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lecture09.0128 - So A Quick Summary Then Onward The Flynn...

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1 1 So! A Quick Summary & Then Onward! Culture: a tool we have to talk about the “human condition” (humans must live in terms of meaning) 2 elements of culture we can analyze: 1) Chunking the world into categories (I call this “models of”) 2) Providing moral motivations for acting in the world (I call this “models for”) Lecture 09 01/28/11 2 The “Flynn Effect”: White Bears and Novaya Zemlya Q: All bears are white where there is always snow; in Novaya Zemlya there is always snow; what color are the bears there? A: I have seen only black bears and I do not talk of what I have not seen. Q: But what do my words imply? A: If a person has not been there he can not say anything on the basis of words. If a man was 60 or 80 and had seen a white bear there and told me about it, he could be believed. Lecture 09 01/28/11 3 Camels and Germany Q: There are no camels in Germany; the city of B is in Germany; are there camels there or not? A: I don't know, I have never seen German villages. If B is a large city, there should be camels there. Q: But what if there aren't any in all of Germany? A: If B is a village, there is probably no room for camels. (From: A.R. Luria , Cognitive Development: Its Cultural and Social Foundations . Harvard University press, pp. 108-109.) Lecture 09 01/28/11 4 The Intelligence Paradox “If huge IQ gains are intelligence gains, why are we not struck by the extraordinary subtlety of our children's conversations. Why do we not have to make allowances for the limitations of our parents? A difference of some 18 points in Full Scale IQ over two generations ought to be highly visible.” Lecture 09 01/28/11 5 The Mental Retardation paradox “If we project IQ gains back to 1900, the average IQ scored against current norms was somewhere between 50 and 70. If IQ gains are in any sense real, we are driven to the absurd conclusion that a majority of our ancestors were mentally retarded.”
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