MSM pushes anxiety, exactly as predicted, w/IQ article

I told you so. That’s all I have to say about this New York Times article today. Well, okay. I have a couple of other things.

1. How dare they publish this:

Predictably, the study set off a swarm of Internet commentary from parents, social scientists and others, speculating about what in families could enrich one child’s intellectual environment more than others’.

Complete and utter B.S. The study didn’t set off the swarm. The NYT putting it on the front page, instead of in Science Times (where it now resides, btw, when you search on it), set off the swarm. They set off their own swarm, period. The Mommy Wars fabrication begins all over again.

2. And, again, not until the end of the article do we get what we really should be told:

The best way to react to the news, some psychologists said, is to relax.

“When parents ask me what to do about this, I always say the same thing: nothing,” said Frank J. Sulloway, a psychologist at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of an editorial in the journal Science that accompanied one of the reports. Another report on the study was published in the journal Intelligence.

“Younger siblings are more likely to take chances,” Dr. Sulloway added, and to challenge the status quo in creative ways.

Bottom line: Change nothing and just be a parent, for goodness sakes.

8 thoughts on “MSM pushes anxiety, exactly as predicted, w/IQ article

  1. Hey Wen – and have you read the NYT reporter defending himself as just the messenger? I want to hear from the editors re: why it was on the front, FRONT page above the fold, and not just the good ole Science Times.

  2. Cheryl and Bonobo – thanks for the back and forth. You both make good points.My post’s focus is/was the media’s role in pushing this issue in ways that don’t accurately reflect what we’re even looking at. I think what you’ve both said support that.

  3. Cheryl,If you didn’t read my comment on Jill’s first piece, it helps in understanding what I mean when I say that the study is solid.1) You are probably right in saying that I am providing fuel for the misinformation fire.2) The three point advantage is meaningless for an individual, and I am glad that you understand that.3) The three point difference is well outside the Standard Error of Measurement, which is dependent on both the variability (standard deviation) and the sample size (which in this case is huge). The 95% confidence interval, related to the Standard error, is going to show the same thing.4) There are two issues. Many in the media think the study is important for families because they misinterpret it. The pushback is that the study is not important for families because the study is flawed. Both camps are wrong. The study is not important for families because it was never intended to be applied to individual families.

  4. Bonobo,Continuing to state that this study is “solid” will only perpetuate the spread of misinformation. Do you have any acquaintances in the field with whom you could discuss this? The only advantage three I.Q. points might, and I say might, give the oldest sibling is maybe remembering not to put the “e” on the end of “potato”.Cheryl

  5. Bonobo, Saying the study is solid perpetuates this misinformation. Do you have any acquaintances who are experts in the field? Three I.Q. points is meaningless, as I pointed out above, and the only “advantage” one might gain is remembering not to put the “e” on the end of “potato”. Cheryl

  6. When I got the NYT story in my RSS, I had no idea that it was on the front page. Things have become much clearer. I will reiterate that I think the study is solid, and important, but that the interpretations and implications that are being discussed in the MSM are, for lack of an appropriate scientific term, totally wack.

  7. Jill,You’re so right! Another example of media spin. Any well-trained psychologist and statistician will tell you that any three point I.Q. “advantage” is meaningless. The reason? Three I.Q. points is within the standard error of measurement as well as having no meaningful level of confidence. Can we trust the MSM on any subject? Cheryl

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