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Relationship between Asiatic language and science/math performance?

  1. Aug 16, 2005 #1
    In the states there is a positive stereotype about the high performance of Asian students academically, particularly in the maths and sciences. I have heard there is a study of american students that showed asians scoring an average of 10 points higher IQ than other groups, but this is anecdotal because I haven't seen the paper.

    It is possbile alot of this can be attributed to non-linguistic social factors. However , There have been some studies on the cerebral asymmetry of children proficient in logographic language towards a theory that there are language-specific neural networks.

    Is it possible that learning some languages at an early age could potentially be favorable to certain learning or mathematical or spatial thinking, similar to how playing muscial intruments has been shown to be?

    I'm not asian nor speak an asiatic language so I have no specific insight in that regard...
     
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  3. Aug 16, 2005 #2
    it is possible...but there are alot of factors...including parents/relatives/siblings/teachers/observation of one relationship with another
    my sisters don't excel in science (but at one time they did in math)
    I think it had to do with the negative REINFORCEMENT of parents and teachers
    and the inability to compete with other students.
    \
    It is said in some research that learning a pictographic language makes you more susceptible to the abstract mathematical world(sorry its been so long, don't have references). but i really don't know, because they did not study alot of other factors.
     
  4. Aug 16, 2005 #3
    I always thought that the socio economic status had a strong correlation with the way we measure 'intelligence.' I was wondering if the asian people that migrate to the U.S. are or were financially stable?
     
  5. Aug 16, 2005 #4
    there could be something to this.

    the english/latin alphabet is rather simple, but there are many sequences available. logogramatic languages (like the different chinese languages) can have more than 40,000 symbols..so it's not unreasonable to think that the thought processes of reading one vs. the other would be different, and it has been espoused by philosophers that language and thought are intricately linked. you could also make the argument that some psychologists have, that thought is nothing more than an internal dialogue.
     
  6. Aug 16, 2005 #5

    selfAdjoint

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    It could work the other way too. Being highly literate was the road to prosperity and many concubines for thousands of years due to the Confucian examinations for public office under the empires. Adaptive selection could have promoted genetic increases in intelligence.
     
  7. Aug 17, 2005 #6
    well if it is so then i am too good.
    i learnt 3 languages when i was 5 and now i know 6 and i'm 15
     
  8. Aug 17, 2005 #7
    Quetzalcoatl9, when you say internal language do you mean similar to the language shared between close twins when they are children? I don't mean exact but something similar to that except they aren't sharing it with someone else?

    Sidenote pertaining to the cerebral asymmetry: children who have autism can be highly intelligent could this be caused by slight asymmetries in their brains as well on top of the cause of their autism. I next to nothing about autism and thats why I am asking.

    ~Kitty
     
  9. Aug 17, 2005 #8
    no, i mean the psychological viewpoint that when we are thinking we are conversing with ourselves. in hypnosis they seek to continue this dialogue, but from hypnotist-to-patient rather than patient-to-patient. i'm not a psychologist, so i can't elaborate further.
     
  10. Aug 17, 2005 #9
    Thanks for the clarification. I wasn't quite sure what you ment.

    ~Kitty
     
  11. Aug 19, 2005 #10
    The answer is simple,, the avarge time we spend reading (subject or general) is more than that of others, it has nothing to do with IQs..
    Plz see,,
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4626857.stm
    Personally, many of my friends are in US universities now doing their MS and Phds and there are quite a few in the Ivy Leagues..
     
  12. Aug 20, 2005 #11
    from the brain quiz Amazingly, infants are born with the capacity not just to learn language, but to learn all languages. As researcher Patricia Kuhl from the University of Washington puts it, infants are "citizens of the world." They are able to perceive the different sounds and patterns of speech of all languages in the world. For example, at birth, Japanese babies can hear the distinction between "r" and "l", although only the "r" sound exists in Japanese. They can still hear the distinction at 6 months of age, but cannot by 12 months of age.
     
  13. Aug 20, 2005 #12

    Lisa!

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    Do you have any more information about that? You know Asia is so big and lots of countries are located in Asia. So if you make it more specific, it would be better. At least tell me( of course if you know) if it's about western Asia or eastern?
    You know at first I was almost thinking like Yaaks( I think most of Asian people are more hard-working) but you're talking about their IQ and it makes some differences. Although IQ would increase by studying more in my idea. But you know I read Yaaks's article and it was onnly about afew Asian countries.
     
  14. Aug 20, 2005 #13

    selfAdjoint

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    Specifically the IQ results pertain to the Han and the Japanese.
     
  15. Aug 20, 2005 #14

    Lisa!

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    Perhaps that's because of their educational system esp. in Japan. The subjects children study in the elementary school is unique in the world. For example I heard that they teach children how to work by a abacus and do all their calculations by it and after awhile they're able to do these calculations without it. I'm not sure since I just heard it.
     
  16. Aug 21, 2005 #15

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    Problem is, these IQ results cover immigrants in the US, where the kids are in the same public schools as the other populations. Yes there's a lot of effect of attitude on the extra success of far-eastern-americans in higher education, but the IQ data is separate from that.
     
  17. Aug 21, 2005 #16

    Lisa!

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    Well I think Japaneses people are traditional. I mean they try to bring their children up with their own culture. So perhaps they teach them these kind of things at home. Their language is also difficult and I think when a child try to learn 2 languages when s/he's a child, it could have some affect on her/his IQ. But well I'm not sure about what I said.
     
  18. Aug 22, 2005 #17
    i belief east-asian people are inherenltly more smarter, but other socioecomical factors do bring those potential to the surfaces. Alot of the times, modifications from environment do help in the case of the jews, and to some extent east-asian. For example, i remember when i was young in macau( a place in china), school usually begin at 7 am and ended at 3pm. From 3 pm, we would go to after school program that might sometimes last to 12 pm. The schools in macua, hong kong or parts of China are VERY COMPETITIVE.
     
  19. Aug 22, 2005 #18
    sad thing is that these schools force the kids to practice rote memorization. The stress quantity over quality and there's no depth or focus into any particular subject.

    i am generalizing right now, but this is according to an older family friend from hong kong. my dad was also from hong kong as well and seems to agree that while asians are still smart the reason for their relative success is just better study habits and work ethic.
     
  20. Aug 22, 2005 #19

    I suppose this is the same with jews.
     
  21. Sep 2, 2005 #20
    I'm refering only to India:
    Here the middle class is extremely poor, we have nothing but brains. So we are forced to study study study. The generation(30-40 years ago) who studied studied studied went to America, U.K., etc. So there too the parents know that only becoz of their brains (and that they work for less wages compared to native counterparts) they have got respectable salaries. SO they force their children to study hard (=better IQ). I believe this is the case with many of the Asians abroad.

    If u come to India and do a review of the education system it is extremely competitive. Though there is some concern of rote-learning(it helps the females they come first in all the school exams), If u look at the respected Indian universities like IIT, AIIMS, BITS, etc the conduct entrance exams that are so tough. We are never allowed to touch calculators in any exam. The entrance exams are not based on rote learning but only on ur understanding of the concept. You must look at the SAT questions and IIT-JEE questions of previous years and compare them. And students lose buy .01 marks.
     
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