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« Energy Costs and the Economy | Main | The SOTU (Again) and the Dumbing Down of the Polity »

January 19, 2011


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George Mobus


I am rather taken with the work of Howard Gardner who developed the notion of multiple intelligences. He classified intelligence into five (and latter something like nine) different domains based on the subject content and presumably the brain regions involved in processing that content. This latter part seems to be holding up in imaging studies of brains undergoing tests of various forms of intelligence processing (e.g. math).

Most people appear to be relatively strong in one or two of these domains and average in the others. They are all, however, reasonably correlated, e.g. if someone is weaker than average in one, the likelihood is that they will be weaker than average in several more or all. Similarly, some individuals who are very strong in one or more tend to be above average in strength in the others. There are, of course, anomalies (e.g. idiot savants).

Underlying that correlation is the g factor, what is called general intelligence (as I described above in a comment addressed to "Commentators").

RE: grade inflation and changing attitudes of students/parents toward the institution of education and teachers. I have had students tell me that they deserved higher grades because they 1) worked really hard even though they didn't get the right answers, and 2) they were paying to get a degree so they expected results for their money! Their general attitude is that they are education consumers who are buying a product (knowledge stuffed into their heads and a piece of paper showing they got the upgrade). And as long as they or their parents are paying for it they deserve to get it; the evidence is the grade they received in the course. I have an appointment with a student tomorrow who, I'm pretty sure, is going to use the "I worked so hard" argument. My having worked in industry and rising to become the ceo eventually, is the reason I keep telling them that their employers don't pay for effort, they pay for results. Am I perpetuating the education as a business model???? I hope not.


Jim Peden

Although I am a member of Mensa, one of the disadvantages of living a life with an exceptionally high IQ is that you have to spend most of your time surrounded by folks who, relatively speaking, just aren't very bright. Early on, you are inclined to correct the misconceptions that populate the not-too-bright mind, but after a while you tend to just give up on trying to "help the dummies" and just go with the flow, just sayin...

George Mobus


Is there a similar organization for wise people?


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