[Paleopsych] wealth and IQ

Val Geist kendulf at shaw.ca
Thu Jul 29 00:22:38 UTC 2004

Thanks, Michael! My sentiments entirely. Cheers, Val Geist
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Christopher" <anonymous_animus at yahoo.com>
To: <paleopsych at paleopsych.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 2:10 PM
Subject: [Paleopsych] wealth and IQ

> >>What is scientifically or morally wrong with
> gathering data on the correlation between IQ and
> national wealth?<<
> --I think the issue isn't so much the gathering of
> data but the methodology used, assumptions made about
> the validity of IQ tests, and the many assumptions
> made in interpreting data. 
> An IQ test measuring the ability to think in patterns
> may not be as neutral as you'd assume. People with
> number phobia are terrible at number series, even if
> they're intelligent enough to recognize patterns not
> involving numbers. An American might understand if he
> were forced to take an IQ test with abstract patterns
> represented by chinese or arabic characters. Lack of
> familiarity alone can produce confusion and
> dramatically alter performance. In addition,
> "stereotype threat" can cause problems, see this
> article and note the study in which white students had
> their scores drop when expectations were attached to
> testing:
> http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/99aug/9908stereotype.htm
> There was a study mentioned on CNN making a
> correlation between fear of hell and national wealth.
> Such studies get a lot of attention until someone
> points out the flaws, and there is always someone
> crying "political correctness!" when the validity of
> the studies is questioned. It's not that there can't
> be IQ differences among different populations, it's
> that there is so little critical thinking applied to
> the studies themselves.
> Michael
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