Outliers (A)

Outliers (A)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chapter Three: The Trouble with Geniuses Part 1

“Intelligence” — what is it?
What were the “termites” and what was the significant about them?
What was meant by the idea that intelligence has a threshold?

Try out this IQ test for fun. http://www.free-iqtest.net/

8 comments:

In my point of view, intelligence is a kind of people’s natural character which can be used in measuring people’s abilities about logic or thinking. Termites are a group of people who got the top score in a intelligence exam held by Terman, a researcher focused on intelligence. They are extraordinary smart and most of them went well in the future life, but no one among them got dreamly perfect outcomes like wining the Nobel prize or becoming a really famous people in the U.S. finally. It’s no doubt that the people who have a better intelligence can have more foundational abilities than others; however, if people focus on a university, all the students there have almost the same high intelligence but it doesn’t mean they will have the same success in the future, which is determined by varieties of other aspects. Intelligence to people is just a little elements that influence the way to success, so intelligence has a threshold.

Intelligence describe that how clever a person is. The evidence is a person’s logic and thought abilities. It is a kind of ability with a person was born.
Termites is a group whose members are select by Termite based on their intelligence test scores. According to three times selection, Termite chose the students who have the higest score in the first test to join the second test, and chose the top to join the third test, at last, select the best students to focus on and record their growth tracing.
The idea means that there is a obvious intelligence level to separate the very smart people and the general people. To compare with a person with 100IQ and a person with 140IQ, there is easy to find the distance between them. However, if compare with a person with 140 IQ which is super high and a person with 145 IQ which is super high as well, there is not a very obvious different on the result of their lives.

Intelligence is an aspect of people’s ability, and it can also reflect how bright a person is.
“Termites” is a group made up with some super intelligent students who got high scores in the intelligence test. The aim of Terman is to distinguish the intelligent students from average students so that their tracks of life can be used to research how intelligence determines people’s life.
We can not deny that people with high intelligence have advantages in competition because their innate ability is higher than average. Nevertheless, intelligence can not be the sole aspect determining whether a person can succeed eventually, for many other aspects also impact the life of a person, and peoples who are at the same intelligence level always develop in various ways.

In my opinion, intelligence is a way to describe how clever the person is.It is natural, but it also can be changed in nuture.
Termites were the people who attended the Terman’s intelligence test, and after 3 times’ text they got win- their intelligence achieves above 140, then Terman inprocessed many years’ follow-up survey of these people to clarify how intelligence influence people’s life.
As we know that high intelligence can help people get better life, but it dose not mean that only high-intelligence people can get achievements. Some Nobel Prize winners don’t have high intelligence but they still can get the great achievements.

I think intelligence is something that born with you, in another way, something is nature and talent. They are not only something on math or physic, but it could also be something you understand much better than others. Furthermore the intelligence is also the ability that you get nurture.

“Termites” is a group of children who have high IQ tested bu Termite, they are differed from the normal children and followed by the recorder to record what they have gotten in several years. These children are different because the tester said so.

The IQ is not the threshold of the achievement or succeed. Nature is important of course, but the nurture is another important thing for that. I do agree what Kaiyan’s speaking, intelligence can not be the sole aspect determining whether a person can succeed eventually. To add something, I want say that differing people is not the right for nor matter fair or respect.

I believe intelligence is some people start to learn new things, meanwhile, it means a kind of ability to understand such as reading ability, writing ability, teaching ability and acting ability. There are just a few people who are belong to geniuses in different field nowadays, but not all of them can be successful. There are two reasons from my point of view, first is called termites. As we all know, termites are very united creature, they have divided their job into many parts clearly and everyone in their group has their job. That is just like geniuses, the reasons why they have trouble because they just do their job with themselves, they should have cooperation with other normal people because we are belong to society. Secondly, intelligence has a threshold, but some people are very lazy although they have intelligence in some special field. So learning work such as practice also is very important for geniuses people. In general, intelligence is ability to understand quicker than normal people, but geniuses people they are not alone and they should have cooperation and learn new knowledge as well as practice in their life.

From my point of view, intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge. It goes also under the ability of learning about/from our environment. How to cope with life difficulties, how to interact with others are both placed under the definition of intelligence. Intelligence is when someone thinks deeply before doing things . For example, thinking of the consequences of driving fast before actually doing it is what basically intelligence means. The most common definition is that intelligence is being clever as well as having the ability to solve things either differently comparing to others or faster than others. It is a gift that cannot be acquired, some claim; however, I think that the more one can think of/focus on what he/she does, the more intelligence he/she gets. In other words, the more concentration given to finish a task, the better the task will look at the end. Yes, being intelligent sometimes means being quicker than others when it comes to making decisions, but not always being fast refer to intelligence. In this case, I did not mean hasty people are intelligent, I meant being quicker than others in making educated decisions considering all the expected consequences that may appear in the future. In short, If you can understand or cope with a tough or unknown situation much better than before, then you definitely have become wiser and more intelligent.

outliers-eap-145-a.blogspot.com

Who are the “Termites?”

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Stanford University professor Lewis Terman launched a major psychological study of gifted children in the 1920s. He found 1,470 California children whose IQs averaged more than 140. These โ€œyoung geniusesโ€ became known as โ€œTermites,โ€ because of the researcherโ€™s surname. For the rest of his life โ€“ and theirs — Professor Terman followed and studied these individuals. After they reached adulthood and got jobs, he divided them into groups he called A, B, and C, depending.

Stanford University professor Lewis Terman launched a major psychological study of gifted children in the 1920s. He found 1,470 California children whose IQs averaged more than 140. These โ€œyoung geniusesโ€ became known as โ€œTermites,โ€ because of the researcherโ€™s surname. For the rest of his life โ€“ and theirs — Professor Terman followed and studied these individuals. After they reached adulthood and got jobs, he divided them into groups he called A, B, and C, depending on the types of work they did and how successful they had become. Terman found that even the smartest people needed a supportive community around them, or a cultural legacy, in order to get the best jobs and to succeed in life. Their birth years also factored in to their chances for advancement.

Gladwell refers to the Terman study three times: in the chapters โ€œThe Trouble with Geniuses,โ€ parts 1 and 2, and in โ€œThe Three Lessons of Joe Flom.โ€

www.enotes.com

Outliers Summary and Analysis of Chapters 3-4

Summary

Gladwell opens Chapter 3, “The Trouble with Geniuses, Part 1,” by describing an episode of the televised game show 1 vs. 100. This particular episode featured Chris Langan, a man with an IQ of 195, who would match his knowledge against the knowledge of the 100 “mob” members of the game show’s title. Outliers establishes that Chris Langan displayed high reading, language, and mathematical aptitude from a very young age. On 1 vs. 100, Langan decided to end the competition after he had reached $250,000, and was awarded the money.

Next, Gladwell explains a famous study involving IQ. In the years after World War I, psychology professor Lewis Terman became preoccupied with identifying individuals with remarkable intellectual gifts, as indicated by specific academic or artistic aptitudes, and by IQ. Terman identified a group of gifted students by combing through elementary school and high school data. He transformed his monitoring of these students (who came to be known as the “Termites”) into a meticulously conducted long-term project. However, Gladwell expresses strong skepticism about whether Terman’s focus on IQ directed Terman towards true outliers.

To give readers a sense of IQ testing standards, Gladwell reproduces examples from a visually-based IQ test called the Raven’s Progressive Metrics. He warns readers not to confuse the talent required to solve problems with true measures of success; after all, while some IQ increases determine levels of success, additional IQ points beyond 120 do not translate to any meaningful real-world advantage. Gladwell supports this claim by listing recent Nobel Prize Winners in Medicine and Chemistry. Not all of these winners came from the absolutely best-ranked colleges, but all of them came from very good schools that provided firm grounds for academic success.

Gladwell also considers a study conducted by the University of Michigan Law School. This study focused on the law school’s minority students, who generally faced relaxed admissions standards and earned lower grades than their non-minority peers. However, this disparity in grading standards did not translate into any difference in real-world success. The minority students were above the minimum aptitude threshold that they would need to pass to be professionally successful.

As Gladwell argues, traditional measures of genius (such as IQ) underplay the role of imagination. To prove this point, he discusses a type of mental activity called a “divergence test,” which emphasizes multi-faceted imagination instead of rote problem solving. Even Terman himself eventually admitted that intellect could not predict achievement, as many of the Termites went on to be somewhat successful but not remarkably so. To trace a more accurate link between achievement and intellect, Gladwell proposes the life of Chris Langan as an object of further attention.

“The Trouble with Geniuses, Part 2,” opens with an account of the life of Chris Langan. It turns out that Chris Langan had a troubled childhood: his natural father disappeared and his last name was borrowed from his mother’s brutal and irresponsible fourth husband. After growing up in poverty, Langan attended Reed College on a full scholarship. However, he lost his scholarship when his mother failed to fill out the proper paperwork. He dropped out, later attended Montana State University, and also left this second institution without completing his degree.

Langan spent his adulthood working odd manual jobs and was primarily employed as a bouncer. All the while, he worked on a project called the “Cognitive Theoretical Model of the Universe,” but abandoned any ambitions to become a formally recognized scholar. When Gladwell interviewed Langan, Langan expressed great ambivalence about academic institutions such as Harvard, which were both nurturing and materialistic in Langan’s mind.

Gladwell follows his account of Langan by considering another ingenious individual, Robert Oppenheimer. In the course of his brilliant academic career, Oppenheimer made a few unusual maneuvers: for one, he attempted to poison his Cambridge tutor, Patrick Blackett. Yet Oppenheimer was only placed on probation for this action. In contrast, Chris Langan had trouble simply navigating college environments that, according to Gladwell, would logically be nurturing and supportive.

For Gladwell, the difference in Langan’s and Oppenheimer’s fates resides in a quality called ‘practical intelligence’, a quality of informed self-assertion that leads to real-world success. According to sociologist Annette Lareau, children from well-off backgrounds can cultivate such practical intelligence thanks to assertive and involved parenting; less privileged children tend to experience more distant parenting styles, and thus have problems learning how to assert themselves. True to this theory, Oppenheimer, a recognized genius, was encouraged by his parents to share his knowledge. (He would later use this assertive mentality to secure a leadership role in the Manhattan Project despite his relative youth and inexperience.) In contrast, poverty and detached parenting held Chris Langan back from high academic ambitions.

It turns out that Gladwell’s ideas are backed up by Lewis Terman’s own findings. In his study of the Termites, Terman found that the children from the lowest socioeconomic bracket (known as the C group) achieved the least in terms of professional and financial success. On this note, Gladwell returns one last time to Chris Langan and depicts Langan’s present day life in rural Missouri. Despite being a genius, Langan is isolated with his knowledge. As Gladwell states, it is impossible for any genius to truly succeed without the active support of others.

Analysis

So far in Outliers, Gladwell has considered specific individuals in short profiles (Bill Joy, Bill Gates) or has considered entire organizations (Canadian hockey). With these two chapters, the approach shifts to placing a single exceptional individual, Chris Langan, in focus. But Gladwell’s tactic of gradually building towards a main point remains constant. Only in the second part of “The Trouble with Geniuses” does Gladwell fully explain the end results of Langan’s remarkable gifts.

Thus, readers may spend much of the first segment of “The Trouble with Geniuses” having no clear idea where Langan’s gifts led, or (perhaps more likely) assuming that Langan’s intellectual gifts led him to success. Those readers who do mistakenly assume that Langan was successful are making the same mistake that Lewis Terman made. By leading readers into this trap, Gladwell enables readers to understand Terman’s perspective and, indeed, to share Terman’s sense of surprise at the poor correlation between IQ and achievement. We, perhaps, feel the same “more than a touch of disappointment” (90) that the disillusioned Terman experienced.

These two chapters are also subtly interactive. In “The Trouble with Geniuses, Part I,” Gladwell presents his readers with extracts from the Raven’s test and from a divergence test. By encouraging readers (however briefly) to try out these two testing methods for themselves, Gladwell encourages his readers to see firsthand the kind of skills that do and do not indicate real-world success. Both analytic and creative powers are necessary, yet as Gladwell’s discussion of IQ demonstrates, analytic powers can only guarantee a very limited kind of success.

In fact, Gladwell speaks favorably of “practical intelligence,” which he designates as “the particular skill that allows you to talk your way out of a murder rap, or convince your professor to move you from the morning to the afternoon section” (101). Notice that creative and assertive “practical intelligence” can be applied to high-stakes and high-difficulty situations (the murder rap) or to much more everyday circumstances (switching a section). Regardless of its ultimate uses, though, practical intelligence must be cultivated on an everyday basis. One of Gladwell’s examples of a practically intelligent individual is, after all, Alex Williams, a young boy who does little more than assert himself during a trip to the doctor.

The two “Trouble with Geniuses” chapters are strongly linked, but they are also explicitly linked to the rest of Gladwell’s own project. Chris Langan is compared, sympathetically but unfavorably, to the exceptional individuals (athletes and software billionaires) who populated the earlier sections of Outliers. By this point in his book, Gladwell has presented enough information to firmly begin drawing connections between his different examples. This pattern of connecting evidence will only continue and intensify as Gladwell defines more and more of the necessary traits for translating talent and intellect into success.

www.gradesaver.com

The Truth About the “Termites”

What do the results of Lewis Terman’s famous study really demonstrate?

Posted Sep 09, 2009

His final group of “Termites” averaged a whopping IQ of 151. Following-up his group 35-years later, his gifted group at mid-life definitely seemed to conform to his expectations. They were taller, healthier, physically better developed, and socially adept (dispelling the myth at the time of high-IQ awkward nerds). As described in his 35-year followup, his group had an impressive array of accomplishments: Of just the gifted males (Terman’s initial group consisted of 857 males), 70 earned listings in American Men of Science, and 3 were elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Ten had entries in the Directory of American Scholars, and 31 appeared in Who’s Who in America. The list goes on. To drive in his point, Terman summarizes the accomplishments of his elite group as follow:

“Nearly 2000 scientific and technical papers and articles and some 60 books and monographs in the sciences, literature, arts, and humanities have been published. Patents granted amount to at least 230. Other writings include 33 novels, about 375 short stories, novelettes, and plays; 60 or more essays, critiques, and sketches; and 265 miscellaneous articles on a variety of subjects. The figures on publications do not include the hundreds of publications by journalists that classify as news stories, editorials, or newspaper columns, nor do they include the hundreds, if not thousands, of radio, television, or motion picture scripts.”

Is this impressive? Certainly. Is there more to this story than meets the eye? Absolutely. William Shockley was among the elementary school children tested by Terman’s researchers in the 20s. His IQ was not high enough to be a “Termite”, so he was shut out of the experiment and was not deemed “gifted”. Undismayed, Shockley went to Harvard and got a Ph.D. He joined Bell Telephone Laboratories, and helped devised the point-contact transistor in 1947 and the junction transistor in 1948. This latter accomplishment earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1970. Later as a professor, as he dusted his prize in his office at Stanford University, he looked at the list of accomplishments by the “Termites” and realized that not one of them held the trophy that was now in his possession.

A lot of people know about Terman’s study, but don’t know the truth about it. It was recently estimated that while the list of accomplishments by the Termites was undoubtedly impressive, they did not come close in caliber to the true scientific elite of the same nation and era. In Greatness: Who Makes History and Why, Dean Simonton explains:

“Let us give Terman the benefit of the doubt and post that all 2,000 scientific and technical publications were produced by the 70 who made it into American Men of Science. That implies that, on average, Terman’s notable scientists produced about 29 publications by the time they had reached their mid-40s. In contrast, American Nobel laureates in the sciences averaged about 38 publications by the time they were 39 years old, and claimed about 59 publications by their mid-40s. THat amounts to a twofold disparity in output. Hence, Terman’s intellectual elite was not of the same caliber as the true scientific elite of the same nation and era.”

Another analysis shows that the accomplishments of the “Termites” could have been predicted on their socioeconomic status alone. These were mostly white, middle to upper middle class men with opportunities and resources for success. Some argue that it wasn’t even necessary for Terman to analyze the IQ dimension–he could have stopped with SES and call it a day.

It’s also noteworthy that very few minorities were in his sample (to be precise, he included 4 Japanese students, 1 black child, 1 Indian child, and 1 Mexican child in a total sample of 168,000), and teachers at the time (I would hope things are better today) undoubtedly had a bias toward identifying white students with talent. Which means many qualified students weren’t even given the chance to take Terman’s test. Terman did note that certain minority groups, in particular the Italian, Portogeuse, and Mexican in California at the time tended to have low IQs. But as to the cause, Terman had this to say:

“How much of this inferiority is due to the language handicap and to other environmental factors it is impossible to say, but the relative good showing made by certain other immigrant groups similarly handicapped would suggest that the true causes lie deeper than environment.”

I’ll leave it to you to surmise what he meant by “deeper” in this context.

Even more telling is a recent study conducted by Margaret Kern and Howard Friedman at the University of California at Riverside. They gathered follow-up data from the Terman Life Cycle Study, which included 1,023 participants. They wanted to know how predictive age at first reading and age at school entry was. What they found blew my mind. While early reading was associated with academic success, it was less associated with lifelong educational attainment and was hardly related to midlife adjustment at all. Early school entry was associated with less educational attainment, worse midlife adjustment, and even an increased mortality risk! The authors conclude: “The findings also highlight the complex issues regarding school entry and readiness. Lifespan approaches to these multifaceted issues will help us better understand the full ramifications of these important early-life developmental milestones.”

Terman’s thinking about giftedness has had a profound effect on gifted education in the United States and continues to have an impact. While I certainly think he’s done a lot of good for the field of gifted education, I also think his work deserves some reflection since so much is at stake for so many children.

ยฉ 2009 Scott Barry Kaufman, All Rights Reserved

References

Terman, L. (1925, 1947, 1959). Genetic Studies of Genius.

Terman, L. (1959). The Gifted Group at Mid-Life: Thirty-five Years Follow-up of the Superior Child. Stanford University Press.

Kern, M.L., & Friedman, H.S. (2008). Early educational milestones as predictors of lifelong academic achievement, midlife adjustment, and longevity. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30, 419-430.

Simonton, D. (1994). Greatness: Who Makes History and Why. The Guilford Press.

What’s considered a strong correlation the social sciences?

How stongly does IQ correlate with numerous positive life outcomes?

My IQ vewy good.

My IQ vewy good.

The Half-Truth About The “Termites”

There are many problems with Kaufman’s assessment of Terman and his landmark study of the gifted, far more than I have the time or the patience to elaborate in detail. Those who seek a more sophisticated and informative critical assessment of the study should visit the following links:

1. Terman Summary: http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/Terman_Summary.htm

2. The Termites Grow Tall: http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/2002-6-15_Intelligence.htm .

I will simply add the following observations.

First, the allegation that the Termites’ achievements could have been as easily predicted by the participants’ SES, without reference to IQ, seems glib and very much open to question.

In particular, the issue is not whether Terman caught every budding scientific genius in his sample (cf. below); it is whether the Nobel laureates against which the Termites are unfavorably compared had IQs comparable to the Termites’, and the extent to which high IQ correlates with high achievement in the sciences (see also Ann Roe’s book The Making of a Scientist, which offers strong evidence of such a correlation). If so, then their omission from Terman’s study was was nothing more than an accident of geography.

Of course, there will also obviously be some individuals, such as Shockley (or, later, Richard Feynman) whose IQs–as measured on that day, at least–do not equal their aptitude. No one, least of all Terman, and especially later in his study, claims that IQ correlates perfectly with achievement or “genius”, or that IQ tests are perfectly reliable instruments.

Second, much seems to made of the fact that so few great geniuses emerged from a group of 1,500-plus individuals sifted from a California population of 260,000. As the author of one of the comments linked above mentions, commonsensically, how many “geniuses” would one expect to find in a population the size of the city of Fort Lauderdale? Granted, Terman set himself up for criticism by using the term “genius”, but that fact does not mean that he expected all of his Termites to be future Newtons and Shakespeares.

Finally, let’s consider the career of Hollywood filmmaker Edward Dmytryk. He was nominated for a Best Director Oscar, and he directed such classics as The Caine Mutiny. He was also a Termite. That he achieved a high degree of professional eminence in his field is indisputable (of course, I realize that only scientific eminence is important, and should count for anything–insert “sarcasticon” here). So, here is evidence of at least one very eminent achiever out of 1,500-plus–not bad. I’ll bet there are a few more, if one bothers to look for them, and particularly outside the sciences, in which high achievement is more easily quantified, and, in our culture, more highly regarded.

Further, when Dmytryk was a child, Terman was responsible for rescuing him from an abusive home. So, while we are tut-tutting at Terman for his evil and unenlightened views–at least compared to those of us in the present generation, who are, of course, perfect and perfectly enlightened in every way–let’s remember what Terman did for Dmytryk, at the least.

The Half-Truth About The “Termites”

There are many problems with Kaufman’s assessment of Terman and his landmark study of the gifted, far more than I have the time or the patience to elaborate in detail. Those who seek a more sophisticated and informative critical assessment of the study should visit the following links:

1. Terman Summary: http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/Terman_Summary.htm

2. The Termites Grow Tall: http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/2002-6-15_Intelligence.htm .

I will simply add the following observations.

First, the allegation that the Termites’ achievements could have been as easily predicted by the participants’ SES, without reference to IQ, seems glib and very much open to question.

In particular, the issue is not whether Terman caught every budding scientific genius in his sample (cf. below); it is whether the Nobel laureates against which the Termites are unfavorably compared had IQs comparable to the Termites’, and the extent to which high IQ correlates with high achievement in the sciences (see also Ann Roe’s book The Making of a Scientist, which offers strong evidence of such a correlation). If so, then their omission from Terman’s study was was nothing more than an accident of geography.

Of course, there will also obviously be some individuals, such as Shockley (or, later, Richard Feynman) whose IQs–as measured on that day, at least–do not equal their aptitude. No one, least of all Terman, and especially later in his study, claims that IQ correlates perfectly with achievement or “genius”, or that IQ tests are perfectly reliable instruments.

Second, much seems to made of the fact that so few great geniuses emerged from a group of 1,500-plus individuals sifted from a California population of 260,000. As the author of one of the comments linked above mentions, commonsensically, how many “geniuses” would one expect to find in a population the size of the city of Fort Lauderdale? Granted, Terman set himself up for criticism by using the term “genius”, but that fact does not mean that he expected all of his Termites to be future Newtons and Shakespeares.

Finally, let’s consider the career of Hollywood filmmaker Edward Dmytryk. He was nominated for a Best Director Oscar, and he directed such classics as The Caine Mutiny. He was also a Termite. That he achieved a high degree of professional eminence in his field is indisputable (of course, I realize that only scientific eminence is important, and should count for anything–insert “sarcasticon” here). So, here is evidence of at least one very eminent achiever out of 1,500-plus–not bad. I’ll bet there are a few more, if one bothers to look for them, and particularly outside the sciences, in which high achievement is more easily quantified, and, in our culture, more highly regarded.

Further, when Dmytryk was a child, Terman was responsible for rescuing him from an abusive home. So, while we are tut-tutting at Terman for his evil and unenlightened views–at least compared to those of us in the present generation, who are, of course, perfect and perfectly enlightened in every way–let’s remember what Terman did for Dmytryk, at the least.

The Half-Truth About The “Termites”

There are many problems with Kaufman’s assessment of Terman and his landmark study of the gifted, far more than I have the time or the patience to elaborate in detail. Those who seek a more sophisticated and informative critical assessment of the study should visit the following links:

1. Terman Summary: http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/Terman_Summary.htm

2. The Termites Grow Tall: http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/2002-6-15_Intelligence.htm .

I will simply add the following observations.

First, the allegation that the Termites’ achievements could have been as easily predicted by the participants’ SES, without reference to IQ, seems glib and very much open to question.

In particular, the issue is not whether Terman caught every budding scientific genius in his sample (cf. below); it is whether the Nobel laureates against which the Termites are unfavorably compared had IQs comparable to the Termites’, and the extent to which high IQ correlates with high achievement in the sciences (see also Ann Roe’s book The Making of a Scientist, which offers strong evidence of such a correlation). If so, then their omission from Terman’s study was was nothing more than an accident of geography.

Of course, there will also obviously be some individuals, such as Shockley (or, later, Richard Feynman) whose IQs–as measured on that day, at least–do not equal their aptitude. No one, least of all Terman, and especially later in his study, claims that IQ correlates perfectly with achievement or “genius”, or that IQ tests are perfectly reliable instruments.

Second, much seems to made of the fact that so few great geniuses emerged from a group of 1,500-plus individuals sifted from a California population of 260,000. As the author of one of the comments linked above mentions, commonsensically, how many “geniuses” would one expect to find in a population the size of the city of Fort Lauderdale? Granted, Terman set himself up for criticism by using the term “genius”, but that fact does not mean that he expected all of his Termites to be future Newtons and Shakespeares.

Finally, let’s consider the career of Hollywood filmmaker Edward Dmytryk. He was nominated for a Best Director Oscar, and he directed such classics as The Caine Mutiny. He was also a Termite. That he achieved a high degree of professional eminence in his field is indisputable (of course, I realize that only scientific eminence is important, and should count for anything–insert “sarcasticon” here). So, here is evidence of at least one very eminent achiever out of 1,500-plus–not bad. I’ll bet there are a few more, if one bothers to look for them, and particularly outside the sciences, in which high achievement is more easily quantified, and, in our culture, more highly regarded.

Further, when Dmytryk was a child, Terman was responsible for rescuing him from an abusive home. So, while we are tut-tutting at Terman for his evil and unenlightened views–at least compared to those of us in the present generation, who are, of course, perfect and perfectly enlightened in every way–let’s remember what Terman did for Dmytryk, at the least.

The Half-Truth ABout The “Termites”

There are many problems with Kaufman’s assessment of Terman and his landmark study of the gifted, far more than I have the time or the patience to elaborate in detail. Those who seek a more sophisticated and informative critical assessment of the study should visit the following links:

1. Terman Summary: http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/Terman_Summary.htm

2. The Termites Grow Tall: http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/2002-6-15_Intelligence.htm .

I will simply add the following observations.

First, the allegation that the Termites’ achievements could have been as easily predicted by the participants’ SES, without reference to IQ, seems glib and very much open to question.

In particular, the issue is not whether Terman caught every budding scientific genius in his sample (cf. below); it is whether the Nobel laureates against which the Termites are unfavorably compared had IQs comparable to the Termites’, and the extent to which high IQ correlates with high achievement in the sciences (see also Ann Roe’s book The Making of a Scientist, which offers strong evidence of such a correlation). If so, then their omission from Terman’s study was was nothing more than an accident of geography.

Of course, there will also obviously be some individuals, such as Shockley (or, later, Richard Feynman) whose IQs–as measured on that day, at least–do not equal their aptitude. No one, least of all Terman, and especially later in his study, claims that IQ correlates perfectly with achievement or “genius”, or that IQ tests are perfectly reliable instruments.

Second, much seems to made of the fact that so few great geniuses emerged from a group of 1,500-plus individuals sifted from a California population of 260,000. As the author of one of the comments linked above mentions, commonsensically, how many “geniuses” would one expect to find in a population the size of the city of Fort Lauderdale? Granted, Terman set himself up for criticism by using the term “genius”, but that fact does not mean that he expected all of his Termites to be future Newtons and Shakespeares.

Finally, let’s consider the career of Hollywood filmmaker Edward Dmytryk. He was nominated for a Best Director Oscar, and he directed such classics as The Caine Mutiny. He was also a Termite. That he achieved a high degree of professional eminence in his field is indisputable (of course, I realize that only scientific eminence is important, and should count for anything–insert “sarcasticon” here). So, here is evidence of at least one very eminent achiever out of 1,500-plus–not bad. I’ll bet there are a few more, if one bothers to look for them, and particularly outside the sciences, in which high achievement is more easily quantified, and, in our culture, more highly regarded.

Further, when Dmytryk was a child, Terman was responsible for rescuing him from an abusive home. So, while we are tut-tutting at Terman for his evil and unenlightened views–at least compared to those of us in the present generation, who are, of course, perfect and perfectly enlightened in every way–let’s remember what Terman did for Dmytryk, at the least.

women never mentioned

I know a woman who was a termite so I know there were some females yet women and girls are never mentioned in this article.
I am used to this but it is still very annoying and interesting that an old scientist includes them and an young or new one leaves them out.
Nothing new here.

iq above 135

baby boomer that fell through the crack, absolute bumm, extreme bi polar also enjoy my friends, i got perpetual and pzyo-electric givin out a steady amp of 8

www.psychologytoday.com

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