Saturday 13 December 2014

#IQ2014 first day


This is a jumble, just to prove I arrive at the conference.

Ian Deary presented an extraordinary range of his work covering over 30 years showing how (rewinding) he came to write particular papers and then how the new generation of younger colleagues in his department “remixed” them with better techniques and data sets.

In words I will not repeat to sensitive readers he spoke of the power of massive samples, or better still, entire populations, to silence carping critics who claim that psychometricians always use small samples. I will try to get further detail from the very full presentation.

Gignac presented data on digit span, formerly the ugly duckling of intelligence assessment, and saved only by Jensen from being dropped from the Wechsler. Giofre put in a plea for sensitive scoring systems which incorporated partially correct scores when studying working memory.

In a very big meta-analysis Tim Bates showed that social class interacts with intelligence to some extent in US samples, but not in other parts of the world. It suggests that the much quoted Turkheimer (2003) is something of an outlier in the US funnel plot, but there is a US/rest of world difference, though hard to be sure why, possibly less supportive welfare environment for poor Americans.

Latvala showed that parent’s anti-social behaviour did not have behavioural effect on offspring. Effects seemed to be primarily genetic.

This morning we had a keynote address by Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi on how one identifies the children who will later turn out to be ultra-high cost individuals in society, using welfare, health service and getting into trouble with the law. With 81% efficiency such children can be spotted at age 3. However, whether anything can be done about it is unclear, though training in self-control seems to be a possible avenue of intervention.





  1. Awesome. Lots of things here I want to see, especially the Bates paper.

  2. Isn't there some circularity here? Both poverty ("low SES") and maltreatment are probably explainable by a combination of low IQ and low self-control (=high E/low C, two paths that both lead to low self-control). Once you control for IQ and personalty, do the other variables even matter?

    Merry Christmas.

  3. I agree, but SES should be given a fair chance to explain something, though I think it is mostly a consequence of prior ability and personality.