Monday, November 29, 2010
Art Markman, Ph.D. delves further in the theory of creativity by examining whether or not studying abroad in a place foreign to oneself in affect develops ones own creativity further. He discusses a test ran by William Maddux, Hajo Adam, and Adam Galinsky in June 2010 in which three different groups of people were tested with the same procedure called the Remote Associates Test. This test presented individuals with three different words that were related, and their task was to come up with a fourth word that did the same. The difference between the three different groups was that two were presented with memory tasks (remembering an experience of another or your own culture) and the third did not experience this initial procedure.
The Remote Associates Test in turn proved the power of studying abroad as a significant learning opportunity and concluded that people that successfully experienced cultures other than ones own are more "creative in a variety of other circumstances." The researchers discussed that the hallmark of creativity stems from understanding how the same tasks present different solutions and understanding why the individuals facilitate these solutions.
Although this article presented a new and interested aspect to psychology and creativity, I felt that it was not thorough enough, and could have investigated the idea further.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Are there any other examples you've found that prove this finding?
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Arthur J. Jensen, one of the authors of last week's reading, is considered an "educational psychologist" as per the article after the cut. One would infer from his title that he studies the psychology of education. Apparently this includes the study of intelligence, an aspect he so thoroughly examines as to mince it between races, looking closely at the genetic effect on certain groups' intelligences.
In this short biography of Arthur J. Jensen <http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/jensen.shtml> his major ideas are outlined — the universal factor of intelligence, blind to cultural influence, broken into two levels:
— Level I abilities account for memory functions and simple associative learning, and Level II abilities comprise abstract reasoning and conceptual thought.
What this signifies is an attempt to separate inherent intellectual potential from that which is affected by cultural influences (realized stereotypes i.e. parents of Asian children that force them to study, since conception, as if the BAR exam could come upon them at any moment). While I agree with this goal, I cannot accept that the "natural" ability of a group, or then, of an individual, is not affected by cultural factors over time.
If a group is continually subjected to unequal treatment in the educational and socio-political arenas, then that individual will not realize any potential he or she may indeed have. Then, it stands that the genes may be affected consequently. Over time, as a sample does not make use of a gene, it will be pruned away, producing what seems to be a natural advantage or disadvantage inherent to the race.
The reason this has any bearing on the subject is because it suggests that in order to better understand education and to better mold it to be effective for everyone, we should be looking at the genetics of a group to be educated. This is a nonsensical waste of time, given that education is a purely social construct anyway, and if any progress is to be made in its understanding and subsequent execution, it must be attacked from the inside — problems with agreement between the culture our students are a part of and the way in which they are educated. Mentalities are completely different today then they were even fifty years ago, and so must education. The workings of a constructed institution must bend to the needs of those who use it, otherwise its existence is null.
It's thus inane to make any mention of differences between racial groups in "general intelligence" when the goal is to equalize students' educational values and to throw away what was once considered racist propaganda.
I understand the role of these studies, and even acknowledge that this judgment is probably far too harshly worded, but when droves of high-school students don't care whether they're in school or at home watching TV, to spend any time or money examining the subtle genetic differences between races seems completely off-mark and wasteful of an entire society's time, and this will be painfully obvious in ten, twenty, or thirty years when this youth is running the world with no idea why it even needs to run.
Friday, November 19, 2010
To further my investigation about the IQ test among a group of people, I found this article comparing the intelligence among men and women. This article explores the misconception of men being more intelligent them women. Instead it introduces another idea that “height is positively correlated with intelligence: Taller people on average are more intelligent than shorter people.” He also includes that by comparing a man and a women who are the same height, women are more intelligent then men. In other words, between a 5’10’’ men and 5’10”, the women is more intelligent. That sounds so absurd, but in our other reading by Jensen and Rushton, the brain sized varied in each race, determining their intelligence. White people have a bigger brain then black. What do you guys think? Is science racist? Sexist? Or just logical?