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View Diary: Richwine's Harvard PhD: The Committee and Dean Respond (470 comments)

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    •  Scientists have known this for decades (17+ / 0-)

      Yet, the intellectually lazy among us keep searching for the 'magic number' that quantifies everything.

      I use the term "intellectually lazy" with malice. I don't have a problem with people who try, but don't get it. I have a big problem with smart people who can't even bother to try to understand.

      Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

      by grapes on Fri May 10, 2013 at 04:55:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  General or full-scale IQ is a good measure of "g," (17+ / 0-)

      but "g" is a hypothetical construct that has few real-world implications; and standard IQ tests actually measure at least three only loosely interrelated general abilities (verbal comprehension, visual-spatial construction, freedom from distractability).  As Sternberg has pointed out, there are also at least two other major types of intelligence--social skills and creativity.  And, as Howard Gardner pointed out, there are many other, very specific types of intelligence -- e.g., artistic, musical -- that aren't very highly correlated with "g.".  In other words, as the head of Capitol Records said of musicians at my son's graduation from Berkelee School of music:  "When God puts the music chips in, a lot of other chips fall out."

      "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

      by Oliver St John Gogarty on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:34:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I say it this way (9+ / 0-)

        Given all the complexity of the mind, intelligence, stupidity and the rest...what could it ever mean that someone's intelligence is...112?

        or 95?

        What does that even mean?

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:38:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To quote myself giving feedback after any (7+ / 0-)

          evaluation involving an IQ test:  "Now, the overall IQ number is usually meaningless."

          To use a particular example: In early adolescence, one of my sons had a "verbal" IQ 40 points (i.e , 2.67 standard deviations) higher than his "performance (visual-spatial) IQ.  At about the same age my other son had exactly the opposite pattern.  Their overall or "Full-Scale" IQ was exactly the same, even though their profile of major abilities was about as different as could be, suggesting that their brains were organized very differently.  Of course, this contrast doesn't even take into account the many  other abilities not even measured by IQ tests.  

          More importantly, research has shown that many alternate methods of asministration (e.g., telling kids whether their answers are correct or not, which is not done in the standard Adminstration) raises the scores of poor kids but not those of middle-class kids or not as much.  

          As I said elsewhere here, a major mistake the IQ racialists make is that they reify a hypothetical construct that persons who actually utilize IQ tests clinically think is basically meaningless.  

          "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

          by Oliver St John Gogarty on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:43:02 PM PDT

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      •  Thanks twice (10+ / 0-)

        For my "learning disabled" son who is graduating from law school tomorrow,

        and

        for my "many missing chips" brother who graduated from Berklee School of Music.

        Just because the government keeps a record of real property transfers, it doesn't mean that the government wants to confiscate your home.

        by NCJan on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:40:31 PM PDT

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        •  Congratulations about your son. If my (7+ / 0-)

          experience both as a professional and as a parent myself of an LD/ADHD child, you must feel a great sense of satisfaction and be extremely proud.  

          As for Berkelee grads, the Berklee friends of my sons (both went to Berkelee) when together are about as entertaining a group of people I've ever been around -- and that's before they begin to play.  For several years a group of about 10 of them, not counting girl-friends and an ever-changing cast of crashers, all lived together in a three-decker in Somerville--an amazing place to visit, but I wouldn't have wanted to live there.

          "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

          by Oliver St John Gogarty on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:58:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nor, obviously, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fresno, happymisanthropy, kyril

      is a university degree.

    •  Well, then, ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      how WOULD you explain the obvious difference in cognitive abilities of, say, Walter Cronkite and Anna Nicole Smith?

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:26:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Their chips were stacked differently? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 07:03:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  HA! Excellent. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          We are focused on quantity of... "g" in the several categories of known "g" and we have NO CLUE about how they are arranged in relationship with each other.

          How the chips are stacked IS the Holy Grail of competent measures of intelligence, and we are nowhere near being able to define it or measure it today.

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:15:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But should these two individuals ... (0+ / 0-)

            be considered mentally "equal"? That seems to be the position of those who argue that IQ has no significance.

            "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

            by Neuroptimalian on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:23:10 AM PDT

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            •  Equality should not be used in discussions of (0+ / 0-)

              intelligence. Equality is firmly a psychological, humanistic, and dare I say it, spiritual quality. We should  not be arguing for equality of intelligence. Those differences are arguably "there," if unmeasureable at this time. BUT.. we are arguing for equality of the human access to the quality of life, as the Enlightenment intellectuals did. For people who have discarded any notion of life force, or spiritual significance, or unmeasurable human-ness, they often turn to intelligence as the only valid measure of mankind. Big mistake, I think.

              Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

              by OregonOak on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:40:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Define intelligence without saying that (0+ / 0-)

              intelligence is what IQ tests measure or that, like pornography, you know it when you see it.   If you really try it, you'll quickly see that you get very bogged down in trying to apply any unitary theory of intelligence to the world of real people.  

              Are the following all equally intelligent?

              VIQ=120 PIQ=120 FSIQ=120

              VIQ=100 PIQ=140 FSIQ=120

              VIQ=140 PIQ=100 FSIQ=120

              And it's a lot more complicatd than that -- IQ tests measure two additional factors:  "freedom from distractability" and "processing speed."  And then there are the various relationships between these four factors and several different types of intermediate and long-term memory.  (IQ tests basically measure only working memory and semantic memory.)

              Here's an example more germane to your Cronkite question.

              Which person is "more intelligent"?

              VIQ=100 PIQ=100 FSIQ=100

              VIQ=100 PIQ=140 FSIQ=120

              Obviously the 2nd is more intelligent, right?  Well, except that kids with the second pattern often have great difficulty with spelling, reading decoding (although not necessarily comprehension -- don't ask), speed of written and spoken verbal composition, and arithmetic above addition and subtraction.  Thus, the kid with the straight 100's will often have an easier time all the way through college (and, believe me, there are a lot of kids with IQs of 100 or even lower getting degrees from pretty good "enormous state universities").  Also, the 100-140 kid (or adult) will ofgen not appear more intelligent on superficial acquaintance.

              P.S.  What makes you think ANS might not have been very intelligent in some ways?  See, e.g., Marilyn Monroe.  l

              "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

              by Oliver St John Gogarty on Sat May 11, 2013 at 10:37:46 AM PDT

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            •  There is no "equal" when it comes to intelligence. (0+ / 0-)

              Intelligence has too many aspects to sustain any notion of equality.

              Think about it - most of us have known folks who couldn't do much math to save their lives, but could build ANYTHING from raw lumber.  Most of us have known folks who can handle spatial mathematics over breakfast, but can't replace a bathroom faucet.

              Don't even get me started on social intelligence, or we'll have to talk about this diagram!

              The root of the "IQ problem" seems (to me, anyway) to be that we simply have no real means of measuring these different intelligences and their various intersections.  Sure, IQ tests take a stab at it, but that's all they do.  The challenge is to make sure that those "take a stab at it"  IQ measurements don't become any more of a gatekeeping tool than is absolutely necessary.

              The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

              by wesmorgan1 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 03:12:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Personally, I suspect... (0+ / 0-)

            ...that it's an equation in three variables.  Forgive me for speaking unscientifically, but I'm far afield from my normal thinking grounds.

            1) We all start with some number of chips - but not the same number.  The fact that we've tied so many aspects of intellectual, emotional, and behavioral development to genetic factors suggests that some are simply born with more (or fewer) chips in their pile.

            2) Our stacks don't hold the same number of chips.  Some folks can put 10 chips in their "music" stacks, while others can only place 1 or 2 in that category.  That person who can only put 1-2 chips in their "music" stack, however, may be able to put 8 in their "spatial thinking and math" stack where I can only put 5-6.  Some stacks have multiple uses; for instance, there's a strong corrollary between musical ability and mathematical, which suggest that those two stacks may have a few of their upper layers in common.

            3) Finally, we place most of our own chips.  This is where experiential factors and the 'nurture' side of 'nature vs. nurture' come into play.   We know, for instance, that early exposure to adult language (complex sentence structure, polysyllabic words, etc.) fires off different sections of the developing brain than does "baby talk."  By the same token, we often see "prodigies" result from early exposure to mathematics or music.

            So, yeah - some folks wind up drawing a Ace high, some get a full house or four of a kind, and every once in a while someone lays down a royal flush...me?  Two pair at best, maybe three of a kind if we're talking about music.  *laugh*

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 03:03:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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