Friday, December 15, 2017

Does the rot start at the top? New different Flynn effect research

Does the rot start at the top?

From Twitter, a Flipboard magazine by James Thompson

As readers of this blog will know, it is usually Woodley of Menie who darkens these pages with talk of genetic ruin, while James Flynn is the plucky New Zealander…

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Talking to yourself? Here’s the science behind that little voice in your head

Talking to yourself? Here's the science behind that little voice in your head

The brain considers talking to ourselves in our heads to be very similar to speaking our thoughts out loud. And the…

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Research Byte: Reading and math achievement relations—a meta-analysis

The Association Between Arithmetic and Reading Performance in School: A Meta-Analytic Study

Article link

Vivian Singer and Kathernie Strasser

Many studies of school achievement find a significant association between reading and arithmetic achievement. The magnitude of the association varies widely across the studies, but the sources of this variation have not been identified. The purpose of this paper is to examine the magnitude and determinants of the relation between arithmetic and reading performance during elementary and middle school years. We meta-analyzed 210 correlations between math and reading measures, coming from 68 independent samples (the overall sample size was 58923 participants). The meta-analysis yielded an average correlation of 0.55 between math and reading measures. Among the moderators tested, only transparency of orthography and use of timed or untimed tests were significant in explaining the size of the correlation, with the largest correlations observed between timed measures of arithmetic and reading and between math and reading in opaque orthographies.

Implications for Instruction

The reported findings have practical implica-tions for the teaching of arithmetic and lan-guage. Specifically, they show that, although there may be some skills specific to language and to arithmetic performance, those specific factors can only partially account for the vari-ance in either of them. This highlights the im-portance of teaching general skills such as lan-guage processing and problem solving. Based on these findings, we consider it essential that, to make better educational decisions, educators as well as clinical practitioners take into account the wide arrange of possible factors that deter-mine performance in arithmetic and reading in school, instead of visualizing learning problems as the result of isolated deficits. In the curricu-lum, arithmetic and reading are presented as dissociated domains, but our results suggest that it may be beneficial to focus on their relation, be it from the perspective of common cognitive factors that influence both of them, or from a causal perspective where one of them influences the other. One corollary of the conception of arithmetic and reading as very separate domains may be the assumption that, because language is key for literacy development, it could not play a vital role for arithmetic learning, downplaying the importance of language for arithmetic learn-ing, and limiting the interventions available for teachers and special educators

Keywords: arithmetic, reading, schoolchildren

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Saturday, December 09, 2017

Research review of efficacy of effort testing with culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse populations

Cross-Cultural Feigning Assessment: A Systematic Review of Feigning Instruments Used With Linguistically, Ethnically, and Culturally Diverse Samples

Alicia Nijdam-Jones and Barry Rosenfeld Fordham University

The cross-cultural validity of feigning instruments and cut-scores is a critical concern for forensic mental health clinicians. This systematic review evaluated feigning classification accuracy and effect sizes across instruments and languages by summarizing 45 published peer-reviewed articles and unpublished doctoral dissertations conducted in Europe, Asia, and North America using linguistically, ethnically, and culturally diverse samples. The most common psychiatric symptom measures used with linguistically, ethnically, and culturally diverse samples included the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptom-atology, the Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). The most frequently studied cognitive effort measures included the Word Recogni-tion Test, the Test of Memory Malingering, and the Rey 15-item Memory test. The classification accuracy of these measures is compared and the implications of this research literature are discussed.

Public Significance Statement This study suggests that there is only a modest amount of research examining the use of feigning assessment measures with linguistically, ethnically, and culturally diverse populations. As psychol-ogists in the United States and other Western, English-speaking countries assess individuals from diverse linguistic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, it is important that the assessment techniques that they rely on have demonstrated utility in non-English cultures and languages.

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Research Byte: The Role of Visuospatial Ability in the Raven's Progressive Matrices

File under Gf and Gv as per CHC theory.

The Role of Visuospatial Ability in the Raven's Progressive Matrices

Nicolette A. Waschl, Ted Nettelbeck, and Nicholas R. Burns

School of Psychology, University of Adelaide, SA, Australia


Debate surrounding the role of visuospatial ability in performance on the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM) has existed since their conception. This issue has yet to be adequately resolved, and may have implications regarding sex differences in scores. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the relationship between RPM performance, visuospatial ability and fluid ability, and any sex differences in these relationships. Data were obtained from three samples: two University samples completed the Advanced RPM and one population-based sample of men completed the Standard RPM. All samples additionally completed an alternative measure of fluid ability, and one or more measures of visuospatial ability. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationships between performance on the visuospatial and fluid ability tests and performance on the RPM. Visuospatial ability was found to significantly contribute to performance on the RPM, over and above fluid ability, supporting the contention that visuospatial ability is involved in RPM performance. No sex differences were found in this relationship, although sex differences in visuospatial ability may explain sex differences in RPM scores.

Keywords: Raven's Progressive Matrices, fluid ability, visuospatial ability, sex differences

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Friday, December 08, 2017

Teaching spatial cognition and thinking. Embodied cognition design principles

Teaching students to think spatially through embodied actions: Design principles for learning environments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

D. DeSutter* and M. Stieff


Spatial thinking is a vital component of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curriculum. However, to date, broad development of learning environments that target domain-specific spatial thinking is incomplete. The present article visits the problem of improving spatial thinking by first reviewing the evidence that the human mind is embodied: that cognition, memory, and knowledge representation maintain traces of sensorimotor impressions from acting and perceiving in a physical environment. In particular, we review the evidence that spatial cognition and the ways that humans perceive and conceive of space are embodied. We then propose a set of design principles to aid researchers, designers, and practitioners in creating and evaluating learning environments that align principled embodied actions to targets of spatial thinking in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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Research Byte: Spatial (Gv) training improves math ach (Gq) positive study

Spatial Training Improves Children's Mathematics Ability

Yi-Ling Cheng and Kelly S. Mix

Michigan State University

We tested whether mental rotation training improved math performance in 6- to 8-year-olds. Children were pretested on a range of number and math skills. Then one group received a single session of mental rotation training using an object completion task that had previously improved spatial ability in children this age (Ehrlich, Levine, & Goldin-Meadow, 2006). The remaining children completed crossword puzzles instead. Children's posttest scores revealed that those in the spatial training group improved significantly on calculation problems. In contrast, children in the control group did not improve on any math tasks. Further analyses revealed that the spatial training group's improvement was largely due to better performance on missing term problems (e.g., 4+_____=11)

Article link.

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Scientists create atlas of developing human brain, the most complex human organ

Scientists create atlas of developing human brain, the most complex human organ

From Mind the Gap, a Flipboard magazine by Lawrence Villegas

Everybody likes travelling around the world but what if we tell you that now you can travel through human brains as…

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Thursday, December 07, 2017

International Cognitive Ability Resource Project FYI

Dear ICAR user,

I hope this email finds you well.

As ICAR admin, I would like to ask you for a favour. The ICAR core team is conducting a number of online studies, and it would be great if you could help with the data collection. You can either inform your colleagues by forwarding the links to your department, or kindly invite your friends to the online tests by sharing them on social networks. We are very grateful for your support and appreciate your generous contribution.

1. FaceIQ available at
There are a number of fun tests with instant feedback, which measure various aspects of face perception skills as well as intelligence and personality. Please contact if there are any questions.

2. SAPA available at
The SAPA project aims to advance the studies of individual differences. The test, of variable length, consists of a variety of item types that help you explore your personality and cognitive ability. Please contact if there are any questions.

3. Spatial Planning Game available at
Try out the newly developed map game, which not only measures your spatial planning ability but also provides lots of fun ''travelling'' online. Please contact if there are any questions.

4. Challenging number series reasoning test available at
Challenge yourself with the newly developed intelligence test. This enhanced difficulty contains number series reasoning problems as well as matrices-style tasks. Please contact if there are any questions.

Lastly, I would like to take the opportunity and wish you in advance a joyful festive season and a happy, healthy and peaceful new year!

ICAR admin
The International Cognitive Ability Resource Project (ICAR)

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