In the discussion thread: People Getting Dumber? Human Intelligence Has Declined Since Victorian Era, Research Suggests [View all]
Response to onehandle (Original post)
Wed May 22, 2013, 09:57 PM
happyslug (13,481 posts)
46. WHERE DID THIS RESEARCH OCCUR, IQs were invented during WWI NOT Victorian times
1. IQ test only date from 1916, and the main one used only from 1939.
And the most popular test today, was NOT developed till 1939:
The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, First developed in 1916, was used by the US Army to evaluate soldiers in WWI, and from that use spread to schools in the 1920s. It has been changed to compete with the later (1939) Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.
The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale was used along with the earlier Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, till the 1960s, when the Wechsler became the dominate IQ test.
Thus, just based on the changes in the tests, we can NOT go back prior to 1939 with any HOPE of accuracy (and 1916 for any REAL comparison).
2. Most students did NOT take IQ tests till after WWI, if NOT WWI
One of the huge social changes between WWI and WWII is how many men finished High School. This can be seen in the educational level of Recruits of 1918 with those of 1942-1945. The Majority of Recruits in 1918 were NOT High School Graduates, while the Majority of Recruits in 1942-1945 Army were High School Graduates.
Accurate IQ tests require some maturity, generally High School or Middle School. My father dropped out of school at the end of Eighth Grade and joined the work force, which was typical of his background (Rural Maryland, landless farm workers whose family has dissolved due to the Great Depression). Thus a lot of people who did NOT go to High School missed taking an IQ tests in the 1920s and 1930s when IQ test first became popular to be used in Schools. Those people who had the hardest time in School were the most likely to drop out and this less likely to take an IQ tests (and thus missed in the IQ test of the time period, most of this would be an upward movement of IQ tests).
A similar result has been seen in SAT tests results, the Average SAT test results have declined (even as more and more students do 100% on them). Why? A lot of Students who if they were born 40-100 years ago are now taking the SAT tests, but 40-100 years ago would NOT have. Thus bringing the AVERAGE test scores down.
3 A reaction test reflects intelligence???
As for Dr. te Nijenhuis and colleagues, they analyzed the results of 14 intelligence studies conducted between 1884 to 2004, including one by Sir Francis Galton, an English anthropologist and a cousin of Charles Darwin. Each study gauged participants' so-called visual reaction times -- how long it took them to press a button in response to seeing a stimulus. Reaction time reflects a person's mental processing speed, and so is considered an indication of general intelligence.
I hate to point this out, reaction time IS not Intelligence, the difference may be the pool of the people involved AND that today we deal with flashing lights more often then they did in the 1800s and thus more common and thus something less important to react to. I can NOT see how that shows intelligence. If quick reaction was the test, I would lose out to my dog when it came to things that fall off the dining room table.....
4. Bad study, no common base line
This is as bad as the Study that "showed" men were producing less sperm today then in the 1940s. That Study did a sperm count of Men world Wide, and then compared it to the only previous sperm count done in the 1940s in New York City. Yes, there was a clear drop in sperm count, but men in areas with a large number of other men produce much higher number of sperm then men in areas with a lot less men. i.e Men in New York City had high Sperm Counts, but men in rural areas would have had much lower sperm counts in the 1940s (as they did when the Later study on Sperm Count was made and included men from around the world, including men in rural areas). Study did show a difference in Sperm count, but any real comparison would have been urban males to urban males. I suspect the later study did have the data to compare urban males of today to urban males of the 1940s, but I suspect there was no real drop and thus not a headline item.
Lets try to keep studies "Honest", for studies like this one make all studies look silly, and thus a weapon by people who oppose the idea of Global Warming. The Global Warming studies tend to be peer reviewed and errors like I mentioned above addressed before they are released to the General Public. I use to like to read about silly studies like this one about a drop in intelligence (and the one about Men's Sperm Count Dropping), but these silly studies are being used to undermined all studies especially the studies showing Global Warming and its affect.
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WHERE DID THIS RESEARCH OCCUR, IQs were invented during WWI NOT Victorian times
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