On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 2:46 AM, email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
<< SNIP >>
> > iow, IF there were half a BILLION Botswanans in the world, which of course there are NOT, not a SINGLE one of them would have scored 784 and thus demonstrated an IQ of 132.
This habit of developing conversion constants for going between tests seems awfully "iffy" to me, like comparing apples and oranges. I know the theoreticians claim there's a ghostly "g factor" behind all these numbers.
I know that was / is done for the SAT at some point, to where I was invited to join Mensa based on high SAT scores.
The SAT is a measure of scholastic aptitude, meaning it measures skills (like reading comprehension skills) specific to a particular way of life, a subculture. It doesn't advertise itself as a test for assessing basic smarts (whatever that means).
I know you're talking about the TIMMS, not the SAT, but you're doing the same thing some do with SAT scores: applying some imagined conversion constant.
The author notes how large (nation-sized) population groups, such as the Irish, have shifted their IQs in the positive direction (which would be "to the right" in our right-biased culture -- unless looking from the other side of the graph), and done so in far shorter time than any genetic explanation could reasonably account for.
Check back with Botswana in 30 years or so.
Lets also remember that global IQ has been rising in ways the tests don't show because they're recalibrated to keep 100 at the center of today's bell curve.
The hypothesis that dense urbanization has a lot to do with these changes in score makes sense to me, though I'd add access to conventional scholastic curricula, Internet bandwidth, free time to study and explore topics, time to play games (both on-line and with others).
Imagine sitting for a TIMMS and/or IQ test in circumstances such as this:
Talk about apples and oranges (incomparable circumstances). If I connect the Irish and Botswana cases, I'd be led to the hypothesis that "hope" is a chief indicator. Life in Ireland has seemed less hopeless of late.
This passage from Wikipedia is probably known to you already, since you're up on this literature:
"...the concept of race as a meaningful category of analysis is hotly contested. The authors of two articles in two encyclopedias, the Encyclopædia Britannica and the Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Society, argue that today the mainstream view is that race is a social construction that is based not mainly in actual biological differences but rather on folk ideologies that construct groups based on social disparities and superficial physical characteristics. Sternberg, Grigorenko & Kidd (2005) state that the overwhelming portion of the literature correlating race with identity has tacitly adopted folk definitions of race. The American Anthropological Association in 1998 published a "Statement on 'Race'" which rejected the existence of "races" as unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups. Others argue that this view is restricted to certain fields, while in other fields, race is still seen as a valid biological category."