Showing posts with label IQ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IQ. Show all posts

Apr 1, 2016

Blonde Myth Debunked

No, this is not an April fool's joke. The 'dumb blonde' stereotype is wrong, according to a new national study of young baby boomers. The Ohio State University study of 10,878 Americans found that white women who said their natural hair color was blonde had an average IQ score within 3 points of brunettes and those with red or black hair. The resulting findings showed that blonde-haired white women had an average IQ of 103.2, compared to 102.7 for those with brown hair, 101.2 for those with red hair and 100.5 for those with black hair. None of the differences are statistically significant.

The results for blond white men were similar. They also had IQs roughly equal to men with other hair colors. The study was published during March, 2016 in the journal Economics Bulletin.

Data from the study came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a national survey of people who were between 14 and 21 years old when they were first interviewed in 1979. The NLSY79 was conducted for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not sure why it took over thirty years to analyze the data or who paid for this wildly useless bit of old information. Further reading showed this article in close proximity to "Do unions reduce the wage penalty experienced by obese women?" Answer, yes.

Oct 31, 2014

Idiot, Imbecile, Moron

We often hear these words during an election cycle. Each of these words has a different meaning. The medical definitions have been mostly abandoned and the words are now used more in a pejorative sense, rather than diagnostic.

In psychology, an idiot has the least intelligence on the IQ scale, equivalent to someone who is mentally challenged. Idiot derives from the ancient Greek, 'idio', meaning “person lacking professional skill” or “mentally deficient person incapable of ordinary reasoning.” Those who have an IQ between 0 and 25 are considered idiots.

From Middle French imbécile, from Latin imbēcillus meaning weak or feeble, literally “without a staff.” An imbecile is considered equivalent to moderate retardation or moderately mentally challenged. People with IQs between 26 and 50 are considered imbeciles.

The word 'moron' was coined in 1910 by psychologist Henry H. Goddard and derived from the ancient Greek word 'moros', which meant 'dull'. Those who have an IQ between 51 and 70 are considered morons. A moron is the highest level of intelligence for someone who is mildly mentally challenged.

These terms were popular in psychology as associated with intelligence on an IQ test until the 1960s. They were then replaced with the terms mild retardation, moderate retardation, severe retardation, and profound retardation. Other factors besides IQ are now used in diagnosing these levels of mental deficiency.

Retarded comes from the Latin 'retardare', which means “to make slow, delay, keep back, or hinder.”  The term retarded was used to replace the terms idiot, moron, and imbecile as these terms gradually became thought of as derogatory. Now 'retarded' is considered a derogatory term.

Many old words seem to pop up around election time as politicians seek to differentiate themselves, while preaching the same drivel. Even politician used to be a good word, which has now become thought of as derogatory.

Aug 16, 2013

Iodized Salt is Good

The "iodized" emblazoned on the vast majority of salt sold in the US might go by largely unnoticed, but it turns out that it may have had such a profound effect on public health that it raised the national IQ.

Iodine deficiency is the number one cause of preventable mental retardation, and a new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) shows that after iodized salt was introduced in 1924, the most deficient quarter of the US population saw its IQs rise by a full 15 points, or one standard deviation. Averaged over the entire country, that equates to a 3.5 point bump per person — the equivalent of a whole decade’s worth of IQ growth according to the Flynn effect, which holds that IQ tends to increase over time. While salt has virtually extinguished iodine deficiency in the US, it remains a problem in much of the developing world, where some 30 percent of citizens do not have access to it.

Mar 20, 2012

Feed When They Are Hungry

Here is another example of stupid research headlines. It says if you feed your baby when he or she is hungry, he or she will be smarter. I suppose that means as opposed to letting them scream until it is dinnertime.

According to a study published March 18 2012, babies who are fed on demand perform better academically than those who are fed on a schedule.

Using data from more than 10,000 children, researchers found that demand-fed babies scored four to five points higher on IQ tests at age eight. Demand-feeding also was associated with higher scores in school tests at ages five, seven, eleven and fourteen, according to the study published in the European Journal of Public Health.

And now the disclaimer
- However, the researchers, from the University of Essex and the University of Oxford, urged caution in interpreting the findings. "At this stage, we must be very cautious about claiming a causal link between feeding patterns and IQ ... more research is needed to understand the processes involved." So, the bottom line is that we should be cautious about believing the results.