Monday, January 23, 2012

Do sexually aroused men score higher on IQ tests? A matter of life or death

Thanks to Kevin Foley (again) for sending me a new Atkins MR/ID death penalty decision--Pizzuto v Blades (2012, Idaho). I have not read the entire decision, but one interesting point has been brought to my attention.

Pizzuto's lawyers argued that his 1996 IQ score may have been inflated due to the testing being conducted by a very attractive female psychometrician. We all know that some test-specific variables can impact the reliability and precision of an IQ score, but there is no research suggesting that a man can score close to 14 points higher simply to impress an attractive examiner. Nice try defense...but a swing and a miss.

As stated on page 30 of the decision, Pizzuto may have been motivated to perform better than he otherwise would have "because Dr. Beaver’s ‘very attractive' female psychometrician administered the test . . . . Based on this, he claims that it would be appropriate to decrease the 1996 score by nearly a standard deviation, or 14 points, due to the presence of an attractive test administrator.” [pg 30].

- Posted using BlogPress from Kevin McGrew's iPad

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