re:g_paper   118

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The Social Stratification of Environmental and Genetic Influences on Education: New Evidence Using a Register-Based Twin Sample | Sociological Science
"The relative importance of genes and shared environmental influences on stratification outcomes has recently received much attention in the literature. We focus on education and the gene-environmental interplay. Specifically, we investigate whether—as proposed by the Scarr-Rowe hypothesis—genetic influences are more important in advantaged families. We argue that the social stratification of family environments affects children’s chances to actualize their genetic potential. We hypothesize that advantaged families provide more child-specific inputs, which enhance genetic expression, whereas the rearing environments of children in disadvantaged families are less adapted to children’s individual abilities, leading to a suppression of genetic potential. We test this relationship in Germany, which represents an interesting case due to its highly selective schooling system characterized by early tracking and the broad coverage of part-time schools. We use novel data from the TwinLife panel, a population-register–based sample of twins and their families. Results of ACE-variance decompositions support the Scarr-Rowe hypothesis: Shared environmental influences on education matter only in disadvantaged families, whereas genetic influences are more important in advantaged families. Our findings support the growing literature on the importance of the gene-environmental interplay and emphasize the role of the family environment as a trigger of differential genetic expression."

--- It will be interesting to see whether/how they argue for the ACE decomposition...
to:NB  human_genetics  inequality  heritability  re:g_paper 
7 weeks ago by cshalizi
Morphing Intelligence - From IQ Measurement to Artificial Brains | Columbia University Press
"What is intelligence? The concept crosses and blurs the boundaries between natural and artificial, bridging the human brain and the cybernetic world of AI. In this book, the acclaimed philosopher Catherine Malabou ventures a new approach that emphasizes the intertwined, networked relationships among the biological, the technological, and the symbolic.
"Malabou traces the modern metamorphoses of intelligence, seeking to understand how neurobiological and neurotechnological advances have transformed our view. She considers three crucial developments: the notion of intelligence as an empirical, genetically based quality measurable by standardized tests; the shift to the epigenetic paradigm, with its emphasis on neural plasticity; and the dawn of artificial intelligence, with its potential to simulate, replicate, and ultimately surpass the workings of the brain. Malabou concludes that a dialogue between human and cybernetic intelligence offers the best if not the only means to build a democratic future. A strikingly original exploration of our changing notions of intelligence and the human and their far-reaching philosophical and political implications, Morphing Intelligence is an essential analysis of the porous border between symbolic and biological life at a time when once-clear distinctions between mind and machine have become uncertain."
to:NB  books:noted  iq  philosophy  philosophy_of_mind  barely-comprehensible_metaphysics  to_be_shot_after_a_fair_trial  re:g_paper 
january 2019 by cshalizi
Measuring depression over time . . . Or not? Lack of unidimensionality and longitudinal measurement invariance in four common rating scales of depr... - PubMed - NCBI
"In depression research, symptoms are routinely assessed via rating scales and added to construct sum-scores. These scores are used as a proxy for depression severity in cross-sectional research, and differences in sum-scores over time are taken to reflect changes in an underlying depression construct. To allow for such interpretations, rating scales must (a) measure a single construct, and (b) measure that construct in the same way across time. These requirements are referred to as unidimensionality and measurement invariance. We investigated these 2 requirements in 2 large prospective studies (combined n = 3,509) in which overall depression levels decrease, examining 4 common depression rating scales (1 self-report, 3 clinician-report) with different time intervals between assessments (between 6 weeks and 2 years). A consistent pattern of results emerged. For all instruments, neither unidimensionality nor measurement invariance appeared remotely tenable. At least 3 factors were required to describe each scale, and the factor structure changed over time. Typically, the structure became less multifactorial as depression severity decreased (without however reaching unidimensionality). The decrease in the sum-scores was accompanied by an increase in the variances of the sum-scores, and increases in internal consistency. These findings challenge the common interpretation of sum-scores and their changes as reflecting 1 underlying construct. The violations of common measurement requirements are sufficiently severe to suggest alternative interpretations of depression sum-scores as formative instead of reflective measures. We discuss the possible causes of these violations such as response shift bias, restriction of range, and regression to the mean"
to:NB  psychometrics  depression  borsboom.denny  re:g_paper  social_measurement 
october 2018 by cshalizi
Relatedness disequilibrium regression explained
Cute. (But why isn't "genetic nurture" just "genes as indicators of endogamous social class"?)
track_down_references  human_genetics  heritability  re:g_paper 
august 2018 by cshalizi
Gene discovery and polygenic prediction from a genome-wide association study of educational attainment in 1.1 million individuals | Nature Genetics
"Here we conducted a large-scale genetic association analysis of educational attainment in a sample of approximately 1.1 million individuals and identify 1,271 independent genome-wide-significant SNPs. For the SNPs taken together, we found evidence of heterogeneous effects across environments. The SNPs implicate genes involved in brain-development processes and neuron-to-neuron communication. In a separate analysis of the X chromosome, we identify 10 independent genome-wide-significant SNPs and estimate a SNP heritability of around 0.3% in both men and women, consistent with partial dosage compensation. A joint (multi-phenotype) analysis of educational attainment and three related cognitive phenotypes generates polygenic scores that explain 11–13% of the variance in educational attainment and 7–10% of the variance in cognitive performance. This prediction accuracy substantially increases the utility of polygenic scores as tools in research."

--- No apparent recognition that genes predict (parents') social status and (sub-)cultural traditions, so that we'd expect results like this _even in_ a blank-slate world. (Which, for the record, we don't inhabit.)
human_genetics  heritability  re:g_paper 
july 2018 by cshalizi
Flynn effect and its reversal are both environmentally caused | PNAS
"Population intelligence quotients increased throughout the 20th century—a phenomenon known as the Flynn effect—although recent years have seen a slowdown or reversal of this trend in several countries. To distinguish between the large set of proposed explanations, we categorize hypothesized causal factors by whether they accommodate the existence of within-family Flynn effects. Using administrative register data and cognitive ability scores from military conscription data covering three decades of Norwegian birth cohorts (1962–1991), we show that the observed Flynn effect, its turning point, and subsequent decline can all be fully recovered from within-family variation. The analysis controls for all factors shared by siblings and finds no evidence for prominent causal hypotheses of the decline implicating genes and environmental factors that vary between, but not within, families."
to:NB  iq  flynn_effect  mental_testing  re:g_paper 
july 2018 by cshalizi
Intervention and Identifiability in Latent Variable Modelling | SpringerLink
"We consider the use of interventions for resolving a problem of unidentified statistical models. The leading examples are from latent variable modelling, an influential statistical tool in the social sciences. We first explain the problem of statistical identifiability and contrast it with the identifiability of causal models. We then draw a parallel between the latent variable models and Bayesian networks with hidden nodes. This allows us to clarify the use of interventions for dealing with unidentified statistical models. We end by discussing the philosophical and methodological import of our result."
to:NB  identifiability  causal_inference  graphical_models  inference_to_latent_objects  latent_variables  re:g_paper 
june 2018 by cshalizi
PsyArXiv Preprints | How much does education improve intelligence? A meta-analysis
"Intelligence test scores and educational duration are positively correlated. This correlation can be interpreted in two ways: students with greater propensity for intelligence go on to complete more education, or a longer education increases intelligence. We meta-analysed three categories of quasi-experimental studies of educational effects on intelligence: those estimating education-intelligence associations after controlling for earlier intelligence, those using compulsory schooling policy changes as instrumental variables, and those using regression-discontinuity designs on school-entry age cutoffs. Across 142 effect sizes from 42 datasets involving over 600,000 participants, we found consistent evidence for beneficial effects of education on cognitive abilities, of approximately 1 to 5 IQ points for an additional year of education. Moderator analyses indicated that the effects persisted across the lifespan, and were present on all broad categories of cognitive ability studied. Education appears to be the most consistent, robust, and durable method yet to be identified for raising intelligence."
to:NB  to_read  re:g_paper  iq  mental_testing  education  via:rvenkat 
november 2017 by cshalizi
Test Score Measurement and the Black-White Test Score Gap | The Review of Economics and Statistics | MIT Press Journals
"Research as to the size of the black-white test score gap often comes to contradictory conclusions. Recent literature has affirmed that the source of these contradictions and other controversies in education economics may be due to the fact that test scores contain only ordinal information. In this paper, I propose a normalization of test scores that is invariant to monotonic transformations. Under fairly weak assumptions, this metric has interval properties and thus solves the ordinality problem. The measure can serve as a valuable robustness check to ensure that any results are not simply statistical artifacts from the choice of scale."
mental_testing  standardized_testing  re:g_paper  to:NB 
october 2017 by cshalizi
Modeling Through Latent Variables | Annual Review of Statistics and Its Application
"In this review, we give a general overview of latent variable models. We introduce the general model and discuss various inferential approaches. Afterward, we present several commonly applied special cases, including mixture or latent class models, as well as mixed models. We apply many of these models to a single data set with simple structure, allowing for easy comparison of the results. This allows us to discuss advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches, but also to illustrate several problems inherently linked to models incorporating latent structures. Finally, we touch on model extensions and applications and highlight several issues often ignored when applying latent variable models."
to:NB  statistics  inference_to_latent_objects  re:g_paper 
september 2017 by cshalizi
The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better, Koretz
"For decades we’ve been studying, experimenting with, and wrangling over different approaches to improving public education, and there’s still little consensus on what works, and what to do. The one thing people seem to agree on, however, is that schools need to be held accountable—we need to know whether what they’re doing is actually working. But what does that mean in practice?
"High-stakes tests. Lots of them. And that has become a major problem. Daniel Koretz, one of the nation’s foremost experts on educational testing, argues in The Testing Charade that the whole idea of test-based accountability has failed—it has increasingly become an end in itself, harming students and corrupting the very ideals of teaching. In this powerful polemic, built on unimpeachable evidence and rooted in decades of experience with educational testing, Koretz calls out high-stakes testing as a sham, a false idol that is ripe for manipulation and shows little evidence of leading to educational improvement. Rather than setting up incentives to divert instructional time to pointless test prep, he argues, we need to measure what matters, and measure it in multiple ways—not just via standardized tests.
"Right now, we’re lying to ourselves about whether our children are learning. And the longer we accept that lie, the more damage we do. It’s time to end our blind reliance on high-stakes tests. With The Testing Charade, Daniel Koretz insists that we face the facts and change course, and he gives us a blueprint for doing better. "
to:NB  books:noted  education  social_measurement  standardized_testing  mental_testing  re:g_paper 
september 2017 by cshalizi
Categories All the Way Down
"Scores and classifications are dual to one another. Cardinal and ordinal measures are repeatedly used to produce nominal classifications of essential worth. Conversely, presumptively natural kinds provide the basis for new measurement and scoring systems. Over time, the iterative application of nominal classifications and quantifying measures produce involuted, nested systems whose structure and origins are hard to disentangle. While careful studies of earlier systems and methods has often uncovered these arbitrary aspects, newer technical tools for classification are at once substantially more opaque than their predecessors and more likely to be employed on very large scales. The classification situations to which they give rise thus have the potential to produce the sort of naturalized facticity characteristic of classical social facts."
to:NB  sociology  re:g_paper  healy.kieran 
august 2017 by cshalizi
Seeing Like a Market
"What do markets see when they look at people? Information dragnets increasingly yield huge quantities of individual-level data, which are analyzed to sort and slot people into categories of taste, riskiness or worth. These tools deepen the reach of the market and define new strategies of profit-making. We present a new theoretical framework for understanding their development. We argue that a) modern organizations follow an institutional data imperative to collect as much data as possible; b) as a result of the analysis and use of this data, individuals accrue a form of capital flowing from their positions as measured by various digital scoring and ranking methods; and c) the facticity of these scoring methods makes them organizational devices with potentially stratifying effects. They offer firms new opportunities to structure and price offerings to consumers. For individuals, they create classification situations that identify shared life-chances in product and service markets. We discuss the implications of these processes and argue that they tend toward a new economy of moral judgment, where outcomes are experienced as morally deserved positions based on prior good actions and good tastes, as measured and classified by this new infrastructure of data collection and analysis."
to:NB  economics  sociology  credit_ratings  re:g_paper  healy.kieran  to_teach:data-mining 
august 2017 by cshalizi
Secular rise in economically valuable personality traits
Although trends in many physical characteristics and cognitive capabilities of modern humans are well-documented, less is known about how personality traits have evolved over time. We analyze data from a standardized personality test administered to 79% of Finnish men born between 1962 and 1976 (n = 419,523) and find steady increases in personality traits that predict higher income in later life. The magnitudes of these trends are similar to the simultaneous increase in cognitive abilities, at 0.2–0.6 SD during the 15-y window. When anchored to earnings, the change in personality traits amounts to a 12% increase. Both personality and cognitive ability have consistent associations with family background, but the trends are similar across groups defined by parental income, parental education, number of siblings, and rural/urban status. Nevertheless, much of the trends in test scores can be attributed to changes in the family background composition, namely 33% for personality and 64% for cognitive ability. These composition effects are mostly due to improvements in parents’ education. We conclude that there is a “Flynn effect” for personality that mirrors the original Flynn effect for cognitive ability in magnitude and practical significance but is less driven by compositional changes in family background.
to:NB  psychology  finland  re:g_paper  to_be_shot_after_a_fair_trial 
june 2017 by cshalizi
[1307.5396] Star graphs induce tetrad correlations: for Gaussian as well as for binary variables
"Tetrad correlations were obtained historically for Gaussian distributions when tasks are designed to measure an ability or attitude so that a single unobserved variable may generate the observed, linearly increasing dependences among the tasks. We connect such generating processes to a particular type of directed graph, the star graph, and to the notion of traceable regressions. Tetrad correlation conditions for the existence of a single latent variable are derived. These are needed for positive dependences not only in joint Gaussian but also in joint binary distributions. Three applications with binary items are given."
to:NB  graphical_models  statistics  re:g_paper  factor_analysis  warmuth.nanny  to_read 
december 2016 by cshalizi
Fractionating Human Intelligence
"What makes one person more intellectually able than another? Can the entire distribution of human intelligence be accounted for by just one general factor? Is intelligence supported by a single neural system? Here, we provide a perspective on human intelligence that takes into account how general abilities or “factors” reflect the functional organization of the brain. By comparing factor models of individual differences in performance with factor models of brain functional organization, we demonstrate that different components of intelligence have their analogs in distinct brain networks. Using simulations based on neuroimaging data, we show that the higher-order factor “g” is accounted for by cognitive tasks corecruiting multiple networks. Finally, we confirm the independence of these components of intelligence by dissociating them using questionnaire variables. We propose that intelligence is an emergent property of anatomically distinct cognitive systems, each of which has its own capacity."
to:NB  fmri  psychology  factor_analysis  neuroscience  iq  mental_testing  re:g_paper 
november 2016 by cshalizi
Does Your Family Make You Smarter?| Cambridge University Press
"Does your family make you smarter? James R. Flynn presents an exciting new method for estimating the effects of family on a range of cognitive abilities. Rather than using twin and adoption studies, he analyses IQ tables that have been hidden in manuals over the last 65 years, and shows that family environment can confer a significant advantage or disadvantage to your level of intelligence. Wading into the nature vs. nurture debate, Flynn banishes the pessimistic notion that by the age of seventeen, people's cognitive abilities are solely determined by their genes. He argues that intelligence is also influenced by human autonomy - genetics and family notwithstanding, we all have the capacity to choose to enhance our cognitive performance. He concludes by reconciling this new understanding of individual differences with his earlier research on intergenerational trends (the 'Flynn effect') culminating in a general theory of intelligence."
to:NB  books:noted  flynn.james  iq  mental_testing  cultural_transmission_of_cognitive_tools  re:g_paper  in_library 
november 2016 by cshalizi

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