Skip to comments.Sorry, Strivers: Talent Matters
Posted on 11/20/2011 9:02:21 AM PST by Pharmboy
HOW do people acquire high levels of skill in science, business, music, the arts and sports? This has long been a topic of intense debate in psychology.
...what seems to separate the great from the merely good is hard work, not intellectual ability...Malcolm Gladwell observes that...snip Once someone has reached an I.Q. of somewhere around 120, he writes, having additional I.Q. points doesnt seem to translate into any measureable real-world advantage.snip..
But this isnt quite the story that science tells. Research has shown that intellectual ability matters for success in many fields and not just up to a point.
...David Lubinski and Camilla Benbow...tracked the educational and occupational accomplishments of more than 2,000 people who...scored in the top 1 percent on the SAT by the age of 13. (Scores on the SAT correlate highly with I.Q). ... The remarkable finding of their study is that, compared with the participants who were only in the 99.1 percentile for intellectual ability at age 12, those who were in the 99.9 percentile the profoundly gifted were between three and five times more likely to go on to earn a doctorate, [etc.] A high level of intellectual ability gives you an enormous real-world advantage.
...we have discovered that working memory capacity, a core component of intellectual ability, predicts success ... snip..
It would be nice if intellectual ability and the capacities that underlie it were important for success only up to a point.... But wishing doesnt make it so.
None of this is to deny the power of practice. Nor is it to say that its impossible for a person with an average I.Q. to, say, earn a Ph.D. in physics. Its just unlikely, relatively speaking. Sometimes the story that science tells us isnt the story we want to hear.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
And yes, NY Times, as the authors state, sometimes the story science tells is not what we want to hear. Get used to it.
Read the whole piece if you can...a way to get around registering is do Google news search with the headline key words and click through from there.
Only to the left is this news. But, I have to say, no matter how high your IQ is if you make no effort and just sit on your tushy you probably won’t achieve much.
But, you’ll still be smart.
That’s why I posted it: because it is news to the Times and its lib readers. This is revolutionary for them.
The article mixes up two types of skills.
For athletes and musicians, it is highly probably that he who practices the most will perform the best.
On the other hand, in the case of people like creative mathematicians and artists, repetitive practice would probably hold them back.
For 99.9% of all jobs and professions, it is practice and experience that will be most useful. You have to have a basic level of intelligence to be a doctor or an accountant, but after that it’s just experience and application.
On the heals of this recent post.
I work with a team of PhD’s that can’t find the door unless someone else is leading. Heaven forbid it another PhD. The “best” (high-school drop-outs through PhDs) are the folks with real life experience backing them up.
I also find folks with hobbies (RC planes/cars, gardening, wood-working, flying, racing...) are much more rounded, and grounded.
Yeah it is.
A person with an average I.Q. can't even master the vocabulary of physics.
I scored 98%ile in math, and 99%ile in English on the SAT, many eons ago (before it was dumbed down, anyway). And I did go on to get a doctorate.
Still, I have to wonder what, really, IQ does mean. I think it is only a measure of a certain kind of intelligence.
My niece asked me last summer about the nature of intelligence. I told her that there are many kinds of intelligence—for instance, while I have a very good understanding of science, I have no sports ability whatsoever. I can’t sing, and my artistic ability is about the same as it was when I was ten. But I saw a TV show about a little girl who, at the age of about 6, was selling her paintings professionally, and seems to have an understanding of artistic arrangement that rivals that of people who have been studying art for years. Then there was Tiger Woods—a golf genius from the time he was old enough to pick up a golf club, although clearly not so bright in other areas.
Maybe there should be other intelligence measures, that take into account abilities not falling into the traditional academic categories.
Success, I believe, is largely a matter of finding out where one’s interests and abilities are, and practicing one’s strengths.
No argument here...SATs and IQ tests measure a certain kind of intelligence. And even here, it’s a combination of things: memory, calculating ability, the ability to put different facts together and make correlations, etc.
Well they did come out with emotional intelligence some time in the 90s. I’ll admit that while I’ve a head for numbers and processes I lack EQ. I’m an introvert in addition so I lack “social intelligence” when it comes to making use of connections. My friends are friends for life but I have very very few.
I object to calling things like athletic or artistic ability “intelligence”. Also, the ability to get along with people, to be a politician so to speak, that’s a real gift from God, but I think intelligence has a specific meaning and that is what is measured by IQ. The ability to think at a high level. IQ is supposed to measure one’s raw ability to do this, rather than being a test of knowledge.
I remember when I was a kid I asked my mother (who was very smart, IQ-wise anyway) who was the smartest person in the world and she said there was no way to know. I always remember her saying the smartest person in the world might be living in a hut in the hinterland somewhere, but they might still have the highest IQ.
But, I also agree with those who say “brains aren’t everything”. Look at the people who’ve been running the country, no doubt most of them are reasonably smart, I have no doubt that some are quite brilliant (of course some are definitely dopes). But that hasn’t been enough to keep them from inflicting many bad plans and schemes on the populace.
I could say this has been due to the ridiculous expansion of the Fed’l Govt. but I think examples like the crooks who ran Bell, California disproves that.
I suppose that it has come from we, the people, just not paying attention. The MSM is also to blame for passing out distorted, biased, and misleading information. Such as what another posted pointed out and he’s right, a person of “average” intelligence will not be getting a PhD in physics. A person of average knowledge or background can do this, because their high IQ will enable them to expand that knowledge and overcome any handicaps they have due to a bad or deprived upbringing.
Talent is like a three-legged stool. Yes, it will give you a boost. But mind your balance and don’t get overconfident.
I'd like the authors to back up this statement by producing a few PhD physicists of average intelligence. I sure as hell have never met one.
Talent matters. I have been a artist since I was a small child and my illustrations have graced books, brocures, etc., over the years. Yet that is just a side job for me. My daughter, now 20, is natural born artist too, and I never taught her how to draw, I just showed her how the play of light and shadow is the key part of an illustration or painting. She is in college now and her work draws gasps of awe and wonder from her art teacher and fellow students. I should mention that as a little girl, she spent hours and hours, sitting at the kitchen table drawing while her friends were out playing.
So? Ph.D. Piled high and Deep.
Have known a bunch of them, they tend not to actually DO anything.
But I am sure in the world of the NYT a PhD is the highest level of achievement and means that you can tell the peons what to do.
In real life the peons will laugh at you because you can't actually DO anything.
I’m not so sure that’s true.
For sports that don’t have a highly repetitive nature like soccer, repetitions really, really do matter but players that can pick up the skills quickly with fewer number of repetitions can quickly move on to acquiring additional skills. For sports like javelin throwing, without a lot of variety, skills can be worked on with repetition but the fact is that most people don’t have the mental energy to overcome a lack of basic coordination. The exception is usually athletes who become super motivated in their early teens due to the death of a close loved one (Dan Gable’s sister comes to mind).
With Science and Math, the ability to quickly acquire skills and use them is also very important. I suspect that those who can quickly take basic skills like arithmetic, multiplication tables, algebra, geometry, etc. and put them in their lizard brain also progress to higher levels. It also possibly helps to have some personality trait that keeps them focused on a narrow range of topics (Asperger’s Syndrome comes to mind).
I think mental energy is an under appreciated factor.
Well, to be fair, obtaining a PhD is achieved more often by people who score high on intelligence tests. But, IQ does not measure “common sense” or any other number of mental abilities. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs never finished college and never came near getting a PhD, and no one would argue that they aren’t really smart. And, they probably did well on their SATs.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.