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Aug23-04, 04:27 PM
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Quote Quote by Mandrake
Dalton was not on the list. The other four are dead. Eysenck died in October 1997, which doesn't seem that long ago to me. I gave you a list of mostly important people who are from other countries over the time period that applies to this field of science (roughly 100 years).
My typo, I meant Galton.
Psychometrics began with mental testing. Spearman developed factor analysis and discovered _g_ in 1904.

Much of the research in psychometrics is now in the area of neuroscience and genetics. Psychometrics has become a much more laboratory field in recent years.
What is its scope today? (I answered hitssquad before I saw your post; I'm quite curious as to the boundaries - e.g. is it psychometrics when my doctor uses an electronic stopwatch and ruler to measure my knee reflexes? since taste is subjective - and mental - and can be measured quantitatively I'm sure, is the study of taste a branch of psychometrics?)
I suggest that you simply pick up and read a stack of the journal Intelligence. Each issue is filled with up to date research papers, and each explains its experimental procedures in the detail that you would expect for a peer reviewed source. The procedures used for measuring glucose uptake are quite different from the procedures used to measure working memory chunks.
I'll see if my local library has a copy. Why is it called 'Intelligence'? From the definition, it would seem that intelligence would be a very small part of the field. I'd've thought that, since you're working with humans and their mental states, double blind protocols would be even more important in psychometrics than in studies of glucose uptake! Surely the psychometric equivalent of the placebo effect (or the 'white coat effect') would be huge
Psychometrics is focused on mental performance, not geography. One large area of investigation has been the differences between population groups. I have never seen any indication that geography has been identified as a variable. There are studies in which Asian populations were tested in Asia and compared to first generation Asians who were born to the same population group, but in the US. The groups tested identically.
Wow! That's truly staggering!! After all, plenty of studies have shown that there are quite significant physiological differences between first generation migrants and their stay-at-home peers, esp the effects of diet (e.g. incidence of heart disease, the switching on - or off - of various enzyme reaction trigger genes, and much more). Too, IIRC, the effects of the childhood environment and pre-birth environments can be enormous - just look at the crack babies, and the well-known 'siblings' effects. The findings you just reported would seem, prima facie, to fly in the face of a vast amount of medical research.
Let me ask you to consider the question as applied to other fields. Are there serious critics of laser research? Of carbon composites? Of organic chemistry? Of space exploration? The answers are that when one gets down to individual issues, there will be some in which there are debates among informed people as to exactly what is happening. If the issue is something that has been resolved, the critics are most likely to be crackpots.
My comment was based on my assumption that it was a completely new field; in any new field, there is a period in which critics - rightly - question whether it is really a science. Look at astrobiology, for example.
At this point, the only people doubting the 100 year study of the variance in intelligence are crackpots. Likewise there are no informed people still arguing that population groups have identical mean IQs. Those issues were argued years ago and are now history.
Hmm, do you mean in the last ten years? The link which Evo posted has some pretty weighty pronouncements, e.g. "What is intelligence and can it be measured? These questions have fueled a continuing debate about whether intelligence is inherited, acquired, environmental, or a combination of these and other factors. In a field where so many issues are unresolved and so many questions unanswered, the confident tone that has characterized most of the debate on these topics is clearly out of place." Of course, this is in reference to the bell curve, and was written in 1995. The 1996 letter to Science by the members of the HGP was also pretty damning - surely they're not crackpots?
The answer is much the same. There is divergence on some issues and not on others. There are also a few people who are following their own lines by creating different models of how the brain works. Some of those will ultimately gain strength and some will evaporate.
Is there now a biological theory of intelligence? Or are there competing theories?
Not yet with fMIR. There are three ways to determine _g_: IQ tests, followed by an extraction of _g_; chronometric measurements; and electroencephalography measurements. With each of these there are various approaches that give reasonable results. There are no diverse tests that correlate perfectly.
What are 'chronometric measurements'? What is the typical experimental error in _g_ from these? Ditto, for EEG measurements? How are the 'zero point' and scale of _g_ defined?