On g

by F.

The Eide Neurolearning Blog is really wonderful. Here’s the Eide’s reaction to Murray’s pieces in the WSJ, which I mentioned last week.

Murray’s problem is that he assumes too much for the idea of g – or general intelligence. From our previous post / Kevin’s Intelligence Blog, should remember that “…IQ tests, on their best days, predict 40-50% of school achievement (Applied Psychometrics 101 – square the correlations and multiply by 100 to get the percent of variance explained). This is very good. Yet…50-60% of a person’s school achievement is still related to factors “beyond IQ!”

We all have different limitations by our jobs and personal perspectives, but the particular problem with sociology is that most researchers spend little time with the students whose scores they study in their research reports. I don’t fault them for it, it’s just the nature of their profession.

In fact, to confess, it’s really the nature of our profession, too. Conventional MD’s rarely are given adequate face-to-face time with their patients, and tasks like assessing mental status can be streamlined to 5-10 minutes. But this is a big mistake.

One of the most eye-open discoveries we made when we radically changed our practice to spend more time doing one-on-one testing with kids, was to see how many different ways smart could present itself, and how pencil-and-paper testing captures only a small slice of intelligence and talent. Children with language disabilities notoriously score poorly on conventional IQ tests – but so many times we see their brightness shine through – whether it’s cleverness at deducing a solution with incomplete information, recognizing an interesting association, or applying a metacognitive strategy. The pencil-and-paper tests don’t test anything having to do with procedural or other specialized types of expertise, and they certainly don’t delve into skills associated with social perception and wisdom.

Read more here.