes much deeper than just making friends. I may be off on my evaluation, but it appears that your whole life fulfillment is in jeopardy. Some of these behavior details are worthy of some scrutiny. They'll all congregate in the same section of dsm. I could say 'you are young' but in this case, it's quite pertinent, in that you have many mechanisms in place that protect you from yourself, like your cockiness, your relentless belief in your arbitrary goals, etc. One day those will necessarily become transparent and you will see what remains more clearly. Better than the pure pschological approach which might just entrench you deeper, perhaps you should consider some sort of self-awareness / self-help group, preferably one where people love life and want to keep it optimum rather than a group of cassandra's who will identify as losers no matter what they learn. I'm not making some value judgement here. I'm just suggesting, having seen much of this before, that you should start looking to work on your life from different angles if you want to be happier in the long run. You are confident about your abilities in psychology, yet did this debate make you any happier in the long run? How many other behaviors and goals may you be clinging to which actually hinder rather than assist your fullfillment, though they seem to be the path to reward at the time? You especially, might even benefit from examining 'the path to reward' concept in general. Sometimes that one shooting star which came unexpectedly upon a prayer can mean much more than the asteroid shower you sought by schedule.
btw, you do seem to be more fond of those who will talk to you as friend, even if you do attribute it to the structure of their arguments. You can fool yourself in this realm, but not us.
If I was a conspiracy theorist, I'd swear you were set up to make me miss today's peace rallys.
(reply to cody) posted 15-Feb-2003 11:15am  
Just a couple of comments on this:

1. You like to point to studies that agree with your assertions, yet when those who actually work in the field decide something that you dislike, you simply ignore it. Hence your belief that removing homosexuality from the DSM is "primarily political". This, to me, suggests that you are doing exactly the same with the studies you quote about IQ - you are picking the ones that support your ideas, and simply ignoring those that don't.

2. There are *lots* of studies which show that IQ is changeable and improvable. If you really haven't come across any of them, then I would suggest that you make it a priority to seek them out and read them. otherwise, you are only getting half the picture.
(reply to icurok) posted 15-Feb-2003 2:25pm  
I'm honoured! I hope he used it disparagingly! smiley:::grin
(reply to icurok) posted 15-Feb-2003 2:41pm  
Aww! (I just read it.) Interesting. I was having a similar discussion with friends last night. One of them was talking about an argument she had with a coworker who had said something to the effect that "Evolution is a fact." The rest of us pointed out the necessity of defining what is meant by "evolution" and what is meant by "fact". Otherwise, you could be having a semantic argument and not even realise it. This is like my recent survey:

Similar to trying to find where the agreement is, it is also a good idea to define your terms so that you can avoid semantic arguments...unless that's what you desire.

posted 15-Feb-2003 3:14pm  

If we all stop bothering to engage cody as though he were a person capable of intelligent discourse, perhaps he will go away. Then our survey's comments would not be full of his blathering.

Anyone who agrees this is a strategy worth taking, just IGNORE HIM.
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
(reply to anonymous) posted 15-Feb-2003 4:05pm  
Uh, he says he's gone...
(reply to Biggles) posted 15-Feb-2003 7:32pm  
SEE! It worked!smiley:::raspberry
(reply to msgman) posted 15-Feb-2003 11:47pm  
I brought up the same point about science in general, finding models that approximate experience after the fact, and continually finding new ones to fill gaps. Everyone does it (citing their experience and the resonating material they find), because for them, that is their universe. It does hold true within a limited sphere, but ones universe can expand much faster when they realise what they are doing.
posted 26-Feb-2003 1:46am  
Well, I grew tired of reading the debate so I apologize if any of this has been said.

I agree that IQ tests don't take into account a persons experience in the areas tested. I believe that interferes with an accurate reading of their intelligence in comparison to others.

I don't believe that a persons income is a true measure of success. If you use a persons bank account to determine their level of success, then you would wonder why some children grow up with emotional problems that hinder their judgement in their adult life. It would seem their high income parents weren't very successful raising them.
posted 2-Mar-2003 2:26pm  
No, it is not the best way.
posted 6-Mar-2003 6:49am  
no because they are based upon written intelligence, you can still be intelligent if you can't read or write!
(reply to hannewk) posted 6-Mar-2003 7:21am  
Now there's a blatant example I haven't heard before. I've had IQ tests before that separate into all the major categories like visual organization, mathematical processing, verbal thought. Sure, there are many others, particularly artistic pursuits, but I think the test at least hits the major categories which qualify as intellectual, and of general generic use in the academic and business environment. Any of those faculties might come into play even in situations like hiding from a bear.
posted 7-Mar-2003 10:44am  
I think they are stupid and ridiculously over-rated.
posted 15-Apr-2003 9:27am  
really dont know

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