Thursday, 19 November 2015

Fun and contentment (plus death and IQ)

Just to give you an indication as to how the citizens of Edinburgh entertain themselves when not hosting the Festival, here is the St Andrew’s day lecture, which will be given by Pat Rabbitt, and will be worth hearing.

The 2015 special invited St Andrews Day seminar will be given by Professor Patrick Rabbitt of Oxford University. The talk will be held at 5pm on 24th November in room F21 of the Department of Psychology, 7 George Square. A drinks reception will follow the talk.
Seminar title:
"Death, intelligence, fun and contentment in old age"
"Many large and reliable longitudinal studies now allow us to explore the relationships between how the extent to which we can keep our wits about us in old age, our past and present health, our nearness to death, the pleasure we get from hobbies, interests and social life and our general level of contentment interact and determine each other. The talk will discuss how the results of analyses completed this year illustrate these relationships."
You do not need to register for this talk. All are welcome to attend.
Tel: 0131 650 4639


  1. James,

    I have a note and question about intellectually slow people.

    I am not referring to the person who meets the criteria for an Intellectual Disability (also called mental retardation).... I am talking about the person who has the ability to learn necessary academic skills, but at a rate and depth below average same age peers. In order to grasp new concepts, this person needs more time, more repetition, and often more resources from teachers to be successful. Typically, this person has great difficulty with new and complex reasoning which makes new concepts difficult to learn.

    Slow learners tend to perform at their ability level which is below average. These individuals are prone to much anxiety and low self image which goes unnoticed by many in society. They often feel 'stupid' and begin hating school at an early age. Day-to-day academic life can be very draining and yet many somehow manage to make it through the system and through high school (in the United States).

    The psychologist and intelligence researcher Linda Gottfredson wrote a good piece titled Why g Matters: The Complexity of Everyday Life. An excerpt:

    "Life is replete with uncertainty, change, confusion, and misinformation, sometimes minor and at times massive. From birth to death, life continually requires us to master abstractions, solve problems, draw inferences, and make judgments on the basis of inadequate information. Such demands may be especially intense in school, but they hardly cease when one walks out the school door..."


    Can you sympathize with a person who says that one of their major reasons for contemplating suicide often (besides exhaustion and personal failure) is that they just don’t feel competent to handle the mental demands of life?

  2. my long reply has been lost in the system! This is my piece on Linda's work
    Working at one's ability level is not a tragedy. Most stress caused by ambition exceeding ability, not low ability per se. All of us learn to accept limitations.