Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
People getting dumber?
#1
Researchers suggest Victorian-era people more intelligent than modern-day counterparts

So there is a scientific basis for the demise of the West after all?
Sanders 2020

Reply
#2
Couple of things here.

No mention of sleep patterns. For instance, in the US the average sleep time of the 1880s was over nine hours(9.3 if I remember correctly). Today's population does not get enough sleep almost across the board.

Also, during that time both the US and England were run by true Liberals, who stressed free enterprise, free trade, and entrepreneurship. People were encouraged to think, and act, outside the box. No longer the case today, as we all know.

But also,

Quote:The claims by the European team will undoubtedly be viewed as controversial—after all, no one has proved that reaction times truly are an accurate measure of intelligence.

Reaction time is not a good indicator of IQ, or even common sense. Most geniuses are reflective in nature, and not reactive. Some people are just better at the 'Fight or Flight' syndrome than others.

In my opinion, not a good study based on that one criteria.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
Reply
#3
What is being talked about is mental reaction time being an indicator of higher intelligence--how fast your brain functions. Some studies do support this as a valid correlation. It is not necessarily talking about physical reflexes. I have long believed that baseball players with higher batting averages have faster mental reaction times. And if they were tested for IQ, they would be found to be above average--independent of their level of education. (Most professional baseball players choose their careers instead of going to college.)

By the way, there are some indicators that people in past generations had better ability to focus and follow extended thoughts. Just look at the lengthy, complex sentences of documents written several hundred years ago, compared to the choppy, abbreviated sentences that are the modern literary style. Look at the long, long, sentences in the original Greek of the New Testament. Even the uneducated seemed to have longer attention spans back then.

What this means is that the human race is gradually deteriorating--devolving, not evolving. Ever since Eden, the human race has been declining. It is amazing that we can still function at all.
Reply
#4
Very good point about sleep. I've been thinking yesterday that the amount of noise in the environment is also a factor. Necessity to make your own decisions (on the decline) is a factor definitely.

Quote:Reaction time is not a good indicator of IQ, or even common sense.

It probably correlates to IQ... in fact one can definitely make a study to check how well, and perhaps reading the original paper would yield a ref.
Sanders 2020

Reply
#5
(05-19-2013, 09:34 AM)Ron Lambert Wrote: What this means is that the human race is gradually deteriorating--devolving, not evolving. Ever since Eden, the human race has been declining. It is amazing that we can still function at all.

I disagree with you about specifics and outlook on things. Today's society is relying more on drugs and additives that can also affect cognitive abilities. But these are almost always temporary. And as biological/genetic science gets more sophisticated, I expect much less of this.

As for 'Eden' and the literal interpretation, I'll take a pass there: Sorry.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
Reply
#6
(05-19-2013, 09:44 AM)mv Wrote:
Quote:Reaction time is not a good indicator of IQ, or even common sense.

It probably correlates to IQ... in fact one can definitely make a study to check how well, and perhaps reading the original paper would yield a ref.

Could be true. However, correlation and causality are not the same thing. When it comes to the "looking before one leaps" concept, I would think that the 'looking' part would be more prevalent in the higher intelligence.

I'll give you an example. I had a classmate, at the Citadel, who was a Gold Star student(3.5 out of 4.0 GPA), and he was one of the most uncoordinated classmates I ever say. As a Knob he caught hell for being so bad,..........until his grades came out. He couldn't even do a 'squat-thrust' without screwing it up. I mean he was a mess. Yet he made almost all straight As.

In fact, I talked with him last month, because he is the head of the Class of 67 alumnus association. Great guy, but still uncoordinated. S13
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
Reply
#7
Oh, definitely there are different types of intelligence. I've seen quite a lot of the your classmate type in my classes... definitely capable of high quality work when concentrated correctly, but probably will score low on both IQ and reaction tests (so there is a correlation still!), and probably not survivors under pressure.
Sanders 2020

Reply
#8
John and I spared on this earlier when I suggested that the typical Greek or Roman from a millennia ago would intellectually kick most 'geniuses' butts today.

IMHO, a good deal of this has to do with distraction and inability to focus for more than a few minutes.
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
Reply
#9
I just looked at the title of Jack's link, and I think the premises is wrong. Digital multitasking is not making people dumber. What we have here is another instance of the Media starting out being less than astute about what they are writing. What is happening is that people are becoming 'Lazier' intellectually. They don't have to really work all that much.

Want a great example? Ok, ACRONYMS. This is nothing more than laziness when it is confusing to many readers...................including myself. I use them sparingly because I am a good typist and can crank out the words fluidly rather then hen-pecking. That's laziness, and is the same basic thing as with digital multitasking, or other things in modern society.

And no, I don't believe we are less intelligent,.......just lazier. Sorry if this is nitpicking, but I am an optimist on many things. And I believe there is much to look forward to in the future. Think positive, ok?


Now, about politics...............well perhaps there may be something to the 'dumbness' subject after all. S4
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
Reply
#10
(05-19-2013, 12:04 AM)mv Wrote: Researchers suggest Victorian-era people more intelligent than modern-day counterparts

So there is a scientific basis for the demise of the West after all?


They didn't have progressives running the educations departments.
Reply
#11
And so we spar again on this John. Perhaps it has to do with the way we 'perceive' intelligence? I don't think you really acknowledge how today's digital aids have a downside. They screw with what really should be a 'normal' thought process. When you are working on something or absorbing some complex information, can you really accomplish much by doing it three or four minutes at a time ... between email and text alerts or pop-up advertizements? Real thinking should be done over longer periods. Also, people aren't really learning how to retain information and crucial items as internet access seems to have made memorization 'obsolete'. But how can you really integrate ideas if the crucial components aren't all residing in your noggin at the same time? By the time you've accumulated all the web searches, it's quite likely you'll forget the first ones or why you were looking things up in the first place. All I'm saying is that one's train of thought is much, much easier to derail these days ... as opposed to when people sat out on a sunny day with a book, unencumbered by the bleep of a notebook, or the blip of a text alert or a ringtone from a telemarketer. It's also more likely that a person would be carrying around a full contingent of facts and information that could be processed without having to google the elements to those thin wispy strands of that which we call 'thoughts'. It's quite dangerous John. In addition to dumbing things down, it enables Orwell's "Ministery of Truth" to get away with altering databases with no one being the 'wiser'. Imagine the things that this Administration might be doing if the Constitution wasn't actually still written down on parchment. Listen to Dan Pfeiffer's comments to Chris Wallace today and consider how 'irrelevant' facts might actually become once they become fully (and malleably) digital.
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
Reply
#12
That's fine Jack. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

But that is ok. S5
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
Reply
#13
The tests I read about involved completely bypassing physical reaction time. Researchers attached sensitive electrodes to the appropriate places on the scalp, and recorded directly the brain's response to a light that flashed at random intervals. The brain's response time to stimuli is what researchers found to correlate with higher IQ. So this has nothing to do with how coordinated you are, or how fast your leg jumps when your knee is tapped. It is the response time of the brain itself that matters.

I first read about this around 20 years ago. I'm surprised it is still being kicked around. I thought it had been settled, and that this method was believed to be more fair and reliable than conventional IQ tests, which are affected by cultural upbringing and ability to read and comprehend.
Reply
#14
Sorry, but are you equating "reaction time", muscle memory and CNS bypass wiring that allows someone to answer their cell phone more quickly to reading ability and comprehension?
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
Reply
#15
mr_yak, the point that researchers have long been making is that (for example) someone raised in a Spanish-speaking culture, who has just immigrated and learned to speak English, is going to be at a disadvantage when it comes to answering the culturally biased questions on most IQ tests in American schools. And if you have difficulty understanding the questions in the IQ test, you also are at a disadvantage. So you might be rated as having a lower IQ than you really should be as a measure of native intelligence.
Reply
#16
(05-19-2013, 09:46 PM)Ron Lambert Wrote: mr_yak, the point that researchers have long been making is that (for example) someone raised in a Spanish-speaking culture, who has just immigrated and learned to speak English, is going to be at a disadvantage when it comes to answering the culturally biased questions on most IQ tests in American schools. And if you have difficulty understanding the questions in the IQ test, you also are at a disadvantage. So you might be rated as having a lower IQ than you really should be as a measure of native intelligence.

Cultural relativity aside, I would figure that a bilingual person would probably have better developed neural wiring than somebody that only understands a single language. It's likely that they would have better comprehension skills under different sets of contexts as well. From a socioeconomic standpoint, an immigrant here that sticks exclusively with Spanish is probably going to be 'disadvantaged' on any number of levels.

The cell phone thing was another poke at technology. Sorry. But I still think we are losing ground when we give up our skill sets to machines. Consider voice recognition technology. Soon it will no longer be necessary to peck away at a keyboard. Perhaps it's easier, and I suppose you could make the argument that we can accomplish more without the slow laborious process of typing. But think of all the synaptic wiring that will be forfeit. What if you aren't destined to be a musician or an athlete that requires limb-hand coordination? What would this do to "reaction time" for the average person when their brains are no longer interwoven with their fingertips? How would you even measure it 'equitably' under those circumstances? By blinking?
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
Reply
#17
Misuse of statistics once again. The statement that RT rates slowly increased over the entire time period is moot. What else happened? One of particular importance, is that technology increased exponentially, and there is more to learn about more and more. With a broader decision tree, of course it should take longer to weigh decisions, because the factors influencing those decisions increased many times the RT rate.

Otherwise Zen Buddhists will ace all the RT exams. The basis of Zen studies is to bypass the reaction time needed to do something: the decision-making process must go up the nerve stems to the brain, and then back down to the extremities for action. Zen gets the muscle-firing to occur at the muscle-memory level, not needing to be thought-processed, first. Same thing occurs with decision-making. Some thoughts are embedded, and some need to be evaluated before processing. My bet is that earlier eras had less political-correctness to act as noise in the system, letting RT Rates be intrinsically faster.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)