Monday, September 24, 2007

Random tidbits from mind blogosphere 9-25-07

  • Check out the BPS Research Digest for the results of their poll of the "most important psychology experiment that has NEVER been done"
  • Noise helps those with ADHD? Check out interesting post at DI regarding the following:
    • In a doctoral dissertation (and now a newly published paper),
      Göran B. W. Söderlund describes how high intensity, broadband noise may
      actually alleviate some of the distractibility inherent to disorders
      like ADHD. Interpreted loosely, the idea is that those with ADHD are
      chronically understimulated by both their environment and their
      internal cognitive representations, leading them to search almost
      incessantly for more stimulating things (environments or thoughts),
      which takes the behavioral form of distractibility. This chronic
      cognitive understimulation might be overcome by introducing additional
      noise to the cognitive system through the perceptual system.
  • ENL has a nice post re: recent research that suggest three major types of dyslexia. I had hoped to make a similar thanks ENL for saving me the time. Keep up the good work. Check out related post at IQ's Corner (click here)
  • Brain candy @ Omni Brain
  • Thanks to Sharp Brains for highlighting the Best of the Brain from Scientific American

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

"g" and specific cognitive abilities and reading decoding

This is a follow-up to a prior IQs Corner PREPLOG post. The following article has now been published. [Conflict of interest note - I'm a coauthor on this article and also a coauthor of the WJ III battery, the source of the data for the study]

  • Floyd, R., Keith, T., Taub, G. McGrew, K. (2007). Cattell–Horn–Carroll Cognitive Abilities and Their Effects on Reading Decoding Skills: g Has Indirect Effects, More Specific Abilities Have Direct Effects. School Psychology Quarterly, 22(2), 200-223 (click here to view/download)
  • This study employed structural equation modeling to examine the effects of Cattell–Horn–Carroll (CHC) abilities on reading decoding skills using five age-differentiated subsamples from the standardization sample of the Woodcock–Johnson III (Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001). Using the Spearman Model including only g, strong direct effects of g on reading decoding skills were demonstrated at all ages. Using the Two-Stratum Model including g and broad abilities, direct effects of the broad abilities Long-Term Storage and Retrieval, Processing Speed, Crystallized Intelligence, Short-Term Memory, and Auditory Processing on reading decoding skills were demonstrated at select ages. Using the Three-Stratum Model including g, broad abilities, and narrow abilities, direct effects of the broad ability Processing Speed and the narrow abilities Associative Memory, Listening Ability, General Information, Memory Span, and Phonetic Coding were demonstrated at select ages. Across both the Two-Stratum Model and the Three-Stratum Model at all ages, g had very large but indirect effects. The findings suggest that school psychologists should interpret measures of some specific cognitive abilities when conducting psychoeducational assessments designed to explain reading decoding skills.

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John Horn APA obituary

John Horn's official APA obituary was just published in the most recent American Psychologist. Other obituaries and information can be found by going to a prior post.

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IQ's Corner Headlines 9-23-07 - Sign up for daily delivery

All the news thats fit for IQ's Corner readers: If you like this feature, consider signing up to receive a free copy of IQ's Corner Headlines on a daily basis (sent directly to your email inbox). Go to the bottom of this blog page and sign up for this free service.

This is v.37 of IQs Corner Headlines from the Brain and Mind Blogsphere

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Random tidbits from the mind blogosphere 9-19-07

  • Thanks to Happy Neuron for the FYI re: an article in the International Journal of Neuroscience on the effects on mobile phone use on the brain.
  • The LD blog has more on the Dore cerebellum-based treatment program (click here for prior background posts)
  • Thanks to Mind Hacks for the link to an annotated guide to widely praised books on the brain.
  • Positive Technology Journal has an interesting post on the use of virtual reality technology to help MS patients improve their walking skills.

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Psychology book nook reviews - 9-19-07

A new issue of PsycCRITIQUES is available online.

September 19, 2007
Volume 52, Issue 38

Book Reviews
1. Work, Happiness, and Unhappiness
Author: Peter Warr
Reviewer: Jay C. Thomas

2. Why Good People Do Bad Things: Understanding Our Darker Selves
Author: James Hollis
Reviewer: Leehu Zysberg

3. The Therapeutic Relationship in the Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapies
Authors: Paul Gilbert and Robert L. Leahy
Reviewer: Jean Lau Chin

4. Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind
Author: Amy J. L. Baker
Reviewer: Beth Venzke

5. Excessive Medical Spending: Facing the Challenge
Authors: Norman J. Temple and Andrew Thompson (Eds.)
Reviewer: Denis Nissim-Sabat

6. Transforming Teacher Education: Reflections From the Field
Authors: David Carroll, Helen Featherstone, Joseph Featherstone, Sharon Feiman-Nemser, and Dirck Roosevelt (Eds.)
Reviewer: Catherine Scott

7. Clinical Manual of Geriatric Psychopharmacology
Authors: Sandra A. Jacobson, Ronald W. Pies, and Ira R. Katz
Reviewer: Jerry A. Morris, Jr.

8. Educational Testing: A Competence-Based Approach
Authors: James Boyle and Stephen Fisher
Reviewer: Sherri McCarthy

9. Nutrition in Promoting the Public's Health: Strategies, Principles, and Practice
Author: Mildred Kaufman
Reviewer: Marjorie A. Sawicki

10. Changing the U.S. Health Care System: Key Issues in Health Services Policy and Management (3rd ed.)
Authors: Ronald M. Andersen, Thomas H. Rice, and Gerald F. Kominski (Eds.)
Reviewer: Robert J. Resnick

11. Critical Thinking About Sex, Love, and Romance in the Mass Media: Media Literacy Applications
Authors: Mary-Lou Galician and Debra L. Merskin (Eds.)
Reviewer: Daniel Keyes

12. The Erotic Phenomenon
Author: Jean-Luc Marion (Stephen E. Lewis, Trans.)
Reviewer: Annie Lee Jones

13. Homosexuality and Religion: An Encyclopedia
Author: Jeffrey S. Siker (Ed.)
Reviewer: Karen Conner

14. Child Maltreatment: An Introduction (2nd ed.)
Authors: Cindy L. Miller-Perrin and Robin D. Perrin
Reviewer: Mark Connelly

15. Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling: A Practical Guide (3rd ed.)
Authors: Kenneth S. Pope and Melba J. T. Vasquez
Reviewer: Norman Abeles

16. The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon (25th Anniversary Edition)
Author: David Elkind
Reviewer: Benjamin K. Barton

Video Review
17. Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy With Donald Meichenbaum
with Donald Meichenbaum
Reviewer: Jeffrey E. Barnett

Film Review
18. The Pursuit of Happyness
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Reviewer: Ryan M. Niemiec

Monday, September 17, 2007

More on IQ and heritability

Bob Williams has made me aware of some of his recent thoughts on the IQ-Heritability research. His document can be viewed/downloaded at the following link. Chris Brand, at IQ & PC, provides some comments on Bob's work (you will need to scroll down a bit on today's posts by Dr. Brand)

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Stroop test

Thanks to Sharp Brains for the FYI post regarding one of the classic tests in neuropsychology...the Stroop test, a measure of inhibition and impulse control (a component of executive functioning). Check it out and take an on-line example of the task.

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Science Blogging Survey

Check out the Science Blogging Survey post at Omni Brains and participate by providing feedback re: the impact of blogs on the outside world.

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Neuroscience book reviews

Thanks to the Neuroetchics and Law Blog for the post with links to a number of reviews of books dealing with various topics in the neurosciences.

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Another book that purports to describe the history of intelligence tests and to point out all the usual flaws. A review of Stephen Murdoch's book "IQ: A smart history of a failed idea" is available at Thanks to my friend "up north" (Rick Norman) for the tip re: this news story.

I haven't had time to skim this book...and probably won't bother to purchase it.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Psychology book nook reviews - 9-6-07

A new issue of PsycCRITIQUES is available online.

September 5, 2007
Volume 52, Issue 36

Book Reviews
1. Toward a Global Psychology: Theory, Research, Intervention, and Pedagogy
Authors: Michael J. Stevens and Uwe P. Gielen (Eds.)
Reviewers: David W. Shwalb and Barbara J. Shwalb

2. Cognitive Schemas and Core Beliefs in Psychological Problems: A Scientist–Practitioner Guide
Authors: Lawrence P. Riso, Pieter L. du Toit, Dan J. Stein, and Jeffrey E. Young (Eds.)
Reviewer: Jason T. Ramsay

3. The Evolution of Mind: Fundamental Questions and Controversies
Authors: Steven W. Gangestad and Jeffry A. Simpson (Eds.)
Reviewer: Michael R. Kauth

4. Advances in Psychotherapy—Evidence-Based Practice: Vol. 7. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adults
Authors: Annette U. Rickel and Ronald T. Brown
Reviewer: Joseph C. Blader

5. Health Literacy in Primary Care: A Clinician's Guide
Authors: Gloria G. Mayer and Michael Villaire
Reviewer: Lisa Terre

6. Solving Latino Psychosocial and Health Problems: Theory, Practice, and Populations
Author: Kurt C. Organista
Reviewer: Joan Koss-Chioino

7. Short-Term Existential Intervention in Clinical Practice
Authors: Joseph Walsh and Jim Lantz
Reviewers: Louis Hoffman and Elizabeth Saxon

8. Animal-Assisted Brief Therapy: A Solution-Focused Approach
Authors: Teri Pichot and Marc Coulter
Reviewer: Mardi Allen

9. My Father Before Me: How Fathers and Sons Influence Each Other Throughout Their Lives
Author: Michael J. Diamond
Reviewer: John W. Robertson-Howell

10. On Being a Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty
Author: W. Brad Johnson
Reviewers: William Buskist and Christopher Howard

11. Coaching for Emotional Intelligence: The Secret to Developing the Star Potential in Your Employees
Author: Bob Wall
Reviewer: L. Hunter Kevil

12. Exploring Positive Relationships at Work: Building a Theoretical and Research Foundation
Authors: Jane E. Dutton and Belle Rose Ragins
Reviewer: Steven M. Elias

13. Make the Right Career Move: 28 Critical Insights and Strategies to Land Your Dream Job
Author: Rachelle J. Canter
Reviewer: Rodney L. Lowman

14. Stress and Addiction: Biological and Psychological Mechanisms
Author: Mustafa al'Absi (Ed.)
Reviewers: Tony Cellucci and Leslie Devaud

15. Encyclopedia of Juvenile Violence
Author: Laura L. Finley (Ed.)
Reviewer: Alice Sterling Honig

16. Working With Families of the Poor (2nd ed.)
Authors: Patricia Minuchin, Jorge Colapinto, and Salvador Minuchin
Reviewer: Dale L. Johnson

Video Review
17. Mindful Therapy
with Lorne Ladner
Reviewers: Ruth A. Baer and Emily L. B. Lykins

Film Review
18. Apocalypto
Director: Mel Gibson
Reviewer: Grant J. Rich

Random tidbits from the mind blogosphere - 9-6-07

  • Thanks to the Brain Injury blog for the sad news re: evidence of extensive brain damage to WWE wrestler Benoit.
  • Check out ENL for a post re: thinking abilities (and prefrontal cortex activity) and dyslexia
  • Gene Expression adds more to the never-ending discussion of the Flynn Effect (click here and here)
  • Positive Technology Journal has a brief post on a small study investigating the relationship between visual and motor imagery
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Monday, September 03, 2007

IQ's Corner Headlines - 9-3-07

All the news thats fit for IQ's Corner readers:

This is the 36th installment of IQs Corner Headlines from the Brain and Mind Blogsphere

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WISC-III/IV scatter/FS IQ study - Hale responds to Lopez

Yesterday's guest blog post by Ruben Lopez generated a lengthy response by Dr. James "Brad" Hale, a regular voice on the NASP and CHC listservs on this particular topic (interpretation of composite and test scores on intelligence tests). To those who are not members of either of these lists, Brad has regularly challenged the statistical arguments/methods behind the research illustrated by the Watkins et al. article Ruben reviewed. In fact, in the same issue of Applied Neuropsychology, Hale et al outline their arguments (click here to view/download). [Note - see previous post on this blog about this entire special issue. There are a number of positions and arguments surrounding this entire topic..Brad's position is not the only position]

In an attempt to provide some balance, I decided to lift Brad's response from the NASP listserv and post it here at IQ's Corner. This will allow others to become aware of Brad's arguments and should help save bandwith on these two lists---as Brad (and others) can then simply refer people to this more permanent post at IQ's Corner for Brad's arguments and thoughts [Note to Brad - maybe this post can save you from having to repeatedly articulate your thoughts and ideas on the listservs...just insert a URL link to this post.]. Also, in the past other voices have been heard in response to Brad's arguments, challenges and claims. I would encourage any of those voices to contact me if they want to provide a counter-response (

Please note that my posting of Brad's response does not mean I endorse his arguments or claims. They are presented "as is." As blogmaster I would LOVE it if authors of the other articles in the special AN issue would respond with written responses I could post in the form of blog posts.
  • I mean no offense to Ruben Lopez, as he seems well-intentioned, but this is clear evidence of why the Watkins et al. results are so problematic, and could be seen as unethical. Why? Because practitioners such as Mr. Lopez read the positions and analyses of these authors, and conclude they "appear reasonable" (quote from Mr. Lopez). Then Mr. Lopez goes on to conclude "So, I won't disregard the full scale solely because of scatter". If the analyses are wrong as I suggest, this is clear evidence that at least one practitioner (and likely others) has been misinformed by this study, and this affects his (their?) practice of psychology.
  • This is very sad because in the rebuttal paper of this very same special issue (Hale et al., 2007), statistical analyses are provided that clearly show the errors in the Watkin's paper. Yes, errors. Those are strong words folks, yep. I wouldn't say they were errors unless I was convinced the data shows they are errors. It is all there in black and white folks. It isn't a matter of opinion, rather one of fact, and I challenge any statistician to go on record to say that the Watkins analysis is right, and our rebuttal analyses are wrong. *Please*, statisticians only! These are complex statistical arguments and it would be best if statisticians determine who is correct. Whether you believe in the value of global IQ or not, that is not the issue. The issue has solely to do with statistical analyses.
  • Again, please have any statistician who is willing to come forth and show/argue we are wrong, please do so. Please have them provide their full name and other identifying information so they may be contacted at a later date.
  • As for why people would continue to value and/or support papers that have significant statistical errors, or even be willing to publish them- that is up to the reader to determine. I won't even speculate because that could be seen as an ad hominem attack. I do find it interesting that someone could read one article in the special issue and say it is good, but not mention the other articles, which show it is not!
  • If I am right, and these analyses are statistically inappropriate, and they are used to inform practitioners about clinical practice (as are many of the other papers produced by this academic group - which we also show in the rebuttal paper), there is a serious ethical problem here. I have personally contacted the authors and directly informed them of the statistical errors in other papers, and I have also contacted editors.
  • We have also shown why the analyses are wrong in several published works. Yet, the works by this academic group continue to be endorsed by others, even those with the statistical sophistication to know better. It is a sad day in science when people's opinions and values superseed the facts. I guess we have to ask ourselves as a profession a very important question. Are we guided by scientific fact or fancy? It is up for all of us to decide.
  • Please do forward this email to anyone you think is willing to reply, including Drs.Watkins and Glutting.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Test scatter and the WISC-III/IV: Recent study - Guest post by Ruben Lopez

The following is a guest post by Ruben Lopez, school psychologist with the Moreno Valley Unified School District, CA and member of the IQs Corner Virtual Community of Scholars. Rueben reviewed the following article and has provided his comments below.

Watkins, M.W., Glutting, J. J. & Lei, P. (2007). Validity of the Full-Scale IQ when there is significant variability among WISC-III and WISC-IV factor scores. Applied Neuropsychology, 14, 13-20. (click here to view/download)

  • For many years now—I think I read it over 25 years ago—school psychology textbooks have told psychologists that significant scatter (“variability”) among component subscales decreased the strength of the composite/full scale score to predict academic achievement . When applied to the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV), this would mean that you should not use the Full Scale to predict academic achievement and use a subscale, for instance, the Perceptual Reasoning Index, instead. In their article referenced above, Watkins, Glutting, and Lei “directly addressed” the question of scatter and the WISC by analyzing the scores of a substantial number of students. Although the article contains a technical argument in opposition to the use of multiple regression to address the question—an important issue, even for practitioners, nonetheless--, I’ll just talk about the direct study; yet I note that they used a “moderated multiple regression.”
  • The tests studied were the third (III) (1991) and the fourth (IV) (2003) editions of the WISC and the first (1992) and the second (2) (2002) editions of the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT). Scores on these tests from three final samples consisting of 412, 412, and 136 students obtained during standardization were analyzed. Two of the samples were described as “linking samples”, samples of students whose scores on the WISC and WIAT were analyzed for standardization to determine the relationship between intelligence and academic achievement. One of the samples consisted of students who had actually been evaluated and found eligible for special education under specific learning disability, emotional disturbance, or mental retardation. The data appear to be substantial.
  • The statistical analysis and interpretation of the data appear reasonable. All the samples were divided into two groups, a flat profile group and a variable profile group. The variable profile group consisted of students who had “at least one statistically significant factor score difference.” About the statistical analysis, the authors said, “moderated multiple regression was used to detect any bias in the predictive validity of FSIQ scores [Full Scale scores] between participants with and without significant factor score variability.” Regarding the analysis, the researchers reported, “For all samples, FSIQs were significant predictors of performance on reading and math tests, but neither factor profile group (flat versus variable) nor the interaction between the FSIQ and factor profile group significantly added to the prediction.” From this, Watkins, Glutting, and Lei concluded, “Our results challenge the practice of discounting the global IQ as a predictor of academic achievement when factor scores significantly vary.”
  • At least for now, for me, the application is to not disregard the full scale score if there is too much scatter. So, I won’t disregard the full scale solely because of scatter. On the other hand, I note that recent Woodcock-Johnson-III studies provide strong evidence that some component scale scores—reflecting broad CHC factors—are significant predictors of academic achievement that definitely should be considered.
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