Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#41  Postby The_Metatron » Jun 08, 2014 7:53 am

Do any intelligence tests exist that directly measure ability to learn, instead of what one already knows?

You know, test a subject to determine where their skills end, then measure what it takes to add to those skills?
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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#42  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 08, 2014 8:38 am

The_Metatron wrote:Do any intelligence tests exist that directly measure ability to learn, instead of what one already knows?

You know, test a subject to determine where their skills end, then measure what it takes to add to those skills?


I'm familiar with placement tests, for example, placing a student somewhere within a sequence of language-learning that builds up in a predictable way, or mathematics placement tests.

Adding to those skills? Well, there's the short term, which is the way most people study: Prepare for the final, and then forget it, if it's not cumulative, as with maths and languages. Maybe that's why standardized tests bifurcate around language and maths. I can still give you the names of the capital cities of all fifty US states, and a pile of fairly stable nations, if that would make anyone happy.

We are familiar by now with all sorts of attempts to extend learning accomplishment to other areas. Emotional intelligence?
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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#43  Postby laklak » Jun 08, 2014 2:30 pm

Of course we're getting stupider. Hasn't anyone watched that documentary, Idiocracy?
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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#44  Postby Agrippina » Jun 08, 2014 2:31 pm

Is intelligence genetic? Does having high intelligence mean that your offspring are likely to be more intelligent than their peers? If those intelligent offspring aren't exposed to education, wouldn't they demonstrate the same levels of learnedness that other uneducated people display? In a post-apocalyptic world, where formal education doesn't exist, wouldn't survival skills trump book-learning? Then also, can't people with average intelligence still be educated to function at a higher level than more intelligent, but less-educated people? It's interesting to discuss this because of how poor our (my country's) education standards are, where passing rates are dropped to include the lowest-performing students, making our school graduates not terribly-well educated by comparison with other school-leavers in the outside world.
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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#45  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 08, 2014 3:35 pm

Agrippina wrote:Is intelligence genetic? Does having high intelligence mean that your offspring are likely to be more intelligent than their peers? If those intelligent offspring aren't exposed to education, wouldn't they demonstrate the same levels of learnedness that other uneducated people display? In a post-apocalyptic world, where formal education doesn't exist, wouldn't survival skills trump book-learning? Then also, can't people with average intelligence still be educated to function at a higher level than more intelligent, but less-educated people? It's interesting to discuss this because of how poor our (my country's) education standards are, where passing rates are dropped to include the lowest-performing students, making our school graduates not terribly-well educated by comparison with other school-leavers in the outside world.


All other things being equal, an intelligent person is more capable of learning survival skills than someone less intelligent, if that's what interests him. That's a definition of intelligence, but you're welcome to come up with another. It doesn't mean a person won't simply be more interested in something else, so the bear eats him. He has to learn from the tribe what the real essentials are. In a pre-apocalyptic world, nobody can tell anyone else what the essentials are, so you have to figure them out from context. Intelligence helps or hurts, depending on how apocalyptic things are, mainly because the more intelligent you are, the more things are likely to interest you. Or maybe someone will friend you on faceplant.
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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#46  Postby Agrippina » Jun 08, 2014 4:14 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Is intelligence genetic? Does having high intelligence mean that your offspring are likely to be more intelligent than their peers? If those intelligent offspring aren't exposed to education, wouldn't they demonstrate the same levels of learnedness that other uneducated people display? In a post-apocalyptic world, where formal education doesn't exist, wouldn't survival skills trump book-learning? Then also, can't people with average intelligence still be educated to function at a higher level than more intelligent, but less-educated people? It's interesting to discuss this because of how poor our (my country's) education standards are, where passing rates are dropped to include the lowest-performing students, making our school graduates not terribly-well educated by comparison with other school-leavers in the outside world.


All other things being equal, an intelligent person is more capable of learning survival skills than someone less intelligent, if that's what interests him. That's a definition of intelligence, but you're welcome to come up with another. It doesn't mean a person won't simply be more interested in something else, so the bear eats him. He has to learn from the tribe what the real essentials are. In a pre-apocalyptic world, nobody can tell anyone else what the essentials are, so you have to figure them out from context. Intelligence helps or hurts, depending on how apocalyptic things are, mainly because the more intelligent you are, the more things are likely to interest you. Or maybe someone will friend you on faceplant.


OK, I agree with you on that: the more intelligent you are, the quicker you're likely to learn how to deal with whatever conditions you find yourself in. What about inherited intelligence? Do you think that clever people have clever children, in general, and that lower intelligence in families with high IQs is unusual? How important is "education" in small children? I'm thinking about another conversation I had recently where the other person claimed that school is more about teaching children how to learn, rather than teaching them "facts" as such, and that tertiary education does that. Our schools try to ensure that children are literate and numerate by the time they go to high school at 13, they don't need to know the basics of science and complex maths, and even in high school, they learn only the basics. Is this the problem? Should children be taught more at younger ages?
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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#47  Postby Veida » Jun 08, 2014 5:58 pm

Agrippina wrote:Is intelligence genetic?

Yes, clearly it is if you compare between species. Humans are much more intelligent than rabbits, for example, because we have bigger and more complex brains that take a long, long time to mature.

Within a species it's less obvious, but since evolution has favoured larger and more expensive brains must be the case that they give us some advantages and that these advantages to some degree are dependent on genetics.
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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#48  Postby cavarka9 » Jun 09, 2014 1:20 am

Dont worry, with Brain stimulation we are all going to become smart and that too in next few decades, research already supports it, safety measures need to be checked. If you want to talk abt intelligence you have to talk of brain, not necessarily genetics. Also medicines could be discovered.
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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#49  Postby Templeton » Jun 09, 2014 3:33 am

The_Metatron wrote:Do any intelligence tests exist that directly measure ability to learn, instead of what one already knows?

You know, test a subject to determine where their skills end, then measure what it takes to add to those skills?


Good question, I believe cognitive tests, test for potential.
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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#50  Postby EmilOWK » Jul 25, 2015 4:04 pm

The_Metatron wrote:Do any intelligence tests exist that directly measure ability to learn, instead of what one already knows?

You know, test a subject to determine where their skills end, then measure what it takes to add to those skills?


All mental/cognitive tests measure something called the g factor. It is the general factor of such tests. It has proved impossible to make a such test that does not correlate positively with all other tests, altho sometimes only slightly.

What you are referring to is what is often called fluid intelligence, or gfluid. It is as opposed to crystallized intelligence. This distinction is important wrt. aging and cognitive ability because the fluid-type ability declines faster. Basically, as you age, you decrease in the ability to take part in abstract, analytic thought. However, you generally retain the information you have already and even increase it despite some loss due to faulty memory. The increase is faster than the loss up to a certain point, usually around age 60 (on average).

Perhaps read some introductory material. Here's a collection I made: http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?p=3034
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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#51  Postby campermon » Jul 25, 2015 4:47 pm

Welcome to the forum Emil!

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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#52  Postby scott1328 » Jul 25, 2015 4:54 pm

Speaking on my own experience, every week or so I go to this one website and take their online intelligence test, and on most days, the score is better. Clearly, therefore, sntelligence can't not be declining.

Some day soon I'll crack the 100 mark!
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Re: Stanford geneticist: Human intelligence is declining

#53  Postby EmilOWK » Jul 26, 2015 12:41 am

scott1328 wrote:Speaking on my own experience, every week or so I go to this one website and take their online intelligence test, and on most days, the score is better. Clearly, therefore, sntelligence can't not be declining.

Some day soon I'll crack the 100 mark!


These are called practice or training gains. Not g-loaded. http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?p=4029
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