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Science

Your Visual Skills Are Not Correlated To Your IQ (vanderbilt.edu) 201

Science_afficionado writes: Psychologists at Vanderbilt University have conducted the first study of individual variation in visual ability. They have discovered that there is a broad range of differences in people's capability for recognizing and remembering novel objects and this ability is not associated with individuals' general intelligence, or IQ.
Or, as the article puts it, "Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching."

Your Visual Skills Are Not Correlated To Your IQ

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 12, 2017 @09:58AM (#55535163)

    This is not new information. Millennials should be banned from science until they are at least 45. They 'discover' the already discovered with alarming regularity, and for some reason feel compelled to publish their 'findings'. Newsflash: science is not instagram. It'd be a freaking miracle if they read an old book or paper (formerly known as 'research') instead of conducting their endless science fair projects. Newsflash #2: refusing to acknowledge the work of others is not the same thing as independence, especially not independence of *thought*. If anything, it is the sheep mentality exemplified, and more important still, it doesn't work. Management, please reimburse the ten minutes I spent on this. Thank you.

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Sunday November 12, 2017 @10:33AM (#55535311) Journal

    The most important thing to remember is that IQ tests are neither meaningless nor harbingers of all types of intelligence.

    There are several 'recognized' intelligences, and arguably many more.

    words (linguistic intelligence), numbers or logic (logical-mathematical intelligence), pictures (spatial intelligence), music (musical intelligence), self-reflection (intrapersonal intelligence), physical experience (bodily-kinesthetic intelligence), and social experience (interpersonal intelligence).

    • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Sunday November 12, 2017 @11:00AM (#55535427) Homepage
      The only reason we say this is that intelligence tests show that all the wrong kinds of people are intelligent. Thus the resort to "storytelling intelligence" and other nonsense. Intelligence is correlated with every kind of positive life outcome, while lack of intelligence is correlated with every kind of negative outcome. This unacceptable political outcome is why scientists say "heritability stops at the neck" bowing to the extreme social punishments for anyone who dares speak out.
      • by sound+vision ( 884283 ) on Sunday November 12, 2017 @12:17PM (#55535729) Journal
        You're assuming there is some singular RPGesque attribute called Intelligence which governs every decision a person makes. Physically, that would manifest itself as something like more robust connections between brain neurons... I just pulled that out of my ass, but if there's a better explanation for the mechanism that governs singular intelligence, I'd love to hear it.

        The other view is that "intelligence" refers to aptitude for a particular task. To me, that model more accurately describes what we see. You see people who pass calculus with honors, but they can't determine what to say to potential dates. You see people who can balance the books of their company, but they fail to grasp the basic principles (rules and physics) of driving. You see people who can design and build houses, but they can't give you a geopolitical analysis of the wars in Afghanistan. Even when all these people have access to the same information.

        There is no doubt that a person's DNA can affect their aptitudes for these various tasks. But when you say there is some singular variable that raises or lowers all these aptitudes simultaneously, that seems like a coarse simplification. Ignoring the nuances does a disservice to your understanding.
        • Intelligence is potential, or aptitude, or how long it takes to acquire skill. One can be less intelligent but more skilled, by dint of greater application, spending more time on the problem. All of the examples you gave are around people who developed skill in one area but not another, which is completely irrelevant and orthogonal to intelligence. Intelligence measures how quickly someone will acquire a skill if they invest themselves in doing so.

          The concept of multiple intelligences has panned out as

        • I know you said you just pulled that out of your ass, but you're actually correct. IQ does appear to have a basis in physiology. Peripheral nerve speed is strongly correlated to IQ. That's basically the robustness of the speed of connections between neurons as you stated. You can give someone a reflex test and fairly reliable judge their intelligence based on that alone. I shouldn't have to state that a correlation isn't perfect, and there are exceptions. I'm sure someone will come out with an anecdotal c
          • Of course, one of the beautiful things about claims about general intelligence being general is it should not matter what subject matter is used for the test.

            Why should we use this boring book learning to assess children? We should teach the subjects a new dance routine and see how quickly they can learn it. I would love to see the kids from Palo Alto HS line up next to kids from Oakland on the auditorium stage, to shimmy for their chance to get into Harvard.

            The bottom line is the IQ test is culturally bi

            • IQ and Personality tests have in general been put together through running regressions through sets of questions. Correlations are seen between sets of questions, and then the groupings are labeled and additional information is drawn from them.

              This is fairly mundane. It should be obvious to see that people who score highly on "I consider myself a creative person" would also score highly on "I come up with new ideas" and low on "I tend to only think inside the box". Once a lot of people take these test
              • I saw what you did there. You danced around the heart of my argument (pun intended) by denigrating a perfectly valid measure of mental prowess, thereby graphically demonstrating my point: that this thing masquerading as "a reliable measure of general intelligence"* is chock-filled with cultural bias. It really does not matter how much you do or do not care for dancing, if general intelligence is genuinely general, my thought experiment is highly valid.

                Mind you, cultural bias is not automatically a terrib

        • by gotan ( 60103 )

          There is a measurable (e.g. in IQ-tests) quantity, let's call it intelligence, that is strongly correlated with e.g. income, the ability to perform cognitive tasks (other than filling out IQ tests), etc. One can then look at special kinds of intelligence, like linguistic intelligence but it is found that these are strongly correlated with some base quantity. Intelligence is not some internal variable that determines behaviour, it's a measure of cognitive ability.

          The assumption, that these findings can be ex

      • You're not wrong. Even within the framework of accepted definitions of intelligence, there have been social attempts to marginalize traditional intelligence to make everyone feel better about themselves. It's the participation trophy of life.

        Still, even within the confines of intelligence as the ability to acquire, store, recall, and apply knowledge and skills, there are different subsets of intellect that vary greatly amongst even most mentally acute. There are observable differences in individual abiliti

    • by fche ( 36607 )

      Those "recognized" intelligences are BS invented to make the less-intelligent feel better about themselves.

    • But you can't make them smart.

      I recently left an R&D group that gave its operation over to a megalomaniacal "Key Expert".

      This guy insisted on reinventing the wheel badly every time, because he had never actually built anything himself, or done anything IRL.

      He could quote any formula, but was sadly unaware of reality.

      There's a lot of those in America, which is why foreigners who can easily take their jobs and do better at them.
      And why the idiots are afraid of immigrants...

    • There are several 'recognized' intelligences, and arguably many more.

      No there aren't. People will try and tell you that to make themselves sound better than they are, but that's part of the test. Intelligence is logical, abstract problem solving ability. eg Being a body builder isn't physical intelligence, nor is mowing the lawns, grass cutting intelligence.

    • by gdr ( 107158 )
      Do these intelligences have a positive correlation with IQ? I would imagine that they do. What is interesting about this "visual intelligence" is that is is not correlated with IQ. I can't think of any other ability generally associated with intelligence that doesn't have a positive correlation with IQ. But I'm happy to be corrected on that.
  • Intelligence is our primary survival tool. Other living things have claws, teeth, camouflage, speed, etc. Our secondary survival tools include our senses, including vision, and hands and various motor skills including the ability to run like hell.

    To the extent that we survive and excel in our environment and achieve our goals, we can be said to be intelligent. I don't understand the TFS' association of visual memory with intelligence. Visual memory as described is probably a good thing, but even total blind

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      The problem with that argument is that "intelligence" is an undefined term, unless you are arguing that IQ is intelligence, I which case I deny your original assertion.

      What people have that has been our mainstay of success is culture. Human culture depends on language, though it clearly includes a lot of other things too. (Various monkeys and apes have been shown to have a primitive culture, but without language cultural transmission is labored and limited.) And unlike intelligence, what culture is at th

  • Duh! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Sunday November 12, 2017 @11:55AM (#55535645)

    "Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching."

    In other news:

    Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn to run fast.
    Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn to shoot accurately.
    Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn to paint.
    Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn to play a music instrument.
    ---

  • by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Sunday November 12, 2017 @12:11PM (#55535699)
    A developed, specific skill is not the same as general skills. Duh ! That is about like saying that a person who is a musical genius might not do well with foreign languages. There are all kinds of abilities and as the savants demonstrate one can be a super genius in one area and unable to walk to the corner store and return home without being totally lost. There are also some really challenging tests with the colored blocks that psychologists have used for decades. Being able to remember the colors and geometries of all six sides of a cubs and solve a complex puzzle quickly can be more strenuous than many test subjects can tolerate.
    • Exactly. You could have an impressive IQ and yet if you didn't like being told what to do or working with others you might never get anywhere in life. Conversely you could be a complete moron and become President of the United States. Has been proved twice in the past twenty years.
      • Terror strikes deep in the heart when one realizes that some people actually support Trump and Baby Bush as well. I hate to say it but when we have a situation in which parents can control teachers we end up with deeply embedded false and idiotic beliefs in our young people. If a person is so stupid that they can not confront evolution and global warming as a reality and they push to keep their kids from learning such things it is no wonder we can end up with a putrid sack of puke as president.
        • As a Canadian, I hate to take sides in your politics. Hence the 2 morons in the last twenty years. Could have meant Clinton and Obama. More likely is Bush and Trump. I'll let the reader decide. Politics is a nasty business.
    • In intelligence studies, there is a widely known concept of "general intelligence" or the g-factor [wikipedia.org]. Basically, studies show that all of the different classes of intelligence (musical, mathematical, linguistic, etc.) are correlated to some extent. It can be interpreted as the master clock frequency of your brain, but as with different CPU architectures, it doesn't explain all of the differences in intelligence.

      To me, the article seemed to imply there's absolutely no correlation between visual and other sk

      • Almost everybody agrees that there is a thing described as "general intelligence." That much is clear. But the claim that the "g-factor" describes general intelligence is dubious; and the link you gave says it is only even claimed to account for "40 to 50 percent of the between-individual performance differences on a given cognitive test." So everybody agrees that there is a thing called "general intelligence," and everybody agrees we don't have a measure for it yet. ;)

  • It has long been known that memory of the arbitrary is uncorrelated with IQ.

  • If you have perfect pitch hearing you might be good at tennis. But equally, you might be bad at it.

  • I mean to answer phones at a help desk role surely requires the right answer like do you own a shed with a drafting table and how quickly you can organize puzzle pieces questions in 3 mins.

  • Anyone who thinks identifying and remembering novel objects requires a significant IQ has never been around cattle, or for that matter, sheep.

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