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Topic: Evidence based on intersection of two sets of rare cases
Replies: 7   Last Post: Nov 18, 2012 1:23 PM

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Richard Ulrich

Posts: 2,961
Registered: 12/13/04
Re: Evidence based on intersection of two sets of rare cases
Posted: Nov 12, 2012 12:04 AM
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On Sun, 11 Nov 2012 14:00:49 -0800 (PST), Gary <>

>Terman's longitudinal study of about 1000 people with very high IQs actually shows that none of them (for example) obtained a Nobel prize. See, for example:

I come away from the article with a feeling that the writer
has almost as lousy a perception of IQ as Terman had --
something inbuilt and fixed, probably by genes, and that
can be measured with high precision.

When Terman started, by the way, the psychologists thought
pretty much the same thing about racism, homophobia, sexism,
religious opinions, and so on -- "inbuilt and fixed, probably by
genes," and amenable to precise measurement. That was one
of the things that encouraged them to seek ever more precise
measurement on their scales and items.

When population studies were renewed after WW II, it very
quickly became obvious that there had been enormous changes
in conventional attitudes... which they had not imagined being
possible. So, personality studies underwent large revision. But
IQ largely remained "reified" at that time.

Further studies have shown that, for instance, IQs of 130 or 135
are needed for a fiew fields like physics; but points higher than
that are not much correlated with success at anything. - I suspect
everyone who is good at answering questions on the internet of
having high IQs, but (a) I have little evidence about the IQs, and
(b) none of these people are especially famous.

And - an ordinary child taken into a highly enriched environment
for a period of years can gain 30 points in measured IQ. That
wasn't supposed to happen.

And - There is a "social" (or something) component underlying
IQ, as shown in the Flynn effect, which has resulted in an
overall elevation of 15 points or so since WW II in all
advanced societies. That wasn't supposed to happen, either.
(Implicitly, that sort of 'bias' may - I think - explain the
measurable race-differences.)

When you aren't talking about brain damage, a whole lot of IQ
is measuring behavior and attitudes that are learned.

>So we see see two sets of rare cases (Nobel prize winners and very high IQ individuals) but no intersection of these two sets. Does this observation suggest that very high IQ is likely to mean that a person is less likely to win a Nobel prize?

A curious thing about Nobel prizes is that connections often exist
between science winners. A taught B who mentored C who
worked in the same lab with D. And so on. Is Great Thinking
contagious, or are the connections just a reflection of the
small number of important labs and centers?

Rich Ulrich

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