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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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Gary

Posts: 73
Registered: 9/6/07
Re: Evidence based on intersection of two sets of rare cases
Posted: Nov 12, 2012 2:35 AM
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On Monday, November 12, 2012 7:04:48 AM UTC+2, Rich Ulrich wrote:
> On Sun, 11 Nov 2012 14:00:49 -0800 (PST), Gary wrote:
>
>
>

> >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:
>
> >
>
> >http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/200909/the-truth-about-the-termites
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>
>
> I come away from the article with a feeling that the writer
>
> has almost as lousy a perception of IQ as Terman had --
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> something inbuilt and fixed, probably by genes, and that
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> can be measured with high precision.
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>
>
> When Terman started, by the way, the psychologists thought
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> pretty much the same thing about racism, homophobia, sexism,
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> religious opinions, and so on -- "inbuilt and fixed, probably by
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> genes," and amenable to precise measurement. That was one
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> of the things that encouraged them to seek ever more precise
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> measurement on their scales and items.
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>
>
> When population studies were renewed after WW II, it very
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> quickly became obvious that there had been enormous changes
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> in conventional attitudes... which they had not imagined being
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> possible. So, personality studies underwent large revision. But
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> IQ largely remained "reified" at that time.
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>
>
> Further studies have shown that, for instance, IQs of 130 or 135
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> are needed for a fiew fields like physics; but points higher than
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> that are not much correlated with success at anything. - I suspect
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> everyone who is good at answering questions on the internet of
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> having high IQs, but (a) I have little evidence about the IQs, and
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> (b) none of these people are especially famous.
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>
>
> And - an ordinary child taken into a highly enriched environment
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> for a period of years can gain 30 points in measured IQ. That
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> wasn't supposed to happen.
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>
>
> And - There is a "social" (or something) component underlying
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> IQ, as shown in the Flynn effect, which has resulted in an
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> overall elevation of 15 points or so since WW II in all
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> advanced societies. That wasn't supposed to happen, either.
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> (Implicitly, that sort of 'bias' may - I think - explain the
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> measurable race-differences.)
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>
>
> When you aren't talking about brain damage, a whole lot of IQ
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> is measuring behavior and attitudes that are learned.
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>
>

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


Thanks Rich. I understand your points - and think they are right - see for example the review by Nisbett et al. in the January 2012 American Psychologist.

I was just trying to explore the statistical argument. If you have a measure that is supposed to measure x, and one selects people who score 4 or more SDs above mean on that measure, and if one has a separate/independent measure of high achievement in x, what is the chance that there would be no overlap between the two sets of people? And in that case would extremely high scores on x not predict that a person would in fact not achieve in x?

In the case of IQ, for what it is worth, I think that children with extremely high IQs probably find most intellectual work too easy, and so never learn the skills of applying themselves - skills they will need when they eventually arrive at the high end problems.

Thanks for your answer.

Lance



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