Joe_Harvey: November 2011 Archives

In class, we learned that IQ testing correlates positively with many desirable factors of life, but it certainly isn't the most important thing in life. Without the appropriate determination and social skills, which aren't evaluated by the test, a high IQ guarantees nothing. But how important is a high IQ? The book shows that IQ correlates positively to wealth, educational success, and health. A study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation shows that IQ might be a stronger predictor than previously thought. In fact, out of a large range of testable factors, IQ came in second only to smoking as an indicator of the likelihood of heart disease. The total mortality is also at a much greater level as IQ scores went down.
The other factors tested were income, high blood pressure, physical fitness, and physical activity. Low IQ was more strongly correlated than any of these. I was surprised by these results, as I expected the only reason IQ would correlate to cardiovascular problems is through these other factors. However; this could be explained if IQ is more closely related to each of the factors individually than the factors are related to each other. A person with a low IQ would generally fit into more of the risk factors than someone with a high IQ. This is explained in the article as the IQ denoting a record of "environmental insults" that accumulate through life and are also factors of heart disease.


In class we have talked about the effects of different types of media on children. We saw that after watching violent programming the children mimicked the moved they saw. Most were able to take this evidence and conclude that violence should be taken out of media available to children.
This is not an easy task when trying to make laws. In the United States a law involving the infringement of any amendment in the bill of rights must undergo what is known as the "strict scrutiny" test, in which the state must show compelling interest in removing a right. This topic came before the US Supreme Court in June, and it was decided that a law that had been put in place that made attaining violent video games the same as attaining pornography was unconstitutional.
Supreme Court Ruling
The vote was 7-2, with the majority saying there was not enough proof that these games lead to violence later on in life. The Justices reviewed material which showed that the games clearly caused a raised aggression level in the children. The link between causation and correlation is undeniable, but the majority opinion states that this correlation only lasts for a few minutes. There is no way to tell if these few minutes of increased aggression, with no real violence shown, could lead to committing crimes or an aggressive adulthood.
The majority also stated that violence in children's media has always existed; just look at the endings of most fairytales. This goes to show that even if we as psychologists can see evidence, vast amounts of research are needed before laws can be changed to best put that research to use in society.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by Joe_Harvey in November 2011.

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