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What is the Most Valuable Trait?

  1. Jan 2, 2004 #1
    Here's a lighthearted thread for everybody. What's the most valuable personality characteristic? If you had to be reborn as another human being, and you could only pick one trait about yourself (everything else would be random) what wolud you choose?

    I'd like to say Openness to Experience (imagination), or Field Dependence (ability to analize things), or (although we can't exactly measure it) maturity. But unfortunately I think it's just intelligence. Intelligence is pretty vanilla as traits go; it's not as interesting as Locus of control or political affiliation or attractiveness or moral development, but the fact is that it correlates to them all. If you're smarter, you've proably got a lot of other things going for you as well - oh except that you may have trouble tasting phenylthiocarbamide, darn. Check http://www.childrenofmillennium.org/science.htm if you think I'm making this up.


    --Mark
     
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  3. Jan 2, 2004 #2

    selfAdjoint

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    I'll go with the old testament. An understanding heart.
     
  4. Jan 9, 2004 #3
    Hm. What a lovely subject.

    I think that if I could have any trait, I would pick the ability to live for tomorrow.
    Some people have this weird thing about 'living in the past.' That's not me. I'm the retard that lives for the future!
    But you see, if you do that, you end up getting your hopes up. I guess I think too far ahead. So. Not so far, will ya?

    So ... my New Years Resolution was to live for tomorrow. Not next week. Not next year. NOW, and tomorrow. I tell myself to stop living for yesterday and forget what happened a few weeks ago.

    Things don't always work like that, I suppose.
     
  5. Jan 13, 2004 #4

    Tsu

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    Patience. I need patience.
     
  6. Jan 13, 2004 #5
    I don't think any trait someone can have is more attractive, sexy, exciting or interesting than intelligence (tempered with wisdom, of course, but an intelligent person would know that, so I think maybe it goes without saying ).
     
  7. Feb 12, 2004 #6
    willpower
     
  8. Feb 13, 2004 #7
    In 1915, one of Spearman's doctoral students, E. Webb, published a factor analysis of a matrix of correlations including a number of highly g-loaded tests and a number of ratings of character and personality. The particular personality traits chosen for study and obtained from ratings by students' teachers and associates were actually selected because they were expected to be related to g, and hence to show significant loadings on the g factor. This expectation, however, was completely contradicted by Webb's analysis, which yielded two wholly distinct factors - g and a general "character" factor, which Webb labeled w and characterized as "will" and "persistence of motives." The types of items most highly loaded on the w factor were described as: perseverance, as opposed to willful changeability; perseverance in the face of obstacles; kindness on principle; trustworthiness; and conscientiousness.

    --Arthur Jensen, The g Factor


    (Of course, one_raven still gave the best answer.

    --Mark)
     
  9. Feb 13, 2004 #8

    selfAdjoint

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    I think it depends on what it is you value. Many of us on these boards have value systems in which intelligence ranks high, but salesmen value charm, and athletes physics strength, and so on.

    If you value wealth and power, I think the most valued trait would be ruthlessness. Consider two individuals rising in either business or politics, and suppose they are alike in every trait but ruthlessness. Eventually they will be tested by being required, for further advancement, to do something criminal or shameful, or at least unfeeling. The more ruthless one will do it and advance; the less ruthless one will demur and fail to advance.

    You think that choice doesn't come in business and politics. Wanna bet?
     
  10. Feb 13, 2004 #9
    That's what makes this question so interesting. It doesn't really ask about traits but personal values.

    The kicker, however, is that even these are irrelevant. Psychometric g correlates with social ability, with talking speed, with symmetry of facial features, and with a sense of humor. If you are a fan of charm, you're a fan of g.

    Psychometric g also correlates with height, with handgrip strength, and with general health and fitness. If you are a fan of strength, you're a fan of g.

    Then, further, Psychometric g corelates with Socioeconomic status achieved, with leadership, with income, and with military rank. If you are a fan of power, then you are really a fan of g.

    I'm personally a fan of creativity, artistic talent, religious and phiolosphical depth, and aestheticism. These are the things which really matter to me. Well, guess what they all correlate with? Just check Jensen's The g Factor if you don't believe me!


    --Mark
     
  11. Feb 24, 2004 #10

    Nereid

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    Being a man; in most of the world that'll give you many hundred times more SES than being a woman; in some places, no matter how talented or smart you are, you've literally no chance whatsoever of being a leader in the society, becoming wealthy (in your own right), or with attaining a senior rank in the armed forces.

    How does Jensen and his g factor address these cold facts of life?
     
  12. Feb 24, 2004 #11
    *Snort*

    They aren't cold facts of life in any Western society - where, coincidentally, the average IQ is always better than the world average. Westerners don't practice female genital mutilation, and have always strongly opposed polygamy. But if you want to point fingers, why not point at societies with low average g?


    --Mark
     
  13. Feb 24, 2004 #12

    Nereid

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    IIRC, hitssquad said that Jensen was careful to not claim applicability beyond the US, where the research work was done.

    What results did Jensen report regarding the g factor and gender (in the US)?

    Assume that the US is 'a society with a high average g', and that g has a high hereditability ... then we would expect that such societies would not engage in such things as slavery or unprovoked wars of aggression far from their shores, wouldn't we?

    Doesn't Nachtwolf, on his website, take pains to point out the relative nature of IQ? That those who have higher IQ have better SES compared with those with lower IQ? In other words, the average SES of a group of people with an average IQ of 90 is better than the average SES of a group with an average IQ of 80; ditto 100 vs 90; etc. Unless I'm mistaken, there's nothing in this relativist idea which says it applies only above some threshhold (and both Lynn and Vanhanen, and Nachtwolf have made it clear they do not think there's any such lower threshhold).
     
  14. Feb 25, 2004 #13

    Nereid

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    My previous post was a little hasty; on reflection, I realise that I don't understand what a 'societ[y] with low average g' is - can you please define what you mean by this term Nachtwolf?

    IIRC, Carlos, Apollo, Nachtwolf and hitssquad have asserted that certain population groups in east Asia have inherently high IQs. From Nachtwolf's comment here, and his comments earlier in this thread, one may infer that in countries where these groups form a large part of the population, a person's gender would be less important than their IQ in their SES, relative to unfortunate women in countries with population groups, in their view, not so well endowed (on average of course). (I know I should not infer this, but I'm sure Nachtwolf hitssquad (Carlos and Apollo seem to have left us) will quickly set the record straight if the inference is unwarranted)

    Here are the parliamentary participation rates for women in S Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong (lower house, from the IPU; with some comparisons):
    S Korea: 5.9%
    Japan: 7.1%
    US: 14.3%
    (Hong Kong: 16%, different source)
    South Africa: 29.8%.

    What about economic success? Well, perhaps Nachtwolf can give us figures on the numbers of female CEOs in S Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong, with the numbers of male ones for comparison. Ditto, a league table of 'richest persons'

    That leaves military rank ...

    BTW, I'm still waiting for Nachtwolf and hitssquad - who appear to continue to rely upon the "National IQ" concept - to show us why Lynn and Vanhanen's work isn't seriously flawed (or point to other work which supports Nachtwolf's repeated, unsubstantiated assertions).
     
  15. Feb 25, 2004 #14

    selfAdjoint

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    It doesn't follow from "societies with low average g may tend to show what higher g societies would regard as disfunctional features because of the low g" that "higher g societies will always be free of disfunctional features because of the high g". I am not aware of any correlation between g and selfishness.
     
  16. Feb 25, 2004 #15

    Nereid

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    This is how Nachtwolf began this thread (an excerpt, my emphasis). Later he wrote (also an excerpt; my emphasis):
    IIRC, he also, in another thread, mentioned that g correlates with altruism, empathy, etc (and he didn't mean negatively).

    And just in case anyone has forgotten, the Lynn and Vanhanen difference in "National IQ" between Japan and the US is 12 points, approx the same as between the US and Iraq (14 points) ... and also between which two US population groups?
     
  17. Feb 25, 2004 #16
    National IQs of Japan, U.S., and Iraq

    U.S.: 98
    Iraq: 87
    Japan: 105

    U.S. minus Iraq: 11
    Japan minus U.S.: 7





    U.S. non-hispanic white: 101
    U.S. black: 83

    U.S. non-hispanic white minus U.S. black: 18 (1.3[tex]\sigma\\[/tex])


    (All numbers are relative to a British mean of 100 and a British standard deviation of 15.)





    -Chris
     
  18. Feb 25, 2004 #17
    me, i am able to be whatever i want to be. i think that is because i am much younger than alot of the people that have already posted on this thread, but i know exactly how i want to be, and i am already living it.
     
  19. Feb 25, 2004 #18

    Nereid

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    Re: National IQs of Japan, U.S., and Iraq

    From Lynn's own data, as provided to us by hitssquad:
    US: 98
    Iraq: 87
    Japan: 110.

    US minus Iraq: 11
    Japan minus US: 12

    (my original post was in error; I mixed up Iraq (87) with Iran (84)).

    The famous 1994 Wall St Journal ad, as provided to us by jerryel:
    "The bell curve for whites is centered roughly around IQ 100; the bell curve for American blacks roughly around 85"

    white minus black: 15
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2004
  20. Feb 25, 2004 #19
    Re: Re: National IQs of Japan, U.S., and Iraq

    In the Lynn and Vanhanen book, IQ and the Wealth of Nations, Japan is listed as IQ 105 (the British-adjusted and Flynn-effect-adjusted average of 10 IQ studies).

    Lynn also mentions Japan's IQ of 105 here:

    http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:Jczq-ycuGaMJ:www.rlynn.co.uk/pages/article_intelligence/10.htm





    --
    A more representative estimate of the IQs of youths between ages eighteen and twenty-six can be obtained from the immense samples of enlisted men in the armed services during World War II. These subjects took the Army General Classification Test (AGCT), which is as highly correlated (r [tex]\approx[/tex] .80) with various IQ tests as the IQ tests are correlated with each other. The mean W-B difference on the AGCT was 1.25[tex]\sigma[/tex], which is equivalent to 18.7 IQ points. More recent data are provided by the national standardization of the 1986 Stanford-Binet IV, which shows a W-B difference of 1.13[tex]\sigma[/tex] (or 17.4 IQ points) for youths twelve to twenty-three years of age.[[tex]^{32}[/tex]]

    In summary, the cross-sectional data show an increasing mean W-B IQ difference from early childhood (about 0.7[tex]\sigma[/tex]), to middle childhood (about 1[tex]\sigma[/tex]), to adolescence and early maturity (about 1.2[tex]\sigma[/tex]).

    --
    The g Factor. p376.
    http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=24373874



    As noted by the present author previously, the tendency of the B-W IQ gap to increase from childhood through to young adulthood is explained by the faster maturation of blacks. Also as noted before, this faster maturation might be predicted to tend to lend a favorable (upward) bias to extrapolations of national IQ of sub-Saharan black nations when IQs in those nations are calculated from samples of children.




    --
    A further validating feature of these data is revealed by the linear regression of the standardized W-B differences on the tests' g loadings. (The regression equation for the W-B difference, shown in Figure 11.6 , is D = 1.47g - .163). The regression line, which indicates the best estimate of the mean W-B difference on a test with a given g loading, shows that for a hypothetical test with zero g loading, the predicted mean group difference is slightly below zero (- .163[tex]\sigma[/tex]), and for a hypothetical test with a g loading of unity (g = 1), the predicted mean group difference is 1.31[tex]\sigma[/tex]. The latter value is, in fact, approached or equaled by the average difference found for the most highly g-loaded test batteries using highly representative samples of black and white Americans twelve years of age and over. In the black and white standardization samples of the Stanford-Binet IV, for example, the mean difference is 1.11[tex]\sigma[/tex]; for the WISCR, 1.14[tex]\sigma[/tex]; and the most precisely representative large-scale sampling of the American youth population (aged fifteen to twenty-three), sponsored by the Department of Defense in 1980, showed a W-B difference of 1.3[tex]\sigma[/tex] on the AFQT. [tex]^{36}[/tex]
    --
    Ibid. pp377-378.
    http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=24373874



    The present author reported before that the W-B difference of 18 was equal to a 1.3[tex]\sigma[/tex] difference. Actually, a difference of 18 IQ points would be 1.2[tex]\sigma[/tex] (assuming a [tex]\sigma[/tex] value of 15). Whites and blacks actually differ by 1.31[tex]\sigma[/tex] in g, as noted in the excerpt above. The reason IQ tests show a W-B difference of only 1.2 [tex]\sigma[/tex] is that IQ tests are generally biased in favor of blacks.



    --
    The single tests' non-g common factors (particularly those representing spatial and memory abilities) and their specificities are, in effect, perturbations in our tests of Spearman's hypothesis. Even the weak form of the hypothesis, which recognizes the separate non-g effects of the spatial and memory factors on the W-B differences, is not completely accurate. There are still perturbations due to subtest specificity.

    In every test battery in which the effect of test specificity has been examined, the vector of specificity coefficients is negatively correlated with the vector of mean W-B differences. That is, the larger a test's specificity, the smaller is the W-B difference. Whatever is specific to each of the subtests tends, in general, to reduce the W-B difference, or to favor blacks. On the WISC-R, for example, the average correlation between the W-B differences and the subtest specificities is - .46.[[tex]^{38}[/tex]] This is not a surprising result, because, in accord with Spearman's hypothesis, g accounts for most of the W-B difference, and specificity is simply a residual component of the non-g variance. Therefore, a negative correlation between the W-B differences and the specificities of the various tests in a battery is inevitable. Because the roughly complementary relation between g and specificity is a mathematical necessity, it would be improper in our test of Spearman's hypothesis to partial out the vector of specificities from the correlation between the vector of g loadings and the vector of W-B differences. A better way to virtually eliminate the effects of specificity is to determine the group differences on each of the statistically independent (i.e., uncorrelated) factor scores derived from a test battery. When this was done for the WISC-R, based on the standardization samples of blacks and whites, the standardized mean W-B difference on each of the four factors in this battery of thirteen subtests was: g (1.14[tex]\sigma[/tex]), Memory (-0.32[tex]\sigma[/tex]), Verbal (0.20[tex]\sigma[/tex]), and Performance (nonverbal and spatial) (0.20[tex]\sigma[/tex]). The composite of the scores on all four factors yields a mean W-B difference of 1.22[tex]\sigma[/tex].[[tex]^{34c}[/tex]] The g component thus accounts for 93 percent of the groups' total factor score difference on the WISC-R. Although the Wechsler tests were not expressly designed to maximize g (as was, for example, the Raven matrices test), they have a very large g saturation because they were pragmatically constructed so as to have high validity for predicting a wide range of important criteria.[[tex]^{38}[/tex]]

    --
    Ibid. p380.
    http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=24373874





    -Chris
     
  21. Feb 25, 2004 #20

    Nereid

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    Some simple questions

    1) Why the shifting Lynn and Vanhanen data? The links to Lynn's own website - which appear to report the main arguments and conclusions (and data) of the L+V book - were given to us by hitssquad. Perhaps this is an innovative marketing technique?

    2) What distribution(s) do the multiple mentions of [tex]\sigma[/tex] refer to? What are the observed deviations from Gaussianity? Where is the source data, so that we may check to see that the analyses have been done a) as reported, and b) correctly?

    3) Given the reality of the Flynn effect, what was done to baseline the datasets from different times? Where are the details of those adjustments and corrections?

    4) Given that 'black' and 'white' are notations recording the self-reported group membership of the subjects*, where is the extensive body of work which shows that this categorisation has remained unchanged since at least WWII?

    5) Why did the 50 Profs sign up for a very public declaration that is at odds with what hitssquad has posted?

    6) Why are the figures reported without estimates of error?

    *more fundamentally, what is the distribution of tests by method of determining group membership? For example, tests where the subjects had to choose between a pre-determined list (e.g. black, white, asian, indian), where the determination of group membership was made by someone else, where choice of group membership was not constrained at the time of the test but later chunked by researchers, ... In tests where a subject's group membership could be many (e.g. white hispanic, both asian and black), how did the researchers make their categorisations?
     
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