Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Looking for Flynn effects in a recent online U.S. adult sample: Examining shifts within the SAPA Project

This is an heroic study. It tackles a very difficult question: Are average IQ levels rising or falling?

IQ is under heavy genetic influence so, given the slow rate of human evolution, we should not expect to see much change over the last 100 years or so. And for a long time that was assumed. WHEN scores were collected was not much attended to. Jim Flynn, however upset the applecart by noting that average IQ levels seemed to be rising. So: Are we really getting smarter on average?

There has now been a lot of research and discussion on that question, ably summarized in the article below. It is a strongly held view among many researchers that the gains are artifactual -- i.e. not real. In particular it is well accepted that performance on paper and pencil tests is influenced to some extent by non-genetic influences -- education in particulr.

IQ scores increase markedly in line with better educational performance so improved education might be what is showing up in improved IQ scores. Levels of education have increased markedly over the years. Jobs that once needed an apprenticeship only now need an university degree -- e.g. primary school teaching.

I must say that I have noted that in my own family. My grandfather never went to school; my father got only as far as 6th grade while I have a doctorate. So generational differences in education are certainly available as an explanation of education-linked effects.

So the rises in average IQ scores observed by Flynn need no complex explanation. And their recent levelling off could well indicate that the maximum effect of education on IQ scores has now been reached

The article below does however put the cat amomng the pigeons. It says that average levels of IQ are now FALLING

I don't find that surprising. The Leftist influence on education is now strong. And it is in many cases a very negative influence. So we now have the politics of mathematics for example, which is as nutty as you get. And university graduates who can barely read and write are now a thing. And there is even suggestion that learning or not learning cursive handwriting has an effect on IQ

So the Leftist destruction of traditional education could well be reflectd in recent IQ scores. Education giveth and education taketh away.

We have to restrain our enthusiasm about the study below, however. It is a study of responses from internet volunteers. And it is perfectly clear that the sample is not a representative one. Just the gender imbalance noted shows that.

Such samples are now widely used in survey reseach and the imbalances in them can theoretically be corrected for statistically -- but how do you correct for enthuiasm/boredom and the many other influences that motivate the answering of internet questionnaires? It cannot be done. There is no substitute for actual random sampling of a specified population.

There is in fact no completely randown sample of any human population. I have tried many methods so the failings are well-known to me. Even compelled responding -- as with army recruits -- is imperfect. Some respondents will resent the task and not give useful answers. I have looked with sorrow at patterns of zig-ag and all-agree responses to my questionnaires from military recruits.

So the best we can hope for is COMPARABLE sampling and it is clear that internet sampling is not comparable to the pencil and paper responses in school-rooms that is most of the data on IQ scores from the past

Elizabeth M. Dworak et al.


Compared to European countries, research is limited regarding if the Flynn effect, or its reversal, is a current phenomenon in the United States. Though recent research on the United States suggests that a Flynn effect could still be present, or partially present, among child and adolescent samples, few studies have explored differences of cognitive ability scores among US adults. Thirteen years of cross-sectional data from a subsample of adults (n = 394,378) were obtained from the Synthetic Aperture Personality Assessment Project (SAPA Project) to examine if cognitive ability scores changed within the United States from 2006 to 2018. Responses to an overlapping set of 35 (collected 2006–2018) and 60 (collected 2011–2018) items from the open-source multiple choice intelligence assessment International Cognitive Ability Resource (ICAR) were used to examine the trends in standardized average composite cognitive ability scores and domain scores of matrix reasoning, letter and number series, verbal reasoning, and three-dimensional rotation. Composite ability scores from 35 items and domain scores (matrix reasoning; letter and number series) showed a pattern consistent with a reversed Flynn effect from 2006 to 2018 when stratified across age, education, or gender. Slopes for verbal reasoning scores, however, failed to meet or exceed an annual threshold of |0.02| SD. A reversed Flynn effect was also present from 2011 to 2018 for composite ability scores from 60 items across age, education, and gender. Despite declining scores across age and demographics in other domains of cognitive ability, three-dimensional rotation scores showed evidence of a Flynn effect with the largest slopes occurring across age stratified regressions.


Middle School Girls Refused to Compete Against a 'Trans' Athlete

Several middle school girls who were forced to compete against a biological male who thinks he’s a woman boycotted the competition, according to footage obtained by Outkick.

The incident came after a federal appeals court struck down a West Virginia law that protects female athletes from male athletes who think they are women, which Townhall covered. The child at the center of the lawsuit, Becky Pepper-Jackson, a 13-year-old “transgender” child, argued that the law prevented “her” from competing in girls’ competitions.

On Thursday, several females “stepped out” during the shot put and discus competitions at a track and field event that included Pepper-Jackson, who reportedly competes for the Bridgeport Middle School girls’ track and field team (via Outkick):

Bridgeport participated in the 2024 Harrison County Middle School Championships on Thursday afternoon at Liberty High School in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Seven schools comprised the meet: Bridgeport, Heritage Christian, Notre Dame, South Harrison, Lincoln, Mountaineer (Clarksburg) and Washington Irving.

Several members of one of the girls' shot put teams "stepped in" then "stepped out" to protest the inclusion of a transgender athlete in the meet. The transgender athlete competes in both shot put and discus throwing.

When each of the Lincoln girls had her name called to compete, she stepped into the ring but instead of throwing the shot, she stepped down and refused to participate. They did the same for the discus event.

Riley Gaines, a former NCAA athlete who competed against Will “Lia” Thomas, a so-called “transgender” athlete, applauded the girls for stepping out of the competition.

“Middle school girls leading the way for all of us. Beyond brave!,” Gaines wrote on X. “Say no to cheating males.”

“It's a sad day when 13-14yr old girls have to be the adults in the room, but I couldn't be more inspired by and proud of these girls,” Gaines wrote in a follow-up post. “Enough is enough.”

Last week, Biden administration released new rules to protect LGBTQ+ individuals under the federal civil rights legislation Title IX. Going forward, the basis of “sex” now encompasses the concept of “gender identity.”

“With its new Title IX rewrite, the Biden administration is unilaterally erasing fifty years of equal opportunity law for women. The president and his administration can't act like they care about women or our opportunities and then go and wipe out women’s protections under the country’s landmark sex equality law,” Gaines said in response.


NYC Man Convicted Over Gunsmithing Hobby After Judge Says 2nd Amendment 'Doesn't Exist in This Courtroom'

Extra-ordinary judicial misbehavior

A Brooklyn man has been convicted of 13 weapons charges after having been arrested and charged in 2022 for building his own firearms. Dexter Taylor’s ordeal could become a landmark Second Amendment case in light of the Bruen ruling handed down in the same year.

The jury found Taylor guilty of second-degree criminal possession of a loaded weapon, four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, five counts of criminal possession of a firearm, second-degree criminal possession of five or more firearms, unlawful possession of pistol ammunition, violation of certificate of registration, prohibition on unfinished frames or receivers. Two lesser charges, including third-degree criminal possession of three or more firearms and third-degree possession of a weapon, were not voted on.

Taylor, a 52-year-old New York native and a software engineer, discovered the world of gunsmithing years ago. He decided to take it up as a hobby and possibly turn it into a business later. However, when a joint ATF/NYPD task force discovered he was legally buying parts from various companies, they opened up an investigation that led to a SWAT raid and arrest.

He is currently being jailed on Rikers Island as he awaits sentencing. Taylor’s conviction highlights the ongoing battle for gun rights. During an interview with Vinoo Varghese, Taylor’s defense lawyer, he detailed how Taylor’s trial proceeded and highlighted a distinct bias in favor of the prosecution.

Varghese described how Taylor became fascinated by weapon science during the COVID-19 lockdowns, which inspired him to take up his gunsmithing hobby. “He ended up building, I believe it was eight pistols and five rifles or six rifles, AR-style rifles, and then eight or nine Glock pistols that he built,” Varghese said.

In an interview prior to his conviction, Taylor told RedState:

I found out that you can actually legally buy a receiver and you can machine that receiver to completion, and you buy your parts and you put them together and you’ve got a pistol or a rifle. And once I saw that I was hooked. I was like, ‘This is the coolest thing ever. This is the most cool thing you could possibly do in your machine shop.’

From the beginning of Taylor’s trial, it was evident that the court would be biased against the defendant, according to Varghese, who explained that two judges presided over his case before the current official, Judge Abena Darkeh, took over.

The judge disrupted Varghese’s opening statement multiple times as he tried to set the stage for Taylor’s defense. Even further, she admonished the defense to refrain from mentioning the Second Amendment during the trial. Varghese told RedState:

She told us, ‘Do not bring the Second Amendment into this courtroom. It doesn’t exist here. So you can’t argue Second Amendment. This is New York.'

Varghese said he had filed the appropriate paperwork to “preserve these arguments for appeal” but that the judge "rejected these arguments, and she went out of her way to limit me.”

During the trial, the prosecution attempted to paint Taylor as a dangerous individual who was building dangerous firearms in his basement. In this vein, the prosecution objected to allowing Taylor’s family in the courtroom to show support, nor did they allow his upstairs neighbor, who knew about Tayor’s hobby, to testify on his behalf. Varghese described the prosecutor’s opening statement:

He opens up, and he says that Mr. Taylor had a parade of horror. He was building this horrible place. When they saw this horror that he was making under the noses of his neighbors because all of those guns intended to hit their targets, basically implying that he was going to do some harm with these things.

When Varghese countered this narrative during his opening statement, the judge interrupted him again. “There’s no crime here, there’s no allegation of violence,” Varghese recounted, saying, “I got up and said, ‘You’re going to learn what Dexter is, who he is. You’re going to learn that he never fired these guns.’”

The judge interrupted again and asked the lawyers to come to her chambers for the second time.

Varghese explained that he believed the only chance of having the case go in his client’s favor was through jury nullification, which occurs when members of a jury believe a defendant violated a law, but decide against prosecuting them because they disagree with the law itself, or other reasons.

Judge Darkeh attempted to shut this argument down and led the jury to believe they would face consequences if they did not vote to convict Taylor. In reality, this is not the case. Jury nullification is not illegal, according to Varghese


West Australian Liberal Party to ban transgender drugs for kids

A pledge by Western Australia’s Liberal leader to ban the use of puberty blockers in children could be the start of a nationwide political battle on the issue, with party leaders in other states confirming they were scrutinising practices in the wake of a landmark United Kingdom review.

Libby Mettam on Monday declared that the Liberal Party, if elected, would ban the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone treatments and surgical intervention for children under 16 for the purpose of gender transition.

She said her decision was based on the recent findings of the UK Cass Review – handed down this month – which recommended the National Health Service exercise “extreme caution” in prescribing masculinising or feminising hormones to under-18s.

The NHS England had already stopped the routine prescription of puberty blockers in the weeks leading up to the release of the Cass report, while two Scottish health boards have since said they were pausing the prescription of puberty blockers for children. The likes of Sweden and Finland had earlier introduced restrictions on the use of the drugs.

Ms Mettam said the Cass Review was the largest of its kind and had identified the long-term and permanent harm caused by interventions being used in WA.

“When experts are saying that the permanent side-effects can be liver disease, heart disease, obesity, infertility and other conditions, we must act,” she said.

“We owe it to the next generation of Western Australia to utilise and listen to the best evidence.”

Around 100 children a year are treated by WA’s Gender Diversity Service, according to data tabled in state parliament, and the youngest child to receive treatment last year was 10. There were 63 young people on puberty blockers in WA at the end of March, representing just 0.03 per cent of 12-17-year-olds in the state.

WA Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson accused Ms Mettam of politicising young people “to appease extremists in the Liberal Party”, and noted that a 2021 review of the state’s Gender Diversity Service found it to be sound and appropriate.

“The decision to use puberty blockers is rare and not made lightly. The decision is made between clinicians and families, after a comprehensive mental health and multidisciplinary team assessment,” Ms Sanderson said.

“It is not appropriate for politicians to interfere in clinical decisions.”

Ms Mettam denied the policy position was driven by ideology, instead arguing a precautionary approach was needed at a time when restrictions were being put in place in countries around the world.

Other opposition leaders on Monday echoed Ms Mettam’s concerns about the latest findings on gender treatments.

A spokesman for Queensland’s Liberal National Party said the party was very cognisant of the concerns around the “questionable practices” around gender services in the state.

The Queensland government earlier this year launched a review into the state’s Children’s Gender Service, which treats around 1000 patients a year, after several pediatricians called for a moratorium on gender treatments on children.

“We are awaiting the findings of the inquiry that the government promised would be completed by April,” the LNP spokesman said.

“We are calling on the government to release the terms of reference for the inquiry, and the inquiry report in full once it is completed.”

Victorian Liberal opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier confirmed she too had been examining the findings out of the UK.

“The Cass Review is an important review that should not be dismissed,” Ms Crozier said.

“There are a range of medical views into this matter that need to be taken into consideration, and we will be guided by those medical and health professionals.” Dr Hilary Cass’s review this month found “remarkably weak” evidence around treatments such as puberty blockers, with results of studies either exaggerated or misrepresented by people on all sides of the debate to support their views.

The reality, Dr Cass wrote, is that there was “no good evidence on the long-term outcomes of interventions to manage gender-related distress”.

The findings of the Cass Review and the election commitment by Ms Mettam have been criticised by advocacy groups.

Equality Australia chief executive Anna Brown said matters of gender transition were deeply personal decisions that should be left to young people and the doctors and parents who support them.


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


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