IQ - redux

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by kmguru, May 8, 2002.

  1. kmguru Staff Member

    Study Cites a Link Between Higher I.Q. and Breast-Feeding

    CHICAGO, May 7 — The longer infants are breast-fed the higher they are likely to score on intelligence tests as adults, a Danish study said today.

    I.Q. tests administered to more than 3,000 Danes born from 1959 to 1961 showed that being breast-fed for up to nine months conferred a long-lasting intellectual benefit.

    The study appears in this week's issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

    Those who were breast-fed less than one month as infants scored a mean of 99.4 on an I.Q. test, with progressively higher scores correlating to the longer duration of breast-feeding. Those breast-fed from seven to nine months scored a mean 106 on the test. Those breast-fed longer than nine months showed a dip in mean score, to 104.

    A score above 100 is more than 50 percent of people achieve; 25 percent score above 110.
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  3. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Kmguru, I'm not sure if that post would be particularly accurate, but I get this picture of a bunch of students and professors trying to think of some project they can get grants for and enjoy....

    "Breasts????" Crumbs... in that case I'm going to look at Entrophy and the Lotto

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  5. kmguru Staff Member

    Well, that process worked for me and my kids...

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  7. Merlijn curious cat Registered Senior Member


    I believe it was 1991 that I heard about a very similar study. The study had the same outcome and used about 40 participants (subjects) which would indicate that the result is quite robust. (The smaller the number of subjects the stronger the effect has to be in order to reach scientific significance.)
    Now with this second study it must be clear.
    Unless of course, in total there have been say 431 similar -but unpublished- studies that yielded no results. In that case the two studies discussed could be just coincidence. (Behold the problem of scientific research: one can only publish studies that result in the rejection oh the H0 (base hypothesis), not those that resulted in no rejection of the hypothesis...... quite stupid, but alas that is the way the sworld of science works)
  8. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member

    I always knew there was a good reason to suck on br... um, never mind...
  9. kmguru Staff Member

    You mean...genetic predisposition?...uh!...never mind....

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  10. Howlin Wolf Registered Member

    Breast feeding & IQ

    I think this link, and the wider benefits of breast-feeding, has been referred to in a lot of the guide books sold to new mothers in the UK. Maybe everywhere else as well. In which case, two things spring to mind - (1) higher educated parents tend to read these books and act on their advice, thereby skewing the results obtained by surveys such as the one referred to. (2) Nestle's long-standing campaign to hook mothers in the developing world on the use of their formula milk might end up skewing any IQ surveys in African or other countries.
  11. kmguru Staff Member

    When it comes to business ethics, there is no organization that watches business activities in poor countries. Even in USA, we get swindled by mega corporations.

    I think it is human nature to dumbdown others so that you and your clan can have an advantage. This shows up in business too....

    Just like Vit.D, niacin, iodine, calcium or fluoride is added to food, surely companies can add DHA or other neurochemicals to formulas...

    What we need is a private organization to watch these people. When I retire, I plan to setup a website to keep track of these issues....
  12. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

    I think Howlin' Wolf is right. There can be other factors that lead to a higher IQ. Too many confounds. Correlation doesn't mean Causation. It would be interesting to read the study to see how it was set up. I wouldn't suppose that's possible...

  13. kmguru Staff Member

    Read last Sunday

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    IN A CULTURE in which how-to books for dummies fly off shelves and headlines bemoan the intellectual state of TV-watching kids, how that 4-year-olds can log on to a computer without help, quickly decode cereal-box riddles, navigate fast-food placemat mazes and even program the VCR while you're still trying to figure such things out? Is it possible these puzzlecracking whiz kids might be packing more brainpower than previous generations?

    Yes and no. In the past 100 years, IQ scores have risen steadily at about three points per decade, recent research shows. "The scores keep going up," says Ulric Neisser, a psychology professor at Cornell University who studies the climbing-IQ phenomenon.

    While better health, nutrition and schooling help to explain IQ gains in the first half of the 20 th century scientists are crediting this new culture of visual literacy with helping to raise the IQ bar in the last 20 yew.So am children today really that much smarter than their parents? Neisser doesn't think so: "Kids aren't vecessarily wiser. They are quicker. Perhap, more clever."

    Why? Neisser credits a lot of pop-culture media - mazes,games and other brain teas­ers. For example, in the video game Tetris, players link falling pieces on a computer screen, paralleling manipula- it tion problems on standard IQ tests. "There is so much visual stimulation," Neisser says. "[It] increases visual analysis." But IQ gains alone won't halt falling college entrance exam scores. Here's why: While IQ tests measure the ability to reason and general knowledge, tests like the SAT gauge knowledge of particular subjects. Mouse- and remote control-clicking kids may be able to build a Sims society on their computers, but many don't have a clue who wrote Hamlet

    "IQ is up because reasoning is rising," Neisser says. "But vocabulary is not going up, and general knowledge is going down."
  14. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

    I find this part kind of funny. IQ is a score based on an average which is measured at 100. IQ of an entire population can't go up over time, because the average is always 100. Understand what I mean? Intelligence of a population can go up but that's shakey too. How is this being measured? By tests that that population itself makes. I could go ahead and make a test that would make me have a 200+ IQ. Am I getting smarter. Secondly what kind of intelligence is being measured? There are many different kinds. Thirdly as we learn new things in new areas but also forget things in previously know areas. For example, if we had an energy crisis in this country, most of us would be dead in a few weeks; next to nobody knows a thing about farming anymore.

  15. kmguru Staff Member

    IQ score is like SAT score because the questions are similar. I Think it is set at a maximum of 200 and not 100, just like a SAT score. There may be a way to add a few points if you finish the test in say one minute - that will put it off the scale. Therefore the average IQ points can go up over time until everybody hits 200.
  16. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member

  17. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

    Thanks for the info Adam.

    So, I think the best way to look at it is statistically. Test scores are taken from a sample of peoples' performance on IQ tests. When this is graphed out, it will form a bell-shaped curve (well a 99.9999999% probability

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    ). IQ of 100 would be the mean (average) of the curve. A normal bell curve has two limits, one going less than the mean and one going more than the mean, both approaching a frequency of 0 - neither side actually touches zero in frequency of occurence. So from a statistical stanpoint, there is no maximum IQ score. If you scored better than 99.99999999999999999999999999999999% of the population then your IQ score would be, well, really freakin' high. Well over 200. That's considering that there is enough people to be higher over and the test had enough question to show that you are "better" than all of those people.

    Oh my goodness, I'm talking about statistics, I think I should go to bed before something else happens.

  18. kmguru Staff Member

    What Makes Kids Intelligent?

    Will your child have enough brainpower for a satisfying adult life? Intelligence isn't all in the genes. Here are some tips to help your child use all of his or her potential.

    By Laurie Barclay

    Oct. 15, 2001 -- How can we make our children smarter?

    A tough question, since some kids are book smart while others are street smart. Some build towering block skyscrapers while others paint word pictures in poetry and prose. Some win the school election while others know just what to say to make you feel better.

    "Intelligence reflects the general ability to process information, which promotes learning, understanding, reasoning, [and] problem-solving," says Linda S. Gottfredson, PhD, a professor of education at the University of Delaware in Newark. "It affects many sorts of everyday behaviors."

    As each child is unique, we'll focus on why children differ in intelligence, and on how to bring out their best.

    Heredity or Environment?

    Heredity accounts for more than 80% of the variation in adult intelligence, yet each successive generation appears smarter on IQ tests, highlighting the importance of environmental factors. Why the apparent contradiction?

    "The hidden assumption in this paradox is that genes and environment are unrelated, which sounds ridiculous as soon as you say it," William T. Dickens, PhD, a senior fellow in economic studies at Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., tells WebMD. "Genes get the credit for most of the work that the environment is doing."

    Where intelligence is concerned, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Children born with higher intelligence do better in school, which enables them to get into enriched classes or go to college where they further their intelligence.

    "If the environment affects IQ and the IQ affects environment, it's a virtuous or vicious cycle," Dickens says.

    Over time, the effects of the environment on intelligence get weaker. For example, after a child enters a preschool enrichment program, IQ peaks within six to 12 months. When the child leaves that environment, IQ drifts downward.

    "When you remove a kid from a good environment and put him back in a bad one, he'll do different things than he did before," Dickens says. "He may choose brighter friends or watch more educational TV shows. But there are fewer options than in the good environment, so, over time, there'll be a slow drag on his IQ."

    Measuring Intelligence

    How much stock should we put in those magical IQ numbers?

    "I don't think there is much point in trying to assess children's intelligence unless they seem unusual -- not developing properly or precocious," Gottfredson says. "People tend to take individual test scores too seriously."

    "A better indicator than IQ score is whether the child is curious, enjoys role playing and learning, and is happy," says Stephen J. Schoenthaler, PhD, a professor of nutrition and behavior at California State University in Long Beach.

    But Dickens contends that the one thing that best predicts how well 14-year-olds will do as adults, in terms of economic and social outcome, is their IQ score.

    Brain Food

    Eating smarter for better brain health begins in the womb and continues with breastfeeding, especially if Mom follows daily recommendations for vitamins and minerals.

    "The real trick is teaching young children to like good foods when they move from breast milk to whole foods," Schoenthaler tells WebMD. "Teaching children to try everything and then avoid foods they do not like for a year or so as taste develops works fine."

    Children need five or six daily servings of fruits and vegetables; five servings of whole grains; two or three servings of meat, fish, or poultry; and two or three servings of milk. Smaller-than-adult-size portions will keep children from gaining too much weight. As young children prefer salty and sweet tastes, mothers can "spice up" vegetables sparingly. Children should take a vitamin and mineral supplement at the prescribed dose.

    "What the Food and Nutrition Board and the World Health Organization recommend for good health is great for IQ and behavior too," Schoenthaler says.

    In his research, children taking the recommended daily allowance of vitamin and mineral supplements for three months learned 14 different academic subjects at twice the rate of children given a placebo. In more than 1 million children given a good breakfast and lunch at school, academic performance improved by 16%, and 76,000 suddenly were no longer "learning disabled."

    Build Mental Muscle

    "To train young minds, read something together every night. Stimulate your child's interests and curiosity and encourage the child to play an instrument," Ingegerd Carlsson, PhD, tells WebMD. She is a psychologist at Lund University in Sweden, and studies changes in brain function with creativity.

    However, the "Mozart effect," in which listening to classical music supposedly improves certain IQ scores, is probably overrated, says Kenneth M. Steele, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.

    "Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who grow up in homes where talking, listening, and reading are common tend to have higher IQs and greater success in school," Frances P. Glascoe, PhD, an adjunct professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University in East Berlin, Pa., tells WebMD.

    Thomas Darvill, PhD, chairman of psychology at Oswego State University in New York, recommends a variety of safe toys that are colorful, noisy, and interesting in shape or texture. Spending more time with your child in their first year can yield big dividends later, both in terms of parent-child bonding and enhanced mental growth.

    "Kids left alone to sit and watch TV or play video games on their own won't do as well," Shawn K. Acheson, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., tells WebMD. "Encourage active learning and the exchange of ideas."

    As they grow, children need time and freedom to play and explore, Darvill says. "If your preschooler is playing in the mud or role playing with you or a peer, he is learning what he needs to learn."

    Sports, music, and other activities demanding focused attention and discipline and stimulate mental development -- but don't force children to adopt your own interests. "Just because Dad enjoyed hockey as a child doesn't guarantee that his own children will," Darvill says.

    Each child's interests and learning strategies are unique, Gottfredson agrees. To develop intelligence, we must not neglect ambition, courage, and conscientiousness, which are equally important for success. We mustn't forget to teach children how to learn.

    "Few people work to their potential, or even realize what it is," she says. "Encourage children to develop the attitudes and tools for making the best use of their minds."

    Robert J. Sternberg, PhD, is director of the PACE Center and IBM professor of psychology and education at Yale University. "If we take into account how children think, we can improve their achievement," Sternberg tells WebMD. "If we teach in a way that is relevant to children's abilities, we get much better results."

    Use It or Lose It

    As early environmental effects wear off, intelligence training should be a lifelong pursuit. Nourished by a healthy diet and encouraged to use her unique gifts most effectively, your child should be off to a running start.

    "If you can accelerate children's ability to learn -- even temporarily -- the knowledge they've acquired may still be with them 20 or 30 years later," Dickens says. "Some skills stay with you your whole life. Parents can permanently affect their child's job success and income, even if they can't permanently change his IQ."

    According to the "Flynn effect" discovered by James R. Flynn, PhD, a political scientist at the University of Otago in New Zealand, the average IQ for the population as a whole increases with each generation. He tells WebMD that the best gift you can give your child is a love for learning and for satisfying work.

    "If you do that for your child, for heaven's sake don't worry about IQ," Flynn says. "They have got what makes life rewarding anyway."
  19. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

    There is no way in hell that they can know this. I'd love to see where they got this from.

    Again, the overall population's IQ can't go up.

    Oh, now I understand where this increase-in-population-IQ crap comes from: a political scientist

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    Because they are pulling "facts" out of their asses.

    This is generally true.

    Because IQ tests are a measure of performance, not capacity. There's a difference.

    [QUOTE "People tend to take individual test scores too seriously." [/QUOTE]

    I agree.

    Is this because a number of IQ questions are biased in ways of culture and economic class?

    I agree.

    What do you others think?


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