Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mental imagery debate

Another great post over at the Developing Intelligence blog re: a recap of the debate regarding mental imagery. Below is a the URL link to the complete post (which includes links to other good stuff) and the first paragraph of the post. Thanks DI for your continued great stuff.

Pictures in the Brain (click here)

  • "The new issue of Scientific American Mind has a nice recap on the mental imagery debate, which has been going strong for over 10 years now. The debate proceeds roughly as follows: when we imagine something, are we merely activating its abstract, propositional representation in long term memory, or is imagination actually a process of neurally reinstantiating this distributed information into a visual form available for inspection and spatialmanipulation?"

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New psychology and mind and brain portals

Mind and brain portals launch on Wikipedia

Click on the URL above to visit Mind Hacks to read a post (with appropriate links) to new mind and brain and psychology portals at Wikipedia. Portals are intended to keep you up-to-date with the latest news in the topic area and also to distribuate news and messages from people interested in that specific professional community.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Executive functioning - excellent post from DI blog

I must confess that Chris Chatham's Developing Intellignence blog is becomming one of my favorites. At times the material is quite complex and deals with intelligence at a different level than the focus of my work and writings at IQs corner, but many times it is well worth the read.

Today he has one of the better posts I've recently read about executive functioning. Below is the URL to his post and the first paragraph of his rather lengthy post (full of links to articles, etc.). This is a post worth reading.

Under The Rug: Executive Functioning

  • If you want to build an intelligent and biologically-plausible system, you of course need an actuator or motor subsystem, object recognition capability, several different kinds of memory capacity, and probably several other subsystems corresponding to various regions of the human brain. But what kind of subsystem would be capable of orchestrating
    these capacities and coordinating them to produce intelligent behavior? To put it another way, does intelligence consist entirely in interactions between various capacities, or is there a cognitively- and anatomically-distinct agent that coordinates them? These questions (albeit in slightly different form) are the same as those confronted in
    "executive functioning" research.
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What to look for in a psychological evaluator--from the Spec Ed Law blog

Interesting post on the Special Education Law blog on what they recommend parents look for in professionals who may conduct a psychoeducational evaluation of their child. The readers of IQs corner who engage in applied psychological testing should take a peak.....just to know what advocates for parents are suggesting

Guidelines for Parents to Select an Evaluator


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Neuro testing of high school athletes

Thanks to the BrainInjury blog for the interesting post regarding the use of baseline neurological concussion examination of high school athletes.
  • "The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey has received funding for the administration of a grant to provide high school athletes at up to 100 schools with pre-season cognitive baseline evaluations".......click URL below for complete story

New Jersey High School Athletes To Get Base Line Concussion Testing

Of particular interest is the link to the company that does the computerized testing......ImPact

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Predicting what will be remembered?

Hmmmm....the ability to predict whether something will be remembered? Prognostic Glr ?

Scientists Measure "Proper Frame of Mind" For Memorization

"Scientists can now predict memory of an event before it even happens. A team at UCL can now tell how well memory will serve us before we have seen what we will remember.? Click URL for Psychology-Topix.net for information regarding this research

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Friday, February 24, 2006

How the brain processes what it hears--sounds

From the Science Blog.

Scientists Show How Brain Processes Sound

"Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered that our ears use the most efficient way to process the sounds we hear, from babbling brooks to wailing babies. These results represent a significant advance in understanding how sound is encoded for transmission to the brain, according to the authors, whose work is published with an accompanying "News and Views" editorial in the Feb. 23 issue of Nature."..........click link above for more info

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

SAT scores predict more than expected for top stops

Hat tip to the Science Blog for the post re: recent research suggesting that extremely high SAT scores may have strong relations to success beyond typical college outcome measures. Below is the link and a brief intro blurb from the post....(go to the site to read more)

SAT Gauges More Than Collegiate Success

"On February 13, high-school juniors and seniors were able to access their January 2006 SAT scores through the College Board website. The test is an important step toward gaining college acceptance. But new research shows that the test may go far beyond predicting college success; when taken in the early teens, it may actually foretell a person’s success and life satisfaction after university."

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Auditory attention fMRI study

Thanks to the Eide Neurolearning blog for the post re: an fMRI study investigating auditory attention (Ga).

Attention and Distraction

"Two recent studies re: attention. The first involves auditory attention. If you're not paying attention to a lecture, it probably your parietal lobes more than your frontal executive." View link above for more information and link to original article

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Linguistic complexity anlaysis of test directions

Over on the IAP CHC listserv I made mention of the analysis of certain WJ III tests as per the linguistic demands placed on examinees during the test directions. Questions were asked about the methods used to generate the two empirical indexes I mentioned in my post---viz., verbosity and complexity.

Information regarding these procedures can be found in the following unpublished manuscript (click here to view or download)

McGrew, K & Evans, J. (2006). Quantifying the “Degree of Linguistic Demand” in Spoken Intelligence Test Directions: A Preliminary Report. Unpublished manuscript, Institute for Applied Psychometrics, St. Cloud, Mn.

  • The linguistic demand of spoken instructions on norm-referenced psychoeducational tests is of concern when examining students who have varying levels of language processing ability, or varying cultural backgrounds. We present a new method for analyzing verbosity, complexity and total demand of spoken directions for test batteries. This preliminary methodological investigation suggests that it is possible, and relatively easy, to gather useful empirical information regarding the complexity of spoken test directions using existing (readily available) text readability programs. It is suggested that best practice for individually administered psychoeducational tests may be to include this information when tests are published and/or compared.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Interactive brain map software

Thanks to Developing Intelligence for the interesting post regarding some interactive brain map software. Take a peak if you have a need to brush up on your neuroanatomy....or, need a teaching tool for a workshop/course.

Interactive Brain Maps

As stated at DI blog....."Brush up on your neuroanatomy with BrainTutor, a free interactive brain mapping tool in which you can rotate and zoom around an accurate brain (based on MRI data) in three dimensions. It will even label the names of different regions at your preferred level of analysis (lobes, gyri, and sulci)."

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Neuropsychology Arena resource

I just stumbled across yet another interesting resource for folks interested in neuropsychology. Check it out. I'll be adding it to my blog roll

Neuropsychology Arena - New US Titles

The Neuropsychology Arena provides researchers, instructors and students in Neuropsychology with information on the range of books and journals by Psychology Press and Routledge Mental Health, as well as links to various online resources, including societies and associations, upcoming conferences, and support groups

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Impact of AP courses on college performance

Interesting post over at SCSU Scholars (one of my favorite blogs that reflects the musings of an economic professor...King Banion....an old ally when I was helping fto fight PC run amok at my old unveristy) re: a Harvard study that concludes that taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses in science does not lead to better grades in college when compared to those who never took AP courses. Hmmmm.......
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Accuracy of IQ testing with children with Autism

FYI....interesting post on the Special Education Law Blog

Nonverbal IQ Testing Yields Dramatically Improved Scores for Children with Autism

My two cents regarding the article........as I commented on in a recent post, a more accurate way to discuss "nonverbal IQ" testing is to talk about "abilities that are assessed nonverbally."

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Quote to Note: Brain glucose use expressed in M&Ms

Harper's Index

"Estimated amount of glucose used by an adult human brain each day, expressed in M&Ms: 250"

Monday, February 20, 2006

Rethinking/revisiting the concept of "aptitude"

I was digging through some old electronic notes this evening from the book "Remaking the Concept of Aptitiude: Extending the Legacy of Richard E. Snow" and felt a need to share some text from the first chapter.

I believe that Richard Snow's concept of "aptitude", which has its roots in the original/historical notions of construct, needs to command more attention of practicing psycholgogists, esp. those working in the schools. That is, both a student's cognitive and conative abilities need to be considered in educational planning. Below is some selected text that helps define the concept of aptitude and how it differs from ability.

Just some food for thought........
  • Managers try to arrange conditions to get the best from the people they hire. In the same way, teachers strive to arrange the learning situation to get the best from their students. The conditions that bring out the best in one employee or student, however, may not inspire another. Each person has worked out over many years how to respond in her own way to symbol systems and social cues. Each has aptitude for particular situations. Recognizing specifically the qualites each person brings to a situation, then adiusting the situation to improve the fitt-these are major tasks of those who work with people
  • Aptitude, said Snow, should refer to being equipped to work at a particular kind of task or in a particular kind of situation.
  • The concept of aptitude ls especially close to that of readiness (as in “reading readlness”), suitability (for a purpose or position), susceptability (to treatment or persuasion), proneness (as in “accident-prone"). All imply a predisposition to respond in away that fits, or does not fit, a particular situation or class of situations. The common thread is potentiality-a latent quality that enables the development or production, given specified conditions, of some more advanced performance. (See Scheffler, 1985.) In this book we use the term aptitude to mean degree of readiness to learn and to perform well in a particular situation or in a fixed domain.
  • Ability is a generic term referring to the power to carry out some type of undertaking. Abilities are of many kinds: reading comprehension, spatial ability, perceptual speed, knowledge of (for example] geography, and physical coordination. Each facilitates functionning in some kinds of situation.
  • Although every situation draws on abilities, aptitude is not limited to ability. Aspects of personality--achievement motivation, freedom from anxiety, appropriately positive self-concept, control of impulses,and others--are aptitudes as well, contributing importantly to coping with some challenges. The opposite qualities—anxious caution or impulsiveness, for example--can also be assets (i.e., aptitude) at certain moments.
  • A complete theory of aptitude, then, must consider affective and conative processes as well as abilities.

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IQs Corner linked to Wikipedia

Wow.......someone things that this humble blog has something important to say. I just discovered that someone has added this blog as a useful resource (external link section) under the "Intelligence(trait)" entry in Wikipedia, the largest (I believe) on-line free open-source internet encyclopedia. Thanks to whomever did this. The pressure is now on. [Note....I was not the one to add this entry to this source].

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Differential validity of Asperger's and autism post by Livanis

Andrew Livanis has posted a thoughtful analysis of a recent study that investigated the differential validity of Asperger's disorder and Autism. The post may be of interest to readers of IQs Corner as he critiques the intelligence test findings vis-a-vis a CHC theory of intelligence lens.

On the differential validity of Asperger's disorder and Autism

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

IQs corner milestone - post 500 !!!!!

Well....a milestone is reached with this brief FYI post. This is the 500th post since I started this blog on March 8, 2005. Thanks for all the positive feedback from folks during the past 11 months.
I hope that I can devote more attention to this labor of love this coming year.

Blog on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Math (Gq) ach and teachers gestures - Gv related?

Interesting post re: teacher's use of gestures and children's math performance over on the DI bog.

Gestures and Mathematical Performance

".....In Susan Goldin-Meadow's recent study with 160 elementary schoolers, kids performed far better on a series of math questions when their teachers instructions included specific meaningful hand gestures, as compared to other groups who received only abstract or no hand gestures."

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"Nonverbal" intelligence - UNIT and Leiter-R comparisons

The recent issue of Psychology in the Schools included an article by Hooper and Bell (2006) that explored the concurrent validity of the Universal Nonverbal Intelligenence Test (UNIT) and the Leiter International Performance Scale--Revised (Leiter-R).

  • One hundred elementary- and middle-school students were administered the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT; B.A. Bracken & R.S. McCallum, 1998) and the Leiter International Performance Scale-Revised (Leiter-R; G.H. Roid & L.J. Miller, 1997). Correlations between UNIT and Leiter-R scores were statistically significant ranging from .33 to .74. The UNIT Full Scale score was 5 points higher than the Leiter-R Full Scale score. [Click here to view/read entire article]

A few blogmaster comments:
  • I wish folks would quit using the phrase "nonverbal intellignce." I've written elsewhere (and so have many others...Flanagan, Woodock, Keith, Kamphaus...to name a few) that there is no such thing as "nonverbal" intelligence from a strict construct validity perspective. Nowhere will you find "nonverbal" intelligence in the Carroll's seminal review of the factor analytic research on human abilities. These batteries assess "abilities, nonverbally." In particular, most of these batteries measure the CHC abilities of Gf, Gv, Gs and Glr via nonverbal methods...not "nonverbal intelligence."
  • As would be expected, the composite IQ scores were highly correlated (.72). However, this still indicates that the global IQ scores are not exchangeable. This level of correlation suggests approximately 50% shared variance. So...how are practitioners supposed to interpret and understand the differences in scores? Flanagan and I previously provided CHC analysis of the tests in these two batteries in the Intelligence Test Desk Reference (ITDR). If you click here you will be taken to an abbreviated table (from the ITDR) that presents our CHC classification of the tests from the two batteries. This information should assist practitioners determine the possible reasons for score differences based on differences in CHC abilities measured by the two batteries.
  • Both of these are nice psychometricaly sound batteries authored by well-respected folks.

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Excellent working memory review article

FYI - An excellent review article on working memory tasks. The article title, abstract, and link to a copy of article is provided below. The artilce is a good user's guide on the status of three types of working memory tasks often used in cognitive psychology research... counting, operation and reading span tasks. It also provides a nice overview of the history of working memory tasks and the state-of-the-art on the research conducted with these types of task to date.

In addition, the article presents a concise description of the Conway et al's model of working memory that features the notion of domain-general executive attention ( I would recommend reading that brief section to better understand this influential model of working memory). According to Conway et al., " We view WM as a multicomponent system responsible for active maintenance of information in the face of ongoing processing and/or distraction. Active maintenance of information is the result of converging processes—most notably, domain-specific storage and rehearsal processes and domain-general executive attention. Furthermore, the extent to which maintenance depends on domain-specific skills versus domain-general executive attention varies as a function of individual ability, task context, and ability × context interactions."

Of the working memory models I've reviewed, this domain-general executive attention mechanism-based model is one that resonates best to what I've gleaned from my personal reading of the research. Just my two cents.

Conway, A., Kane, M., Bunting, M., Hambrick, D and Wilhelm, O. (2005) Working memory span tasks: A methodological
review and user’s guide. Psychonomic Bulletin Review, 12 (5), 769-786


  • Working memory (WM) span tasks—and in particular, counting span, operation span, and reading span tasks—are widely used measures of WM capacity. Despite their popularity, however, there has never been a comprehensive analysis of the merits of WM span tasks as measurement tools. Here, we review the genesis of these tasks and discuss how and why they came to be so influential. In so doing, we address the reliability and validity of the tasks, and we consider more technical aspects of the tasks, such as optimal administration and scoring procedures. Finally, we discuss statistical and methodological techniques that have commonly been used in conjunction with WM span tasks, such as latent variable analysis and extreme-groups designs.
Click here to read/view article....

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Neurology of "aha" insights

Hat tip to Developing Intelligence for the interesting post re: neural correlates of the "aha" moment of insight......which I wish I had more frequently these days.

Neural Correlates of Insight

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Effect of child care on cognitive development-NICHD study

Important article (Child-Care Effect Sizes for the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development) in current American Psychologist (2006, 61[2],99-116) by the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network re: the effect of child care on a number of outcomes, including cognitive and language abilities. Click here to read......

Abstract and select summary conclusions noted below (italics added by blogmaster)

  • This report summarizes findings from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development as effect sizes for exclusive maternal care and—for children in child care—type, quality, and quantity of care. Children (n = 1,261) were recruited at birth and assessed at 15, 24, 36, and 54 months. Exclusive maternal care did not predict child outcomes, but multiple features of child-care experience were modestly to moderately predictive. Higher quality child care was related to advanced cognitive, language, and preacademic outcomes at every age and better socioemotional and peer outcomes at some ages. More child-care hours predicted more behavior problems and conflict, according to care providers. More center-care time was related to higher cognitive and language scores and more problem and fewer prosocial behaviors, according to care providers. Child-care effect sizes are discussed from 3 perspectives: (a) absolute effect sizes, reflecting established guidelines; (b) relative effect sizes, comparing child-care and parenting effects; and (c) possible individual and collective implications for the large numbers of children experiencing child care. Specifically, whether a child was in child care and child-care quality, quantity, and type were linked to both family characteristics and child outcomes. Families opting to use exclusive maternal care tended to be less advantaged. The mothers choosing exclusive maternal care had less income, less education, more depressive symptoms, and less sensitive parenting skills. In contrast, more advantaged families tended to place their child in higher quality care, in child care for more hours per week, and in center care for a longer period. Higher quality care was associated with more income, two-parent households, more maternal education, less maternal depression, and being in the White ethnic group. Children who experienced more hours of child care or who spent more time in center care tended to be from families with more income and mothers with more education. Use of center care was also associated with more positive parenting. These findings provide further evidence (cf. Lamb, 1998; Vandell, 2004) that family characteristics must be taken into account when asking whether child-care experiences are related to child outcomes
Select highlights
  • Almost no evidence emerged suggesting that child outcomes were related to whether the child experienced routine nonmaternal care (seeNICHD ECCRN, 1998, 2000a). As can be seen in the first column of Table 5, only one outcome—the Bayley Mental Development Index assessed at 24 months—showed statistically significant differences between children reared exclusively in maternal care and children experiencing child care. Use of child care was not significantly or substantively related to cognitive outcomes at 15, 36, or 54 months or to social or peer outcomes at any age. Follow-up analyses asked whether quality of parenting was more strongly related to outcomes depending on whether the child was cared for exclusively by the mother. None of the interactions achieved statistical significance
  • Overall, parenting showed moderate-to-large effect sizes, suggesting that children who experienced more responsive and stimulating care from parents had higher scores on cognitive, language, social-emotional, and peer outcomes at all ages.
  • Longitudinal analyses from 24 to 54 months (adjusted statistically for family selection factors by including these as covariates) documented clear and, for the most part, consistent relations between child-care experience during the infant, toddler, and preschool years and children's cognitive, language, and socioemotional development. Overall, parenting emerged as a consistent and strong predictor of all child outcomes, child-care quality was a consistent and modest predictor of most child outcomes, child-care quantity was a consistent and modest predictor of social behavior, and child-care type was an inconsistent and modest predictor of cognitive and social outcomes. In addition, comparisons between children with exclusive maternal care and children in child care yielded only one significant difference over time and across outcomes—a rate less than what would be expected by chance alone. These findings provide compelling evidence that knowledge about whether a child is in care, in and of itself, cannot inform predictions of child development. Knowledge concerning variations in multiple features of parenting and child-care experience for those children in child care can inform such predictions.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

LD children and spelling treatment effect on fMRIs

Thanks to Andrew Livanis (School Psychology blog) for the folllowing.

Brain Images Show LD Children Respond To Spelling Treatment

  • "One of the interesting things about reading disorders is that children with a positive diagnosis tend to show different patterns of brain activity that non-identified children. This is a brief summary of reserach (too brief in my opinion - I would have liked to have seen more of it) in which a treatment showed positive results as shown through pre- and post- fMRI patterns. Specifically, the LD groups post fMRI patterns more closely resembled the non-LD children's fMRI patterns."

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

Revised John Horn chapter on "Where we have come since Spearman" available

I previously posted the note below re: a chapter by John Horn. Dr. Horn has now provided me with a revised/final copy of this chapter, and this new version is now posted (and can be accessed via the specific link below)

Dr. John Horn, of Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory fame, has graciously made a draft of his recent chapter Understanding Human Intelligence: Where Have We Come Since Spearman?, which will be published in a book titled Factor Analysis at 100 (edited by R. Cudeck and R. MacCallum --published by Lawrence Erlbaum, 100 Mahwah, NJ.) available for on-line viewing or download (click here).

Thanks John.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Video games and brain development

It looks like I should take up video games to help with my cognitive development as I age. I've recently tried the XBOX game of HALO with some teenage boys and was soundly killed over, and over, and over....all I could do was spin in circles and shot the ground and air. I think I'd need to try something easier.....maybe the old Frogger or Pong games.

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

ABC Radio science show on 100th anniversary of IQ test

Hat tip to Mind Hacks for the post regarding ABC Radio's science show Ockham's Razor that marks the 100th annversary of the creation of the intelligence test

A century of intelligence

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Off task - sounds of dying hard drives

Hat tip to boing boing for link to a site where you can listen to different sounds of different problems from dying hard drives. Maybe someone can make this into a special Ga (auditory processing) test :)

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More on brain synchrony

Another article that touches on brain synchrony. As I've discussed on this blog before, there seems to be some kind of convergence occuring re: the whole notion of brain synchrony, mental-time keeping models, etc.....or....maybe I'm just reading the tea leaves beyond reason. Regardless, this is an example of another excellent post on one of my new favorite blogs.....Developing Intelligence.

Gamma Synchrony

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Recent literature of interest 02-09-06 posted

This weeks "recent literature" of interest can be viewed/downloaded by clicking here.

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Latent status of blog

To my regular readers....you may have noticed a drop off in my comments the past week or so. A combination of a cold and simply toooooooo much work to do. I shall return. Just a temporary latent period.

Monday, February 06, 2006

fMRI and Super Bowl ads

What can brain scans tell us about Super Bowl ads?

Thanks to Mind Hacks for the interesting tip regarding an instant study on which ads were the real winners during the Super Bowl.......based on fMRI studies!!!!!!!

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State of the Blogosphere report

Interesting information on the continuing growth of blogs.

State of the Blogosphere, February 2006 Part 1: On Blogosphere Growth

............Technorati currently tracks 27.2 Million weblogs, and the blogosphere we track continues to double about every 5.5 months, as the chart below shows:


....the blogosphere is over 60 times bigger than it was only 3 years ago.

Click URL above for full report

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Medical and biological reference cite

Featured Reference Site--MedBioWorld.com

Hat tip to Al Fin for the above reference web site....full of links to information for those interested in medical and biological information.

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Off task - psychology of email

An interesting article in the APA monitor re: why email results in miscommunication. We all have seen (and/or personally experienced) email exchanges where the decontextualized nature of the medium resulted in serious miscommunication, debates, hurt feelings, inappropriate threads, flame wars, etc. This research suggests some reasons why our email communications may be misunderstood. Good food for thought before hitting the "reply" button .

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More popular press Flynn Effect coverage

By IQ scores, kids smarter these days

    — If judged solely by their IQ scores, today’s kids are smarter than
    any generation since testing began — so smart that many of their
    great-grandparents would have been found mentally deficient by today’s

.......click URL above to read.

However, take the article with a hugh grain of salt. As I reported at last Decembers ISIR conference, new research (with more comprehensive measures of intelligence and more sophisticated statistical methodology) is suggesting that the Flynn Effect may have stopped and may be only occuring on very narrow abilities. The paper ISIR presented by Jelte Wicherts et al was clearly one of the presentations that caught the attention of the serious intelligence scholars who published in the rarified air of the journal Intelligence. Word from the invisible university network is that a new round of critical arguements for, and against, the Flynn Effect are bubbling among the major players. Stay tunned. It is going to get interesting.

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For the academics - Economics of the PhD

Interesting (and somewhat jaded) piece on the economics of getting a PhD. and the reality of the university culture for new professors. Having played the university game for a while, there are elements of truth to the piece, esp. the valued "currency" of many universities.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Big five personality test

One of the top bloglines sites in recent days has been a site where you can take a little survey that supposedly provides a description of your personality as per the Big 5 theory. No information re: reliability and validity. Just a fun excercise. If you take the quiz, do so before checking out the Big 5 theory link.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Blog break - advice for newbies from pros

Top 8 Pro Blogging Time Wasters

If you are a newbie to blogging, like I still am, the Performancing blog has some ideas---actually, time wasters to stay away from, and what to do instead.

Sometimes I wonder how I’ve managed to build some successful blogs when I spend 70% of my time, well, wasting time. Question: If I had spent all those hours building engaging content instead, how much further ahead could I be by now? In no particular order, my top 8 pro blogging time wasters............click link above to read the list

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