Spanking Lowers IQ Points

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Orleander, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Hahaha. There's nothing funnier than watching people flip out because they don't like the results of a scientific study.

    This study found something that doesn't fit with my preconceptions about how the world is supposed to be?!?!!? Well, clearly these researchers were using bad methodology. Even though I'm not going to actually address any specific aspect of their methodology. And this study can't be true, because I have this one anecdotal piece of evidence that don't fit with the correlation this study found! One anecdotal data point is enough to disprove a statistical correlation, right?. Also, we all know that correlation doesn't imply causation, so why don't I list a bunch of possible alternative explanations for the data that were specifically addressed and controlled for in the study, but I don't know that because, hey, why bother actually reading a study before I start trying to trash it? After all, I already know the study is wrong because I don't like the data it presents, so why waste valuable time reading it? And we all know that we can't take this "science" thing too seriously anyway, I mean everyone knows that most scientists are satanists, and I heard that one time this scientist in California kicked a puppy...
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  3. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

    I know that guy.
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  5. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Pretty much every variable you could think of that might offer an alternative explanation was controlled for in the study. Ethnicity, parent's economic status, parent's education level, to what extent the child had behavior problems, family status (married, divorced, etc.), number of other children in the home, child's starting IQ, parent's age, and many other factors that you wouldn't think could be related.
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  7. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

    I didn't say the study was 100% invalid. The whole reason scientist release studies is so that can be critiqued and re-done by others in the search for the "truth". I work on child development research projects like these all of the time as part my internship. I was just having some fun, since writing it out for real is no fun at all. No study is perfect, in fact they indoctrinate you in school to assume all research is flawed and pointing out anything from funding to the type of pencils used to record data with is fair game. While I'm skeptical, I can't say the findings are wrong until I duplicate it myself and achieve just as or more accurate results with few errors.
  8. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    do you have to duplicate the findings or can another study duplicate the findings? How many times does it have to be duplicated for you to accept the findings?

    I'd like to see a study of the IQ of the parents who spank. Anyone know if that study has been done?
  9. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    I can prove that the OP's title is an invalid statement:

    Indian students are smarter than American students and there is spanking in Indian schools.

    Therefore, spanking RISES student IQ.

    "According to a 2007 joint-study by Unicef, Save the Children and the Indian government, 65% of school-going children have faced corporal punishment. Beating children with rulers, forcing them to stand for hours, throwing blackboard dusters at them – all of these are considered effective punishment in many of India's schools. Usually such acts lead to physical or psychological damage. Sometimes, they kill."
  10. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    That doesn't prove anything. The relevant question is whether Indian children who are spanked less (but otherwise treated the same, from the same economic background, etc.) are on average smarter than other Indian children who are spanked more.
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Proximal vs. Distal, and other notes

    It depends in large part on where the fear is located and how any given mind contextualizes it. For instance, imagine you hear a six year-old singing, "Shut your fucking face, uncle-fucker!" What do you do?

    (A) Spank the child for cussing
    (B) Ground/restrict/time-out the child for cussing
    (C) Laugh, sing along, and then explain that a lot of people don't like words like that, and that the child might incur the wrath of school officials, grandma and grandpa, or other people who don't appreciate either the song or the words it uses?
    (D) Other​

    A and B locate the object of fear in the immediate parent, which is the most problematic. C contains an element of fear, but it is the same sort of fear that a child learns the same time he or she leaps from slightly too high a precipice and learns, "Okay, that hurts." There is always an element of fear insofar as even at the Freudian level, where law and punishment aren't necessarily the primary reason for any given person's civility. To the one, if murder suddenly became "legal", would you start knifing or shooting people randomly? What might happen to you if you do so? Ah-ha! Or something like that. Civility is a form of self-preservation according to the conditions of nature—e.g., civilization—we experience.

    The mind regards proximal and distal threats differently. The proximal is immediate and ever-looming. The distal is more abstract and subject to rational analysis. Experientially, I can say that answer C opens doors to further cognitive development. The inevitable, obvious question is, "Why are some words naughty?" And the functional answer is that, "Some people need to be offended by something. If it isn't fuck or shit that does it, it would be something else. People are always inventing fighting words." Now, this doesn't necessarily make sense to a six year-old, but consider it in terms of educating an infant becoming a toddler. Toddlers, it is said—and this is the colloquial expression—must be told everything fifty times before they finally start to grasp it. Don't play with the electrical outlets. Don't wrap that string around your neck. Don't hit. And so on. In truth, it takes more than fifty times, even if the lesson is reinforced with violence as operant conditioning.

    Variable-interval, variable-response is the most effective positive reinforcement conditioning, and seems to hold the title for negative reinforcement as well. But in either case, what the child isn't doing is thinking deeply. The logical consideration is basic and proximal: Do wrong, get hurt. Regular interval and response in negative reinforcement creates very specific outcomes in which fear compels conformity. Variable interval and response creates a very broad result in which fear can govern the entire outlook. Either way, such negative reinforcement shortens the logical consideration, while positive reinforcement opens the doors to further calculation. Grandma J says that curse words are tools of Satan, and I'm sure my daughter has heard that before. Just like she heard that grease is from Satan°. My six year-old is not only learning how to cuss, but she also eats cheeseburgers and bacon. I'm winning the theological battle, but slowly—my daughter is no longer afraid of Satan.

    One result is that a couple weeks ago my daughter surprised me—pleasantly, that is, but it was still a surprise. Her mother doesn't like my version of "discipline", which consists of talking to our daughter as if she's smart enough to understand the basic concepts involved. To the other, she was asking me about when she would be old enough to wear makeup, get a tattoo, have a boyfriend, wear high heels, and so on. In this case, it was high heels, because she has this one pair of shoes with an inch block on the heel, and she does okay in them but can't seem to go up and down stairs without trouble. The last time I saw those shoes, she thought I didn't like them because they were high heels. So I explained to her that no, I don't really like high heels, but my actual worry was that she kept tripping in those shoes. I reminded her of the time she twisted her ankle stepping onto Mommy's porch. So she asked more questions about high heels that led to a twenty minute discussion of high heels, health, psychology, and history. And what was really striking about this was that she followed the discussion all the way through. When she interrupted me with questions, they were relevant questions instead of, "Daddy, do you like to move it, move it?" (e.g, Madagascar; she has an old Happy Meal toy that sings that damn song.)

    I'm thrilled. It doesn't vindicate my approach by any means, but I don't really care. I'm just happy my daughter is now exhibiting a new level of thought. It is my hope that over the long run, more and more similar results will occur, reinforcing the idea that if I give her a chance to think things through, she will. I would much prefer that she not wear high heels because they're uncomfortable and she's tired of tripping and twisting up her ankle than because "Daddy doesn't like them." And she knows that. Because I told her.

    Just like repeating the basic message to a toddler is a form of conditioning, repeatedly challenging her cognitive skills as regards right and wrong is a form of conditioning. Fear is a natural part of life, but that is no justification for magnifying it, or bringing it so close that it is how the child identifies the parent. There will come a day when my daughter doesn't trust me implicitly, but I was seven or eight when my father and I started that drift apart, and I still remember the incident. My daughter turns seven in two months; I don't expect that she will stop trusting me in the next year or two simply because of psychological development. To the other, I hope that when the day comes, it is because her development demands it, and not because I've done something specific to trigger the process. That day will come, but it should come later.

    I think that's a poor example for a couple of reasons. Everyone does something that violates a rule, and part of how we justify it includes the scale we assign it. For instance, lots of people speed, but far fewer will commit a rape or murder just because they think they have the opportunity. I smoke pot, for instance. (A) I don't think it's wrong. (B) I have seen no evidence that my consumption has hurt anyone. (C) I don't fear the punishment; certainly it would be inconvenient, but I've actually smoked pot in front of police officers before (in plain view; at least twice specifically that I can recall). Oh, and (D) fuck the law.

    Also, Interstate 205 between Tualatin, Oregon and the Oregon-Washington border was long patrolled by aerial observation. Signs to this effect were posted all over the place. Most people knew someone who had received a random traffic ticket in the mail. And for a few years, newspaper articles repeated the same old story that the tickets could not be contested without specific, irrefutable evidence—e.g., you are presumed guilty. And yet people still speed, especially on the section between Tualatin and Oregon City.

    It's not something I hear much about these days because of the prevalence of mobile networks, but I've known people who literally did not believe it was "stealing" to fraudulently obtain long-distance telephone service. And when I was in college, I got into an argument once with my girlfriend about food stamps. I didn't care if "everyone else" was doing it. That a college student we know might qualify for public assistance had nothing to do with the fact that we both had family support on top of our jobs, and in the end her logic amounted to the idea that it was inconvenient to sacrifice intoxicants and cosmetics in order to buy food. Really, if I had my druthers I would still be stoned all the time, but I just can't afford it; there are other things that are, simply, more important. I like being a stoner. I don't care what the law says. But there are plenty of rational reasons why I'm not getting high today.


    (A) Juvenile brains make decisions according to different processes in the brain—using different pathways and criteria—than adults. This is well-enough established that it was part of a 2005 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court (Roper v. Simmons) to stop executing juvenile offenders.

    (B) The observation that people speed is actually fairly consistent with Freud and MacLean.

    (C) Norman O. Brown, in reflecting on Freud, asserted—accurately, I think—that historians have yet (even fifty years after Life and Death, in my opinion) to properly engage the dialectic of neurosis. The decisions people make are not so simply constructed as you suggest.​

    It is sad, and embarrassing, that my daughter had to learn the dangers of playing with matches by burning herself and setting the coffee table on fire, but that's entirely my fault. However, I didn't need any authority figure to threaten me in order to figure out that the best solution is to simply not keep matchbooks in the house. So as to that, my bad, my lesson, and now learned.

    As to fire, though, so cussing. I can't change school policies. I wouldn't change the prohibitions against cussing if I could. But my daughter sees the action and reaction, the choice and consequence, of cussing at school much more naturalistically—much like fire. If you do certain things, there will be certain results. Everybody has to learn this, else they cannot function in society. But the question of where one invests that fear is of critical importance to cognitive development, and violence as a corrective tool invests that fear in the spanking parent.

    I can do much more for my daughter if she trusts me and learns to think rationally than if she's simply frightened. The reality is that spanking is a shortcut for the parent, and brings certain side effects. If spanking is more of a regular interval and response, the child learns something much akin to what you suggest about speeding: Break the rules if you want; just don't get caught. If it is more of a variable interval and response, the child simply learns to live in fear. A very proximal fear.

    ° grease is from Satan — An amusing episode. Grandma and Grandpa J (both names start with J) are conservative-libertarian Christians of what seems a particularly paranoid strain. Grandpa is well-educated and worked in a sector that often tested his faith; he has seen and knows a good deal of what people are capable of. Grandma, to the other, is severely undereducated and wrapped in superstition. One day I was picking up my daughter from their care; she was finishing her lunch as Grandpa was coming in from yard work to eat his. So we sat around talking for a little bit. At one point, my daughter hops down from her chair, runs over to me, and says, "Daddy did you know grease is from Satan?" In that moment, you could see Grandpa J cringe, and drop his head closer to his food. He wasn't about to turn on his wife in front of Emma Grace, but it was easy to tell he wanted out of that one: Don't look at me. I got nothin' to do with that.
  12. Red Devil Born Again Athiest Registered Senior Member

    Bloody 'ell Tiassa, thats a mouthful and a half! :bugeye:
  13. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member


    I guess I don't see the difference. It seems to me that the only reason people behave when they don't want to is because they fear the consequences. Whether it comes from an authority figure or internally. You bravely brake the law smoking pot because you don't fear the consequences, if the laws were more severe you'd probably be much more discreet and maybe not even smoke at all. Just like the kids who misbehave and we threaten to tell their parents and they say "So?".
    As for cussing I'd have to select D. Every child is different so each case is a case by case basis, plus if a child or adult said that to me, there would be nothing funny about it. But then I'm very authoritarian when it comes to anyone I'm in charge of. So if I have to lower your IQ to get you to behave in a manner acceptable to me, then stupid you shall become.
  14. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

    I already accept the findings. Doesn't mean I have to declare them holy law. I'm allowed to be skeptical. But if I myself ran an experiment that I truly believed to be superior to this one and found contrary findings, I would probably be more likely to believe my results, just because their mine and I'm already biased on the topic. But biased research is almost always bad research.
  15. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Which was exactly my point with this thread.

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  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    (Insert Title Here)

    Indeed, you are. This report isn't the conclusive end-all nail in the coffin of spanking.

    The difference is where the fear is located. If I take this course of action, the logical consequence is that I might get hurt—this reflects a healthier outlook than, If I take this course of action, I might succeed, but Daddy will tan my hide, anyway.

    I am my daughter's father. I would hope to be the last thing in the world she's afraid of.
  17. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Maybe it's just too early in the morning here, but I don't see your point. The study looks solid. Your counter-evidence (Indian children vs. American children) is not applicable.
  18. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    My point was:

    Simple explanation for the study: Smarter parents most likely spank their kids LESS, and smarter parents eventually have smarter kids, THEREFORE spanking or no spanking, smarter parents' kids are going to be smarter anyway, it has nothing to do with being spanked less.

    Or something like it....

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  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Diversity; and a basic question

    There is merit to the hypothesis, but that's the thing. There is no one single answer. The operant conditioning hypothesis—which, I confess, seems nearly self-evident to me—will not go the full distance to explain the phenomenon. Human diversity will necessarily exceed the theory's reach.

    And so it is with the smarter parents hypothesis: it simply cannot cover everyone.

    Human cognition is thematically simple while remaining extremely complicated in the details. Stupid people can have smart kids, just like straight parents can have gay kids.

    Parental behavior perpetuates in the next generation, no matter what the kids want to say about it. Hence the old bumper sticker, "Kids, pack up and leave your parents now, while you still know everything."

    If you had your choice, what would you rather perpetuate in the world: Cognitive development and rational thought, or governance through fear? The older you get, the harder conditioned habits are to break. To put it colloquially, that's why it's the twenty-first century and the South is giving us more and more material for the same old twentieth-century jokes.
  20. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    From what I've read here, I'd agree with that. Do you know if there was a study done showing this? Not that it would mean anything to some people here.
  21. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Except that as was already pointed out, the study controlled for all that (and pretty much any other factor you might think of that could cause a deceptive correlation, and even many random factors that you wouldn't think could cause a correlation). They controlled for parent's education level, intelligence, etc.

    It is of course true that there might be some surprising, previously-unimagined factor that causes the correlation, but the study authors were so careful to control for so many variables that it seems likely that it really is causation. No, it's not iron-clad proof, but it's pretty damn strong evidence.
  22. Bebelina Feminazi Messiah Valued Senior Member

    Spanking is degrading and make kids feel stupid and more likely to act stupid and not believe in themselves, which makes them less likely to succeed in iq-testings. But there is no real proof that grease is not from Satan.
  23. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member

    makes perfect sense
    note i have not read the thread, just the header.

    seems simple !
    the lower the IQ of the parents the more likely they are to use violence and the less likely their kids are to learn and the more likely their kids are to perpetuate violence.
    some racial profiling would not go a miss just to up the anti. hahaahaha
    actually religious profiling is the real deal.

    check it out !
    the more religiously extreme they are the more violent and ignorant they will be.

    resorting to violence to modify undesirable behaviours means one must eventually kill and that is the lesson being taught to all kids as soon as their parents start spanking them.

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