Friday, September 29, 2006

Recent literature of interest 9-29-06

This weeks recent literature of interest can be found by clicking here.

I'm now experimenting with listing the references by journal title...I find it easier when looking up articles via the university library.

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Divided selective attention - Gorrilla in our midst

Most folks have heard of the classic divided visual selection attention study involving the "gorrilla in our midst." SharpBrains has posted a link to the original article and a video so you can try it yourself. Of course, if you know what is going to happen in the video you are not a naive subject.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

CHC-based analysis of Spearman's law of diminishing returns in KABC-II

Kudos to one of the best quantoids in school/educational psychology (Dr. Tim Keith), and a serious quantoid in the making (Keith's doctoral student, Mathew Reynolds) re: their "in press" article in Intelligence.
  • Reynolds, M. & Keith, T. (2006, in press). Spearman's law of diminishing returns in hierarchical models of intelligence for children and adolescents, Intelligence (click here to view)
Using CFA methods, Reynolds and Keith investigated Spearman's law of diminishing returns (SLODR) in the norm sample for the CHC-based KABC-II. I'm excited about this paper due to the elegant use of CFA to evaluate whether SLODR exists, and, if it does, at what level of the CHC taxonomy (stratum I, II, or III - with five broad CHC abilities being represented--Gf,Gc,Gv,Glr,Gsm). The abstract provides a sufficient I won't waste any bandwidth.


  • Spearman's “law of diminishing returns” or SLODR refers to a decrease in g saturation as ability level increases. SLODR has been demonstrated in a number of intellectual batteries but several important aspects of the phenomenon are not yet well understood. We investigated the presence of SLODR in the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children—Second Edition (KABCII), a popular measure of intelligence for children. We used confirmatory factor analysis to investigate the invariance of two hierarchical factor structures across ability groups; the subtest variance explained by the ability factors across groups; and whether SLODR was produced only by subtests with low loadings on the general ability factor. We found that SLODR was present in the KABC-II, and its presence was not dependent on the hierarchical model of intelligence. Moreover, our findings suggest that SLODR acts on g and not on the broad abilities, although the contribution of g to various broad abilities is lower in the high ability group. Finally, SLODR was not produced by the subtests with the lowest g loadings on the general factor.
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IQs Corner Headlines from the mind/brain blogsphere 9-27-06

This is the third installment of IQs Corner Headlines from the Brain and Mind Blogsphere

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dickens, Flynn, Rushton, Jensen and Murray on black-white IQ differences - lots being published

Thanks to Paul Barrett re: the availabiliy of the Dickens and Flynn black-white IQ difference manuscript (Dickens, W. T. & J. R. Flynn. In press. Black Americans reduce the racial IQ gap: Evidence from standardized samples. Psychological Science) mentioned in a post last week. In addition, Dickens and Flynn's rejoinder to Rushton and Jensen is also available (click here), Finally, the Rushton and Jensen critique can be viewed at Rushton's web page (click here).

Charles "Bell Curve" Murray is also near completion of a manuscript presenting his analyses of the black/white IQ analyses of the three editions of the Woodcock-Johnson battery.

Stay tunned.

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Lets hear it for cat naps!! Napping may improve declarative memory

Let's hear it for naps!!!!!!!! Boing Boing provides a post (and link) to a recent article that suggests that napping can improve declarative memory.

I'm headed to the couch....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Howard Gardner's multiple intellignece (MI) theory again found wanting

Interesting post on the Gene Expression blog regarding recent study in journal of Intelligence that provides little support for Howard Garnder's MI theory. The less than positive comments/conclusions are not surprising to me. I first wrote about Gardner's MI theory back in 1993 and 1995. This material was subsequently incorporated into the Intelligence Test Desk References (ITDR), coauthored with Dr. Dawn Flanagan. Below is the what we wrote re: Gardner's MI theory in the ITDR.

The description of Gf-Gc theory as a multiple intelligences theory occasionally causes confusion when individuals try to reconcile this model with Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory (Chen & Gardner, 1997; Gardner, 1983, 1993, 1994). Although Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences has yet to serve as the foundation for an individually administered norm-referenced battery of tests, Gardner's concepts have received considerable attention in the popular press.

Gardner described seven types of intelligence, including logical-mathematical, linguistic, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. The terms Gardner uses to label his seven intelligences are dramatically different from the terminology of Gf-Gc theory. What are the differences and similarities between the Gf-Gc and Gardner multiple intelligences theories?

McGrew (1993, 1995) suggested that the fundamental differences between the two theories is that Gf-Gc theory is concerned with describing the basic domains or building blocks of intelligent behavior in the cognitive domain, while Gardner's theory focuses on how these different domains or building blocks are combined, together with other personal competencies (e.g., motor and social skills), in patterns representing different forms of aptitude or expertise (i.e., adult end-states valued by a culture) (Chen & Gardner, 1997). Using Greenspan’s model of personal competence (Greenspan & Driscoll, 1997) (a model that includes the broad domains of physical and emotional competence and conceptual, practical, and social intelligence) as an overarching framework, McGrew (1994) suggested that Gardner’s seven intelligences represent unique combinations or patterns of human cognitive abilities across domains of personal competence. For example, Gardner's logical-mathematical intelligence reflects a sensitivity to, and capacity for processing logical and/or numerical patterns, and the ability to manage long sequences or chains of reasoning. Scientists and mathematicians would most likely be high on logical-mathematical intelligence. An individual who has high logical-mathematical intelligence may have high fluid reasoning (Gf), quantitative knowledge (Gq), and visual processing abilities (Gv). It is the specific combination of Gf-Gc strengths that a person exhibits that defines him/her as being high in logical-mathematical intelligence. As another example, individuals who are high in Gardner’s bodily-kinesthetic intelligence may have specific Gf-Gc strengths (e.g., Gv), plus strengths in other personal competence domains such as physical competence.

In contrast to structural Gf-Gc theory, Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences focuses on a different aspect of human performance, namely, expertise or aptitude. Individuals with specific expertise or aptitudes likely have unique combinations of certain Gf-Gc abilities together with abilities in the other domains of personal competence. Gardner's theory is not an attempt to isolate the basic domains or elements of intelligence (a function performed by Gf-Gc theory), but rather, describes different patterns of expertise or aptitude based on specific combinations of Gf-Gc abilities and other personal competencies. In this regard, Gardner’s different intelligences are conceptually similar to Snow’s (1989, 1991, 1992) aptitude complexes that define aptitudes in the broadest sense (i.e., including both cognitive and conative structures).

Although Gardner’s theory has considerable appeal, it has been found wanting when subjected to empirical evaluation. In a review of Gardner’s (1983) Frames of Mind, the book that describes his Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory, Lubinski and Benbow (1995) conclude that there is “little empirical support for or against the unique features of Gardner’s ideas. Before MI theory can be taken seriously by the scientific community and policy makers, Gardner’s (1983) bold theoretical skeleton is in need of empirical flesh” (p. 937). According to Carroll (1993), Gardner “discounts multifactorial theories of intelligence...because, he claims, they fail to account for the full diversity of abilities that can be observed. Generally, Gardner has neglected the evidence on the basis of which the present three-stratum theory has been constructed” (p. 641). Furthermore, in a review and comparison of structural Gf-Gc theory, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory, and Sternberg’s Triarchic theory (Sternberg, 1997), Messick (1992) characterized Gardner’s (as well as Sternberg’s) theory as appealing selectively to factor analytic research and ignoring or downplaying factor analytic research that challenges his model. Thus, it seems clear that the descriptions of Gardner’s seven multiple intelligences “do not derive from any consistent set of empirical data and can be tied to data only in piecemeal fashion, thereby being constantly threatened by the perverse human tendency to highlight results that are consonant with the theory’s logic over findings that are dissonant” (Messick, 1992; p. 368). Bouchard (1984), Scarr (1985), and Snow (1985) also questioned the empirical support for Gardner’s theory.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Audit suggests ethical/legal problems with President Bush's Reading First education program

Ouch! NBC news, as other media outlets, reported today that President Bushs's Reading First program has been plauged by all kinds of ethical problems. Check out the link and read and decide for yourself. I'm sure more information will be coming via education blogs and sites in the next week or so.

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APA Dictionary of Psychology - defs for intelligence and Woodcock-Johnson

I just received my copy of the new APA Dictionary of Psychology, a reference book that should probably be on the desks of most psychology academics and scholars. As a coauthor of the Woodcock-Johnson III battery, I was pleased to see that the WJ was included in the dictionary. Below is the WJ entry, as well as the definition of "intelligence."
  • Intelligence - "the ability to derive information, learn from experience, adapt to the environment, understand, and correctly utilize thought and reason. There are many different definitions of intelligence, including an operational one, proposed by Edwin Boring, that intelligence is what is test by intelligence tests. There is currently much debate, as there ha been in the past, over the exact nature of intelligence.
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery - "an assessment, now in it's third edition, that measures cognitive ability and academic achievement in children, young people, or adults. The tests of cognitive ability produce a full-scale intelligence score and determine strengths and weaknesses of information processing. The tests of academic achievement assess abilities in reading, written language, mathematics, and knowledge. They also asses basic skills in each of these areas and the level of application of those skills by the person being assessed. This battery is one of the main diagnostic tools used to evaluate a student for specific learning disabilities. Tes results on the cognitive portion, when combined and compared with the results of the achievement portion, reveal the learning style of a student who may have a learning disability, documented by a statistically significant numerical difference between actual performance and cognition potential."

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

IQs Corner "Headlines" from the brain and mind blogsphere 9-21-06

This is the second installment of IQs Corner Headlines from the Brain and Mind Blogsphere

Please note that the headlines/titles from sites are the same as the first experimental post yesterday. New content is dependent on the updating of new material by the respective sites/blogs that are monitored. Given that changes will not occur for many blogs on a daily basis, I plan to post new "headllines" on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Stay tunned.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Test fairness - simple definition

I continue to enjoy my current reading of "Knowing what students know"

The book provides many succinct and conrete explanations of various congitive and measurement concepts and, more importantly, is providing me a framework for integrating various developments I've read over the past decade in both cognitive science and measurement.

Today I ran across one nice little example....the books description of "test fairness" (p. 214)
  • "Fairness in testing is defined many ways (see AERA et al., 1999; NRC, 199b), but at its core is the idea of comparable validity: a fair test is one that yields comparably valid inferences from person to person and group to group. An assessment task is considered biased if construct-irrelevant characteristics of the task result in different meanings for different subgroups."

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John Horn passes away - USC news article

To my knowledge, a news piece on the USC website is the first offical written notification re: the recent passing of John Horn. According to my sources, the offical APA obiturary is being written by Jack McArdle. Jack will notify me when it is available for public dissemination.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

IQs Corner listed in Wikipedia under "intelligence"

Thanks to whomever is the Wiki person that added a link to IQs Corner (this humble blog) under the topic of Intelligence in Wikipedia. It is under the "external link" section and is listed as "Dr. McGrew's Intelligence Blog."

These type of affirmations are what keep me blogging.

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Importance of the prefrontal cortex

Nice post over on the DI blog regarding an investigation of the crucial role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in executive functioning/working memory. I don't have the time to discuss in depth, but I've been reading considerable brain research the past few months that consistently point to the DLPFC being involved in executive functioning and working memory. A finding worth monitoring.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dickens and Flynn publish study suggesting black-white IQ gap has narrowed

I knew this manuscript by Dickens and Flynn, which suggests a narrowing of the black-white IQ gap, was in the pipeline, but the actual published article is not yet available (I just checked). For now readers will need to live with this brief news story from Science News. I reserve my judgments until I can review the published manuscript.

Rest assured that this is not the end to this story. I personally know that Charles "Bell Curve" Murray is also near completion of a new analysis of black-white IQ score differences across three decades of performance on a single comprehensive intelligence battery. I will post information when I hear something. I believe the Murray piece is not 100% consistent with the Dickens and Flynn research.

Brace for a new round of hot discussions/debates regarding the black-white IQ research as this is a historically contentious area of intelligence research.

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Off task - Zip Code Stats beta version - neat little service

Thanks to Gene Expression to the link to the beta version of Zip Code Stats. A neat little service.

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Today's random tidbits from the mind and brain blogsphere 9-13-06

Although bedridden (see prior post re: today), I do have enough g and awareness to do some blogsphere searching.

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Academic doping? Response to MSNBC report

The other day I passed along the MSNBC report re: parents pushing doctors for ADHD-type meds (in the abscence of ADHD) to help high achieving students achieve higher. Odd Time Signatures blog has provided some thought provoking criticism of the MSNBC report.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Today's random tidbits from the mind and brain blogsphere 9-8-06

  • OK, I need to adopt the herd mentality. During the past week most all education and psychology blogs have been posting the MSNBC story re: parents making demands (from doctors) for ADHD-related meds, many times inapproriately, in order to help there already high achieving children do better.
  • Given my preference for the visualization of data and information (Dr. Gv), I'm intrigued by the posting at Positive Technology regarding the use of data visualization software to analyze emerging trends in published literature.
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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Review of Keith's "Multiple Regression and Beyond"

In a prior post, I extolled the virtues of a stat book by a friend and colleague...Dr. Tim "Happiness is a Latent Variable" Keith.

My positive opinion has now been validated by a review by Steven R. Rouse in the Journal of Personality Assessment (2006, 87[1], 118). The brief review is reproduced below.

Keith, T. Z. (2006). Multiple Regression and Beyond. Boston: Allyn & Bacon (534 pp.).

  • Keith has shown that it can be done—an intermediate statistics textbook can be written in a way that is both rigorous and accessible to students (even those with just a basic undergraduate introductory statistics class). Keith has done this, in large part, by focusing on the conceptual understanding of regression analysis and the use of various statistical programs rather than using the (as he calls it) “plug and chug” method of teaching students how to plug values into rote-memorized formulas and then chug out the answers on a hand-held calculator. The book effectively uses realistic research questions to exemplify each topic area; for example, the complex relationship between sex, academic achievement, and selfesteem is included as a useful demonstration of the joint analysis of categorical and continuous variables (chapter 7). The second half of the book (the “and beyond” referred to in the title) focuses on structural equation modeling, path analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis, showing how these related procedures are extensions of regression methodology. Especially valuable for assessment psychologists (and those teaching the next generation of assessment psychologists) is the chapter on measurement error and reliability in the context of these advanced statistical procedures.

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NIMH launches new clinical trial research on autism

NIMH has just announced the launch of a new program of research on autism.

As abstracted from the press release:

  • The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has launched three major clinical studies on autism at its research program on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. These studies are the first products of a new, integrated focus on autism generated in response to reported increases in autism prevalence and valid opportunities for progress. Initial studies will define the characteristics of different subtypes of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and explore possible new treatments.
Click link above for more information

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On the importance of intelligence testing: Two important APA background publications

Over on the NASP listserv the topic of the importance of intelligence testing is (again) being discussed. I'm not going to add all my thoughts to the discussion, but would remind those involved in the discussion (of the importance of the construct of intelligence and psychological testing in general) to pay attention to two official (and important and highly visible) APA sponsored publications regarding these two issues.

One is the classic "Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns" (Neisser et al, 1996), which was the result of the work (largely in response to the Bell Curve) of the APA Task Force: Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment. The other article (Psychological Testing and Psychological Assessment) (Meyer et al., 2001) was produced by the APA Psychological Assessment Work Group (PAWG)

Warning. The links I provide to the articles will take you to pdf copies of the articles that are quite large. Each is over 3+ MB in size. High speed connection recommended.

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Psychology: Unified field or separate tribes standing on their own crap waving for attention?

Thanks to Mind Hacks for the link to thought provoking article re: the defining of the field of psychology via within-field collaboration ("Are psychology's tribes ready to form a nation?")

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

To my readers - bloggin' lite

My regular readers have probably noted that I have not posted much in the way of what I would consider more "creative" content the past 2-3 weeks. Instead, I've primarily been posting FYI links to other blog stories I've found from my routine monitoring of the blogsphere. This is due largely due to current project work demands, which have kept me up to my neck in alligators. Also, I will be having some minor foot surgery next week that will put a dent in my productivity.

Please be patient....I hope to free up some "quality" bloggin' time within a few weeks. There is no shortage of material or thoughts...just a shortage of time.


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Today's random tidbits from the mind and brain blogsphere 9-6-06

  • Thanks to Affective Teaching for the link to a very nice viewable/downloadable PowerPoint presentation (Introduction to Research by Dr. Edward Krishnan)
  • Science Blog has posted information regarding a new study by sociologists at the U of Minnesota on how whites view their racial identity

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Journal alert - special issue of Cognitive Neuropsychology

The journal Cognitive Neuropsychology has just published a special issued on "selective deficits in developmental cognitive neuropsychology."

Table of Contents

  • B.C. Duchaine, Introduction. M. McCloskey, J. Valtonen, J. Sherman, Representing Orientation: A Coordinate-System Hypothesis, and Evidence from Developmental Deficits. B.C. Duchaine, G. Yovel, E.J. Butterworth, K. Nakayama, Prosopagnosia as an Impairment to Face-Specific Mechanism: Elimination of the Alternative Hypotheses in a Developmental Case. S. White, U. Frith, E. Milne, S. Rosen, J. Swettenham, F. Ramus, A Double Dissociation between Sensorimotor Impairments and Reading Disability: A Comparison of Autistic and Dyslexic Children. C.M. Temple, P. Richardson, Developmental Amnesia: Fractionation of Developing Memory Systems.
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Sunday, September 03, 2006

John "Jack" Carroll summary in Wikipedia

This evening I stubmled across a nice concise summary of John "Jack" Carroll's career in Wikidpedia. Check it out (link).

Prior posts (with pictures) regarding some of my personal contacts with Jack can be found by clicking here.

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Recent literature of interest 9-2-06

This weeks recent literature of interest can be found by clicking here.

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Today's random tidbits from the mind and brain blogsphere 9-2-06

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Season of birth and intelligence: Much ado about nothing?

Interesting post on the BPS Research Digest blog that refutes many studies that have suggested a link betwen childhood intelligence and season of birth. Long story short---when the chronological age of children, from a very large longitudinal sample of 12,000+ children born between 1950-1956, was taken into account, the significance of time of year born disappeared (younger kids at time of school entry tended to have lower measured ability). Visit link for more information.

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