DailyDirt: Correlations For Being Smart

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

If there were some simple things you could do that would make you smarter, you’d do them, right? Unfortunately, it’s difficult to guarantee that a particular activity will actually cause you to be smarter. If you’ll settle for a nice correlation, though, there are plenty of things to try! Here are just a few.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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“sustained nocturnal activities are largely evolutionarily novel. The Hypothesis would therefore predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to be nocturnal than less intelligent individuals.”

Oh FFS. “would therefore predict” is clearly based on the concept (foregone conclusion with no cites) that evolutionary novelty correlates positively with higher intelligence (define that at your leisure). May evolution save me from social scientists and ‘experts’. Almost every sentence in TFA has holes in the logic big enough to drive a truck through.

JP Jonessays:


I felt the same way. HUGE “scientific” stretches in that article.

First of all, it ignores a TON of potentially mitigating factors. It ignores education opportunities, social class, parenting, genetic predisposition…all things that influence intelligence.

Not only that, the ENTIRE sample apparently went to bed between 11:41 pm and 12:29 am on school nights, and apparently staying up for an extra 48 minutes in the middle of the night took you from “very dull” to “very bright” (whatever that means, no actual IQ values were listed).

I’m fairly smart, graduated number 9 in my high school class with a full scholorship in computer engineering to University of Florida, and have been in advanced classes my entire life. I don’t think my parents ever let me stay up past 10:00 pm on a school night. By this article’s logic, I should be dumber than a box of rocks.

Granted, I naturally tend to stay up late and sleep in on weekends (my work prevents me from doing so during the week) but I’m pretty sure the logic and conclusions reached by that article are almost completely coincidental.

Sigh. This is why a third of America doesn’t believe in evolution. They read bad science based on it and assume the whole thing is a bunch of BS.

I guess that’s why you wrote that “People who are skeptical of this statement are even smarter.” Or does that mean the skeptical people like to sleep in? =)

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re:

“(whatever that means, no actual IQ values were listed)”

And even if the IQ values were listed, it wouldn’t add much meaning. Nobody is really sure what IQ actually means, after all. One thing that is for sure, it doesn’t fully equate to intelligence (you can be very intelligent and have a low IQ).

This is sort of the problem with intelligence studies: the word “intelligence” is so vague and broad that it has nearly no scientific value.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re:

(Oops, forgot this part)

“They read bad science based on it and assume the whole thing is a bunch of BS.”

I’d like to refine that a bit. They read bad science reporting, not bad science. The vast majority of the time what studies are being reported as saying and what the studies actually say are very, very different things.

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