Questions on _g_ and intelligence

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Nereid said:
Mandrake:
Jensen is a US scientist and has done most of his work in California, presently under the rule of an Austrian.

The United States leads all countries in scientific research. Look at the Nobel Prizes in the sciences before and after WW2. There was a sudden shift from Germany to the US. I can't think of any reason to expect another country to do more research in psychometrics than would be the case in astronomy or particle physics.

Huh? What is the point of that comment? It applies quite well to magnetic data storage, DNA research, space travel, and lasers. I don't get it. I think you have made similar comments before. Why???


If all that you have is stamps (correlations), and the only stamps you have collected are from a few countries, how do you know that the rest of the world has stamps, or that they aren't made of diamond and not paper?
First, let me note that you did not address the issue of why it is significant, from your perspective, that the US leads all other nations in psychometric research. It does the same in most fields of science. Now, let's look at your comment above:
If all that you have is stamps (correlations)
This seems to imply that this is all that exists in psychometrics. We have discussed this topic before, but you have apparently forgotten it. Psychometrics is based on correlations AND laboratory measurements. I have previously listed the specific measurements and discussed some of them in detail. Suggesting that these don't exist comes across as very difficult to understand. Do you forget, or do you want to distort facts???
the only stamps you have collected are from a few countries

The stamp analogy is poorly considered and designed to be dismissive and misleading. The above comment is not correct. Psychometric data is collected and analyzed by scientists in a rather large number of nations. I have previously listed some and commented that the list of contributors to the journal Intelligence includes a large number of nations in each issue. The subjects of the studies include locals (from many countries) and citizens of other nations. If you really believe the things you are writing, you are misdirected to a point that your conclusions are highly likely to be incorrect (as is the case).
how do you know that the rest of the world has stamps

Stamp collecting is a canard. We know what research is being conducted in other nations by reading their published papers. I do. You apparently don't. Some of your comments indicate that you are following the discussion and asking good questions. But, then along come questions that have previously been discussed and answered.

How can you be confident that the biological correlates are the same for people whose life experiences are significantly different from those who you have studied?
Scientists study closed groups to eliminate variables. Within group studies were used to establish every point made in the first 12 chapters of The Bell Curve and the group in question was a single population group. When identical results are found between groups, there is a very high probability that the item being observed is not following different mechanistic processes in each group. You seem to be imagining how psychometric data has been collected and analyzed. I would like to suggest that a better approach would be to read what has been done, instead of guessing.

Mandrake:
Is there some reason why psychometricians should be looking at temporary phenomena? If someone goes to sleep, I would bet that his score on an IQ test would not be high, but that it would not be meaningful either. My prior comment was in reference to permanent environmental factors that relate to the micro environment. I could not believe that you were really asking about temporary impairment. Do you think that there is scientific research concerning human running ability? I assume there is. If so, would it be your concern that they should study runners with broken legs, drunk runners, and runners who have not eaten for six days?

To reiterate the point about correlations, if you have no idea how 'temporary phenomena' affect the arbitrary constructs you are studying, how can you tell that there aren't 'temporary phenomena' which are systematically biassing your results?
You are making the presumption that temporary impairment is not understood. You are wrong. I would expect that there are pertinent studies that address some forms of impairment. I have read studies that address stress as it applies to IQ testing. If you read discussions of testing procedures, you will see many discussions of factors that can adversely affect test results. Some of these are small effects and some are large. There is also a matter of common sense. It does not take a complex scientific study to determine that drunk people are not suitable for research on topics other than as they relate to drunkenness. You are imagining a bias that you have not bothered to study. The most detailed text on the subject is Jensen, A.R. (1980). Bias in mental testing. New York: Free Press. I have pointed you to this reference on several occasions.

Further, if you hypothesise that _g_ is something to do with brain processes, don't studies of impairment tell you a great deal?
Yes. The literature is rich with papers that address permanent impairment from disease and injury. Animal studies are important with respect to injury, since they include the intentional destruction of various brain regions, as I described to you in an earlier message. There may be literature on temporary impairment that extrapolates to some useful conclusions, other than that the person soul not be included in a psychometric study.

AFAIK, this is just how much progress has been made into the neurophysiology (?) of language.
What is "this?" You previously told us that neuroscience was "cool" to intelligence research. That is not true. So, I must conclude that your research into this topic should continue.

To give a possibly irrelevant example; several decades ago smoking was widespread, and even then nicotine was understood to have neurological effects. Presumably Jensen et al tried very hard to control for this 'temporary phenomenon', but given the near ubiquity of the social habit, the persistence of the drug (and metabolites) in the brain, and people's imperfect veracity when it comes to reporting such habits, are you confident that the effect of smoking as a temporary phenomenon has been completely eliminated from old data?
This is a good topic for you to research. I have not read any studies about it. What data have you seen that suggests intelligence impairment from smoking?

Mandrake:
This comment is not correct. Passive testing has been done in the US, Australia, New Zealand, England, and probably Germany and other countries.
All of which are service-based economies (see below)
The information you presented didn't list all of the countries where scientists are presently studying psychometrics. There is nothing to suggest that the science of psychometrics is actually a variable that is dependent on the number of people working in one sector or another. Psychometrics has been around for about a century. In that time the economic demographics of most advanced countries have changed. So what?

Recent studies reported in just the last two issues of Intelligence came from:
Spain, England, Chile, Ireland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Norway, Australia, France, USA, and Estonia. If you were to take the time to look back further, papers from other nations would be found. Science is science. It is practiced by nations that have enough intellect to pursue it. I doubt that you will find papers from Uganda, Kenya, Haiti, etc.

Mandrake:
The service based economy thing is spurious.

Au contraire, mon ami! As I said above, extrapolating *correlations* found in one set of circumstances is contraindicated in good science;
You have a great imagination. Populations have been studied from all over the world. Interestingly, there are studies of population groups that have lived together for centuries and studies of the same groups (genetically) within other countries (no admixture).

if all you have is correlations (and our discussion of the state of play wrt neuroscience and theory certainly seems to indicate that we've little else today)
You have not understood the discussions. We have studies based on chronometrics, electroencephalography, MRI, PET, fMRI, autopsy, and the measurement of biological parameters (such as brain pH).

Mandrake:
If you must keep including it, please explain your reason each time. Science is not dependent on whether the researchers live in a service based economy or not.
It's not where the researchers live so much as where the *subjects* live.
Yes. As we know, researchers have not confined themselves to their homelands, nor have they confined themselves to any particular type of economy.
 
  • #202
Nereid
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First, my thanks to Mandrake, hitssquad, Evo, Moonbear, SelfAdjoint and other posters for stimulating me to read more about this highly controversial* subject!

So, some tentative conclusions (so far). Perhaps in terms of Mandrake's opening post?

1 - Intelligence is best represented by _g_.
A definition, a convention, a shorthand, ... certainly bad science - tries to re-define a social construct (what Joan Public and Joe Sixpack mean when they use the word) with an abstract value obtained from statistical analysis of test results from many individuals.

2 - Virtually all of the external validity of IQ tests comes from their _g_ loading.
Circular; requires independent, objective definitions of 'IQ tests'

3 - What we know about _g_ is that it correlates strongly with various physiological conditions: nerve conduction velocity, pH, brain volume (and more specifically we now can see that particular areas of the brain are the actors and that their volumes correlate strongly with _g_), myelination, and information intake speed.
Hugely overstated; many correlations are only 'strong' wrt some found in social sciences; if examined through the lens of biology, they're weak (at best). Research results re 'particular areas of the brain' (etc) are, at best, early day results.

4 - These factors influence working memory which is now known (seen the most recent issue of the journal Intelligence) is predicted almost perfectly by _g_.
Overstated again? Statement is unclear in any case.

5 - All of the physiological measurements are seen between the population groups that are known to differ in mean IQ scores.
Vastly overstated; extensive physiological measurements, and their relationship to 'mean IQ scores' have been done in only a few countries. In this, and all the above, the results are *only* correlations (no biological hypotheses to test!)

6 - It is possible to measure _g_ by elementary cognitive tests (which are based on response time chronometrics), with a result that correlates as well with standard IQ tests as those tests correlate with each other.
Correlations have indeed been reported; the hypothesis that these correlations are universal ('apply to the mammal Homo sap. in general') has been tested in only a tiny minority.

7 - It is likewise possible to determine _g_ by electroencephalography using several different techniques and with similar accuracy.
Breath-taking extrapolation from very limited data.

8 - Both of these techniques are essentially passive, not subject to practice effects, and are totally blind to all social factors.
The first part may be accurate; the second doubtful; the third a wild assumption.

Generally, I have learned that those in the 'intelligence' field seem to reach for sweeping generalisations from their limited correlation results (Rushton and Lynn are particularly notable examples; Jensen an exception?). When faced with criticism, unlike E. O. Wilson (of sociobiology fame) who is reported to have said something like he clearly needed to do a great deal more work to establish his tentative findings, many in this field seem to have blindly carried on, finding yet more correlations (but doing little biology; there are exceptions, of course).

When compared to other fields which study how the brain works (relevance? I'd be astonished if any intelligence psychometricians claimed _g_ was *not* related to brain function!), the intelligence folk seem to have a curious reluctance to state and then test biological hypotheses. Contrast how the human vision system came to be understood (through studies of the 'visual acuity of nations'?), or how neuroscientists teased out the relationships between the three interacting sets of brain structures and the three core elements of language (crudely, semantics, phonemes, and grammar).

Or look at the extraordinarily limited basis for the sweeping claims of the genetic component. Twin studies? Only within a very narrow range of socio-economic conditions (how many New Guinea hunter gatherers? Mongolian nomadic herdsmen? Indonesian subsistance rice farmers?) which pertain to a tiny minority** of Homo sap. individuals, especially when the whole history of Homo sap. is concerned.

Some, e.g. Linda Gottfredson (Scientific American, 1998), acknowledge these limitations ("The foregoing findings on g's effects have been drawn from studies conducted under a limited range of circumstances - namely, the social, economic, and political conditions prevailing now and in recent decades in developed countries [e.g. almost all those in any list Mandrake has given] that allow considerable personal freedom. It is not clear whether these findings apply to populations around the world, to the extremely advantaged and disadvantaged in the developing world, or, for that matter, to people living under restrictive political regimes."

Reading much of this 'intelligence' literature, I was struck by the gulf between the claims (e.g. correlation does not imply causation) and the research directions (e.g. a race correlation is taken as genetic determinism).

*This is not a comment on the work of any scientist, or racist masquerading as a scientist, just an observation of the apparent public perception of the topic, at least in the US.

**
Mandrake said:
Recent studies reported in just the last two issues of Intelligence came from:
Spain, England, Chile, Ireland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Norway, Australia, France, USA, and Estonia. If you were to take the time to look back further, papers from other nations would be found. Science is science. It is practiced by nations that have enough intellect to pursue it. I doubt that you will find papers from Uganda, Kenya, Haiti, etc.
With the exception of Chile (population ~16 million) and Estonia (population ~1 million), but both of which are highly urban, all these are service-based economies, with near universal literacy, very low numbers of children per adult female, very low infant mortality, highly urbanised living, and so on. These conditions pertain to ~<15% of Homo sap.
 
  • #203
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part 1 of 3

Nereid said:
So, some tentative conclusions (so far). Perhaps in terms of Mandrake's opening post?
Your comments strike me as further evidence that you are promoting a nihilistic agenda. Your conclusions are at odds with the findings of scientists who have devoted long careers to the understanding of psychometrics. When I see someone who is obviously unfamiliar with a subject attempting to dismiss it, I can only assume that the person in question is attempting to satisfy a personal or social agenda and is not attempting to fairly evaluate or discuss the topic.

I would be interested in learning your personal explanation of how it happens that you have reached conclusions that are opposite to those we find in respected scientific journals? How is it that you managed to do this so quickly? Does this indicate incompetence on the part of the people who have devoted their careers to the subject of psychometrics?

I will not bother to comment on the 8 points you dismissed, but will simply say that my reading of the literature leads me to the conclusion that your dismissive analysis is incorrect.

When compared to other fields which study how the brain works (relevance? I'd be astonished if any intelligence psychometricians claimed _g_ was *not* related to brain function!), the intelligence folk seem to have a curious reluctance to state and then test biological hypotheses.
This seems to imply that you have familiarized yourself with the literature to the point that you know this to be true. When you insert terms, such as "biological hypotheses," you imply that there is some definition of this term that excludes the various biological hypotheses that have appeared in the literature and which have been discussed here. Are you trying to play tricks with words? I have previously discussed Miller's myelination hypothesis. Why do you dismiss it? There are also various hypotheses that pertain to working memory, nerve conduction velocity, T1 and T2 relaxation times, and brain volume.

For system models, we have previously discussed the one that appears in at least three of Jensen's publications (including The _g_ Factor) and the one that appears in Brand's The _g_ Factor: General Intelligence and Its Implications. Now that we have a lot of research focused on specific locations of the brain, we have a location-specific model. See Gray, J. R., Chabris, C. F. & Braver, T. S. Neural mechanisms of general fluid intelligence. Nature Neurosci. 6, 316–322 (2003).
 
  • #204
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part 2 of 3

Nereid said:
Or look at the extraordinarily limited basis for the sweeping claims of the genetic component. Twin studies? Only within a very narrow range of socio-economic conditions (how many New Guinea hunter gatherers? Mongolian nomadic herdsmen? Indonesian subsistance rice farmers?) which pertain to a tiny minority** of Homo sap. individuals, especially when the whole history of Homo sap. is concerned.
The above comment is a good stimulus for a discussion about the total body of evidence. Nereid's comment would lead an unsuspecting, uninformed person to the conclusion that the heritability of intelligence is based on one category of study (twins). If this were so, then her comment might merit attention. But, those who are familiar with the big picture know that the heritability of intelligence has been established and quantified by various independent means. When all vectors are pointing the same way and have the same magnitude and are determined by different categories of study, the combined certainty of the total observation is greater than even the sum of the components.

In the case of heritability, the most overwhelming evidence is from inbreeding depression. There is no other explanation for it than genetic heritability. Inbreeding depression studies not only show the expected effects, but the depression fits the magnitude of h^2 that has been determined by other means. Nereid apparently has forgotten this fact, since it has been mentioned before and is well documented in the literature. If she had bothered to read the full range of what is known about the heritability of h^2, I assume she would have discussed inbreeding depression and noted that it cannot be explained by any environmental factors.

I have mentioned path analysis on several occasions. The method of path analysis has been used to determine h^2 and produces results that are virtually identical to the other methods. Naturally, neither path analysis nor inbreeding depression depends on twins as subjects.

Besides these statistical methods, brain comparisons have been made for MZ and DZ twins using MRI. The previously referenced Gray and Thompson study shows the heritability of brain regions via MRI. ["We were stunned to see that the amount of gray matter in frontal brain regions was strongly inherited, and also predicted an individual's IQ score," said Paul Thompson, Ph.D., the study's chief investigator and an assistant professor of neurology at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging. "The brain's language areas were also extremely similar in family members.]

It is also significant (but ignored by Nereid) that MZA studies have been carried out by a variety of researchers, at widely separated times, with different cohorts, and in different countries. The results of the studies have been remarkable for their tight consistency.

Among other factors that support the primary findings are the very high heritability of inspection time performance and the 85% heritability of brain volume. [The brain volume factor is now known to be particularly important at specific locations -- Richard Haier, previously discussed.] These factors can and have been determined independently of intelligence measurements, but are known to correlate with intelligence to such a degree that they have become central to the investigation of cognitive functioning.

Throughout science, the total body of evidence has to be taken into account as an indication of what is and what is not important. In this case, we have broad and consistent evidence from diverse observations, all pointing to the same answer. Yet, somehow, Nereid has elected to dismiss all of this. Why? I cannot understand how someone can imagine that they can find answers without effort and to have confidence that they understand the issues, without first considering the full range of facts.

There is yet another way to determine the genetic component of intelligence. It is to observe the variance that is associated with environmental factors. One way this has been done is via adoption studies. We have discussed this at length and I have pointed out that the "shared environment" component exists only in children and vanishes by late adolescence Bouchard and McGue show that the shared environment component is zero by age 12 and rises to over 80% by age 18). The remaining environmental variance is due to micro environmental factors, which amount to about 15% in adults. The error component, per Brand, is about 10%. The remainder is due to genetics.

Related to the above ...
Genetic and Environmental Influences on Human Psychological Differences
Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., Matt McGue
Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Neurobiol 54: 4–45, 2003
We conclude that there is now strong evidence that virtually all individual psychological differences, when reliably measured, are moderately to substantially heritable.

Additional evidence concerning the heritability of intelligence comes from the constant _g_ gap between US blacks and whites. Since intelligence data covers a relatively long period of time, one would expect that if _g_ is not primarily heritable, there would be a narrowing of the black vs. all other groups gap. During the past century blacks have enjoyed a huge gain in standard of living and especially in college education, yet the gap remains. There are but two choices: genetics and environment. The evidence is very strong that the predominant factor in the difference between various population groups is traceable to genetics. Even when adopted by white families, black children mature to have mean intelligence values that match those of their genetic peers who were not adopted. Likewise, Asian children mature to match the intelligence means of their genetic peers (which happens to mean that they have higher mean intelligence than their adoptive families -- opposite to the case of blacks adopted by whites in the US and Europe.
 
  • #205
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part 3 of 3

Nereid said:
Some, e.g. Linda Gottfredson (Scientific American, 1998), acknowledge these limitations ("The foregoing findings on g's effects have been drawn from studies conducted under a limited range of circumstances - namely, the social, economic, and political conditions prevailing now and in recent decades in developed countries [e.g. almost all those in any list Mandrake has given] that allow considerable personal freedom. It is not clear whether these findings apply to populations around the world, to the extremely advantaged and disadvantaged in the developing world, or, for that matter, to people living under restrictive political regimes."
There is good reason to conclude that the same factors that relate to intelligence in the US or Europe also relate in other nations. Within the US, we have large populations of the major population groups and they have been studied for nearly a century. Most of the research has been within-group. When a mechanism is found in group A and in group B and both are seen to act identically, it is not an unfair extrapolation to conclude that the differences in mean values between the groups is subject to the same factors as the differences that are found within group.

While there may well be environmental factors that account for some of the large difference between sub-Saharan Africans and US blacks, there is little to suggest that these factors can be large enough to erase the difference. As much as you would apparently like to discredit Lynn and Rushton, I see no reason to believe that you have a better understanding of this science than these two people who have devoted their lives to actual measurements.

Reading much of this 'intelligence' literature,
Much??? How much do you define as "much?" My impression is that you have not yet read enough to even connect the dots on a single psychometric issue, such as heritability. Have you read "much" of the literature on intelligence?

I was struck by the gulf between the claims (e.g. correlation does not imply causation) and the research directions (e.g. a race correlation is taken as genetic determinism).
I would like to suggest that you use quotes from the literature (you have read "much" of it) instead of making assertions that are actually your thoughts. It is impossible to discuss specific issues when one is offering only vague and unsupported assertions. Just tell us what some respected psychometrician has written, tell us his name, and then let us discuss whether or not that person has been scientifically naïve, or not.


Originally Posted by Mandrake
Recent studies reported in just the last two issues of Intelligence came from:
Spain, England, Chile, Ireland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Norway, Australia, France, USA, and Estonia. If you were to take the time to look back further, papers from other nations would be found. Science is science. It is practiced by nations that have enough intellect to pursue it. I doubt that you will find papers from Uganda, Kenya, Haiti, etc.
With the exception of Chile (population ~16 million) and Estonia (population ~1 million), but both of which are highly urban, all these are service-based economies, with near universal literacy, very low numbers of children per adult female, very low infant mortality, highly urbanised living, and so on. These conditions pertain to ~<15% of Homo sap.
There are three major racial groups and a number of identifiable population groups. The major groups have been studied extensively and are well understood with respect to the parameters that consistently appear within and between groups. It is, as you should know, not true to imply that groups in various parts of the world have been studied, but it is correct that they have not been studied as extensively as has been the case for population groups within Europe and the US. If one simply writes off all groups that have not been extensively studied, nothing changes with respect to the knowledge of psychometrics.

Meanwhile, there remains one fact that cannot be disputed and that is that population groups having very low mean intelligence scores have performed as a group in a manner that can be projected by IQ scores. We have been through this line before and it is beyond argument. Likewise, population groups that have high mean IQs have shown accomplishment that is in line with high intelligence.
 
  • #206
selfAdjoint
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I have read Nereid's post twice, carefully, and I just wnat to make one comment. It is an old story for hard scientists to show contempt for the .3 - .7 correlations considered highly significant in the human sciences - this happens throughout these sciences, not just in the IQ area. But that is what nature gives the human scientists, and when they do their math carefully, the difference between correlations of +.3, 0, and -.3 is perfectly clear, and meaningful. Yes it isn't quantitative at the level that astronomical evidence is, but that doesn't mean it's a hash.

Well, I said only one comment but here's another. Nereid, can you confirm that you really studied the modern fMRI-g experiments? Your dismissal of them didn't seem to describe them as I understood them from reading the papers.
 
  • #207
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It’s my understanding that g is a construct used to describe the phenomenon witnessed when a person makes similar scores on differently constructed, but complex tests of mental ability. Like the construct ‘energy’ that is used to describe events in physics --- while a physicist may have never seen an ‘energy,’ the idea / construct has value and describes the witnessed phenomenon. So, for example, if a person scores a 140 in a spatial relations subgroup in one test, that person is very unlikely to score an 80 in the numerical reasoning subgroup – even though spatial relations and numerical reasoning may have no other relationship outside of the complexity of the problems. The construct g describes this. It describes the ability to ‘figure out’ complex problems. The same phenomenon was observed inter-test -- in that the same person is very unlikely to score a 140 on the Raven Matrix IQ test and score an 80 on another test, if that test uses mentally complex problems - like complex pattern problems. The harder the solution is to find for the average test taker, the more likely the solution calls on reasoning abilities that can translate to other mental abilities and to other tests of mental ability.

In Bias in Mental Testing, p. 250, Arthur Jensen summarizes the construct this way:

By examining the surface characteristics of a great variety of tests in connection with their g loadings, we may arrive at some descriptive generalizations about the common surface features that characterize tests that have relatively high g loadings as compared with tests that have relatively low g loadings. Today we have much more test material to examine for this purpose than was available to Spearman more than half a century ago. This permits broader generalizations about g than Spearnan could safety draw. Spearman characterized the most g-loaded tests essentially as those requiring the subject to grasp relationships—“the eduction of relations and correlates.” That is all perfectly correct. But now we can go further. The g factor is manifested in tests to the degree that they involve mental manipulation of the input elements (“fundaments” in Spearman’s terminology), choice, decision, invention in contrast to reproduction, reproduction in contrast to selection, meaningful memory in contrast to rote memory, long-term memory in contrast to short-term memory, and distinguishing relevant information from irrelevant information in solving complex problems. Although neither the forward nor backward digit-span test of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale, for example, has much g loading. the slightly greater mental manipulation required by backward than by forward recall of the digits more than doubles the g variance in backward as compared with forward digit span (Jensen & Figueroa, 1975). We have seen many examples in which a slight increase in task complexity is accompanied by an increase in the g loading of the task. This is true even for the most mundane and seemingly nonintellectual tasks. Virtually any task involving mental activity that is complex enough to be recognized at the commonsense level as involving some kind of conscious mental effort is substantially g loaded. It is the task’s complexity rather than its content that is most related to g.
 
  • #208
Nereid
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selfAdjoint said:
I have read Nereid's post twice, carefully, and I just wnat to make one comment. It is an old story for hard scientists to show contempt for the .3 - .7 correlations considered highly significant in the human sciences - this happens throughout these sciences, not just in the IQ area. But that is what nature gives the human scientists, and when they do their math carefully, the difference between correlations of +.3, 0, and -.3 is perfectly clear, and meaningful. Yes it isn't quantitative at the level that astronomical evidence is, but that doesn't mean it's a hash.
Hmm, I'm not sure what a 'human science' is, but fMRI ... 'race' (biological definition (whatever that is), not a social construct) ... frequency of alpha brain waves ... ECT ... latency and amplitude of evoked brain potentials ... hereditability (genetic, not social or cultural) ... rate of brain glucose metabolism ... brain volume ... are not terms one commonly finds in sociology texts I would guess. PF members Moonbear and Phobos have commented on how 'hard' biology is.

Maybe 'intelligence science' just got a whole lot 'harder'?
 
  • #209
selfAdjoint
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fMRI has done nothing to refute, and everything to confirm, the concept of g. And yes I have given you references on that before. Let's not just rehash the whole thread all over again. Frequency of brain waves does not yet bear on the issue AFAIK. Heritability is supported by extensive careful twin studies which show those .3 - .7 correlations you don't like. And I do remember your attempts to undercut those studies, which, I am afraid I have to say, reminded me of nothing so much as the attempts of posters on the Astronomy forums to undercut the Hubble expansion with cherry-picked observations. What if this, what if that, we can't accept the studies till they have answered every question I can think up. Sorry for the rough speech but it comes honestly.
 
  • #210
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The old story again?

I have come across this debate by chance (my main interest is physics) and in a way I am sad about it. It does strike me, however, and therefore I will comment.

What happened to the old and widely correct saying:

"IQ tests measure how well you do on IQ tests!"

Rather than going into a long essay, I will simply make a few points.

1) There has never been a consensus what 'intelligence' actually means. The one that I can best subscribe to is Piaget's. To paraphrase him: "intelligence is what you use when you don't know what to do".

2) IQ tests measure convergent intelligence and there are only a very few tests around which measure divergent intelligence (the closest to creativity). Creativity is at least as, if not more important, than analytical thinking, verbal abilities and all the other classical IQ test areas.

3) There are no good tests around that measure abstraction skills. This ability is definitely one of the key factors that distinguishes a mere high IQ person from an "intellectually intelligent" person. The same is true for people with average intelligence.

4) The most viable numbers on the nature-nurture debate are 60% to 80%. This can mean a difference between an IQ of 78 and 130!

5) Has anybody ever come up with a test measuring the ability for 'deeper insight'? This is a long-term cognitive ability but related to EQ. Many people would agree that this is a strong indication of 'intelligence'. I am not convinced that many people with high IQs are particularly good in this area. Conversely, low level IQ people can certainly have the quintessential deeper insight, 'wisdom'.

6) The practicing side is widely underestimated in IQ tests. Language abilities fall in this category. For example, I do not think that Arnold Schwarzenegger would either in English nor in German (his mother tongue) achieve 85% of the result that he achieved when he was 20 (before he moved to the US). His English skills never reached his mother tongue level and his mother tongue level has deteriorated since he moved to the US, 30 years ago.

7) There have been several racial crossing studies which show that there is no significant difference in IQ between races (eg. Eyferth 1961, Tizard 1972, Scarr and Weinberg 1976)

etc.

The major question of this thread, however, remains an ethical one, particularly when it comes to cross-racial studies. I love science and, after physics, psychology has always been my favorite area (I have some formal education and also used it professionally).

The questions are: What is the purpose of these cross-racial IQ studies? Why are people doing them? What knowledge do these studies add that is of any value to anybody?

I cannot see any potential benefits of these cross-racial studies that would outweigh the damage that they create in society.

Roberth

"Now, winning the Nobel prize is one thing, but winning it with an IQ of only 125, that is really something!" - Richard Feynman
 
  • #211
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Roberth:
I think the objections to IQ and IQ tests have been answered in this thread and others in this forum.
The major question of this thread, however, remains an ethical one, particularly when it comes to cross-racial studies. I love science and, after physics, psychology has always been my favorite area (I have some formal education and also used it professionally).

The questions are: What is the purpose of these cross-racial IQ studies? Why are people doing them? What knowledge do these studies add that is of any value to anybody?

I cannot see any potential benefits of these cross-racial studies that would outweigh the damage that they create in society.
I agree that the world would be nicer if these results were wrong. Well, they are not and denial of reality will not help when making decisions.

A more intelligent minority in many countries have a disproportionate share the nations wealth. If the IQ results are accepted, it is possible to see that the minority creates more wealth than otherwise also for the majority. Denial is the path to genocide and poverty, like in Germany, Zimbabwe and so many other places and times before. It is no coincidence that the Nazis forbid IQ tests.
 
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If the majority is more intelligent, it is not a good solution for the economy to discriminate them, like in affirmative action. It is better for all to help the minority more directly. Also, the minorities can have other advantages that they should concentrate on instead. For example, blacks may have greater physical abilities and social skills than whites/East Asians. If so, they should concentrate on occupations like sales.
 
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I think the objections to IQ and IQ tests have been answered in this thread and others in this forum.

Yes. The question is what you mean by 'answered'. They certainly cannot mean refuted, but I will leave it at that.


I agree that the world would be nicer if these results were wrong. Well, they are not and denial of reality will not help when making decisions.

This is not a question of denial. I believe that the results are correct and certainly do not believe that anybody tinkered with the IQ test results. I am not so sure about their other studies which 'prove' that lack of IQ is hereditary. The problem remains what good these studies do. They certainly do not produce any scientifically important data, but can create harm.

I give you a counterexample, it would be far better if psychologists
concentrated on looking at patterns and techniques that could help people of poorer social environments to develop their mental skills.

What do you think most people will think reading these test results? Will they think

A. Aah, look the black people are less clever than we are and it is unfortunately in their genes. These poor guys, let's help them so that they get a similar standard of living to what we have ….

or

B. Well, I always knew that, just look at their behavior. It is certainly not my fault that so many of them have to live in ghettos …..

Hmm, what do you think?

The point again is, the attempt to statistically prove that a certain race is 'by nature' less intelligent does not help anybody. It is beside the point whether people do not agree with these test result conclusions. I also do not believe that the Asians or whoever are more intelligent by nature - but even if they are, so what?


A more intelligent minority in many countries have a disproportionate share the nations wealth. If the IQ results are accepted, it is possible to see that the minority creates more wealth than otherwise also for the majority.

I do not believe that. See A. and B. above.


Denial is the path to genocide and poverty, like in Germany, Zimbabwe and so many other places and times before. It is no coincidence that the Nazis forbid IQ tests.

I have not heard that before about the Nazis but believe you. The probable reasons were that they wanted to
1. keep the master race myth in tact. Imagine the Jews and other minorities would have turned out as clever.
2. not undermine their own structure. The follower of the Nazis regime were not very educated and probably would have done less than average on IQ tests.

Anyway, the US is certainly not in the same situation as Germany under Hitler. What is good in one situation (like it may have been at the time in Germany) can be bad in another.

If the majority is more intelligent, it is not a good solution for the economy to discriminate them, like in affirmative action.

I do not understand this statement.

It is better for all to help the minority more directly.

Agreed

Also, the minorities can have other advantages that they should concentrate on instead. For example, blacks may have greater physical abilities and social skills than whites/East Asians. If so, they should concentrate on occupations like sales.

Uuooh …, there we go. What comes next? Categorizing into Alphas, Betas etc. and creating a Brave New World?
I think that you mean well, but be careful with these schemes. They have never worked.
 
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  • #214
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I don't believe in censoring science due to the assumption that people will make the wrong decision if told the truth. Who are you to decide for them? That is very close to a dictatorship.

Society should certainly not try to give everybody exactly the same standard of living. That is the socialistic road to hell on this Earth, with over 100 million dead since 1917. The important thing is to reduce the absolute level of poverty, not that everybody is equal. Available research overwhelmingly shows that the road to long-term reduction of poverty and more wealth for all is more capitalism. There are good theoretical reasons for this, but the empirical evidence should be enough.
http://www.cato.org/research/articles/vas-0109.html [Broken]
http://www.freetheworld.com/papers.html

People with different ability and success should be payed accordingly. Long-term, this has given more wealth to all persons in capitalistic societes, including those with less ability, when the total amount of wealth available increases faster.

Regarding affirmative action, if less productive people takes the place of more productive, the wealth of society as whole will be reduced. And since the wealth grows exponentially, all reductions will have a large effect long-term. If one wants to help those with less ability, it should be directly, not though discrimination of those with more ability.

Regarding successful minorities, if people are not censored and learn that this is due to higher intelligence and not to injustice and conspiracy, there will be less genocides and poverty for all.
 
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  • #215
Roberth said:
What happened to the old and widely correct saying:

"IQ tests measure how well you do on IQ tests!"
IQ tests measure intelligence. Repeated studies show it's very accurate in measuring Spearman's g. And I'm not sure what you mean by "old and widely" saying because it seems it has always been accepted that IQ measure intelligence.

1) There has never been a consensus what 'intelligence' actually means.
Spearman's g.

2) IQ tests measure convergent intelligence and there are only a very few tests around which measure divergent intelligence (the closest to creativity). Creativity is at least as, if not more important, than analytical thinking, verbal abilities and all the other classical IQ test areas.
Creativity is not intelligence.

4) The most viable numbers on the nature-nurture debate are 60% to 80%. This can mean a difference between an IQ of 78 and 130!
Where are you getting this from? How did you get 78 and 130? You seem to be taking 130 and subtracting 40% from it. That is NOT how it works. The genetic correlation of IQ has been said to be .7 or .8. This is quite high. People that do take IQ tests over and over again, It's rare that they'll fluctuate more than a few points.

5) Has anybody ever come up with a test measuring the ability for 'deeper insight'?
Irrevelant as IQ test is suppose to measure one thing. General intelligence.

I am not convinced that many people with high IQs are particularly good in this area.
A person with a high IQ can be bad at basketball but you still forget that IQ tests are suppose to measure plain intelligence. Nothing else.

6) The practicing side is widely underestimated in IQ tests. Language abilities fall in this category. For example, I do not think that Arnold Schwarzenegger would either in English nor in German (his mother tongue) achieve 85% of the result that he achieved when he was 20 (before he moved to the US). His English skills never reached his mother tongue level and his mother tongue level has deteriorated since he moved to the US, 30 years ago.
IQ tests do not require high language ability as it is not a test to measure knowledge. Raven's Progressive Matrices would require NO language ability at all. But I would suspect Arnold Schwarzenegger would be able to take a Weschler IQ test in either German or English with no problems.

7) There have been several racial crossing studies which show that there is no significant difference in IQ between races (eg. Eyferth 1961, Tizard 1972, Scarr and Weinberg 1976)
Again where are you going this from? Something is fishy here. You're definitely not telling something.

Repeated studies year after year show about a 15 point IQ gap between Whites and American Blacks. About a 3-6 point IQ gap between Whites and East Asians. This has been quite consistent. Opponents against the Bell Curve have never actually argued against these figures but attempt to say that the difference is mostly or purely environmental. The American Psychological Association has also confirmed that the widely reported 15 point gap between Whites and Blacks is accurate.

The questions are: What is the purpose of these cross-racial IQ studies? Why are people doing them? What knowledge do these studies add that is of any value to anybody?
What purpose? For science. For knowledge. For understanding. Why study anything? Scientists study them because they wish to find the truth.

What does the study on how the moon formed attribute to any value? It's knowledge. There is an enormous gaps in academic ability between races throughout the world. Whether in America or Europe or Australia, etc. Some scientists wish to find out why. Certainly a politically incorrect topic but that does not mean one shouuldn't strive to find the truth to this matter.

I cannot see any potential benefits of these cross-racial studies that would outweigh the damage that they create in society.
What damage? There was a lot of people like you when Darwin came out. Stating that implying that humans evolved from lesser life forms instead of being the creation of God will create damage in society. Create less happiness in people who otherwise wish to believe there is a God looking after us, we are God's creations, and there is a heaven to go to after we part from this Earth. So what's the good in knowing evolution is real? It's simply to know the truth.

"Now, winning the Nobel prize is one thing, but winning it with an IQ of only 125, that is really something!" - Richard Feynman
Yes that is something. The average Nobel Prize winner (science departments) is about 155 however. A figure less than 0.1% of the population will have.
 
  • #216
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There must be ethic in science

I don't believe in censoring science due to the assumption that people will make the wrong decision if told the truth. Who are you to decide for them? That is very close to a dictatorship.

This is an old and widely debated argument and I was sure that it would come up.

There is and must be an ethic of science. To simple say: "I am a scientist and my only goal in life is finding The Truth!" is very naïve.
Scientists are human and have also other, conscious and unconscious, motives than 'Finding the Truth'. If a scientific investigation can obviously hurt and be used as a weapon, either physical or social, then this constitutes an area that has to be addressed very cautiously. If, like in this case, there is no benefit to anybody then you must be even more careful.

Imagine I was interested in a certain experiment in Physics for the 'sake of truth'. The experiment does not add anything useful to the progress of mankind but can be dangerous. Do you think that people will agree to that? I hope not.

I then shout: "This is dictatorship! You want to undermine the truth!"

Research into nuclear fusion would be a counter example. Although there are some risks, the benefits of a future clean and virtually limitless power source for all mankind far outweighs the connected risks.

It has nothing to do with dictatorship but with responsibility. To quote a famous comic figure that I often read in my teens:
"With great power comes great responsibility" - Words and research are a great social power!


Society should certainly not try to give everybody exactly the same standard of living. That is the socialistic road to hell on this Earth, with over 100 million dead since 1917. The important thing is to reduce the absolute level of poverty, not that everybody is equal. Available research overwhelmingly shows that the road to long-term reduction of poverty and more wealth for all is more capitalism. There are good theoretical reasons for this, but the empirical evidence should be enough.
http://www.cato.org/research/articles/vas-0109.html [Broken]
http://www.freetheworld.com/papers.html


I widely agree with you on that point, although capitalism often goes too far. There are different ways to employ capitalism.

People with different ability should be rewarded accordingly. In the end, that will give more wealth to all.

I agree with you in principle although the mechanism of wealth redistribution is severely lacking in the US and also some other parts of the western world. Without distribution only a few are helped and there is not more wealth to all but only a few.

Regarding affirmative action, if less productive people takes the place of more productive, the wealth of society as whole will be reduced. And since the wealth grows exponentially, all reductions will have a large effect long-term.

First, the wealth cannot grow exponentially for very much longer. The resources of our world are limited. It is about time that people understand that.
Earth will fight back against being increasingly exploited or may die as an inhabitable place within the next few generations - but this is another topic.
Point is: increasingly higher production is not necessarily good. Have you thought about what would happen if all 6 Billion people in the world would have the same standard of living as people in the US and the rest of the Western World?

It can actually be good that people become less productive and focus on other things than material gain - but that is also another topic.

It is again about responsibility. Future generations will judge us.

Regarding successful minorities, if people are not censored and learn that this is due to higher intelligence and not to injustice and conspiracy, there will be less genocides and poverty for all.

Fine, then these psychologists should test a fair sample of 20% of the high earners in the US and show that they have a higher IQ (which I believe they do). Doing this, they will have achieved their goal and can then work towards less genocides and poverty for all.

Roberth
 
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  • #217
selfAdjoint
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Roberth, you several times repeat that you are talking about responsibility, not coercion, but your methods seem to be that other people (who?) enforce this "responsibility" upon a scientist who may not agree with them. Isn't that the definition of coercion? And just who is "responsible" in such a situation?
 
  • #218
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IQ tests measure intelligence. Repeated studies show it's very accurate in measuring Spearman's g. And I'm not sure what you mean by "old and widely" saying because it seems it has always been accepted that IQ measure intelligence.


Spearman's g.


Yes, I was talking about Spearman's g amongst other and it has not always been accepted that IQ measure intelligence. That is the whole point here.

Creativity is not intelligence.

In the sense of Piaget (and others) it is.

Where are you getting this from? How did you get 78 and 130? You seem to be taking 130 and subtracting 40% from it. That is NOT how it works. The genetic correlation of IQ has been said to be .7 or .8. This is quite high. People that do take IQ tests over and over again, It's rare that they'll fluctuate more than a few points.

I did mean percentage point of IQ and not correlation.

Irrevelant as IQ test is suppose to measure one thing. General intelligence.

Exactly, supposed to but other psychologists (and I agree with them) say that it only does in a very limited way.

A person with a high IQ can be bad at basketball but you still forget that IQ tests are suppose to measure plain intelligence. Nothing else.

Depends on the definition of intelligence again, see above.

IQ tests do not require high language ability as it is not a test to measure knowledge. Raven's Progressive Matrices would require NO language ability at all. But I would suspect Arnold Schwarzenegger would be able to take a Weschler IQ test in either German or English with no problems.

Although Raven's test is pretty good, it is not as cultural-free as some people claim. There are several counter studies.

Do you mean the IQ test created by David Wechsler in 1939?

As far as verbal IQ goes, ask any professional linguist and they will agree with me. That is the reason why professional linguists usually only translate into their mother tongue and not vice versa. Furthermore, when you do not practise a language for a long time you loose skill in it. A bit like playing chess, really.

Again where are you going this from? Something is fishy here. You're definitely not telling something.

Where am I getting this from? From university study books in Psychology amongst other. It's part of studying psychology. No Conspiracy here.

I wonder why you do not know them?

Repeated studies year after year show about a 15 point IQ gap between Whites and American Blacks. About a 3-6 point IQ gap between Whites and East Asians. This has been quite consistent. Opponents against the Bell Curve have never actually argued against these figures but attempt to say that the difference is mostly or purely environmental. The American Psychological Association has also confirmed that the widely reported 15 point gap between Whites and Blacks is accurate.

I do not dispute that. I question that this measures 'inherent intelligence'. See my answer to Aquamarine.

What purpose? For science. For knowledge. For understanding. Why study anything? Scientists study them because they wish to find the truth.

What does the study on how the moon formed attribute to any value? It's knowledge. There is an enormous gaps in academic ability between races throughout the world. Whether in America or Europe or Australia, etc. Some scientists wish to find out why. Certainly a politically incorrect topic but that does not mean one shouuldn't strive to find the truth to this matter.


I could not care less whether something is politically incorrect or not. The point is that it does not add anything except mostly harmful adversary.
See my answer to Aquamarine.

What damage? There was a lot of people like you when Darwin came out. Stating that implying that humans evolved from lesser life forms instead of being the creation of God will create damage in society. Create less happiness in people who otherwise wish to believe there is a God looking after us, we are God's creations, and there is a heaven to go to after we part from this Earth. So what's the good in knowing evolution is real? It's simply to know the truth.

I doubt that there were people like me.

It was not Darwin who created problems but some of the epigons that used it to 'prove' whatever their motivational disposition was.

I give you one severe example. There was a 'scientist' called Agassiz who claimed that:
"The brain of the Negro is that of the imperfect brain of a seven months old infant in the womb of a white". Page 127, Ontogeny and Phylogeny, by Stephen Gould.


Yes that is something. The average Nobel Prize winner (science departments) is about 155 however. A figure less than 0.1% of the population will have.

Really? Interesting and quite plausible. I believe you but would like to know how this is known. Have they gone through IQ tests before their Nobel prize speech?
 
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  • #219
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What happened to the old and widely correct saying:
"IQ tests measure how well you do on IQ tests!"
Sayings do not constitute science. IQ tests measure group factors and _g_. If these were worthless, there would be no concern over IQ tests and they would have vanished long ago. They persist because they measure a fundamental variance in human ability and are useful both for prediction and explanation of differences in such important matters as rate of learning, ability to perform tasks that are limited by intelligence thresholds, academic performance, and job performance.

1) There has never been a consensus what 'intelligence' actually means. The one that I can best subscribe to is Piaget's. To paraphrase him: "intelligence is what you use when you don't know what to do".
Please give a reference for the above. The quote you gave has been attributed (by Jensen) to Carl Bereiter.

2) IQ tests measure convergent intelligence and there are only a very few tests around which measure divergent intelligence (the closest to creativity).
Please tell us what recognized psychometric texts confirm your assertion. I am more familiar with the literature than most people and have yet to see a single discussion that asserts anything about "convergent intelligence." Would you provide a definition and a source for the definition? Thank you.

Creativity is at least as, if not more important, than analytical thinking, verbal abilities and all the other classical IQ test areas.
Lots of things are important to human life, including honesty, beauty, health, charm, persistence, and zeal. None of these diminish the importance of the others, nor of intelligence.

3) There are no good tests around that measure abstraction skills. This ability is definitely one of the key factors that distinguishes a mere high IQ person from an "intellectually intelligent" person. The same is true for people with average intelligence.
Why do you offer such assertions without providing names and validation findings? We would be interested to know the names of those "good tests" and to see data which compare their ability to predict against the ability of _g_ to predict in areas such as learning rate, job performance, academic performance, income, SES, etc.

4) The most viable numbers on the nature-nurture debate are 60% to 80%. This can mean a difference between an IQ of 78 and 130!
I think you have already been taken to task for the above nonsense.

6) The practicing side is widely underestimated in IQ tests. Language abilities fall in this category. For example, I do not think that Arnold Schwarzenegger would either in English nor in German (his mother tongue) achieve 85% of the result that he achieved when he was 20 (before he moved to the US). His English skills never reached his mother tongue level and his mother tongue level has deteriorated since he moved to the US, 30 years ago.
What is the definition of "the practicing side?" Is this a scientific term? I note that you were critical of the term "intelligence." Is "the practicing side" more precise?

7) There have been several racial crossing studies which show that there is no significant difference in IQ between races (eg. Eyferth 1961, Tizard 1972, Scarr and Weinberg 1976)
What is a "racial crossing study?" Perhaps a study of Michael Jackson from childhood to present?

Scarr and Weinberg conducted a transracial adoption study (there was no mention of racial crossing in the papers I read). The report in 1976 showed the effects of shared environment, which were assumed to be permanent. Somehow you forgot to tell us about the follow-up study in 1986. Why? The report then found that the shared environmental factor was zero. It is now known that the shared environmental factor is present in childhood, but that it vanishes around age 12 to 17. (Plomin gives age 12.)

The major question of this thread, however, remains an ethical one, particularly when it comes to cross-racial studies.
What is a "cross-racial study?" Psychometricians usually speak of within group and between group studies. I assume you mean "between group," but you used "racial." Various population groups are known to have different mean values of intelligence.

The questions are: What is the purpose of these cross-racial IQ studies? Why are people doing them? What knowledge do these studies add that is of any value to anybody?
People study between group factors in order to understand the subject of intelligence and in order to create tools that can explain the variances that are observed in both individual and group performance. The same considerations apply to other between group studies, such as are common in medicine and physiology.

One example of what has been learned from population group studies (but must be ignored by politicians and academics) is that _g_ cannot be changed by any macro environmental conditions. No form of education, or change to family environment (even adoption) will cause a change in adult _g_. This tells us that attempting to produce equal test scores for schools with different population group weightings is impossible. Kansas City and Detroit have spent huge sums of money trying to demonstrate that poor school performance is the result of low budgets. They were not able to raise test scores for the simple reason that it is not possible to create tests that require thought but which do not tap _g_. Save the money. Washington, DC has one of the highest per student spending rates in the nation and the lowest test scores.

I cannot see any potential benefits of these cross-racial studies that would outweigh the damage that they create in society.
Your assertion of damage is unsupported. There is no damage.

"Now, winning the Nobel prize is one thing, but winning it with an IQ of only 125, that is really something!" - Richard Feynman
The claim that Feynman had an IQ of 125 was included in one of the books of Feynman stories written by Ralph Leighton. There is no information in the book that tells us anything about the test, such as its name, how it was given, its validity, its standard deviation, etc. Without that information, the claim is simply silly (even if Feynman believed it). Jensen was asked about the 125 claim; his reply has been copied here more than once, so I will not bother to do it again. In essence, Jensen said that the claim was very unlikely to be correct. People who want to rail against IQ, however, are quick to latch on to this as if it were a scientific fact.

If you enjoyed the Feynman stories, as I did, may I suggest that you read (presumably again) the one on page 60 of What Do You Care What Other People Think?

===

This is not a question of denial. I believe that the results are correct and certainly do not believe that anybody tinkered with the IQ test results. I am not so sure about their other studies which 'prove' that lack of IQ is hereditary. The problem remains what good these studies do. They certainly do not produce any scientifically important data, but can create harm.
Your wording is odd, so I have to guess that you do not believe that the variance in IQ is attributable to genetics. If so, I would like to suggest that your opinion is at odds with the findings of very well conducted research that has shown the value of h^2 as a function of age and which has shown that it can be demonstrated by multiple independent methodologies. Your assertion that scientific findings (such as the value of h^2) cause harm is a personal opinion, not a fact.

What do you think most people will think reading these test results? Will they think
A. or B.
Hmm, what do you think?
I think that there are differences in mean IQ for a number of population groups and that the within group differences are caused by genetics, just as the between group differences are caused by genetics at rates that are a function of age (70% in young adults, rising to 80% or more in older adults).
 
  • #220
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Roberth said:
There is and must be an ethic of science. To simple say: "I am a scientist and my only goal in life is finding The Truth!" is very naïve.
I disagree. Truth is the only reasonable goal in science.

Scientists are human and have also other, conscious and unconscious, motives than 'Finding the Truth'. If a scientific investigation can obviously hurt and be used as a weapon, either physical or social, then this constitutes an area that has to be addressed very cautiously. If, like in this case, there is no benefit to anybody then you must be even more careful.
Your assertion concerning truth as a weapon is baseless and obscene. Concealing the truth is a crime against nature.

Research into nuclear fusion would be a counter example. Although there are some risks, the benefits of a future clean and virtually limitless power source for all mankind far outweighs the connected risks.
This has nothing to do with the subject at hand. As a technicality, it is also misleading, since the production of energy by fusion necessarily involves the production of radioisotopes, which are not "clean."
 
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Roberth said:
Although Raven's test is pretty good, it is not as cultural-free as some people claim. There are several counter studies.
Why didn't you list the studies? Please list them now. What were the findings that you believe are most significant?
Do you mean the IQ test created by David Wechsler in 1939?
Surely you know that the Wechsler tests are the most central to psychometrics and have been constantly updated. You surely must also know that there are multiple tests in use that are variants of the Wechsler and which use the name Wechsler.
Where am I getting this from? From university study books in Psychology amongst other. It's part of studying psychology. No Conspiracy here.

I wonder why you do not know them?
And I wonder why you do not list them. Just so we know your sources, please tell us which psychometrics textbooks you have read from cover to cover and tell us which textbooks you implied but failed to list in your comment. Your various comments indicate to me a very limited understanding of this subject.

I do not dispute that. I question that this measures 'inherent intelligence'.
What do your textbooks define as "inherent intelligence?" It seems to me that there is only one really significant aspect of cognitive performance that is addressed by psychometrics and that is psychometric _g_. Anything beyond that is the subject of a different discussion.

I give you one severe example. There was a 'scientist' called Agassiz who claimed that:
"The brain of the Negro is that of the imperfect brain of a seven months old infant in the womb of a white". Page 127, Ontogeny and Phylogeny, by Stephen Gould.
What is the reason for your above comment? It appears to be race baiting to me. Why is it important to quote from a person who died 25 years before the first intelligence test? And why would any person quote from the discredited Stephen Gould, who never even demonstrated that he understood factor analysis? Gould used every means possible in "Mismeasure" to distort the truth and to mislead ignorant readers who didn't know any better than to accept his comments at face value.
 
  • #222
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Roberth said:
Regarding successful minorities, if people are not censored and learn that this is due to higher intelligence and not to injustice and conspiracy, there will be less genocides and poverty for all.
Fine, then these psychologists should test a fair sample of 20% of the high earners in the US and show that they have a higher IQ (which I believe they do). Doing this, they will have achieved their goal and can then work towards less genocides and poverty for all.
People probably already assume that high earners have greater IQ. But also that if a racial minority have disproportionate wealth, it means injustice or conspiracy has occurred. That is the natural conclusion if races have equal IQ. And that righteous redistribution, violent if necessary, will make the majority richer. That is what happened in Germany in the thirties and in Zimbabwe today.

I will answer the objections to capitalism in a separate thread.
 
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  • #223
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Brief note to selfAdjoint

selfAdjoint said:
Roberth, you several times repeat that you are talking about responsibility, not coercion, but your methods seem to be that other people (who?) enforce this "responsibility" upon a scientist who may not agree with them. Isn't that the definition of coercion? And just who is "responsible" in such a situation?

These are, of course, very valid questions. I will answer soon.

Roberth
 
  • #224
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Sayings do not constitute science. IQ tests measure group factors and _g_. If these were worthless, there would be no concern over IQ tests and they would have vanished long ago. They persist because they measure a fundamental variance in human ability and are useful both for prediction and explanation of differences in such important matters as rate of learning, ability to perform tasks that are limited by intelligence thresholds, academic performance, and job performance.

Are you a psychologist or only a psychometrician? If you are a psychologist then you should be able to answer the question why these IQ tests have not vanished, yet. I give you a hint: it has something to do with the psychological disposition of those people who advocate them.

And why do you want to make those predictions and for what purpose? Pre-destine the fate of the lower IQ people? These studies neither help to improve these important matters nor do they help in any way to improve the situation for the people concerned. See my previous posts.


Please give a reference for the above. The quote you gave has been attributed (by Jensen) to Carl Bereiter.

How Brains Think, page 1 by William H. Calvin

Please tell us what recognized psychometric texts confirm your assertion. I am more familiar with the literature than most people and have yet to see a single discussion that asserts anything about "convergent intelligence." Would you provide a definition and a source for the definition? Thank you.

"Convergent thinking is a cognitive style characterized by a tendency to focus on a single best solution to a problem", used by J.P. Guilford, Getzel and Jackson, Wallach and Kogan, Hudson and others.

What is the problem here? This is the second time that I have been asked about terminology which should be second nature to a 'Psychologist', but some people on this board have never heard it.

I can assume that their studies must be unbalanced and one-sided.

This may the crux to this problem in the first place. In the 'investigating' Arts and soft Sciences, if you do not learn to apply the principle of dialectic then your conclusions will remain superficial. Psychology is a soft Science. Even in the exact Sciences this principle has its good virtue.

Lots of things are important to human life, including honesty, beauty, health, charm, persistence, and zeal. None of these diminish the importance of the others, nor of intelligence.

Yes.

There are no good tests around that measure abstraction skills. This ability is definitely one of the key factors that distinguishes a mere high IQ person from an "intellectually intelligent" person. The same is true for people with average intelligence.


Why do you offer such assertions without providing names and validation findings? We would be interested to know the names of those "good tests" and to see data which compare their ability to predict against the ability of _g_ to predict in areas such as learning rate, job performance, academic performance, income, SES, etc.

My point was that there are no real good tests around to measure abstraction skills. You then ask me, why I cannot provide you with those good tests …???

Regarding the _g_ test, I am aware of its correlation significance. The argument in itself is not very difficult to understand. The danger, however, is that you want to use it to predict in areas such as learning rate, job performance, academic performance, income, SES, etc.
Leave out the prediction, it does not help anybody!

I think you have already been taken to task for the above nonsense.

I stay with it, however, and will not go into useless proofs or otherwise. As far as your nonsense statement is concerned, our knowledge again seem to differ.


What is the definition of "the practicing side?" Is this a scientific term? I note that you were critical of the term "intelligence." Is "the practicing side" more precise?

Do you really need a definition of what 'practicing a language' means? Most people will probably understand without a definition. I am starting to have my doubts, however. I was not critical of the term intelligence, I was critical of what is understood by it. The term 'intelligence' is certainly a lot more abstract than what the expression 'practicing a language' means.


What is a "racial crossing study?" Perhaps a study of Michael Jackson from childhood to present?

"Racial crossing studies focus on black, white and mixed-race children who happen to be raised in similar environmental circumstances".

Please hold back criticizing expressions that you do not know! It is petty and not very productive and only shows the fact that you do not know them (you may know them under a different name).

Scarr and Weinberg conducted a transracial adoption study (there was no mention of racial crossing in the papers I read). The report in 1976 showed the effects of shared environment, which were assumed to be permanent. Somehow you forgot to tell us about the follow-up study in 1986. Why? The report then found that the shared environmental factor was zero. It is now known that the shared environmental factor is present in childhood, but that it vanishes around age 12 to 17. (Plomin gives age 12.)

Does it? So be it. However, has anybody tried to produce a counter-argument? I cannot comment since I do not know this 1986 study.


One example of what has been learned from population group studies (but must be ignored by politicians and academics) is that _g_ cannot be changed by any macro environmental conditions. No form of education, or change to family environment (even adoption) will cause a change in adult _g_. This tells us that attempting to produce equal test scores for schools with different population group weightings is impossible. Kansas City and Detroit have spent huge sums of money trying to demonstrate that poor school performance is the result of low budgets. They were not able to raise test scores for the simple reason that it is not possible to create tests that require thought but which do not tap _g_. Save the money. Washington, DC has one of the highest per student spending rates in the nation and the lowest test scores.

So, they were not able to raise test scores? … and now they should spend less money? Well, you see that is the problem that I ethically have with your attitude: You now end up with the conclusion that it may be a waste of money to try to bring up the level of people in Kansas City and Detroit. It can never be a waste of money to give people a chance. Furthermore, less ideologically, I am not at all convinced that the mental capabilities of people are predetermined to an extent that there is no hope whatever you do, regardless their test scores.

In case you get the wrong impression, I do not believe that you can make a genius out of a person with limited genetic material (now, that sounds charming, doesn't it?), but you can get a very long way of improving their overall cognitive capabilities.

IQ tests are simply not general enough to justify any decision-making process for individual persons.


Your assertion of damage is unsupported. There is no damage.

Are you really that naive?

The claim that Feynman ... ...were a scientific fact.

Well, in the story that I remember he actually said it himself.

You see what you are doing now? You want to prove to all people with an IQ of less or equal than 125 to never try to win the Nobel Prize (by the way, it is not about winning the Nobel Prize, it is about the achievement that goes with it).

If you want to do use these tests for a positive purpose then find other people where the gap between their IQ and their positive achievement is very high. Investigate the cognitive and personality-related traits that make them successful and give other people the chance to learn from it.

Your wording is odd, so I have to guess that you do not believe that the variance in IQ is attributable to genetics. If so, I would like to suggest that your opinion is at odds with the findings of very well conducted research that has shown the value of h^2 as a function of age and which has shown that it can be demonstrated by multiple independent methodologies. Your assertion that scientific findings (such as the value of h^2) cause harm is a personal opinion, not a fact.

I do not only question the validity of these research studies but also question what they are good for. Besides, there is very well conducted research that shows the opposite.

I think that there are differences in mean IQ for a number of population groups and that the within group differences are caused by genetics, just as the between group differences are caused by genetics at rates that are a function of age (70% in young adults, rising to 80% or more in older adults).

Is this a comment to the following passage from above?

What do you think most people will think reading these test results? Will they think

A. Aah, look the black people are less clever than we are and it is unfortunately in their genes. These poor guys, let's help them so that they get a similar standard of living to what we have ….

or

B. Well, I always knew that, just look at their behavior. It is certainly not my fault that so many of them have to live in ghettos …..

Hmm, what do you think?


I think that you totally missed the point here. Please read it again.
 
  • #225
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I disagree. Truth is the only reasonable goal in science.

No, it is not the only one and can never be.

Your assertion concerning truth as a weapon is baseless and obscene. Concealing the truth is a crime against nature.

The only crime against nature is when people are not humble against her creation. One example is the arrogance that perceived truth will justify unethical and damaging measures.

This has nothing to do with the subject at hand. As a technicality, it is also misleading, since the production of energy by fusion necessarily involves the production of radioisotopes, which are not "clean."

That is what I meant by saying "some risks".

Why didn't you list the studies? Please list them now. What were the findings that you believe are most significant?

The issue here is not that I have to show them, the issue here is that you do not know them. Look them up in the literature or search on the Internet.

Surely you know that the Wechsler tests are the most central to psychometrics and have been constantly updated. You surely must also know that there are multiple tests in use that are variants of the Wechsler and which use the name Wechsler.


Yes. I asked because Aquamarine wrote "Weschler" (which is also a possible name of German origin).

And I wonder why you do not list them. Just so we know your sources, please tell us which psychometrics textbooks you have read from cover to cover and tell us which textbooks you implied but failed to list in your comment. Your various comments indicate to me a very limited understanding of this subject.

Now, now, be careful what you say: it is the other way round. So far I have had no problems to follow your assertions but you seem to lack some balanced view of the subject to be able to follow mine.


What do your textbooks define as "inherent intelligence?" It seems to me that there is only one really significant aspect of cognitive performance that is addressed by psychometrics and that is psychometric _g_. Anything beyond that is the subject of a different discussion.

Do you really not know what 'inherent' means? With the rest, you finally hit the jackpot. The problem is that this significant aspect is far too limited and this was my point in the first place.

What is the reason for your above comment? It appears to be race baiting to me. Why is it important to quote from a person who died 25 years before the first intelligence test? And why would any person quote from the discredited Stephen Gould, who never even demonstrated that he understood factor analysis? Gould used every means possible in "Mismeasure" to distort the truth and to mislead ignorant readers who didn't know any better than to accept his comments at face value.

The example shows how dangerous it can be to use these racial differentiating studies. Stephen Gould is discredited? By who? … and what does it change in respect to this point?
 

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