April 15, 2014

Slate: "Yes, IQ Really Matters"

From Slate:
Yes, IQ Really Matters 
Critics of the SAT and other standardized testing are disregarding the data. 
By David Z. Hambrick and Christopher Chabris

A pretty good defense of the SAT, although in citing how well it predicts college grades, the authors don't emphasize the restriction of range issue enough. Colleges start out massively sorted by GPA and SAT/ACT scores, so studying the minor variations within the colleges misses most of the usefulness of test scores. They don't let kids with average SAT scores into Caltech, so they don't have any data points of average kids flunking out.

I'd like to see a correlation study of BYU, a Mormon college that has a wide range of SAT scores and, relative to other private colleges, a wide range of family incomes. (BYU charges relatively low tuition by having bigger class sizes.) BYU would be reasonably safe to study because race wouldn't be a big factor in the results.

Reading through the comments, I see that lots of people are convinced that the positive correlation between the socioeconomic status of parents and the child's SAT scores proves that colleges should junk the SAT and only rely on GPA, extracurricular activities, essays, and so forth. But are those other measures all that independent

A friend of mine over the last half century was a B- student in grade school and high school -- one of a big family of a widowed mother, who was working too hard to keep them fed to have time to make sure he did his homework. But he was always obviously the top math student in our class, even if he didn't do his homework. He got a 790 on the SAT - Math. Went to Berkeley (you could do that back then before you needed a >4.0 gpa to get in) and got a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering. Went into computer networks in the 1980s and made a fortune in the 1990s.

To generalize wildly from that anecdote, it strikes me that all the folks who complain about SAT scores correlating with socioeconomic status should look into how much GPA, especially GPA correlated with high school difficulty, correlate with socioeconomic status.

Along these lines, allow me to give away my son's killer idea for a business: the School Project Store. It opens every evening at 8pm, about when students first mention to their parents that they have a huge project due tomorrow morning, so could you drive me to Staples to get a tri-fold board, a glue stick, and some colored paper?

In the future, however, well-heeled parents will just drive their children to the School Project Store where consultants, such as empty-nester parents who have been through the school project wars over the years, will be waiting to listen patiently. The completed school projects can be picked up on the way to school at 8am.

C'mon, you know this business idea will make millions.

Of course, bricks and mortar retailing is so 20th Century. The real fortune will be made off a smartphone app called Glustik. Empty nester parents with houses full of leftover school project supplies will bid to be the lowest price provider of overnight school projects on emergency requests by rich parents. It will be disruptive!
   

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be OT, but this the guy running in the primaries against Boehner.

J.D. Winteregg

If anyone is so inclined, please donate a few bucks. I think most of us on this blog would love to see the Weeper, I mean the Speaker, bounced in the primaries.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I always wondered why people were so eager to reject the SAT because of supposed racism. What do you want to replace that with? Personal interviews? Extra-curriculars? Does anyone think there is no possibility of racism there?

People with education degrees want to replace entrance criteria they don't do that well in with criteria they do. That they can do this under the guise of being anti-racist is a mere convenience. They seldom realise this, of course. None of us are all that good at seeing our own ulterior motives, never mind admitting them.

Anonymous said...

"Reading through the comments, I see that lots of people are convinced that the positive correlation between the socioeconomic status of parents and the child's SAT scores proves that colleges should junk the SAT and only rely on GPA, extracurricular activities, essays, and so forth. But are those other measures all that independent"

RE: relying on GPA, the question of grading standards looms large. Indeed, far from leveling the playing field, this would simply increase the importance of attending an elite secondary school, one whose grading standards can be trusted by the university admission officials.

Whiskey said...

Schools in Santa Ana Unified, about 98% qualifying for the free/reduced meal program and overwhelmingly (85%+) Latino have a number of students with nearly 5.0 GPAs. However, only a few of these kids are really qualified to do work at places like Caltech or MIT. Why?

Because a 5.0 GPA is not really a 5.0. Grade inflation, given by teachers competing for "good" kids who are not gangbangers teach AP classes worth more than a standard 4.0. However few kids actually TAKE the AP exams, in for example Chemistry or Physics.

When you want bright kids, you will find relatively few among the Latinos of SAUSD. There will be some, but not many. The rest are merely nice kids who are not gangstas and do all their homework but are not Caltech material.

OT, Harvey Mudd has a new female President who wants male students to shut up in class because they intimidate girls and wants to get rid of the geeky guys because they repel women in computer science. Coupled with the University of Western Washington complaining it is "too White" you can see that even or especially at Tech schools we have defacto White male nerdy quotas.

Women HATE HATE HATE Beta Male Whit nerds. They just do. Sexy Alpha males not so much.

A LOT of this emphasis on "lets not use IQ or SAT scores of AP exam scores" is a way of purging geeky White guys who women HATE HATE HATE in favor of Big Men and various non-White interest groups.

A sidenote. Women HATE HATE HATE technology, and would gladly die in poverty or of preventable cancer than give power in society over to geeky, nerdy White guys. Much less have everything CHANGE and that dream hunky Alpha male now becomes a useless guy because another geeky White nerd made everything obsolete.

Pretty much 70% of our anti-White male society is driven by female HATE HATE HATE over nerdy White guys. Even at places like Harvey Mudd (I mean really, what would anyone expect there, Fabio?)

Whiskey said...

Last Add on Harvey Mudd NPR story here:

"What Harvey Mudd recognized and explicitly addressed were ways to get women interested in computer science, so students like Finlay who've never been to computer camp have their own introductory classes. The kids with experience have theirs. Know-it-alls in any section are told to cool it so no one is intimidated. As for the content, Finlay says it's designed around problems they can relate to.

"They had all these really fun assignments — sound editing Darth Vader's voice; every single answer on the quizzes was 42, in a reference to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," Finlay says. "It was so much fun; it was so much fun."

Finlay, who had planned to study art and psychology, found a new passion in computer science."
-------------
Yes. Because what is most critical in say, developing AI that can spot cancer in x-rays, tests, and ultrasound exams is having women involved who wanted to study art or psychology, not a nerdy White guy who is a know it all.

This is not a trivial matter, practical applications of adaptive AI mean that the diagnostic genius of one guy does not become limited to just him. It means that cancer could be found early, but that requires REAL talent in programming. Not just some hipster girl who wants to program Darth Vader's voice or something.

But again, women don't want that sort of stuff. They'd rather die themselves of cancer that is preventable than sacrifice sexy times with a sexy Alpha male; and that means purging the nerds.

Anonymous said...

Assistant Village idiot:"I always wondered why people were so eager to reject the SAT because of supposed racism. What do you want to replace that with? Personal interviews? Extra-curriculars? Does anyone think there is no possibility of racism there?"

To the contrary, they're counting on racism in those situations. After all, that way they would know with an absolute certainty that the Black kid is actually Black. Plus, it would help them weed out those pesky, high-scoring Asian-White mixed race kids, with their White surnames.Not to mention full-blooded Asians with ambiguous surnames like Lee.

Anonymous said...

Pretty much 70% of our anti-White male society is driven by female HATE HATE HATE over nerdy White guys.

And the other 30% is due to Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin.


Anonymous said...

Whiskey:"A LOT of this emphasis on "lets not use IQ or SAT scores of AP exam scores" is a way of purging geeky White guys who women HATE HATE HATE in favor of Big Men and various non-White interest groups.

A sidenote. Women HATE HATE HATE technology, and would gladly die in poverty or of preventable cancer than give power in society over to geeky, nerdy White guys. Much less have everything CHANGE and that dream hunky Alpha male now becomes a useless guy because another geeky White nerd made everything obsolete.

Pretty much 70% of our anti-White male society is driven by female HATE HATE HATE over nerdy White guys. Even at places like Harvey Mudd (I mean really, what would anyone expect there, Fabio?)"

Could someone please help Whiskey get laid? Perhaps Roissy/Heartiste might be willing to lend a hand? The man needs help, people.

Geoff Matthews said...

BYU's tuition is actually very competitive. Undergrad tuition for non-LDS students is 4850/semester, half that if you are LDS.

http://finserve.byu.edu/content/tuition-and-general-fees

Conversely, the University of Virginia's in-state tuition was 5008/semester.

Agreed that the proposed study would give interesting results.

Uncle Peregrine said...

WWT

"Calling use of SAT scores for college admissions a “national scandal,” Jennifer Finney Boylan, an English professor at Colby College, argued in the New York Times that:

The only way to measure students’ potential is to look at the complex portrait of their lives: what their schools are like; how they’ve done in their courses; what they’ve chosen to study; what progress they’ve made over time; how they’ve reacted to adversity."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Finney_Boylan

al goldstein said...

Before Walgreens went 24 hrs., I used to make some nice cash selling Astrolube in the wee hours in SF. It was transgressive!

carol said...

That Project Store idea brought back painful memories. Circa 1955 I was in second grade in an LA elementary school, when they had a hobby show for all the students. Everyone had these fancy collections..butterflies, stamps, bottle tops, and I had nada. I had a terrible hobby inferiority complex after that.

Took me awhile to catch on that these had been the parents' collections, not the kids'. I had really thought the students did their own work..lol.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, please chill out

Women hate losers, period

Question is why does the average white woman think the average white man is far beneath her?

Anonymous said...

""""To generalize wildly from that anecdote, it strikes me that all the folks who complain about SAT scores correlating with socioeconomic status should look into how much GPA, especially GPA correlated with high school difficulty, correlate with socioeconomic status."""""




An interesting question is, would these same parents be so quick to complain if their kids scored significantly higher on the SAT and thus had a better chance of admission to their first choice college?

It does sound a bit of sour grapes on their part, as it always has.

Now the other question. The elephant in the room. Does RACE and IQ (and SAT scores) correlate in any way? In other words, will these two writers for Slate examine that aspect of the SAT?

Or if I were to wait for them to write about it, would that be akin to whistling in the dark while holding my breath?

Anonymous said...

"Question is why does the average white woman think the average white man is far beneath her?"

The average man has nothing of value in comparison to the value of the average (fertile) woman's vagina.

Anonymous said...

Question is why does the average white woman think the average white man is far beneath her?

Because the Frankfurt School has spent the last 30 years waging their absolute War Against Boys?

And now the vast majority of white boys are soft pasty manboob schlub herbling Ritalin-dependent gammas?

Just like they were taught to be?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Question is why does the average white woman think the average white man is far beneath her?"

The average woman wants to marry a man who is her superior, not her equal. Hence, the "average" woman wants an above average man. Average men should concentrate on below average women.

Anonymous said...

Could someone please help Whiskey get laid? Perhaps Roissy/Heartiste might be willing to lend a hand? The man needs help, people.

You must be new here.

Whiskey's role is to get folks to look at any possible distraction in order to keep them from noticing the true, ah, "Man"* behind the curtain.



*Which is going to be about all that I can hope to get past Komment Kontrol these days.

Anonymous said...

A real cell phone app was glowingly profiled by the local paper recently. The app claims to help homeowners connect to law mowing companies. Reviews of lawn mowing companies by customers and prices are to be listed on site. Potential customers can describe their yards and would-be lawn mowing crews can bid on the job. Why do I feel confident that a guy who mows yards on the side for some extra cash will find out that he gets negatively reviewed by some non-existent customers until he does? Im also pretty sure his prices will get way overstated on the app's review boards also until he advertises there, etc. Many of the apps Ive seen look like would-be middlemen wanting to rent seek. This was certainly one of them. Even mom and pop yardcutters often put email addresses on their literature and trucks and will happily give a prospective customer a per-half acre cut-and-trim quote via email or over the phone. The start up sure received a glowing-front-page article. It claimed the owner inherited a seventy-member lawn services company from his dad a few years back. Why do I get the feeling this family has been active in, and donating to local Democratic candidates for years based on the boosterish article and its completely out-of-proportion placement on the front page of the business section?
One paper towns confer too much sway to too few.

Anonymous said...

Wow even Slate figured it out. Bet their readers won't

nooffensebut said...

"the authors don't emphasize the restriction of range issue enough"

The mentioned study does correct for this.

jody said...

"Women HATE HATE HATE Beta Male White nerds."

pretty sure you are still way under your HATE per post quota.

FCC regulations require at least 12 HATES per internet post. so a few more hates next time please. come into compliance with the law, sir.

David said...

In the old days ya didn't need to pay nobody to do yer project. Ya just threatened em with a knuckle sammich.

Anon87 said...

Related to two popular topics:

1) The ever changing front lines of WWG. Mozilla fires employee for political donation. What will Twitter do with a trans rapist? Transgender, women’s rights advocate and prominent Twitter engineer charged with rape

2) Chechens being Chechen-y. Chechens laugh and wrestle a lost bear to the ground. That would not be my first reaction to a wandering large wild animal.

Anonymous said...

As Wiskey's rejected former girlfriend, we can clearly see you have moved on.

A.Q. U.S.A. branch said...

Meanwhile, the world is a much safer place.

Now.

Anonymous said...

Could someone please help Whiskey get laid? Perhaps Roissy/Heartiste might be willing to lend a hand? The man needs help, people.

I once nominated Whiskey for Roissy's "Beta of the Year".

Dahlia said...

I'm guessing Karl because of the computer thing and especially because he is about what you'd expect for a son from a hardworking, God-fearing mother ;)

Anonymous said...

The average woman wants to marry a man who is her superior, not her equal. Hence, the "average" woman wants an above average man. Average men should concentrate on below average women.

The average man is her superior.

Anonymous said...

I always wondered why people were so eager to reject the SAT because of supposed racism. What do you want to replace that with? Personal interviews? Extra-curriculars? Does anyone think there is no possibility of racism there?

The rationale – which is very similar to that used during litigation over public employee employment and promotion exams – seems to go something like this:

/start rationale

Any objective evaluation process which reaches the “wrong” conclusion or which has a disparate impact on an identifiable minority group is irreparably tainted by White racism, malevolence, and sociopathy. To overcome the institutional racism and systems of oppression which corrupt every aspect of White-dominated societies (including purportedly “objective” tests and performance metrics), a more subjective evaluation process is needed.

Any subjective evaluation process which reaches the “wrong” conclusion or which has a disparate impact on an identifiable minority group is irreparably tainted by White racism, malevolence, and sociopathy. To overcome the institutional racism and systems of oppression which corrupt every aspect of White-dominated societies (especially subjective tests and performance metrics that allow Whites to unleash their inherent racism), a more objective evaluation process is needed.

/end rationale

Because every evaluation process will lead to some protected group being underrepresented (or insufficiently overrepresented), any evaluation process can lead to incessant cries to discrimination, lawsuits, and calls for the “racist” objective (or subjective) process to be replaced by an subjective (or objective) evaluation process. The effect is often a virtual merry-go-round of litigation where civil rights groups and federal judges force police and fire departments to go from objective performance metrics to subjective performance metrics back to objective performance metrics all in the name of fighting “racism” and “White privilege.”

Roger said...

The whole idea of SAT predicting college performance is mistaken. The SAT was to be used in conjunction with other admissions data, and measure something that grades and other indicators were not measuring.

Anonymous said...

When in doubt, go to the research:

http://research.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/publications/2012/7/researchreport-2008-5-validity-sat-predicting-first-year-college-grade-point-average.pdf

It looks like the correlation between SAT scores and freshman year gpa is somewhere between .3 and .5, the college board seems to be trying to pull some shady statistical tricks, so it's most likely closer to .3

In my testing methods class in college we were told the correlation was ~.4 by my professor.

Assuming the correlation is .4, the SAT can explain 16% of the variance in first year gpa. With high school gpa, it explains around 25%.

Our best tools to measure students don't measure them very well.

Steve Sailer said...

Restriction of range.

ben tillman said...

The average man is her superior.

That's good - much better than what I was planning to say.

Anonymous said...

"What do you want to replace that with?" - perhaps they simply have no plan. racism is doubleplusungood so therefore I oppose it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.the-wagnerian.com/2014/04/alex-ross-on-interpreting-wagner.html?utm

Felix M said...

Re school projects, a friend commented that they're really a device for educating parents. I found that helping another friend's kid helped fill in some gaps in my reading.

Anonymous said...

First whiskey: Beta of the decade.

To serious matters: the SAT is a social mobilizer, far from being a cause of inequality. My father, like John Derbyshire, was a scholarship boy - grammar school on the basis of 11+ exams (an IQ test for elementary school kids in the UK) and then decent red brick uni after that on a free ride.

His father assembled brakes in the Girling factory in Birmingham. Mind you, grandpa made Victorian replica furniture in his spare time, with exquisite fretwork all French polished, so he was no dummy.

Gilbert P

Anonymous said...

good post. As the blog "Face to Face" points out, standardized testing is associated with equality; its absences is a sign of inequality.

http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2013/11/declining-meritocracy-in-age-of-greater.html

-Curtis

Jonathan Silber said...

Re school projects, a friend commented that they're really a device for educating parents. I found that helping another friend's kid helped fill in some gaps in my reading.

When I was a schoolboy under assignment to make a shoebox diorama commemorating some national holiday, it was my practice to do no work on the project until bedtime of the day before the it was due, whereupon I'd inform my mother of my predicament. She'd reprimand me for waiting until the last minute, advise me in no uncertain terms that this was the last time I should depend upon her help, and then set to work on making a diorama. After giving her instructions, I'd sit there briefly feigning interest and then excuse myself for bed, on the pretext I'd need my rest for the following big day at school.

In the morning, without fail, a decent-looking diorama awaited me.

From these early collaborations I developed important skills for success in life: delegating tasks, working on a team, and managing one's time.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"The average man is her superior."

Not superior enough. Women date up, men date down. Average men should concentrate on below average girls.

Jimbo said...

When corrected for range restriction the correlation of SAT and GPA is .54, when corrected for range restriction and difficulty of major, it goes up to .67.

getting an A in say, electrical engineering, is a whole lot harder than getting an A in an easy major and the smarter students select the harder majors, dumber students pick easier majors.

see Berry and Sackett, 2009 or this:

https://research.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/publications/2012/7/presentation-2009-5-debunking-sat-myths-validity-fairness.pdf

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"The average man is her superior."

The average woman has a legitimate shot at sleeping with Ryan Gosling; the average man does not have a chance in Hell at sleeping with Amanda Seyfried. The average man is not the equal of the average woman in the dating arena.

Anonymous said...

"Not superior enough. Women date up, men date down. Average men should concentrate on below average girls."

Nope. The average girl who is a 5 sees the average guy who is a 5 as a 1.

They basically are only trying to get with the "top males", the 8, 9 and 10s.

They see everyone with a 7 and lower as basically the same. Men see girls as basically their value, while women see guys as either awesome or horrible.

This is why the average guy is going to have problems getting with an average chick, while the high value guy is banging both the hot and average chick.

Anonymous said...


The average woman has a legitimate shot at sleeping with Ryan Gosling; the average man does not have a chance in Hell at sleeping with Amanda Seyfried. The average man is not the equal of the average woman in the dating arena.

You're talking about sexual market value... just wait awhile...

Anonymous said...

Apparently employers are asking for SAT scores, even from people in their 40s and 50s. How do they get away this anyway? Wouldn't disparate impact apply?

"Job Hunting? Dig Up Those Old SAT Scores
Employers Still Want Candidates' Test Results—Sometimes Decades Later"

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303636404579395220334268350

"Stephen Robert Morse was a candidate for a communications job when the recruiter told him to be ready to discuss his SAT score in a coming interview.

Mr. Morse, 28 years old, said he was "shocked" that a potential boss would be interested in the results of a test he took more than a decade earlier. He passed on the opportunity.

Proving the adage that all of life is like high school, plenty of employers still care about a job candidate's SAT score. Consulting firms such as Bain & Co. and McKinsey & Co. and banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ask new college recruits for their scores, while other companies request them even for senior sales and management hires, eliciting scores from job candidates in their 40s and 50s."

Anonymous said...

Hi. re: your school project business idea, it's already being done. I live in New Delhi. Here, 'summer holiday homework' is the bane of every child's existence. Used to hate it when my kids had to do so many silly worksheets and projects over the summer break.

One girl in our neighborhood, who worked in her single mother's phone recharge business when she wasn't in school used to charge INR 500 ($10 in those days) to do a really nice summer holiday homework project. We never used the service, but I know that many parents do all over Delhi. Everyone knows that the real thing you get marks for are exams, but you get punished for not doing your homework...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"You're talking about sexual market value... just wait awhile..."

The "wait for her looks to go" approach? Doesn't alter the facts of life, as that simply means that the average guy is waiting for the average girl to become below average via the effects of aging.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Nope. The average girl who is a 5 sees the average guy who is a 5 as a 1.

They basically are only trying to get with the "top males", the 8, 9 and 10s.

They see everyone with a 7 and lower as basically the same. Men see girls as basically their value, while women see guys as either awesome or horrible.

This is why the average guy is going to have problems getting with an average chick, while the high value guy is banging both the hot and average chick."

That's why I said that average guys should concentrate on below average girls. To use your terms, that means that a 5 guy should go after a 3 girl.

Anonymous said...

"Women HATE HATE HATE Beta Male White nerds."

I say there is a budding business in that. Start a dating site where rejects for female modeling can register and where ONLY STEM graduate MALES can qualify for.

After all, there must be enough Jody Foster types looking to have relatively intelligent kids and be good providers. Can a good looking woman give her dreams of a Russell Crowe in favor of a provider?

Years ago I recall reading a letter to some advice columnist about a girl who ignored some guy and then became interested one she found out her was studying to become a DOCTOR. She asked how she could go about approaching said male. I say why should NERDS accept this constant rejection of good looking women if they think they have good earnings potential?

And I say NERDS should retain their animus against the alpha males "who threw them into the locker in high school." Better REVENGE later instead of swallowing it the rest of their lives.