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Researchers find IQ scores dropping since the 1970s

IQ intelligence dumb dumbocracy idiocracy flynn effect trend trends

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#21
funkervogt

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https://www.brooking...the-family-cap/
 

This analysis exploits the variation across states in the timing of policy implementation to determine if family cap policies lead to a reduction in births to women ages 15 to 34. Vital statistics birth data for the years 1989 to 1998 offer no such evidence. The data reject a decline in births of more than one percent. The finding is robust to multiple specification checks. The data also reject large declines in higher-order births among demographic groups with high welfare participation rates.

 

It's paywall blocked, so I can't see anything but the very beginning of the paper. I can't evaluate its findings. 

 

As a counterpoint, last December, a study out of the U.K. determined that smarter people (defined as those with higher levels of educational attainment or higher fluid intelligence test scores [IQ tests partly measure fluid intelligence]) were less likely to breed. 

 

MODERN life is so cushy that some wonder if human evolution has stopped. Unlikely, reply biologists, for family sizes (and therefore numbers of descendants) still vary. A study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences uses a new statistical method to examine how genetic contributions to certain human traits correlate with how many children a person has. The data came from the UK Biobank, which contains genetic and medical data from half a million people. Positive values mean an association with successful reproduction; negative ones the opposite. Intriguingly, this analysis suggests genetic contributions to intelligence and educational achievement are currently disfavoured by natural selection. 

https://www.economis...has-not-stopped



#22
starspawn0

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You can view the study at the link.  Just click "download" at the top of the page.

 

The study is part of a series of studies that looked at the effect of welfare caps on births.  Republicans crowed in the 1990s that welfare was causing welfare mothers (they want to say "human vermin") to have kids, just so they could get more welfare.  So-called "welfare reform" was tried in some states, and then nationally -- and several large studies disproved the Republicans' claim.

 

They still crow about the deleterious effects of welfare.  I'm sure they have some studies to back them up (there are always such studies); but the weight of the evidence suggests they are making a big deal about nothing.

 

What they really believe and want has nothing to do with the efficacy of welfare.  They simply don't want to pay for "entitlement programs" (a term that suggests someone is "entitled" to their money), and think it's fundamentally unfair that they should have to pay.  They know that is an unpopular opinion, so they try to find arguments that save them from having to make such claims.



#23
funkervogt

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You can view the study at the link.  Just click "download" at the top of the page.

I didn't see that button. Thanks. 

 

I found this: 

 

During the welfare reform process of the 1990s, a number of states implemented family caps, lowering the incremental benefit for a child born while on welfare to zero. Kearney (2004) and Levine (2002) find that the caps do not decrease national birthrates but are curiously positively correlated with fertility among those most likely to be eligible for welfare. Dyer and Fairlie (2004) and Joyce et al. (2004) also find no evidence that eliminating the incremental benefit for additional children in welfare programs affects fertility. Using smaller more select samples of female welfare recipients (Jagannathan et al. 2004; Camasso et al. 2003) and unmarried women (Horvath-Rose and Peters 2002), these authors find that the cap is associated with lower fertility.

 

A smaller literature considers the effect of in-kind transfer programs on fertility. Results from the RAND health insurance experiment indicate that fertility is quite responsive to changes in the price of health insurance (Liebowitz 1990), and a handful of studies exist that examine the fertility impact of recent expansion in public health insurance programs for children during the 1990s. Joyce et al. (1998) look at quarterly birthrates of unmarried women ages 19 to 27 between 1987 and 1991 for a subset of US states and find a 5% increase in births for white women but no changes in fertility in response to Medicaid expansions for non-white women. Yelowitz (1994) uses microdata from the Current Population Survey between 1989 and 1992 and finds that a $1,000 increase in the value of Medicaid coverage increases the probability of a birth to a woman in the sample by 0.33% on average. Bitler and Zavodny (2000) estimate using birthrate data that Medicaid expansions between 1983 and 1996 led to a 10% increase in the birthrate.

 

http://www3.nccu.edu...nlin (2009).pdf

 

It sounds like the relationship between welfare programs and birth rates depend on the nature of the welfare program, and possibly on the race of the mother. 



#24
zEVerzan

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Figures. Any time IQ gets mentioned, it's only a matter of time before eugenics and dysgenics get dragged into it too.

 

This is one study, and one with a small and localized sample size. And even so they suggest environmental factors rather than genetic.


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#25
Raklian

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Figures. Any time IQ gets mentioned, it's only a matter of time before eugenics and dysgenics get dragged into it too.

 

Not only that, no one gets the standardized IQ test really has nothing to do with what it's supposed to measure. After all, the concept we have for intelligence is purely abstract.


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#26
zEVerzan

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I agree, something as nuanced and complex as human intelligence can't be reduced to a number on a chart, especially a number determined by a standardized test! I'm sure people would think of IQ very differently if instead of saying "I have a high IQ" we said "I scored high on the IQ test".

 

IQ these days anyway is only taken seriously by people with superiority complexes or an agenda to prove of some sort.


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#27
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I was curious about the welfare studies discussed here, and whether they had been considered:
 

[Using smaller more select samples of female welfare recipients (Jagannathan et al. 2004; Camasso et al. 2003) and unmarried women (Horvath-Rose and Peters 2002), these authors find that the cap is associated with lower fertility.

 
 
An article from 2018 by researchers at CUNY and Harvard:

https://www.research...-assessment.pdf
 

We identified seven studies that explicitly sought to determine if the family-cap
policy was associated with a decline in births and other fertility-related behaviours
(Horvath-Rose and Peters, 2001; Kearney, 2002; Levine, 2002; Harris et al, 2003; Dyer
and Fairlie, 2004; Joyce et al, 2004; Ryan et al, 2006). These studies, however, are not
directly comparable due to the use of different datasets (for example, vital statistics,
PSID, NSFG, CPS, NLSAH), and predictor and outcome variables. Because not all
extant datasets contain information regarding welfare programme participation, the
researchers either compared all women in family-cap versus non-family-cap states
or constructed proxies for welfare participation, such as non-marital births to less
educated women with one or more child. Notwithstanding these limitations, most
studies failed to find the desired impact of the family-cap policy (that is, a decline
in births among welfare recipients). (A more detailed summary of the evaluation
findings can be found in Romero and Agenor, 2009.)



#28
starspawn0

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Figures. Any time IQ gets mentioned, it's only a matter of time before eugenics and dysgenics get dragged into it too.


A fun experiment, also, is to see what certain people post to reddit. The correlations are amusing. You'll the same person post articles with titles about:

* Men and women really do have very different brains.

 

* Women tend to be more manipulative than men, psychology shows.

* Conservative are actually empathetic.

* IQ among nations correlates with the success of their military.

* Too much empathy is actually "bad".

* Young males are actually better at assessing their personality than psychologists.


And so on. It all tells a story -- about racism, sexism, insecurities about personality defects, and so on.



#29
funkervogt

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These studies, however, are not directly comparable due to the use of different datasets (for example, vital statistics, PSID, NSFG, CPS, NLSAH), and predictor and outcome variables.

OK. So that means there are scientific studies backing both arguments, and no one can say for sure which is right because they use different data sets. 

 

 

Notwithstanding these limitations, most studies failed to find the desired impact of the family-cap policy (that is, a decline in births among welfare recipients). (A more detailed summary of the evaluation findings can be found in Romero and Agenor, 2009.)

The fact that "most studies" haven't found the correlation isn't conclusive proof that it doesn't exist. Publication bias and self-censorship among researchers could explain the imbalance. 

 

But what about the other stuff I posted? 

 

Results from the RAND health insurance experiment indicate that fertility is quite responsive to changes in the price of health insurance (Liebowitz 1990), and a handful of studies exist that examine the fertility impact of recent expansion in public health insurance programs for children during the 1990s. Joyce et al. (1998) look at quarterly birthrates of unmarried women ages 19 to 27 between 1987 and 1991 for a subset of US states and find a 5% increase in births for white women but no changes in fertility in response to Medicaid expansions for non-white women. Yelowitz (1994) uses microdata from the Current Population Survey between 1989 and 1992 and finds that a $1,000 increase in the value of Medicaid coverage increases the probability of a birth to a woman in the sample by 0.33% on average. Bitler and Zavodny (2000) estimate using birthrate data that Medicaid expansions between 1983 and 1996 led to a 10% increase in the birthrate.



#30
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More recent work has countered that, too:
 
https://www.economic...dicine-2010.pdf
 
 
 
 

Most previous research suggested that expansions in Medicaid
coverage led to an increase in births and drop in abortions. Studies
using samples from natality data or the Current Population Survey
found increases in birth rates of 3%e5% as a result of the Medicaid
expansions that occurred during the late 1980s and 1990s
(Baughman, 2001; Joyce, Kaestner, & Kwan, 1998; Yelowitz, 1994).
Medicaid coverage of abortionsdwhich the expansions included in
some statesdwas found to be negatively associated with birth
rates, particularly among black, unmarried and less-educated
women (Klerman, 1999). Studies that used abortion data from
selected states found that the Medicaid expansions reduced abor-
tions among unmarried nonblacks but had no effect among
unmarried blacks (Joyce & Kaestner, 1996; Joyce et al., 1998). More
generally, restrictions on Medicaid funding of abortions were found
to be negatively associated with abortion rates (e.g., Blank, George,
& London, 1996; Haas-Wilson, 1993).
However, a recent paper that used methods similar to those here
concluded that the expansions did not have a robust, discernable
effect on fertility for most groups (DeLeire, Lopoo & Simon, in
press). Our findings are generally compatible with that study and
thus counter to much of the previous literature; we find little
evidence of a significant effect of the expansions on birth rates
during a longer time period that covers more phases of the
expansions than DeLeire et al.’s analysis.


 

 
There might be more going the other way.  I'll have to research it.

In any case, the effect can't be very strong, or it would be undeniable, regardless of the methodology. Very likely, if any effect exists, it's tiny.

 

....

 

Some of the discrepancy is the result of short-term versus long-term aid.  An explanation is the following:  on short-term assistance, mothers speed up their plans to have a child, and would have had the child, anyway.  This causes a temporary spike in the data, that can last for years after the implementation of the program.  However, it's really just a statistical artifact.



#31
Maximus

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Figures. Any time IQ gets mentioned, it's only a matter of time before eugenics and dysgenics get dragged into it too.

 

Not only that, no one gets the standardized IQ test really has nothing to do with what it's supposed to measure. After all, the concept we have for intelligence is purely abstract.

 

 

You know, that Wired article about why artificial superintelligence is probably a myth really got me thinking about how we view intelligence. I mean, of course it was no scientific study, so nothing is "proven" but the way in which it presented intelligence seemed a lot more intuitive than the traditional view (and I hope starspawn forgives me for arguing based on intuition rather than solid facts, but when it comes to an abstract concept like measuring intelligence this is a bit more of a forgivable offence). 

 

The article presented our current view of intelligence as being too simple and linear; a sort of ladder or linear curve, with humans at the top and increasingly "dumb" animals occupying the lower levels. I mean, we can speak, we have culture, and we have technology; we're the peak result of evolution! But can you remember every outfit you wore for the past month? No, you can't.  A squirrel can remember where it stashed most of its nuts, even if months pass. Given this, perhaps a better model of intelligence is to view each type of intelligence as a dynamic spectrum; some resonances might be higher than others, or some might be altogether missing. Evolution certainly didn't "build up" to the human master species; our intelligence isn't the ultimate and logical conclusion of evolution, it's a happy accident. Given how intelligence types vary between species, I would also argue that the idea intelligence spectrums can be applied to humans as well.

 

I mean, going by my experience in university, I've had a hell of a hard time getting through my biochem degree. Calculus, physics, and chemistry have eaten up countless hours of life (and continue to do so). I can spend days struggling to nail a concept down, and I'll still only pull off a 70% average. Then I look at my peers, and some of them just make physics and such seem effortless. They immediately understand concepts that I have to struggle with for days on end. Then again, in my political science classes, I excel; it's just effortless for me. I can wing an exam on liberal ideology with about an hour or two of studying. Yeah, yeah, "anyone can do political science, it's a joke". Except, many people can't. For them, it's as much of a struggle as physics and calculus is for me. Indeed experts have been telling us for years that those with autism and other similar conditions aren't at all "dumber" than us; their mind is just wired in different ways. For them, maybe the social intelligence frequency might be a bit out of tune, but other frequencies might be much more in tune than those of "normal" people. I mean, many of these people are actually mathematical geniuses, or they excel at some other particular function. 

 

Viewing intelligence as a spectrum rather than a linear model seems to better depict reality, at least to me. If anyone has any links to research on this topic, I'd be very interested in reading more. 


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#32
bgates276

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Figures. Any time IQ gets mentioned, it's only a matter of time before eugenics and dysgenics get dragged into it too.

 

Not only that, no one gets the standardized IQ test really has nothing to do with what it's supposed to measure. After all, the concept we have for intelligence is purely abstract.

 

 

But isn't intelligence, at it's very nature, an abstract concept? For example, E=MC2 is no doubt an abstract idea. Intelligence isn't just the ability to regurgitate information, but the ability to take and understand ideas which are theoretical in nature, and manipulate them to one's purposes? This is the reason why philosopher's, mathematicians and physicists have some of the highest IQ's of anyone. 

 

I'm also of the belief that people with lower IQ's can't appreciate what intelligence is, or the fact that they arn't that intelligent, simply because they can't think in abstract terms to begin with. I mean, can a blind person appreciate what it is like to see? 

 

Generally speaking, I think intelligence goes something like this: 

 

70 and below: Requires institutional help

 

85 to 100: Basic reading, writing, math skills. Capable of basic employment.

 

100: Average intelligence - High school level. Basic to somewhat complex jobs

 

115 to 130: Capable of excelling at undergraduate level material. Some graduate level material. Capable of handling some professions. (Ie. accountant, teacher) May still require some guidance.

 

130 and over: Gifted. Phd level. Capable of gathering and inferring new information on one's own.

 

145+: Nobel prizes. Capable of discovering information pivotal for guiding the rest of mankind.

 

Etc, etc, etc.

 

Even if IQ tests are wrong about the specifics, can't intelligence at least be understood as occurring at different general levels? The more abstract, the more statistically rare within a population.  



#33
starspawn0

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@Maximus
 
Funny you should mention that (about autism), because it reminded me of a study I saw recently.  Took a lot of searching to find it again (I had thought it appeared on neurosciencenews.com, turns out it's not in the popular press yet):
 
https://www.biorxiv....18/06/04/143891
 
What they show is astonishing:  people with autism use completely different brain networks to build fluid intelligence (the result is more nuanced than that, and stated in terms of "neural correlates").   If you attempted to predict the intelligence of someone with autism using the same brain correlations for "neurotupical" individuals, you probably would get a wildly incorrect estimate.  This is similar to how European-based genetic models predict Africans should be much shorter, but aren't.  Sample out-of-distribution, and the model breaks.

 

This new result (and previous results mentioned in the article) makes me suspect that fluid intelligence is "domain general", and can be implemented many different ways.  All those genes they keep finding for intelligence may, therefore, not be doing what they think.  It could just be correlations that are not causal; or, the genes may do something generic, like increase the size of neurons.

 
....
 
Machine Learning provides a lot of insight into the nature of intelligence.  The necessity of "inductive biases" and the No Free Lunch theorems form one class of examples.  More recently, people are discovering that robustness may come at the cost of a little accuracy.  The theorems are not that general, yet; but they do show it for a wide class of models.
 
What this might look like is the following:  imagine a person with a very deep and refined sense of meaning, who can correlate many variables in predicting the tone of a novel accurately.   Brilliant, this literary mind may be, but it also isn't so robust -- give it a slightly off-beat novel, and it might reach really dumb assessments as to the tone.  
 
Another bit-o-research, on learning abstractions, suggests that it is actually facilitated by mental errors:
 
https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.12491
 

Generally, our results highlight the important role of mental errors in shaping abstract representations, and directly inspire new physically-motivated models of human behavior.


So, if you try to make the brain "perfect" by reducing lower-level mental errors, you might make the person dumber. This suggests another type of tradeoff.


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#34
funkervogt

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More recent work has countered that, too:
 
https://www.economic...dicine-2010.pdf
 
 
 
 

Most previous research suggested that expansions in Medicaid
coverage led to an increase in births and drop in abortions. Studies
using samples from natality data or the Current Population Survey
found increases in birth rates of 3%e5% as a result of the Medicaid
expansions that occurred during the late 1980s and 1990s
(Baughman, 2001; Joyce, Kaestner, & Kwan, 1998; Yelowitz, 1994).
Medicaid coverage of abortionsdwhich the expansions included in
some statesdwas found to be negatively associated with birth
rates, particularly among black, unmarried and less-educated
women (Klerman, 1999). Studies that used abortion data from
selected states found that the Medicaid expansions reduced abor-
tions among unmarried nonblacks but had no effect among
unmarried blacks (Joyce & Kaestner, 1996; Joyce et al., 1998). More
generally, restrictions on Medicaid funding of abortions were found
to be negatively associated with abortion rates (e.g., Blank, George,
& London, 1996; Haas-Wilson, 1993).
However, a recent paper that used methods similar to those here
concluded that the expansions did not have a robust, discernable
effect on fertility for most groups (DeLeire, Lopoo & Simon, in
press). Our findings are generally compatible with that study and
thus counter to much of the previous literature; we find little
evidence of a significant effect of the expansions on birth rates
during a longer time period that covers more phases of the
expansions than DeLeire et al.’s analysis.


 

 
There might be more going the other way.  I'll have to research it.

In any case, the effect can't be very strong, or it would be undeniable, regardless of the methodology. Very likely, if any effect exists, it's tiny.

 

....

 

Some of the discrepancy is the result of short-term versus long-term aid.  An explanation is the following:  on short-term assistance, mothers speed up their plans to have a child, and would have had the child, anyway.  This causes a temporary spike in the data, that can last for years after the implementation of the program.  However, it's really just a statistical artifact.

 

Reading that, it's clear the study has limitations. For example, it only considers births to white and black mothers and omits Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans:

 

 

This analysis distinguishes between whites and blacks; nonwhites/nonblacks (“other race”) are not included here because of the relatively small sample sizes in most states. We do not distinguish between Hispanics and non-Hispanics because Hispanic origin is not reported for a substantial fraction of births in early years of the sample. 

 

Their method of estimating the number of abortions among women on Medicaid is also shaky: 

 

 

This analysis uses two sources of annual data on the number of abortions: the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI). The CDC data are based on reports from state public health agencies, but the data are incomplete in states in which not all providers provide reports to the public health agency. The AGI data are based on surveys of all known abortion providers and consistently include more abortions than the CDC data, although the ratio of the two counts varies over time. The AGI data are not available for 1983, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1993 and 1994, so we present estimates using the CDC data for the nine years during the period 1982-1996 when AGI data are available as well as for the period as a whole.

 
We do not examine the effect of the expansions on abortion rates by race, education or marital status. The CDC reports abortion counts for some demographic groups, such as by race, but the data are only available for a subsample of states and years and their accuracy is uncertain. We use abortion rates calculated by dividing the reported number of abortions in each state and year by the population of women aged 15-44

 

And they even admit that expanded access to Medicaid might have increased births among white women without high school degrees:

 

 

The point estimates for women who have not completed high school indicate a sizable positive relationship, although relatively imprecisely estimated; only the result for white women in the eligibility threshold regression is significantly different from 0. That result, shown in column 4 of Table 2, indicates that a 100 percentage point increase in the eligibility threshold would result in a 7.7% increase in the birth rate to white women who do not have 12 years of education. That estimate is significantly larger than the results for white women who have exactly 12 or who have more than 12 years of education (columns 5 and 6 of Table 2). 

 

...The regressions using the fraction eligible measure yield a similar pattern, but none of the differences achieve statistical significance. This is consistent with the fraction eligible measure having more measurement error or being noisier and hence having less power than the eligibility threshold measure. Unfortunately, we do not have a good instrument for the fraction eligible measure.

 

Sorry, but I don't think this study settles the matter at all. 

 

 

 

In any case, the effect can't be very strong, or it would be undeniable, regardless of the methodology. Very likely, if any effect exists, it's tiny.

 

You're probably right, but keep in mind that "compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe." If welfare programs tend to serve people with lower IQs, and if welfare programs in aggregate encourage even a slightly higher birth rate among them, then the fraction of the population that is low IQ will rapidly grow. The turnover happens even faster if welfare recipients tend to start having children earlier in life than non-recipients. 



#35
starspawn0

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Reading that, it's clear the study has limitations. For example, it only considers births to white and black mothers and omits Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans:

 

Actually, no, what it does is it lumps hispanics into the "white" category.

 

I'll look at the rest... on the road at the moment.

 

edit:  I removed "asian"  and "native american", but kept "hispanic".



#36
zEVerzan

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Generally speaking, I think intelligence goes something like this: 

 

70 and below: Requires institutional help

 

85 to 100: Basic reading, writing, math skills. Capable of basic employment.

 

100: Average intelligence - High school level. Basic to somewhat complex jobs

 

115 to 130: Capable of excelling at undergraduate level material. Some graduate level material. Capable of handling some professions. (Ie. accountant, teacher) May still require some guidance.

 

130 and over: Gifted. Phd level. Capable of gathering and inferring new information on one's own.

 

145+: Nobel prizes. Capable of discovering information pivotal for guiding the rest of mankind.

 

Etc, etc, etc.

 

Even if IQ tests are wrong about the specifics, can't intelligence at least be understood as occurring at different general levels? The more abstract, the more statistically rare within a population.  

 

 

This is not intelligence as an abstraction, you're just measuring intelligence by achievement here. No doubt intelligent people are generally capable of achieving highly, but so are people of low intelligence. And that's the thing: there's no ONE metric for intelligence. Someone can be gifted in one area but completely absent in another. As well, a gifted person's intelligence may never manifest as achievement or success.

 

 

 

I'm also of the belief that people with lower IQ's can't appreciate what intelligence is, or the fact that they arn't that intelligent, simply because they can't think in abstract terms to begin with. I mean, can a blind person appreciate what it is like to see? 

 

No, they can. By your metric, someone who can't read, write, or do math CAN certainly recognize higher intelligence, and that they lack it. Some people may not conceive of higher thoughts on their own but they can also recognize a good idea when they see one and appropriate it.


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#37
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When people lack much intelligence, they also tend to lack the ability to introspect, in order to assess both their strengths and weaknesses. There is a negative correlation between self-confidence and intelligence. As Jay-z once said, 'I'm the Mother $@%#$%# greatest'. I guess ignorance is bliss. On the other hand, people who are at least relatively intelligent have often worked with problems in their mind, are usually humble because they recognize their limitations and at least have a greater appreciation and base of understanding for the higher levels.  

 

As a personal example, I've got an undergraduate degree, and I did alright in mathematics in high school, but struggled with calculus when I encountered it. Now even though it was difficult for me, I did develop an appreciation and basic understanding of it's application in science, engineering, and economics. I can respect those at the higher levels who are able to use it in various forms. I don't think people with low levels of intelligence would have this same appreciation.

 

Another example, I've been looking at the LSAT, I can get quite a few of the logical reasoning questions, but boy are those science related questions difficult. Makes me appreciate those in patent law. So while I recognize that there are people who arn't as intelligent, I also recognize that there are people who are much smarter. I don't think people of low intelligence would be acutely aware of the range.

 

Oh btw, usually when a person is intelligent in one area, they are also intelligent in another. The scores on various substests are highly correlated with one another. When you do a factor analysis, a general intelligence emerges known as the G-factor. This is what IQ tests measure.



#38
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Anyone is capable of introspection, doing so is just a matter of choice. What you're describing is ego, which I'm pretty sure is just an aspect of personality and doesn't have much to do with one's ability to problem-solve or think abstractly.


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#39
funkervogt

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When people lack much intelligence, they also tend to lack the ability to introspect, in order to assess both their strengths and weaknesses. 

No one completely lacks this ability. 

 

 

There is a negative correlation between self-confidence and intelligence. As Jay-z once said, 'I'm the Mother $@%#$%# greatest'. I guess ignorance is bliss. On the other hand, people who are at least relatively intelligent have often worked with problems in their mind, are usually humble because they recognize their limitations and at least have a greater appreciation and base of understanding for the higher levels.  

 

As a personal example, I've got an undergraduate degree, and I did alright in mathematics in high school, but struggled with calculus when I encountered it. Now even though it was difficult for me, I did develop an appreciation and basic understanding of it's application in science, engineering, and economics. I can respect those at the higher levels who are able to use it in various forms. I don't think people with low levels of intelligence would have this same appreciation.

 

Another example, I've been looking at the LSAT, I can get quite a few of the logical reasoning questions, but boy are those science related questions difficult. Makes me appreciate those in patent law. So while I recognize that there are people who arn't as intelligent, I also recognize that there are people who are much smarter. I don't think people of low intelligence would be acutely aware of the range.

I have had very similar life experiences that have led me to the same conclusion. Be humble. 

 

 

 

Oh btw, usually when a person is intelligent in one area, they are also intelligent in another. The scores on various substests are highly correlated with one another. When you do a factor analysis, a general intelligence emerges known as the G-factor. This is what IQ tests measure.

Yep. I think the popular notion that being smart in one area means being dumb in another area so everything "evens out" is attractive to average intelligence and low intelligence people because it lets them believe that no one is "better" than they are. "Einstein may have had a knack for physics, but he was dyslexic, so THERE!" (For similar reasons, people perversely enjoy hearing stories about rich and famous people having personal crises, like losing money, getting divorced, or having mental breakdowns)

 

While there are such things as idiot savants and smart people who lack common sense, intelligence is a human trait that is also general in character, as you say. That person who excels at math is also probably more talented than average at a variety of other areas of cognition. 

 

The hard truth is that life isn't fair and not everyone is created equal (though we're all entitled to equal rights). 



#40
starspawn0

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There is definitely some correlation in ability across subjects. An obvious explanation is that high ability in one area likely implies good overall health of the brain, which then means the person will be at least average in other areas, too. That explains some of the correlation; some of it could also be due to a few core competencies shared across subjects. However, don't expect a math genius to be a literary genius -- above average, maybe, but still pretty far from an accomplished writer.

Here is a PNAS article on brain networks that may bring clarity to this issue:

http://www.pnas.org/...ent/113/18/4909
 

Our work addresses the long-standing issue of the relationship between mathematics and language. By scanning professional mathematicians, we show that high-level mathematical reasoning rests on a set of brain areas that do not overlap with the classical left-hemisphere regions involved in language processing or verbal semantics. Instead, all domains of mathematics we tested (algebra, analysis, geometry, and topology) recruit a bilateral network, of prefrontal, parietal, and inferior temporal regions, which is also activated when mathematicians or nonmathematicians recognize and manipulate numbers mentally. Our results suggest that high-level mathematical thinking makes minimal use of language areas and instead recruits circuits initially involved in space and number. This result may explain why knowledge of number and space, during early childhood, predicts mathematical achievement.


I could also give examples of several very intelligent individuals who are geniuses in one area, but only "above average" or "good" in others.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: IQ, intelligence, dumb, dumbocracy, idiocracy, flynn effect, trend, trends

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