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From Professor Russell T. Warne:

Read the whole thing there.

 
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  1. Baffle them with bs right out of the starting gate.

  2. In other words, you can produce this effect in a lab under contrived conditions (e.g. when the subjects get the hint as to what you are looking for) but in real-world settings there is no such effect.

  3. The idea seemed rather contrived to begin with.

  4. All the stereotypes they’ve ever tested are true. Blacks are less intelligent than whites, women are worse than men at right tail math, and so on.

  5. I’m sure this is an experience many have had–when I took an introductory psych course, part of my grade was contingent upon participating in a research study as a subject.

    Eager to get it over with, I signed up for the next available slot and showed up to the ‘lab.’ I entered a room with a computer terminal and was told I was taking an intelligence test. But lo and behold, seated right across from me in full view was another subject allegedly taking the same test–for whatever reason the investigator went out of their way to tell me that the other person was taking the same test that I was, not that I had asked, or really cared.

    I couldn’t see the other subject’s screen, but I could see them rapidly clicking and moving the mouse as if they were flying through an easy test in the most theatrical manner imaginable. Meanwhile the questions served up to me seemed remarkably difficult and took several minutes each to answer.

    After about 5 minutes I concluded that either: 1.) I was an idiot. 2.) I was seated across from a genius. 3.) The other ‘subject’ was actually a plant and this was a study to see if proximity to a perceived high performer impacted an individual’s performance.

    If smartphones had been a thing back then I would have started browsing Unz. But they weren’t, so instead I tipped my chair back, let out a big sigh, said “I’m so discouraged!”, and stopped answering the questions.

    Did they throw out my data? I doubt it. I’m sure my little data point is in some journal being served up as God’s truth, p<0.05.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    It can't be that hard to discourage people from working hard on a meaningless low stakes test.
    , @Alfa158
    You lucked out. I got to be one of the subjects of a research project that was measuring how much variation there was between individuals in their response to Pavlovian conditioning. In the original Pavlovian experiment dogs were given food while a bell was rung and the level of salivation was measured. After repeated trials the dogs would salivate just from the bell ringing.
    The fine people of this study decided that it would be too awkward and slow to perform quite that kind of test on a large number of human subjects. What they did instead is that a graduate student wired two of your fingers to electrodes to administer mildly painful electrical shocks while ringing a bell. Other electrodes would quantify how quickly the conditioning to respond to just the bell would take from person to person, by measuring the skin resistance that resulted from spikes in perspiration caused by the shock. I thought briefly of being a smart ass and halfway through the experiment suddenly “breaking” and yelling out details on troop deployments. I held back since the young lady testing me also controlled the intensity of the shocks and didn’t look like someone with a sense of humor. She did compliment me on how clear cut my responses were. At least I think it a compliment.

    The silliest part of the psych course was that the professor told us at the start of the semester that at the end he would reward the best student with a copy of B.F. Skinner’s novel Walden II. Out of curiosity I checked a checked a copy out of the library, and found out it is was Skinner’s vision of a hyper-rational communist utopia. Just the sort of vision of an ideal society you would expect from someone who once kept his infant daughter in a “Skinner Box” to test if it was possible to mold a perfect human by tightly controlling all the stimuli they are exposed to.

    My main takeaway from the class was that there might be something to the stereotype that the field of psychology attracts the most damaged people.

    , @El Dato

    Eager to get it over with, I signed up for the next available slot and showed up to the ‘lab.’ I entered a room with a computer terminal and was told I was taking an intelligence test.
     
    It's like when you are playing vidya and are forced to enter a dark room where the lights don't work and the NPC tramp outside has told you that "I haven't seen any monster here recently." while grinning insanely. Pretty sure there are no monsters in that room.
    , @Haruto Rat

    After about 5 minutes I concluded that either: 1.) I was an idiot. 2.) I was seated across from a genius. 3.) The other ‘subject’ was actually a plant and this was a study to see if proximity to a perceived high performer impacted an individual’s performance.
     
    4.) The other 'subject' found solitaire.
    , @Graham
    A large proportion of psychological tests involve lying to the participants. It may be necessary but I really don't like it. If I was asked to take part in such a test, I'd say, "okay, as long as you don't lie to me, use stooges, or try to trick me in any way". But I suppose that would bring everything to a full stop.
  6. @SimpleSong
    I'm sure this is an experience many have had--when I took an introductory psych course, part of my grade was contingent upon participating in a research study as a subject.

    Eager to get it over with, I signed up for the next available slot and showed up to the 'lab.' I entered a room with a computer terminal and was told I was taking an intelligence test. But lo and behold, seated right across from me in full view was another subject allegedly taking the same test--for whatever reason the investigator went out of their way to tell me that the other person was taking the same test that I was, not that I had asked, or really cared.

    I couldn't see the other subject's screen, but I could see them rapidly clicking and moving the mouse as if they were flying through an easy test in the most theatrical manner imaginable. Meanwhile the questions served up to me seemed remarkably difficult and took several minutes each to answer.

    After about 5 minutes I concluded that either: 1.) I was an idiot. 2.) I was seated across from a genius. 3.) The other 'subject' was actually a plant and this was a study to see if proximity to a perceived high performer impacted an individual's performance.

    If smartphones had been a thing back then I would have started browsing Unz. But they weren't, so instead I tipped my chair back, let out a big sigh, said "I'm so discouraged!", and stopped answering the questions.

    Did they throw out my data? I doubt it. I'm sure my little data point is in some journal being served up as God's truth, p<0.05.

    It can’t be that hard to discourage people from working hard on a meaningless low stakes test.

    • Replies: @Scuze
    Might partially depend on how tied your ego is to being intelligent. If you think you’re smart, and something seems unexpectedly hard, with a test-taker next to you having a party with it, you’ll hyper-focus.

    First time I took an IQ test in years, someone had given me a test book, I took it home, and forgot about it for a few days. One morning, I woke up, and noticed it on my desk, and decided to just crank thru it then and there. I scored in the general area I expected, but I’d only been awake a half-hour before taking the test. I thought, if I acquired a new test from my friend, took it again, later in the day, right after a cup of coffee, I could improve the score. I did, and I did, by 10 points.

    The first time, I didn’t give a shit, till I got my score. The second time, I did, and it made a significant difference. If your ego is tied to the result, you’ll try harder. Or maybe I’m an outlier. Maybe I have a "fuck that" gene that begs expression under certain circumstances.
  7. anon[320] • Disclaimer says:

    Is this part of the replicability crisis in the social sciences?

    I wonder if the researchers have considered a different methodology: take an individual who may constitute a stereotype threat and throw him or her into a pond of water. If they float, they are indeed a threat. If they sink, they are not.

    Where’s my Federal grant money?

  8. @Steve Sailer
    It can't be that hard to discourage people from working hard on a meaningless low stakes test.

    Might partially depend on how tied your ego is to being intelligent. If you think you’re smart, and something seems unexpectedly hard, with a test-taker next to you having a party with it, you’ll hyper-focus.

    First time I took an IQ test in years, someone had given me a test book, I took it home, and forgot about it for a few days. One morning, I woke up, and noticed it on my desk, and decided to just crank thru it then and there. I scored in the general area I expected, but I’d only been awake a half-hour before taking the test. I thought, if I acquired a new test from my friend, took it again, later in the day, right after a cup of coffee, I could improve the score. I did, and I did, by 10 points.

    The first time, I didn’t give a shit, till I got my score. The second time, I did, and it made a significant difference. If your ego is tied to the result, you’ll try harder. Or maybe I’m an outlier. Maybe I have a “fuck that” gene that begs expression under certain circumstances.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Real IQ tests have to be professionally administered. I don't know what tests you took but they weren't valid IQ tests. It's possible for your IQ to vary somewhat between administrations but usually not by much unless you are being uncooperative.
    , @Anonymous
    Had several IQ tests in the '00s and never received a "score" back, i.e. the conventional point scale of pop journalism vocabulary (instead they showed the result data in obscure statistics/percentiles, not readily useful for bragging about). This was in Connecticut. Where'd you take your test
  9. It is very easy to dismiss such nonsense, but I have to admit that I love how it dovetails so well with the science-fiction of David Cronenberg and Dune.

  10. @Scuze
    Might partially depend on how tied your ego is to being intelligent. If you think you’re smart, and something seems unexpectedly hard, with a test-taker next to you having a party with it, you’ll hyper-focus.

    First time I took an IQ test in years, someone had given me a test book, I took it home, and forgot about it for a few days. One morning, I woke up, and noticed it on my desk, and decided to just crank thru it then and there. I scored in the general area I expected, but I’d only been awake a half-hour before taking the test. I thought, if I acquired a new test from my friend, took it again, later in the day, right after a cup of coffee, I could improve the score. I did, and I did, by 10 points.

    The first time, I didn’t give a shit, till I got my score. The second time, I did, and it made a significant difference. If your ego is tied to the result, you’ll try harder. Or maybe I’m an outlier. Maybe I have a "fuck that" gene that begs expression under certain circumstances.

    Real IQ tests have to be professionally administered. I don’t know what tests you took but they weren’t valid IQ tests. It’s possible for your IQ to vary somewhat between administrations but usually not by much unless you are being uncooperative.

  11. @Scuze
    Might partially depend on how tied your ego is to being intelligent. If you think you’re smart, and something seems unexpectedly hard, with a test-taker next to you having a party with it, you’ll hyper-focus.

    First time I took an IQ test in years, someone had given me a test book, I took it home, and forgot about it for a few days. One morning, I woke up, and noticed it on my desk, and decided to just crank thru it then and there. I scored in the general area I expected, but I’d only been awake a half-hour before taking the test. I thought, if I acquired a new test from my friend, took it again, later in the day, right after a cup of coffee, I could improve the score. I did, and I did, by 10 points.

    The first time, I didn’t give a shit, till I got my score. The second time, I did, and it made a significant difference. If your ego is tied to the result, you’ll try harder. Or maybe I’m an outlier. Maybe I have a "fuck that" gene that begs expression under certain circumstances.

    Had several IQ tests in the ’00s and never received a “score” back, i.e. the conventional point scale of pop journalism vocabulary (instead they showed the result data in obscure statistics/percentiles, not readily useful for bragging about). This was in Connecticut. Where’d you take your test

    • Replies: @Not Raul
    You can easily convert percentiles to IQ.

    https://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/iqtable.aspx
  12. @SimpleSong
    I'm sure this is an experience many have had--when I took an introductory psych course, part of my grade was contingent upon participating in a research study as a subject.

    Eager to get it over with, I signed up for the next available slot and showed up to the 'lab.' I entered a room with a computer terminal and was told I was taking an intelligence test. But lo and behold, seated right across from me in full view was another subject allegedly taking the same test--for whatever reason the investigator went out of their way to tell me that the other person was taking the same test that I was, not that I had asked, or really cared.

    I couldn't see the other subject's screen, but I could see them rapidly clicking and moving the mouse as if they were flying through an easy test in the most theatrical manner imaginable. Meanwhile the questions served up to me seemed remarkably difficult and took several minutes each to answer.

    After about 5 minutes I concluded that either: 1.) I was an idiot. 2.) I was seated across from a genius. 3.) The other 'subject' was actually a plant and this was a study to see if proximity to a perceived high performer impacted an individual's performance.

    If smartphones had been a thing back then I would have started browsing Unz. But they weren't, so instead I tipped my chair back, let out a big sigh, said "I'm so discouraged!", and stopped answering the questions.

    Did they throw out my data? I doubt it. I'm sure my little data point is in some journal being served up as God's truth, p<0.05.

    You lucked out. I got to be one of the subjects of a research project that was measuring how much variation there was between individuals in their response to Pavlovian conditioning. In the original Pavlovian experiment dogs were given food while a bell was rung and the level of salivation was measured. After repeated trials the dogs would salivate just from the bell ringing.
    The fine people of this study decided that it would be too awkward and slow to perform quite that kind of test on a large number of human subjects. What they did instead is that a graduate student wired two of your fingers to electrodes to administer mildly painful electrical shocks while ringing a bell. Other electrodes would quantify how quickly the conditioning to respond to just the bell would take from person to person, by measuring the skin resistance that resulted from spikes in perspiration caused by the shock. I thought briefly of being a smart ass and halfway through the experiment suddenly “breaking” and yelling out details on troop deployments. I held back since the young lady testing me also controlled the intensity of the shocks and didn’t look like someone with a sense of humor. She did compliment me on how clear cut my responses were. At least I think it a compliment.

    The silliest part of the psych course was that the professor told us at the start of the semester that at the end he would reward the best student with a copy of B.F. Skinner’s novel Walden II. Out of curiosity I checked a checked a copy out of the library, and found out it is was Skinner’s vision of a hyper-rational communist utopia. Just the sort of vision of an ideal society you would expect from someone who once kept his infant daughter in a “Skinner Box” to test if it was possible to mold a perfect human by tightly controlling all the stimuli they are exposed to.

    My main takeaway from the class was that there might be something to the stereotype that the field of psychology attracts the most damaged people.

    • Agree: jim jones
  13. @Anonymous
    Had several IQ tests in the '00s and never received a "score" back, i.e. the conventional point scale of pop journalism vocabulary (instead they showed the result data in obscure statistics/percentiles, not readily useful for bragging about). This was in Connecticut. Where'd you take your test

    You can easily convert percentiles to IQ.

    https://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/iqtable.aspx

  14. @SimpleSong
    I'm sure this is an experience many have had--when I took an introductory psych course, part of my grade was contingent upon participating in a research study as a subject.

    Eager to get it over with, I signed up for the next available slot and showed up to the 'lab.' I entered a room with a computer terminal and was told I was taking an intelligence test. But lo and behold, seated right across from me in full view was another subject allegedly taking the same test--for whatever reason the investigator went out of their way to tell me that the other person was taking the same test that I was, not that I had asked, or really cared.

    I couldn't see the other subject's screen, but I could see them rapidly clicking and moving the mouse as if they were flying through an easy test in the most theatrical manner imaginable. Meanwhile the questions served up to me seemed remarkably difficult and took several minutes each to answer.

    After about 5 minutes I concluded that either: 1.) I was an idiot. 2.) I was seated across from a genius. 3.) The other 'subject' was actually a plant and this was a study to see if proximity to a perceived high performer impacted an individual's performance.

    If smartphones had been a thing back then I would have started browsing Unz. But they weren't, so instead I tipped my chair back, let out a big sigh, said "I'm so discouraged!", and stopped answering the questions.

    Did they throw out my data? I doubt it. I'm sure my little data point is in some journal being served up as God's truth, p<0.05.

    Eager to get it over with, I signed up for the next available slot and showed up to the ‘lab.’ I entered a room with a computer terminal and was told I was taking an intelligence test.

    It’s like when you are playing vidya and are forced to enter a dark room where the lights don’t work and the NPC tramp outside has told you that “I haven’t seen any monster here recently.” while grinning insanely. Pretty sure there are no monsters in that room.

  15. So, he analyses a bunch of studies on the basis that they are flawed, and his conclusion is “valid” because he has a weighted average of all the underlying data and their associated errors. Vast simplifying assumption here is that the errors largely cancel out: What if they are additive?

    • Replies: @res
    Especially given this from the abstract:

    Fourth, the meta-analytic database is subjected to tests of publication bias, finding nontrivial evidence for publication bias.
     
    The key quote I see is the final sentence of the abstract:

    Overall, results indicate that the size of the stereotype threat effect that can be experienced on tests of cognitive ability in operational scenarios such as college admissions tests and employment testing may range from negligible to small.
     
    P.S. I was unable to find free full text of the paper. Does anyone have it?
  16. @SimpleSong
    I'm sure this is an experience many have had--when I took an introductory psych course, part of my grade was contingent upon participating in a research study as a subject.

    Eager to get it over with, I signed up for the next available slot and showed up to the 'lab.' I entered a room with a computer terminal and was told I was taking an intelligence test. But lo and behold, seated right across from me in full view was another subject allegedly taking the same test--for whatever reason the investigator went out of their way to tell me that the other person was taking the same test that I was, not that I had asked, or really cared.

    I couldn't see the other subject's screen, but I could see them rapidly clicking and moving the mouse as if they were flying through an easy test in the most theatrical manner imaginable. Meanwhile the questions served up to me seemed remarkably difficult and took several minutes each to answer.

    After about 5 minutes I concluded that either: 1.) I was an idiot. 2.) I was seated across from a genius. 3.) The other 'subject' was actually a plant and this was a study to see if proximity to a perceived high performer impacted an individual's performance.

    If smartphones had been a thing back then I would have started browsing Unz. But they weren't, so instead I tipped my chair back, let out a big sigh, said "I'm so discouraged!", and stopped answering the questions.

    Did they throw out my data? I doubt it. I'm sure my little data point is in some journal being served up as God's truth, p<0.05.

    After about 5 minutes I concluded that either: 1.) I was an idiot. 2.) I was seated across from a genius. 3.) The other ‘subject’ was actually a plant and this was a study to see if proximity to a perceived high performer impacted an individual’s performance.

    4.) The other ‘subject’ found solitaire.

  17. @SimpleSong
    I'm sure this is an experience many have had--when I took an introductory psych course, part of my grade was contingent upon participating in a research study as a subject.

    Eager to get it over with, I signed up for the next available slot and showed up to the 'lab.' I entered a room with a computer terminal and was told I was taking an intelligence test. But lo and behold, seated right across from me in full view was another subject allegedly taking the same test--for whatever reason the investigator went out of their way to tell me that the other person was taking the same test that I was, not that I had asked, or really cared.

    I couldn't see the other subject's screen, but I could see them rapidly clicking and moving the mouse as if they were flying through an easy test in the most theatrical manner imaginable. Meanwhile the questions served up to me seemed remarkably difficult and took several minutes each to answer.

    After about 5 minutes I concluded that either: 1.) I was an idiot. 2.) I was seated across from a genius. 3.) The other 'subject' was actually a plant and this was a study to see if proximity to a perceived high performer impacted an individual's performance.

    If smartphones had been a thing back then I would have started browsing Unz. But they weren't, so instead I tipped my chair back, let out a big sigh, said "I'm so discouraged!", and stopped answering the questions.

    Did they throw out my data? I doubt it. I'm sure my little data point is in some journal being served up as God's truth, p<0.05.

    A large proportion of psychological tests involve lying to the participants. It may be necessary but I really don’t like it. If I was asked to take part in such a test, I’d say, “okay, as long as you don’t lie to me, use stooges, or try to trick me in any way”. But I suppose that would bring everything to a full stop.

  18. Westlaw is a great research tool, its coders/algorithms put a little red or orange flags on those cases which have been overturned or undermined by later precedent. If social science were subjected to the same thing, that would be quite helpful.

    It would also would be helpful if Westlaw would flag legal decisions which rest on debunked studies like “stereotype threat.”

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    An army of reference and research lawyers in Eagan make KeyCite possible; algorithms have their place, but, no matter what the "artificial intelligence" cheerleaders spout, there's no chance any programme on the planet could do the necessary analysis.

    (I like your underlying point, though.)
  19. @The Alarmist
    So, he analyses a bunch of studies on the basis that they are flawed, and his conclusion is "valid" because he has a weighted average of all the underlying data and their associated errors. Vast simplifying assumption here is that the errors largely cancel out: What if they are additive?

    Especially given this from the abstract:

    Fourth, the meta-analytic database is subjected to tests of publication bias, finding nontrivial evidence for publication bias.

    The key quote I see is the final sentence of the abstract:

    Overall, results indicate that the size of the stereotype threat effect that can be experienced on tests of cognitive ability in operational scenarios such as college admissions tests and employment testing may range from negligible to small.

    P.S. I was unable to find free full text of the paper. Does anyone have it?

  20. @Couch scientist
    Westlaw is a great research tool, its coders/algorithms put a little red or orange flags on those cases which have been overturned or undermined by later precedent. If social science were subjected to the same thing, that would be quite helpful.

    It would also would be helpful if Westlaw would flag legal decisions which rest on debunked studies like "stereotype threat."

    An army of reference and research lawyers in Eagan make KeyCite possible; algorithms have their place, but, no matter what the “artificial intelligence” cheerleaders spout, there’s no chance any programme on the planet could do the necessary analysis.

    (I like your underlying point, though.)

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