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Something Rotten in the State of Sweden: Gottfredson Dis-Invited
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Linda Gottfredson

Linda Gottfredson, author of the most supported and cited statement on intelligence,

and the researcher who has done most to explain what intelligence means in everyday life, in terms of specific tasks, training needs, and occupational choices and achievements


has just been dis-invited from an occupational conference in Sweden where she had been invited to give the keynote speech about another one of her many achievements: her theory of circumspection and compromise in occupational choices.

The four critics have dredged up the old insults of three decades ago, which nearly finished her university career, and from which she emerged vindicated after a two year struggle: the usual hostile stuff from the Southern Poverty Slander Center and assorted partisan critics, asserting that her findings, writings and thoughts are riven with racism etc, and the Conference organizers seem to think that her occupational stuff, much utilized in Sweden, represents her angelic side, but the group differences stuff, true or not, means she must be banished into the outer darkness, for fear of contagion with the Evil Eye.

Have a look at what she wrote in reply to them, and particularly the four letters that spooked the supine conference organizers into dumping their star speaker.

In the midst of all this depressing and horrible farrago, humour is never too far away. The very last anonymous letter No.4 is priceless. This terminal fool wants Linda defenestrated because she/he/they will otherwise have to boycott the meeting, but mostly because unless the witch hunters do it pronto, she/he/it will miss out on the early bird reduced conference rates!

You could not make it up, and it seems unlikely anyone can make up Sweden.

You might drop them a very polite line, very polite please, asking the Conference President to explain herself

[email protected]

If you want to e-meet Linda, here she is talking about her lifetime’s work.

• Category: Science • Tags: IQ, Political Correctness 
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  1. Her paper on construct validity isn’t too good. This is because “the phenomena that testers aim to capture” are preconceived and built into the test by the test constructors. Therefore these achievements reflect causes which are preconceived by the test constructors.

    Face it: IQ tests are not construct valid.

    (To stay on topic. Sucks, she shouldn’t have been disinvited.)

    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    , @Santoculto
  2. @RaceRealist88

    1 For the claim “IQ tests test intelligence” to be true, IQ tests must be construct valid.
    2 For IQ tests to be construct valid, we must be able to mechanistically relate differences in one variable to differences in another.
    3 IQ tests are not mechanistically related to any physiologic function, that is, there is no mechanistic relation between IQ tests and variable X.
    4 Therefore the claim “IQ tests test intelligence” is false since IQ tests aren’t construct valid.

    1 If IQ tests are construct valid, then they must be mechanistically related to a physiological function.
    2 IQ tests are not mechanistically related to physiological functions.
    3 Therefore IQ tests aren’t construct valid.

    (Where V is construct validity and P is physiological function.)

    If V then P
    ∴ ~V
    The conclusion follows from 1 and 2 by modus ponens

    • Replies: @Rick Hyatt
    , @Anonymous
    , @phil
  3. Babidi moribund wrote a ”emotional” post… so cute

  4. @RaceRealist88

    So vocabulary size or arythmetic ability are not a valid constructs too??

  5. @RaceRealist88

    Nobody agrees with #2, you loon. Even now gravity doesn’t have a ‘mechanistic relation’. #3 is dead wrong (IQ correlates with a lot of things, including reaction time, brain volume, white matter integrity, global connectivity, mitochondrial efficiency, EEG responses), #4 is thus false, and seriously, invoking modus ponens? What are you, in middle school and learning logic for the first time and trying to show off?

  6. Anonymous[216] • Disclaimer says:

    Off topic, but I recall you had hoped to lure Chanda out of retirement James. Any thoughts on his latest article?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  7. @Rick Hyatt

    IQ also correlates with semen quality:

    Why is intelligence correlated with semen quality?

  8. @Rick Hyatt

    Did you learn biology and logic on the back of a cereal box?

  9. @Rick Hyatt

    “Nobody agrees with #2, you loon. Even now gravity doesn’t have a ‘mechanistic relation’.”

    Thanks for letting everyone know that you don’t know what ‘construct validity’ is.

    It is the degree that a test measures what it purports to measure.

    IQ tests are NOT construct valid.

    “#3 is dead wrong (IQ correlates with a lot of things, including reaction time, brain volume, white matter integrity, global connectivity, mitochondrial efficiency, EEG responses),”

    That’s not evidence for construct validity.

    “invoking modus ponens?”

    Seriously not knowing how to construct sound arguments?

    Nevermind the fact that the mental is irreducible to the physical therefore genes, physiology, brain structure/states do not explain intelligence since intelligence is a mental ability and is intentional.

    • Replies: @jbwilson24
  10. @advancedatheist

    “From an adaptationist viewpoint”

    Adaptationism is not a valid research programme. Indeed, going back to Gould’s and Lewontin’s arguments in their Spandrels paper, one can always construct a new just-so story when one adaptive story is disproved, meaning that adaptationism is true by default since one can always craft a new adaptive story when if refuted by evidence. Gould and Lewontin’s main qualms are not that specific hypotheses can’t be tested, but the assumption that traits are adaptations are not tested. Adaptationism is, itself, an empirical claim and so testing specific adaptationist hypotheses is not the same as testing adaptationism as a general assumption.

    “intelligence depends mainly on brain function and neural development”

    Intelligence is a mental ability and is therefore irreducible to physical states.

    Their whole argument rests on there being a lawlike relation between the mental and the physical. They are married to this assumption, since they are arguing that pleiotropic mutations explain the small correlations that were found.

    BUT, since there are no psychophysical or psychological laws, there CAN’T BE “genetics of intelligence”, thus their argument crumbles.

    There can be no ‘psychophysical law’ in the form of a biconditional, ‘(*) (x is true in-L if and only if x is q>)’ where ‘q>’ is replaced by a ‘physical’ predicate (a predicate of L).

    Since psychophysical laws do not exist, there cannot be genetic variation in intelligence therefore their argument is isn’t valid.

    Nevermind the fact that “general intelligence” is, too of course, built into these tests by the test constructors; so this doesn’t prove ANYTHING since they are assuming the validity of the construct!

  11. @advancedatheist

    IQ also correlates with semen quality:

    Why is intelligence correlated with semen quality?

    Come again?

    • LOL: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  12. Our grey-haired eminences now sport names like “Linda”. How much water has gone under the bridge!

    Back in the mid-’80s, I knew a Danish girl named Linda. She was born in the ’60s, and said it was quite unusual for girls her age. But by the ’80s, there were quite a few toddlers in Denmark with the name.

    So they take in our fads, such as Lindas and shouting-down and disinvitations. Just like we took in Gunnar Myrdal back when Linda Gottfredson was a child.

  13. It’s the same with humor as with religion: They wouldn’t be around since ages if there were no tensions between humans (and the assorted field of unpleasant actions). The big difference being, that (our, so to speak) God does not laugh (not a single trace of God’s laughter in all of the Holy Bible – he doesn’t live through our earthy matters, so he does not need to, I guess that’s why.

    Thanks for the article – especially it’s really refreshing tone. I’ll write as I always do in such cases: Not bothering about making a fool out of myself through utter politeness.

  14. Your link too Gottfredson’s 1997 paper is no longer valid. UofD has redeisgned.

    This is the currently accurate link:

  15. I used to be a strong supporter of the idea of IQ until I realised that you can’t seem to use it as a comparative measure across time. Let’s say you wanted to study the cognitive impact of immigration, nutrition, or educational changes across time – for example between 1980 and 1990 in the UK. There doesn’t seem to be any way to do this. So it can’t be tracked like height or weight or some other objective measurement.

  16. You could not make it up, and it seems unlikely anyone can make up Sweden.

    Shit like this happens in America ALL THE TIME!

  17. Anonymous[149] • Disclaimer says:

    Not to be a logic d*ck, but I think in this case you mean modus tollens rather than modus ponens:

    • Agree: RaceRealist88
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
  18. @Anonymous

    Phew. I didn’t even realize my error. Thank you.

    • Replies: @Rick Hyatt
  19. @RaceRealist88

    You sure don’t. You didn’t respond to my comment at all. You totally ignored everything I said touching on IQ’s construct validity, chanting ‘construct validity’, which doesn’t mean what you think it means. Loon.

    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
  20. @Rick Hyatt

    I already told you the definition of construct validity.

    My argument is sound. You fail to realize that those correlations you speak of rest on how these tests are constructed.

  21. phil says:

    There you go again. The words “mechanically related” constitute a strawman. We look at correlations, which are typically less than one, but may nevertheless be statistically significant. Also, the correlation over a whole group or multiple categories of test items may be higher than it is for single test items. And do empirical findings replicate? The findings in intelligence testing tend to replicate more so than those in other areas of psychology.

    Among labor economists (e.g., Heckman, Roland Fryer) it is now commonplace to find that the difference in racial differences in earnings is best accounted for by differences in cognitive ability, whether measured by IQ tests or student achievement tests, as long as the achievement tests are g-loaded, which they generally are. In this sense, test results are said to have “validity”; they help to explain real-world phenomena.

    Results are also said to be “reliable” insofar as the correlation in scores between a test and a re-test is high.

    It is understood that the results of standard IQ tests given to sub-Saharan Africans are not as correlated with g as they are for Westerners, but the correlation is still there (e.g., 0.55). Moreover, the results of tests given to Easterners (e.g., East Asians) are highly correlated with g even though East Asians probably did not write the test. In other cases, Africans have been asked to administer tests given to other Africans.

    A composite score of reaction-time tests correlates moderately-well with g, with people of Sub-Saharan African descent generally having the slowest mental-decision-making times among major demographic groups for simple mental tasks, and East Asians generally having the fastest reaction times.

    So the question is whether you are really a race realist. Linda Gottfreson has had to confront these matters for several decades now.

  22. I would like to issue an apology to the people of Sweden. They are the innocent party in this mess, merely hosting the conference at the behest of others. The letters of complaint came from Finland, Europe and Australia. As Linda Gottfredson made clear, the Swedish organizer behaved impeccably.

    So, the headline should have been: “Something rotten in the International Association of Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG)”

    Not so snappy, but accurate.

    Sorry, Sweden.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  23. @James Thompson

    Always victim, always Will be, paraphrasing Wednesday Addams.

  24. pyrrhus says:

    Disgusting…But then, many academics these days are just plain despicable.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  25. @pyrrhus

    …these days…

    when academics were mostly rightilts they weren’t better either.

  26. pyrrhus says:

    Really? When did non-left academics ever dis-invite someone in their field because they didn’t like implications of their research? Never, of course.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  27. @pyrrhus

    When conservatism was absolute in academia even a oficial dissidence would exist.

  28. Anonymous [AKA "snailwiener armour"] says:

    Why wouldn’t semen quality relate to IQ? Since genetic traits are 50% passed on through semen, better quality semen would of course mean better traits. We are not told here exactly what “better quality” means; for argument’s sake I am assuming it is a valid concept.
    As we go through life, most of us can tell that some people can more easily and thoroughly understand some topics or concepts than others. We call this ability higher intelligence. I have never read or heard any researcher say that intelligence is all hereditary. They generally say it is 20-50% inherited, and even the smaller number is quite significant.

  29. @RaceRealist88

    “Nevermind the fact that the mental is irreducible to the physical”

    Oh boy, we have an influx of cartesian dualists.

    I’m not even sure what you mean. My field (A.I.) clearly demonstrates that activities considered ‘mental’ can be performed by machines. No, we haven’t demonstrated general purpose intelligence akin to a human being, but we have indeed managed to make machines that display some form of intelligence.

    If by ‘mental’ you mean to include ‘consciousness’, there is a whole discipline in the philosophy of mind about that (e.g., Searle’s Chinese room, Thomas Nagel’s bat metaphor), but you will have a hard time finding a conclusive proof. If you have one, publish it and become famous.

  30. “Nevermind the fact that the mental is irreducible to the physical”

    This is a semantic trap. But he’s not totally wrong about it if the mental is the expression of physical organism, the comunication of neurons, hormones and another cells. The expression is not reducible to its point of origin but it’s obviously derived from this.

  31. @Reg Cæsar

    As Austin Powers would say, “Yes please!”

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