Wednesday, 28 October 2015

What is next?

I will begin to explore the French line of research related to gifted children, and we will touch personality like Charcot, Binet, Piaget, Goddard, but probably you will need to wait a while, as i am ready to go for a few days in London for a financial education course called Millionaire Mind Intensive, and it will take me busy for some insane amount of hours ( like 8.00 to 23.00 ). That's why i posted tonight for the whole week. I hope you will enjoy.

See you next week.

Gifted Children - The latest report on Terman studies

As i promised today i will try to resume and check what i think is the most important part of the life cycle studies of Terman, and i will provide a link in the end to the full report on PDF, if you want to read it.

Noted ideas and concept in the report:
- Using different intelligence tests, mostly based on Stanford-Binet, 661 gifted boys and girls were found, all of them with IQ of 140 or more. In all, the final number of subjects amounted to 1,528.
- In 1927, when the average age of the group was 17, the first follow up survey was published under the title The Promise of Youth.
- The general idea was in that time that a gifted child will revert to average at maturity or decline and sicken and eventually die. Quote from Terman studies: "With few exceptions the superior child becomes the superior adult, superior in nearly every respect to the generality, though, as in childhood, the degree of the superiority differs in different areas." This was a very brave idea, one that still needed support  even 60 years later.
- The question which naturally interests us most, however, is to what extent is the promise of childhood fulfilled by the achievements of later life? As a general rule, it would seem, the intelligent
child develops into the intelligent adult. As we might expect from the mode of selection, "the
superiority of the gifted group is greatest in intellectual ability, scholastic accomplishment,
and vocational success." Tests applied in 1927, 1939, and 1950-52 show that at every stage their
mental superiority is astonishingly well sustained. "The majority of the subjects remained close to
the 99th percentile of the generality; and this was true even of those whose careers were not
particularly notable." Indeed, judged by the test mainly employed in the follow-up surveys (a test
of "concept mastery") "not only do the mentally superior hold their own, they actually increase in
intellectual stature." Here i want to say that probably because this is based mostly on IQ, they tend to have better intellectual achievements, and this study is not relevant for gifts in other area (arts, gymnastics, sport, dance, mechanics etc.)
- Talking about college and graduation, the proportion of success is ten times as high as that which would hold for a random group of the same age. None of the gifted individuals are in the lowest occupational categories, though these categories account for about 13 per cent of the general urban population.
- Additional evidence of the surprisingly high achievement attained by men only is furnished by their publications and patents. These include nearly 2,000 scientific and technical articles, some sixty books or monographs on science, art, literature, or the humanities (including textbooks translated into
several languages), thirty-three novels, and 700 plays, short stories, essays, and miscellaneous
articles, not to mention thousands of journalistic contributions and scripts for film, radio, or television. The number of technical patents runs to at least 230.
- Out of the 1,500 cases, however, there were eighty or ninety whose apparent progress fell short of expectation. Since their intelligence, as assessed by tests, differs little from that of the rest of the group, it is evident that outstanding accomplishments call for something else besides sheer innate ability. A comparison between the most successful and the least successful suggests that health, emotional stability, ambition, and will to work are equally indispensable. This does not affect the main inference to be drawn from all these investigations-namely, the value of intelligence testing, even in its present imperfect form, for the purpose of predicting future accomplishment. Here anyway could be another matter, as i meet some very gifted people when i was doing my personal research for "The ones that got away" a study about geniuses that prefer a normal life in anonymity and choose family instead of career. Nothing to blame here, and to understand this, check the case on Kim Ung-yong (IQ-210)
- They were noticed to do what is called assortative mating,a strong tendency for gifted men and women to marry persons who, like themselves, are above average in general intelligence. Their children had an average IQ of 133.
- The total expense of this studies has been approximately a quarter of a million dollars.

The books about this subject are fascinating, bringing the genius and geniality in a new light, changing our pre-conceptions and giving us ideas for the new generations. Is a study like no other, still on going, and i had the occasion to have a conversation with one of the original members of Terman group this year in a online forum.

The link for the full text here

Florence Goodenough

As one who greatly benefited from meeting the great minds of the 20th century, Florence Goodenough (1886-1959) is an American psychologist, student of Terman, who was influenced L. S. Hollingworth work. She was one of the first to question the use of IQ, as you will see reading further

Student of: Terman
Influenced by: L. S. Hollingworth
Time Period: The Great Schools' Influence

Normal School in Millersville, Pennsylvania (B.Pd. [Bachelor of Pedagogy], 1908)
Columbia University in New York (B.S., 1920; M.A., 1921) - Under Leta Hollingworth
Stanford University (Ph.D., 1924) - Under Lewis Terman

Teacher (1908-1920)
Director of Research in the Rutherford and Perth Amboy, New Jersey, public schools (1920-1921)
Minneapolis Child Guidance Clinic (1924-1925)
Institute of Child Welfare at University of Minnesota, Professor (1925-1947)
Professor Emeritus (1947-1959)

Major Contribution
Developed Goodenough Draw-A-Man and Minnesota Preschool Scale tests, as well as several other alternative tests of intelligence
Published 9 textbooks, 26 research studies, numerous articles, and wrote Handbook of Child Psychology
Key researcher in Terman's longitudinal study on giftedness.

Ideas and Interests
    Florence Goodenough spent a good portion of her intellectual life developing tools for assessing intelligence in young children. She strongly believed that IQ could be reliably measured with significant stability for most preschoolers. In 1926, she introduced her Draw-a-Man test in a book entitled Measurement of Intelligence by Drawings (1926). This nonverbal test of intelligence was intended for children aged two to thirteen and required children to draw a picture of a man. Although the test only took about ten minutes to administer (significantly less time than other nonverbal tests of the time), it was highly reliable and it correlated well with standard IQ tests of the time. The Draw-a-Man test gained immediate popularity and even twenty years after its introduction it was listed as the third most frequently used test by clinical psychologists. The test was revised in the late 1940s with the assistance of Dale Harris and is now known as the Goodenough-Harris drawing test. The revised test featured a new standardization, a drawing quality score, and the Draw-a-Woman test.
    After developing the Draw-a-Man test and focusing on nonverbal tests of intelligence, Goodenough shifted her attention to more traditional verbal tests of intelligence for children. She was particularly interested in developing a new assessment tool , based on the Stanford Binet test, which could be administered to younger children. The new scale, the Minnesota Preschool Scale, contained both language and nonlanguage scores and was compact and inexpensive. Although not as well-known as the Draw-a-Man test, the Minnesota Preschool Scale was being used into the 1940s.
    Aside from developing tools for assessing intelligence, Goodenough was also one of the first individuals to question the use of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ). She contended that mental age may not have the same meaning for all children and that a better way of reporting results was in the form of percentages. She claimed that percentages, in addition to being more easily understood by lay people, were more useful because they would allow comparison between children who were the same chronological age.
    Although her position on the use of the ratio IQ may seem controversial, Goodenough confronted the most controversy of her career by taking a strong position on the classic nature vs. nurture debate surrounding intelligence. Goodenough maintained that intelligence is a stable entity and challenged the assertion that the environment plays a key role in children's intelligence scores.


The Measurement of Intelligence by Drawings (1926)
The Stanford Achievement Test (1923)
Genetic Studies of Genius (1925, 1947, 1959)
Mental Testing: Its History, Principles, and Applications (1949)
Exceptional Children (1956)


Francis Galton

As we go back to the beginnings, in that place in the past that will allow us to understand the future, i was telling you about Catharine Cox, and how she was heavily influenced by Galton teachings. So for today, surprise, Mr. Francis Galton itself, (1822-1911) he was a British psychologist, and probably one of the first great polymath to know after Leonardo Da Vinci and this is his story:

Influenced by: Darwin, LaPlace, Gauss
Students: J. M. Cattell, Pearson
Influenced: Spearman, Terman, Cox

Time Period: Modern Foundations

Trinity College, Cambridge - Degree in Mathematics

-African Explorer and elected Fellow in the Royal Geographic Society
-Creator of the first weather maps and establisher of the meteorological theory of anticyclones
-Coined term "eugenics" and phrase "nature versus nurture"
-Developed statistical concepts of correlation and regression to the mean
-Discovered that fingerprints were an index of personal identity and persuaded Scotland Yard to adopt a fingerprinting system
-First to utilize the survey as a method for data collection
-Produced over 340 papers and books throughout his lifetime
-Knighted in 1909

Galton, F. (1869/1892/1962). Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into its Laws and Consequences. Macmillan/Fontana, London.
Galton, F. (1883/1907/1973). Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development. AMS Press, New York.

Major Contributions
Galton was a man of many facets. Having first started out in pursuit of a medical career, he took a leave of absence from his studies to travel abroad - a pastime that he would find himself coming back to throughout his life. Upon his return to studies, Galton took up mathematics at Trinity College in Cambridge. While there, he suffered a break down in anticipation of the honors exams which resulted in his graduating without a distinguished degree.
He returned to his travels and established himself as an enthusiastic explorer who would later be described as having had a "love affair with Africa" (Allen, 2002). During his travels he carried his passion for statistics and measurement with him. His expeditions throughout the Middle East and Africa were marked with his constant studying of the environment as he recorded various aspects of the land, people, weather and events that surrounded him. These travels would prove to influence his multifaceted career as they "helped to establish Galton's credibility as a serious Victorian man of science" (Bynum, 2002). His many contributions to the fields of geography, meteorology, anthropometry, biology, statistics, criminology, heredity, psychology and education would all have threads of his travels embedded throughout.
In 1865 he began to study heredity, partly brought on by reading his cousin, Charles Darwin's publication Origin of Species (Clayes, 2001). Galton soon discovered that his true passion was studying the variations in human ability. In particularly, he was convinced that success was due to superior qualities passed down to offspring through heredity. His book, Hereditary Genius (1869), outlined this hypothesis and utilized supporting data he had collected by analyzing the obituaries of the Times newspaper, where he traced the lineage of eminent men in Europe. His quest for data and accountability would lead to a series of studies and books on the heredity of mental faculties specifying that "human mental abilities and personality traits, no less than the plant and animal traits described by Darwin, were essentially inherited" (Seligman, 2002).
Ultimately, these findings sparked the formative years of the eugenics movement, which called for methods of improving the biological make-up of the human species through selective parenthood. Galton would even go so far as to advocate human breeding restrictions to curtail the breeding of 'feeble-minded' (Irvine, 1986; Clayes, 2001). "It seemed obvious and even unarguable to Galton that, from a eugenic viewpoint, superior mental and behavioral capacities, as well as physical health, are advantageous, not only to an individual but for the well-being of society as a whole" (Jensen, 2002). Within this mindset led the inevitable value-laden categorization or ranking of populations based on measurable traits and natural ability (Simonton, 2003). It followed that Galton estimated from his field observations in Africa that the African people were 'two grades' below Anglo-Saxons' position in the normal frequency distribution of general mental ability, which gave claim to the scientific validation of Africans' mental inferiority compared with Anglo-Saxons (Jensen, 2002); findings that continued to spark controversy in academia today.
In 1925, Lewis Terman promulgated Galton's theories of natural ability by defining mental ability and genius in terms of scores on the Stanford-Binet intelligence test. In doing so, "Galton's belief in the adaptive value of natural ability became thereby translated into widespread conviction that general intelligence provides the single most critical psychological factor underlying success in life" (Simonton, 2003). However, even Galton took into account energy and persistence as well as intellect when factoring the ingredients of success (Galton, 1869 as cited in Simonton, 2003).
Although Galton is most highly recognized for his heredity studies and his proliferation of eugenics ideology, he also made many other highly notable contributions to the fields of biology, psychology, statistics, and education. Galton is recognized as the "father of behavioral genetics" for his ground laying twin studies where he looked at the differences between monozygotic and dizygotic twins. His observations and testing approaches led to findings examining the nature versus nurture elements of mental abilities. While he may have led claim to this still widely studied dichotomy, his beliefs weighed heavily on the genetic predisposition to abilities in general.
Galton is also hailed as having made lasting contributions to the fields of psychology and statistics. In his passionate drive to quantify the passing down of characteristics, qualities, traits, and abilities from generation to generation, he formulated the statistical notion of correlation which led to his understanding of how generations were related to each other (Bynum, 2002). He also established that "numerous heritable traits, including height and intelligence, exhibited regression to the mean - meaning that extreme inherited results tended to move toward average results in the next generation" (Seligman, 2002).
Galton was the first to demonstrate that the Laplace-Gauss distribution or the "normal distribution" could be applied to human psychological attributes, including intelligence (Simonton, 2003). From this finding, he coined the use of percentile scores for measuring relative standing on various measurements in relation to the normal distribution (Jensen, 2002). He even established the world's first mental testing center, in which a person could take a battery of tests and receive a written report of the results (Irvine, 1986).
Aside from his formidable contributions to several prominent fields, Galton's most impressive legacy, arguably, is his continued influence on these very fields nearly a century after his death. In fact, Galton's publications can be found cited in numerous scientific articles today (Simonton, 2003).

* For more information on Sir Francis Galton and access to his publications available on-line, reference


Allen, G. (2002). The measure of a Victorian polymath: Pulling together the strands of Francis Galton's legacy to modern biology. Nature, 145(3), 19-20.

Bynum, W. F. (2002). The childless father of eugenics. Science, 296, 472.

Clayes, G. (2001). Introducing Francis Galton, 'Kantsaywhere' and 'The Donoghues of Dunno Weir.' Utopian Studies, 12(2), 188-190.

Forest, D. (1995). Francis Galton (1822-1911). In R. Fuller (Ed.), Seven pioneers of psychology: Behavior and mind (pp.1-19). Routledge: London and New York.

Irvine, P. (1986). Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911). Journal of Special Education, 20(1).

Jensen, A. (2002). Galton's legacy to research on intelligence. Journal of Biosocial Science, 34, 145-172.

Seligman, D. (2002). Good breeding. National Review, 54(1), 53-54.

Simonton, D. K. (2003). Francis Galton's Hereditary Genius: Its place in the history and psychology of Science. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), The anatomy of impact: What makes the great works of psychology great (pp. 3-18). American Psychological Association: Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Catharine Cox Miles

Catharine Cox Miles (May 20, 1890-October 11, 1984) was one of the most prominent american psychologists.

Student of: Lewis Terman
Influenced by: Francis Galton,  James McKeen Cattell  
Influenced: Dean Keith Simonton
Time Period: The Great Schools' Influence

Stanford University (B.A., 1911)
Stanford University (M.A. in German language and literature, 1913)
Stanford University (Ph.D., 1925) - Under Lewis Terman

Spent a year at the University of Jena and the University of Berlin (1914)
Instructor to full professor, the College of the Pacific (1915-1920)
Chief psychologist for the Central Mental Hygiene Clinic in Cincinnati General Hospital, the Children’s Hospital, and the Diagnostic Center of the Veterans Bureau (1925-1927)
Research Associate to Terman on the project leading to the construction of the Terman-Miles M-F Test at Stanford University (1927-1932)
Clinical Professor of Psychology, Yale University (1932-1953)

Major Contributions:
Sole-authored Volume 2 of Terman's Genetic Studies of Genius
Calculated IQ estimates for 301 historic geniuses
Estimated the correlation between IQ and eminence
Assessed 67 character traits for 100 historic geniuses
Determined the early mental and physical health of 282 geniuses

Ideas and Contributions:
Catharine Cox entered the Stanford’s graduate program in psychology about the time that her mentor Terman was beginning his ambitious longitudinal study of intellectually gifted children. Because this project did not afford her with the suitable opportunity for a dissertation subject, she proposed a complementary investigation. Whereas Terman’s inquiry was psychometric and prospective, Cox would conduct a study that was historiometric and retrospective. In particular, she would estimate IQ scores for highly eminent but deceased creators and leaders and then show that these scores correlated with eminence measures that J. M. Cattell (1903) had previously provided. Just one year after publishing the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale Terman (1917) had already shown how an IQ score might be computed for a historical figure, in his case assigning an IQ of near 200 to Francis Galton.
Cox’s approach was extremely conscientious and methodical. Using more than 3,000 biographical sources she carefully compiled developmental histories for 301 geniuses, and then she and a team of independent raters – including Terman and Florence Goodenough – used these data to derive the IQ estimates. In addition, she showed that estimated IQ correlated with achieved eminence. Furthermore, for a subset of 100 geniuses she computed ratings on 67 character traits. On the basis of these scores she was able to conclude that motivation, determination, and persistence were also critical to high achievement. The resulting doctoral thesis was sufficiently impressive that Terman had it published as Volume 2 in his Genetic Studies of Genius. Not only was this the only volume that did not involve the longitudinal study of his “Termites,” but it is also the only volume that did not include Terman as an author or co-author. At 842 printed pages, it can easily be considered the most ambitious historiometric investigation ever published. Moreover, many of her key findings have been replicated in subsequent research.  
Unfortunately, Cox was soon diverted from this work by:
(a) her collaboration with Terman on a masculinity-femininity measure 
(b) her marriage to Walter Miles (a recent widower with two teenagers). 
She also started publishing under her married name Miles rather than Cox. However, a decade later she returned to the historic geniuses that were the subject of her thesis. Miles and Wolfe (1936) specifically scored the geniuses on early mental and physical health. Their aim was to show that intellectual giftedness was also positively associated with both mental and physical well-being.


Cox. C. (1926). The early mental traits of three hundred geniuses. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Miles, C. C. (1928). A human clock. Journal of General Psychology, 1, 602-603.

Miles, C. C., & Terman, L. M. (1929). Sex difference in the association of ideas. American Journal of Psychology, 41, 165-206.

Miles, C. C. (1931). The Otis S-A as a fifteen-minute intelligence test. Personnel Journal, 10, 246-249.

Miles, C.C. (1931). Individual mental hygiene. In B. S. Dyment (Ed.). Health and Its Maintenance (pp.159-192). Stanford Univ.: Stanford Univ. Press.

Miles, C. C., & Miles, W. R. (1932). The correlation of intelligence scores and chronological age from early to late maturity.  American Journal of Psychology, 44, 44-78.

Miles, C. C (1934). Influence of speed and age on intelligence scores of adults. Journal of General Psychology, 10, 208-210.

Miles, C. C. & Wolfe, L. S. (1936). Childhood physical and mental health records of historical geniuses. Psychological Monograph, 47, 390-400.

Miles, C. C. (1938). Intelligence and social adjustment. Mental Hygiene, 22, 544-566.

Terman, L. M., & Miles, C. C. (1936).  Sex and Personality. New Haven, CT, US: Yale University Press.


Rogers, K. B. (1999). The lifelong productivity of the female researchers in Terman’s Genetic Studies of Genius longitudinal study. Gifted Child Quarterly, 43, 150-169.

Sears, R. R. (1986). Catharine Cox Miles; 1890-1984. American Journal of Psychology, 99, 431-433.

Simonton, D. K. (2009). The "other IQ": Historiometric assessments of intelligence and related constructs. Review of General Psychology, 13, 315- 326.

Simonton, D. K., & Song, A. V. (2009). Eminence, IQ, physical and mental health, and achievement domain: Cox’s 282 geniuses revisited. Psychological Science, 20, 429-434.

Written by Prof. Dean Keith Simonton, University of California-Davis, with contributions by Meihua Qian, Indiana University.

Click here for Catharine Cox Miles papers

Latest report of Terman studies

In my next post i will analyze the latest report of Terman studies and see what we learnt from it.

Wait for it.

Goodies, goodies and more

* First of all a free mini-course on which  the health and physical performance secrets of multiple Guinness World Record holder Wim Hof AKA “The Iceman” are revealed for the first time. I must to admit, after first video i did 25 push-ups very easy.Click here for it. And on top of this, you can listen to this very interesting interview with Tony Robbins about morning routines, peak state and his new book about money - here. 2 splendid examples of excellence.

** I heard a lot of good things about a drug called Neurozan from Vitabiotics. On their website they state that brain cells that form part of our complex neuronal network cannot be replaced and have the highest priority in the body for micronutrients. The Neurozan® range includes important specific vitamins, including iodine which helps contribute to normal cognitive function and pantothenic acid for normal Mental Performance.
Neurozan® Plus also contains DHA to contribute to the maintenance of normal Brain Function. Based on the latest research into vitamins Neurozan® is the ideal supplement for the brain, with niacin to contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system, plus 5-HTP, Phosphatidylserine, Ginkgo Biloba and more!

The reviews seems good, the majority of them, but if i check how is it done, then i find that Neurozan includes the following ingredients: Gingko Biloba extract equivalent to, 5-HTP, L-Arginine, Glutamine, Glutathione, Co-enzyme Q10, Phosphatidylserine; Phosphatidylcholine, Natural mixed carotenoids, Vitamin D, Vitamin E (natural source); Vitamin C; Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Folic acid, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Magnesium, Chromium; Selenium, and Iodine. That means that i can have 96.5% of it just eating bee pollen, which can also be absorbed much better, and is a natural and organic product. 
Many of the ingredients found in Neurozan the body and mind do need and should get from the dietary intake. What a person takes in with a supplement such as Neurozan isn’t as effective as what they get from food. There is no information offered on the website that explains how the company feels this specific combination of ingredients is able to offer the benefits that they claim. There is no reference to any studies that have been conducted or what the results of such testing was. Neurozan reviews generally report positive experiences, with references to the rapid and long lasting benefits of the supplement. The daily recommended dose is one capsule each morning with food. Anyone who has diabetes or epilepsy shouldn’t take Neurozan. Women who are pregnant or nursing should refrain from using it. Neurozan side effects that have been reported include dry mouth, nausea, upset stomach, insomnia, and headaches. That raise some questions for me. 

In conclusion, i would not use this supplement as i cannot see major benefits to justify it.

Friday, 23 October 2015

PEAK - the game - further research

Today i was informed about some interesting stuff:

We are very excited to announce our partnership with the Northampton Saints Rugby team. The Saints, who finished on top of the English Rugby Premiership table last year and are past winners of the European Rugby Championship, will be incorporating Peak into their training regime to determine the effect of brain training on the performance of elite athletes.

The research project - which follows a summer-long trial - hopes to shed light on the ongoing debate if cognitive skills trained on games are “transferable” to real-world activities.

We look forward to sharing the results with you!
- The team at Peak
 End quote.

Why is this interesting? Because we can see the effects of neuroplasticity applied to perfectly health and very fit subjects. We can read the results and apply it, as we can correlate the direct relation between physical body and mental capacity improvements. I will keep you posted when i find more about this.

Lewis Madison Terman

As i promised, Terman life and studies. 

His books:

The Measurement of Intelligence. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1916.

The Stanford Revision and Extension of the Binet-Simon Scale for Measuring Intelligence. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1917.

The Intelligence of School Children. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1919.

Genetic Studies of Genius, Vol. 1, Mental and Physical Traits of a Thousand Gifted Children. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1925. The first in a series of monographs on the study of the gifted.

“Trails to Psychology.” In A History of Psychology in Autobiography, edited by Carl A. Murchison. Worcester, MA: Clark University Press, 1932. Terman’s autobiographical chapter.

With Catharine Cox Miles. Sex and Personality: Studies in Masculinity and Femininity. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936.

With Maud A. Merrill. Measuring Intelligence. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1937.

Psychological Factors in Marital Happiness. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1938.

With Melita H. Oden. Genetic Studies of Genius, Vol. 4: The Gifted Child Grows Up: Twenty-Five Years of Follow-Up of a Superior Group. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1947.

With Melita H. Oden. Genetic Studies of Genius, Vol. 5: The Gifted Child at Mid-Life: Thirty-Five Years of Follow-Up of the Superior Child. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1959.

With Robert R. Sears, Lee J. Cronbach, and Pauline S. Sears. “Terman Life-Cycle Study of Children with High Ability, 1922–1991.” Available from Final report of the study of the gifted.

Terman, Lewis Madison (b. Franklin, Indiana, 15 January 1877;d. Palo Alto, California, 21 December 1956), studied psychology, education, mental testing, human sexuality.

Terman was one of the leaders in the development of psychological tests that measured individual and group differences. He played a major role in establishing the use of intelligence and achievement tests in American schools. His most noteworthy research dealt with the intellectually gifted.

Early Life and Professional Training. 

Lewis M. Terman was born and raised on a farm in central Indiana, the twelfth of James William and Martha’s fourteen children. He went to a one-room school, completing the eighth grade when he was twelve. He was determined to continue his education, but with no high school near his home, the only avenue open for higher education was teacher training at a normal college. Terman was fifteen before his parents were able to pay for his education; he then enrolled at Central Normal College in Danville, Indiana. At seventeen, with basic teacher preparation achieved, he obtained his first teaching position and four years later he became a high school principal. Over a six-year period, he earned three undergraduate degrees at the normal college. During his teacher training, he met fellow student Anna Belle Minton (no relation to this author), whom he married in 1899.
With aspirations beyond school teaching, Terman entered Indiana University in 1901, earning a master’s degree in psychology in two years. With the encouragement of his Indiana mentor Ernest H. Lindley, he proceeded to doctoral studies in 1903 at Clark University under the direction of G. Stanley Hall, one of the early leaders in American psychology. For his dissertation, Terman conducted an experimental study of mental tests, comparing the performance of a “bright” and a “dull” group of ten- to thirteen-year-old boys. Because Hall did not approve of mental tests, Edmund C. Sanford supervised his dissertation, and Terman obtained his PhD in 1905. Hall, however, influenced Terman’s thinking about the nature of intelligence. Consistent with Hall’s evolutionary perspective on individual and group differences, Terman assumed that mental tests measured native ability. While studying at Clark, Terman became ill with tuberculosis. Although he made a successful recovery, he decided to seek employment in a warm climate. With his graduate work completed, he accepted a position as a high school principal in San Bernardino, California. A year later, he was able to attain more intellectually challenging work, teaching child study and pedagogy at the Los Angeles State Normal School. In 1910 he received an appointment at prestigious Stanford University’s education department. He spent the rest of his career at Stanford, becoming head of the psychology department in 1922, a position he held until his retirement in 1942.

Mental Test Pioneer. 

The move to Stanford in 1910 coincided with Terman’s full recovery from tuberculosis, and he was thus able to take on a more active academic workload. He resumed his earlier research in mental testing and began to work with Alfred Binet’s 1908 scale, the first widely accepted measure of intelligence. Henry H. Goddard had published translations from the French of Binet’s original 1905 scale and the subsequent 1908 revision. Terman’s first tentative revision of the Binet appeared in 1912 and with the assistance of a team of graduate students, the final version—the “Stanford-Binet”—was published in 1916. An innovative feature of the Stanford-Binet was the inclusion of a total score in the form of an “Intelligence Quotient” or IQ—that is, the ratio between mental and chronological ages—a concept first introduced by the German psychologist William Stern, but not previously used in mental tests. The mental age represented test performance based on age norms. While there were several competitive versions, Terman’s revision of the Binet utilized the largest standardized sample and by the 1920s became the most widely used individually administered intelligence test. With the publication of the Stanford-Binet, Terman became a highly visible figure in the American mental testing movement. Reflecting his reputation, he was invited in 1917 to serve on a committee that had been assembled at the Vineland Training School for the mentally retarded in New Jersey to develop mental tests for the U.S. Army. The United States had entered World War I and Robert M. Yerkes, the president of the American Psychological Association, organized the psychologists’ contribution to the war effort. Yerkes chaired the testing committee, and the membership was made up of the leading psychologists in the mental testing field. Terman brought with him a new group-administered version of the Stanford-Binet that had been developed by his graduate student, Arthur S. Otis. The Otis test served as the basis for the construction of the army group tests (the Alpha and Beta examinations). While serious questions have been raised about the significance of the psychologists’ contribution to the war, it is clear that the war provided an enormous boost for the mental testing movement. Approximately 1.75 million men were tested, and on this basis, recommendations were made with regard to job placements or immediate discharge from the army. The major weakness of the army testing program was the psychologists’ failure to incorporate the impact of cultural differences on tested intelligence. Thus, the lower IQ scores earned by foreign-born and poor native-born soldiers were interpreted as reflecting low levels of native ability rather than other factors such as limited acculturation and schooling. Terman, like the other members of the army testing committee, adhered to the assumption that mental abilities were primarily a product of heredity.

Mass Testing in the Schools. 

After the war, Terman seized upon the contribution of the army tests to military efficiency and predicted that they would soon be universally used in the schools. To achieve this goal, Terman and the other psychologists who constructed the army tests adapted them for school-age children. The resulting “National Intelligence Tests” for grades three to eight were published in 1920. Terman became an advocate for the use of intelligence tests as a means of reorganizing schools so that pupils could be classified into homogeneous ability groups. He worked closely with the National Education Association, which in 1918 had opted for a differentiated curriculum—a policy aimed at bringing order out of the chaos of a burgeoning population of schoolchildren, swelled by large numbers of recent immigrants. Thus, during the 1920s, intelligence testing and the tracking system of ability grouping became common practice in schools and Terman played a central role in fostering these programs. Terman was also a leader in the development of standardized group achievement tests, which measured school learning. With a team of Stanford colleagues, he produced the first achievement test battery—the Stanford Achievement Test. Terman viewed the widespread adoption of tests in the schools as a reflection of how testing could benefit American society. It was to be a major means of achieving his vision of a meritocracy within the American democratic ideal—a social order based on ranked levels of native ability. As a measure of native ability, intelligence tests could identify children who were cognitively gifted and therefore had the potential to emerge as leaders of society. Once these children were identified, it was the responsibility of the schools to devote the necessary time and effort to cultivate their intellectual talent.

The Study of the Gifted. 

To fulfill his meritocratic goals and supported by a research grant from the Commonwealth Fund of New York, Terman launched a longitudinal study of gifted children in 1921. This was an innovative project because it was the first investigation to use a large sample of subjects who were followed over the course of several years. The criterion for categorizing gifted children was an IQ of at least 135, which constituted the highest 1 percent of the distribution of IQ scores. With a pool of more than a quarter-million school-children in California public schools, Terman and his research team selected elementary and secondary schools in urban areas. To further the efficiency of the selection process, the researchers relied on teacher nominations of the “brightest” pupils in their classes. The resulting sample of approximately 1,500 gifted children thus turned out to be largely white and middle-class. Terman, however, did not appear to be sensitive to the bias inherent in teacher nominations, because he attributed race and class differences primarily to heredity. In an effort to dispel the popular notion that gifted children were underdeveloped in nonintellectual areas, Terman included medical and physical assessments, as well as measures of personality, character, and interests. The gifted sample was compared with a control group of California schoolchildren of comparable age. In the first of a series of monographs on the gifted study, the major finding was that gifted children excelled in measures of academic achievement when matched with age for control children. The composite portrait of the gifted children also revealed that they were emotionally as well as intellectually mature. Based on these initial findings, Terman strongly advocated a differentiated school curriculum that would place gifted children in special classrooms where they could accelerate academically according to their ability rather than their age. With additional research funding, Terman followed up his gifted sample for a period of thirty-five years. At midlife, as reported in a 1959 monograph, the intellectual level of the gifted group continued to be within the upper 1 percent of the general population, and their occupational achievement was well above the average of college graduates. Furthermore, as earlier reports had demonstrated, they showed few signs of such serious problems as insanity, delinquency, or alcoholism. The midlife report also included some striking gender differences. Whereas the men as a group had attained a high level of career success, few women had comparable levels of career achievement. As Terman noted, career opportunities for women were restricted by gender-role conformity and job discrimination. Terman’s involvement with the gifted study entailed more than data collection and research reports. Particularly after he retired from teaching in 1942, he devoted himself to the interests of gifted children by promoting special education for the gifted and, through contacts with journalists, disseminated the results of the gifted study in newspapers and magazines. He also popularized his work by making guest appearances on the radio show “The Quiz Kids.” His appearance in 1947 coincided with the publication of the twenty-five year follow-up. By utilizing the public media, Terman aimed to eradicate the public’s negative stereotype of gifted children as maladjusted. In his work with the gifted, Terman experienced particular satisfaction with the personal contacts he was able to establish with some of the research participants. He maintained correspondence with many of them over the years and in some instances received them as guests in his own home. Thus, for a number of the gifted children who “grew up” and came to be labeled as “Termites,” he was a benevolent father figure and psychological counselor. By the early 1950s, with plans under way for the continuation of the gifted follow-up, Terman appointed Stanford colleague Robert R. Sears (who also happened to be a member of the gifted sample) to succeed him as research director. The gifted sample was thus followed up through late adulthood.

The Testing Debates. 

As one of the leading advocates of intelligence testing, Terman was often challenged by critics of the testing movement. These challenges began in the early 1920s when the results of the army testing became widely known. The influential journalist Walter Lipp-mann wrote a series of highly critical articles about the army tests in the New Republic. Lippmann singled out Terman because of his development of the Stanford-Binet and asserted that there was no foundation to support the assumption made by Terman and the other army psychologists that the tests measured innate ability. It should be noted that Lippmann did not simply rely on persuasive argument in challenging Terman: he specifically drew attention to what he believed were faulty interpretations of the data. Terman was enraged by Lippmann’s attack. Despite the technical sophistication of many of the criticisms, Terman in his published reply in the New Republic recommended that Lippmann, as a layman, should stay out of issues he was not informed about. In fact, Terman was quite evasive in responding to the points Lippmann raised, such as an environmental interpretation of the correlation between tested intelligence and social class.

During the 1920s Terman also engaged in a series of published debates about testing with psychologist William C. Bagley, another critic of the hereditarian view of intelligence. In an effort to resolve matters, Terman took on the task of chairing a committee that organized an edited book on the nature-nurture controversy. In this monograph, published in 1928, leading advocates on each side of the issue marshaled evidence and arguments, but as in previous exchanges, nothing was resolved.
In 1940 Terman was once again drawn into the nature-nurture debate, this time challenged by a team of environmental advocates at the University of Iowa led by George D. Stoddard. In a series of studies, the Iowa researchers reported that mental growth, as reflected by increases in IQ scores, was facilitated by school experience at both the preschool and elementary school levels. Their major conclusion was that IQ scores could be raised if children were exposed to environmentally stimulating conditions. Stoddard therefore argued that because of environmental influences intelligence tests should not be used to make long-term predictions; in essence, attacking the widespread use of intelligence tests in the schools as a means of sorting students into ability tracks. Terman viewed Stoddard’s position as a threat to his career objective of establishing a meritocracy based on IQ differences. The 1940 debate, as in the past, led to an impasse. Intelligence testing in the schools continued to be common practice. It would not be until the 1960s, as a consequence of the civil rights movement, that mass testing was seriously challenged. Terman did modify his position to some extent. In the 1930s, mindful of the racial propaganda of Nazi Germany, he resigned his long-standing membership in the American Eugenics Society. After World War II, although he still held to his democratic ideal of a meritocracy, he no longer supported a hereditarian explanation of race differences, and he acknowledged that among the gifted, home environment was related to degree of success.

Studies of Gender and Marital Adjustment. 

Terman’s interest in the study of individual and group differences extended beyond mental abilities and achievement. As a result of his research on the gifted, he became interested in measuring nonintellectual differences. By examining emotional and motivational characteristics, he sought to demonstrate that the gifted had well-adjusted and well-rounded personalities. To gain insight into this facet of human differences, he proceeded to measure gender identity, which was viewed as a composite of emotional and motivational traits that differentiated the sexes. By the 1910s psychologists had begun to study sex differences in motor, sensory, and intellectual abilities, but after a decade of inconclusive research results there was a shift of interest towards exploring broader concepts, such as the notions of masculinity and femininity. Terman tapped into this trend by identifying masculine and feminine interests from a questionnaire filled out by the gifted sample regarding their preferences for various play activities, games, and amusements. The initial survey conducted in 1922 revealed that the gifted and control children did not differ in gender orientation as derived from their activity preferences. In 1925 Terman was awarded a National Research Council grant to study sex differences and with his former student, Catharine Cox Miles, constructed a masculinity-femininity (M-F) test, the first measure of its kind. The final version, published in 1936 and labeled the “Attitude-Interest Analysis Test” to disguise its purpose, was based on normative samples of male and female groups ranging in age from early adolescence to late adulthood, although the core of the sample was high school juniors and college sophomores. The test consisted of approximately 450 multiple choice items that assessed preferences for a variety of activities and interests, as well as responses to emotionally-laden situations that might arouse feelings of anger or fear. In an effort to validate the M-F test, Terman had the opportunity to collect test protocols from a group of male homosexuals in San Francisco who were motivated to volunteer for a team of scientists interested in studying them. As he expected, the results revealed that male homosexuals had high feminine scores. He thus concluded that marked deviations from gender-appropriate behaviors and norms were psychologically unhealthy because such deviation had the potential to lead to homosexuality. Even if this “maladjustment” did not develop, other problems could arise. Referring to those individuals with cross-gender identities in their 1936 monograph, “Sex and Personality: Studies in Masculinity and Femininity,” Terman and Miles opined, “One would like to know whether fewer of them marry, and whether a larger proportion of these marriages are unhappy” (p. 46). Underscoring this point, they commented that “aggressive and independent” females could very well be at a disadvantage in the “marriage market” (p. 452). They also expressed the concern that too much competition between the sexes would not be socially desirable. In essence, the authors supported the conventional patriarchal relationship between the sexes. (It is not clear the extent to which Catharine Cox Miles concurred with this position, because Terman acknowledged prime responsibility for the conclusions in their book.) Terman’s conclusions on gender identity were based on the standardized norms he generated from his M-F test. The test represented the gender norms of the 1930s, but Terman was insensitive to the cultural and historical limits of his measure. He chose to emphasize the need to raise and train girls and boys so that they would conform to the existing gender norms that bolstered a clear distinction between the sexes. Consistent with his vision of a social order ranked by native ability, Terman professed that sex differences also had to follow a prescribed ranking. Paralleling the need to cultivate ability differences to meet the needs of an increasingly urban and industrialized society, he also stressed the necessity of ensuring compatible sex roles in times of social change. Many social scientists during the interwar era, mindful of the feminist challenge, preached the need for compatibility rather than conflict between the sexes. Terman’s interest in gender identity and sex differences expanded to the study of marital adjustment. His attraction to exploring marriage was part of a growing trend among social scientists in the 1920s and 1930s to study and hence claim expertise on issues affecting families, including childrearing, sexuality, and marriage. In 1934 Terman conducted a large-scale survey of several hundred married and divorced couples in the San Francisco area. His major conclusion was that personality and social background factors were more influential than sexual compatibility in predicting marital happiness. This finding was contrary to previous studies that had argued that sexual compatibility was the key to marital success. Terman noted that this discrepancy was due to the fact that previous studies had neglected to consider psychological factors because they had been carried out by physicians and social workers. For Terman, this indicated the importance of psychologists being involved in the study of marital relations and human sexuality. In his study, Terman stressed that the key to marital adjustment was the extent to which each spouse accepted the other’s needs and feelings and did not push to get his or her own way. To emphasize this argument, he noted that happily married women could be characterized as being cooperative and accepting of their prescribed subordinate roles. Terman’s conventional views of gender carried over from his gender identity study to his marital research.

Terman’s Contributions and Legacy. 

Terman’s seminal contributions to the development of psychological testing and the study of the intellectually gifted ensure his position as one of the pioneers of American psychology. More than any of the other advocates of the testing movement, he was successful in devising a wide variety of methods assessing individual and group differences. His interest in the gifted led him to go far beyond the measurement of ability. As a result, he was in the forefront of developing indices of school achievement, gender identity, interests, marital adjustment, and sexual behavior. Aside from these personal accomplishments, Terman has left us with an unfulfilled legacy. What he wanted to achieve with his psychological tests and identification of the intellectually gifted was a more socially just and democratic society. A considerable part of Terman’s project, however, has had an unintended dehumanizing effect. For racial and ethnic minorities and lower-class individuals, his differential educational system based on IQ scores served as a barrier for personal growth and social advancement. His views on gender and homosexuality worked against the creation of a more pluralistic society. What Terman failed to understand was the intricate way in which scientific knowledge reflects social power. By uncritically accepting the power inequities of the American social order of his day, he produced scientific knowledge and technology that functioned to perpetuate the status quo.

1. Chapman, Paul Davis. Schools as Sorters: Lewis M. Terman, Applied Psychology, and the Intelligence Testing Movement, 1890–1930. New York: New York University Press, 1988.
2. Fancher, Raymond E. The Intelligence Men: Makers of the IQ Controversy. New York: W. W. Norton, 1985.
3. Gould, Stephen Jay. The Mismeasure of Man. New York: W. W. Norton, 1981. Includes a critical analysis of the mental testing movement.
4. Kimmel, Michael. Manhood in America: A Cultural History. New York: Free Press, 1996. Includes a critical analysis of Terman’s study of masculinity-femininity.
5. Minton, Henry L. Lewis M. Terman: Pioneer in Psychological Testing. New York: New York University Press, 1988. Includes a complete bibliography of Terman’s publications.
6. Samelson, Franz. “Putting Psychology on the Map: Ideology and Intelligence Testing.” In Psychology in Social Context, edited by Alan R. Buss. New York: Irvington, 1979.
7. Seagoe, May V. Terman and the Gifted. Los Altos, CA: Kaufmann, 1975.
8. Zenderland, Leila. Measuring Minds: Henry Herbert Goddard and the Origins of American Intelligence Testing. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
9. "Terman, Lewis Madison." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2008. 23 Oct. 2015 

Terman data cycle life study of genius and talented children

One of the most longevive study of genius ever done was started by Terman. It was called Terman life-cycle study of children with high ability, and took place in between 1922-1991 (ICPSR 08092). 
The principal investigator of this was professor Lewis M. Terman and here it is a summary of his work:

This study of the personal and life characteristics of children with high ability follows the 1,528 respondents from 1922 through the latest series of interviews with the surviving cohort of 720 in 1986. The original research objectives were to replace myths about intellectually superior children with documented facts. In 1922, the children were identified on the basis of an intelligence test as being in the top one percent of the population. Their development was followed over the next sixty years via questionnaires, personal interviews, and various test instruments. Questions were asked about their health, physical and emotional development, school histories, recreational activities, home life, family background, educational, vocational, and marital histories. Questions were also asked about income, emotional stability, and socio-political attitudes. The follow-up questionnaires were concerned with the evolution of the respondents' careers, activity patterns, and personal adjustment. Since 1972 there has been special emphasis on the aging process. These longitudinal data will continue to be collected as long as living members of the original cohort contribute data.
You can find most of the data here, organized in multiple datasets:

P. S. I will make one aditional post about the life and achievements of Lewis Terman, and a short resume of his collaborators very soon. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Side hustle #1 Patent crowdsourcing research

If your intelligence is above average, if you learn very fast and you are good at online search, then may be the answer to an easy way to do some extra money. It is a very interesting site where you can participate at contest and solve cases of frivolous patent claims. You combine science, morals and bussiness, doing something that challenge your intellect. Do not take my word for granted, check yourself. And we will see what you think.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

A game called PEAK

Did you know that, while you’re awake, your brain generates enough electricity to power a light bulb? This electricity is generated by the neurons in your brain, firing as they communicate with each other using pathways. Each task or thought uses a different pathway.
The more you repeat a task, the more frequently these pathways are used, the more efficient they become. This means that the pathways used for your habits will be extremely efficient and well used.
Until recently, it was believed that our brains stopped developing once we reached adulthood. In the last 10 years, research has shown that throughout our lives, no matter how old we are, our brains are capable of creating new pathways and strengthening existing ones. This is called neuroplasticity.
Brain workouts capitalize on your neuroplasticity to build up useful cognitive skills. Each time you repeat an action your brain strengthens the pathway, so the more you practice the stronger this pathway becomes. This is the same principle as going to the gym: the more you exercise a specific muscle, the stronger it will become.
I started to play this game one weak ago, and i already can see some small improvements. I would say that some meditation techniques that i practice are a bit more efficient than the game, but if you do not meditate, and you have a lot of time to spare, this is a better alternative to some silly games. Higher quality research on this area was done by neuroscientist Adam Gazali, but i will talk about it probably in one dedicated post. Peak works with leading scientists to develop games that each focus on training a specific function in your brain. With regular practice, Peak aims to improve your cognitive function and in turn, your general well-being. 

Transactive memory

 One interesting concept i stumbled upon these days is transactive memory.  Transactive memory is a psychological hypothesis first proposed by Daniel Wegner in 1985 as a response to earlier theories of "group mind" such as groupthink. A transactive memory system is a mechanism through which groups collectively encode, store, and retrieve knowledge. They somehow refer at it for example as a collective memory of a family, after it was pointed out that each of family members is in charge with some specific domains. As mum with cooking, young children with tablet and smartphone use and so one, so each one will know who to ask to find more about directions related to this or that subject. Going even further, some researchers are thinking that this could be one of the reason we feel incomplete after a break-up or loss of a close family member.

In other order, my next blog posts will continue to explore the beginning of IQ concept and genius intelligence tests, most probably i will write about Terman, Silvan Tompkins, Paul Elkman and i will also say a few words of neuroscientist Adam Gazali and his games aproach to brain training. Probably i will mention a new smartphone game i start to play too, after i will test it a bit longer.

See you soon!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Programme) Schools

Did you ever heard about KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Programme) Schools ?
KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools dedicated to preparing students in under served communities for success in college and life. The mission of KIPP is to create a respected, influential, and national network of public schools that are successful in helping students from educationally underserved communities develop the knowledge, skills, character and habits needed to succeed in college and the competitive world beyond.
Their vision is that, one day, all public schools will help children develop the knowledge, skills, character, and habits necessary to achieve their dreams while making the world a better place. KIPP began in 1994 with a powerful idea: to create a classroom that helped children develop the knowledge, skills, character, and habits necessary to succeed in college and build a better tomorrow for their communities. Founders Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin began by redefining what was possible for a classroom of public school students in Houston. The following year, they opened two KIPP middle schools, one in Houston and one in New York City. By 1999, these original KIPP public charter schools were among the highest-performing schools in their respective communities.
In 1999, reacting to the overwhelming responses to the 60 Minutes segment, a friend introduced Mike and Scott Hamilton. Scott was working with Don and Doris Fisher, founders of The Gap, to identify education-focused efforts with the potential for impact and scale. And that is exactly what Scott saw in KIPP.
With the help of Stacey Boyd (an education entrepreneur and Scott’s wife), Jessica Levin (an education policy researcher and Dave’s sister), and Elliott Witney (a teacher at KIPP Academy in Houston who would become a KIPP school leader), Scott, Mike and Dave created the plan for replicating KIPP. Their plan focused on leadership training and development, and KIPP’s Five Pillars. Don and Doris gave it their full support. Over the next five years, Mike and Scott each spent time as KIPP Foundation CEO, and worked together with Dave to design and lead the organization. In 2005, Richard Barth, KIPP’s current CEO took the reins and has led KIPP’s growth since then.
As KIPP opened new schools in more cities, expanding from middle schools to elementary and high schools, our network began helping transform futures for thousands of children and families in underserved communities. Today, the KIPP network serves nearly 60,000 students in 162 public schools in 20 states (plus D.C.) across the country.

Now, where i want to go with this? The interesting findings are underlined in the independent reports about the concept and the results of KIPP schools.

Look here at just few of them:

Who Benefits From KIPP? NBER Working Paper Series

Angrist, Dynarski, Kane, Pathak, & Walters. February, 2010.
Key findings: "The results show overall gains of 0.35 standard deviations in math and 0.12 standard deviations in reading for each year spent at KIPP Lynn. LEP students, special education students, and those with low baseline scores benefit more from time spent at KIPP than do other students."

San Francisco Bay Area KIPP Schools: A Study of Early Implementation and Achievement - Final Report
SRI International. September, 2008.
Key findings: "Bay Area KIPP students make above-average progress compared with national norms, and they outperform their host districts."

Urban School Reform: Year 4 Outcomes for the Knowledge is Power Program in an Urban Middle School
Center for Research in Educational Policy, University of Memphis. March, 2008.
Key findings: "Overall, the achievement analyses revealed fairly positive outcomes for KIPP students relative to matched control students."

Baltimore KIPP Ujima Village Academy, 2002-2006: A Longitudinal Analysis of Student Outcomes
The Center for Social Organization of Schools, Johns Hopkins University. June, 2007.
Key findings: "Even when pre-existing differences between KIPP and comparison students are controlled in statistical analyses, KIPP students generally outperformed comparison school students on achievement measures."

Opening Closed Doors: Lessons from Colorado's First Independent Charter School
Augenblick, Palaich & Associates. September, 2006.
Key findings: "Standardized test scores indicate that Cole College Prep produced improved student outcomes. This [study] reviews Cole College Prep student performance on both the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) and Stanford 10 (SAT-10) standardized tests."

San Francisco Bay Area KIPP Schools: A Study of Early Implementation
SRI International. March, 2006.
Key findings: "Students attending Bay Area KIPP schools score consistently higher on standardized tests than for comparable public neighborhood schools across grades and subjects - in a few cases dramatically so."

Focus on Results: An Academic Impact Analysis of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP)
The Educational Policy Institute (EPI). August, 2005.
Key findings: "The Knowledge Is Power Program has posted large and significant gains on a nationally norm-referenced standardized test. This performance is true across schools and throughout the nation. The fact that KIPP fifth grade cohorts showed a dramatic increase well above normal growth rates in reading, language, and mathematics is laudable and worthy of continued investigation and practice."

Can an Intense Educational Experience Improve Performance on Objective Tests? Results from One Charter School
Musher, Musher, Graviss, and Strudler. Summer, 2005.
Key findings: "Objective testing showed that the KIPP students in this study improved remarkably in academic performance during three years of observation."

KIPP DIAMOND ACADEMY Year Three (2004-2005) Evaluation Report
Center for Research in Educational Policy, University of Memphis. October, 2005.
Key findings: "Parents remain positive regarding KIPP:DA. Parents cited the "innovative ways of teaching" along with smaller classes where teachers pay more attention to students as positive aspects"

Analysis of Year 2 (2003-2004): Student Achievement Outcomes for the Memphis KIPP Diamond Academy
Center for Research in Educational Policy, University of Memphis. January, 2005.
Key findings: "These results are clearly suggestive of positive KIPP DIAMOND Academy effects in year two, especially in view of the doubling of school size and special unanticipated challenges faced during the year."

Year 1 Evaluation of the KIPP DIAMOND Academy: Analysis of TCAP Scores for Matched Program-Control Group Students
Center for Research in Educational Policy, University of Memphis. May, 2004.
Key findings: "These results show that KIPP:DIAMOND Academy students performed directionally higher than control students on all criterion-referenced tests and norm referenced subtests."

Evaluating Success: KIPP Educational Program Evaluation
New American Schools, Educational Performance Network. October, 2002.
Key findings: "The results of this evaluation provide evidence that students' test scores improved at impressive rates after their enrollment in the KIPP schools. Of critical importance, these gains were reflected across demographic subgroups and exceeded those achieved by these same students in the year prior to their enrollment."

What it is different here is that at everyone of their students you can observe an incredible improvement of their mathematical abilities, and not only. Some of them are even going from bellow average to an almost genius level, even if this is not a very often result. What change them and made them to become mathematicians? First of all, some researches pointed out that while the students from normal and rich families background usually improve slightly during summer holidays, the performance of a children from a poor family background decrease slightly, making us wondering if this could be one of the explanation of the students from the rich family background being much more successful than their poor peers. At the KIPP schools the schedule is longer than a normal school, with fewer breaks and with difficult, achievement focused lessons. Which make me consider this as a original application of Ericsson 10.000 hours mastery study.
But enough for today, i will tell you more about this study tomorrow.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Leta Stetter Hollingworth

Leta Stetter Hollingworth (1886-1939) was an educational psychologist. She was a student of
E. L. Thorndike, at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (B.A., 1906), then studied at Teachers College (M.A. in Education, 1913; Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, 1916) - Under E. L. Thorndike
Assistant principal of School District No. 6, Saline County, Nebraska
Teacher at McCook High School
Clearing-House for Mental Defectives (she administered Binet tests) (1913)
Clinical Psychologist at Bellevue Hospital (1915)
Consulting Psychologist to New York Police Department (1915)
Teachers College, Columbia University -- Professor of Educational Psychology

Major Contribution:
Wrote first comprehensive text on the gifted
Taught first college course on the gifted
Commenced one of the first systematic studies of children with intelligence quotients (IQ) above 180

    Although Leta Stetter Hollingworth is perhaps best known for her work with exceptional children (discussed below), she also performed pioneering work in the field of psychology of women, which greatly overlaped with issues of intelligence and intellectual ability. In the early 1900s, there were two commonly held beliefs regarding women that Hollingworth scientifically. First, it was generally accepted by many members of society (particularly those in power) that women were mentally incapacitated during menstruation. Based on this belief, many employers would not hire women because they believed it was not possible for them to be as productive as men and would not be able to handle major responsibilities due to their monthly impairments. Hollingworth empirically tested this hypothesis and found that women's performance on several cognitive, perceptual, and motor tasks was similar to that of males, even during menstration.

    A second premise that sparked the interest of Hollingworth was the variability hypothesis which asserted that women as a group were more similar than men as a group; that is, men have a much wider range of talents as well as defects than do women. This proposition was used to explain why there were more men who were geniuses as well as more men who were mentally deficient and in institutions. The correlate of this premise is that women will never be able to achieve the highest achievements and would have to settle for mediocrity. In a large study, Hollingworth examined 1,000 male newborns and 1,000 female newborns and found no greater inherent variability in males than in females.

    In the 1920s, Hollingworth's efforts shifted to the study of children, particularly exceptional children. Much of her work on giftedness was being conducted at the same time as Terman's study on giftedness. While the two individuals never met, they had great respect for each other and the work each was doing. Many of Terman's beliefs about giftedness coincided with those held by Hollingworth, but they diverged on one major point. Terman believed that giftedness was inherited and was only interested in defining and describing giftedness. Although Hollingworth acknowledged the role of inheritance in giftedness, she also believed that educational and environmental factors played key roles in the development of potential. Resultantly, Hollingworth was more interested in how to properly nurture giftedness and how to appropriately educate gifted individuals.

    One of Hollingworth's most notable studies regarding giftedness was sparked in November, 1916, when she saw for the first time a child test above 180 IQ on the Stanford-Binet (S-B). She became intrigued, and over the span of the next 23 years was able to find 11 other children in the New York City region with such intellectual giftedness and attempted and in-depth study of their genius. Knowing that she would never live long enough to see all of the children well into their adult lives, she meticulously attempted to build a framework upon which great future research and findings could be accomplished. She deserves much credit for pioneering into such a challenging field. Those who test above 180 IQ (S-B) are characterized by a strong desire for personal privacy, seldom volunteer personal information, do not like to have attention called to their families and homes, and are afraid of the potential ramifications of being labeled as "special" in society. Amidst all of these concerns, Leta S. Hollingworth conducted research consistent both with scientific interest and with the preservation of personal privacy in mind. She laid a foundation for the study of truly gifted children.

The Psychology of Subnormal Children (1920)
Special Talents and Defects (1923)
Gifted Children: Their Nature and Nurture (1926)
The Psychology of the Adolescent (1928)
Children Above 180 IQ Stanford-Binet: Origin and Development (1942)

Christopher Michael Langan

One of the reference points in genius study and analysis is Chris Langan's life. Who is this, you will ask? 
Christopher Michael Langan (born c. 1952) is an American autodidact with an IQ reported to be between 195 and 210, although IQ tests are highly unreliable at such high levels. He has been described as "the smartest man in America" as well as "the smartest man in the world" by the media. Langan has developed a "theory of the relationship between mind and reality" which he calls the "Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe" (CTMU).
Langan was born in San Francisco, California, circa 1952. He spent most of his early life in Montana, with his mother and three brothers. His mother was the daughter of a wealthy shipping executive but was cut off from her family's fortune. Langan didn't grow up with his biological father as he died or disappeared before he was born. This eventually resulted in an economic struggle for the family, causing a food scarcity, reducing the family to a life of poverty.
During elementary school, Langan was repeatedly skipped ahead, which resulted in torment by his peers. Although teachers praised Langan for his college-level work, his peers still bullied him, not for his intelligence, but because of his family's socio-economic status. Langan has disclosed that he was brutally beaten by his stepfather, Jack Langan. Chris Langan recalled that his "stepfather constantly asked [Chris] difficult questions, and when I'd give him correct answers to those questions, he'd bat me in the mouth or something of that nature to let me know he didn't appreciate a guy trying to be smarter than he was."At the age of twelve years, Langan began weight training, and forcibly ended the abuse by throwing his stepfather out of the house and telling him never to return when he was fourteen.
Langan says he spent the last years of high school mostly in independent study, teaching himself "advanced math, physics, philosophy, Latin and Greek". He allegedly earned a perfect score on the SAT (pre-1995 scale) despite taking a nap during the test. Langan attended Reed College and later Montana State University, but faced with financial and transportation problems, and believing that he could teach his professors more than they could teach him, he dropped out.
Langan took a string of labor-intensive jobs for some time, and by his mid-40s had been a construction worker, cowboy, Forest Service Ranger, farmhand, and, for over twenty years, a bouncer on Long Island. Langan was also approached and contracted by Disney Research and he previously worked for Virtual Logistix, a technology company.According to company records, Langan "produced original research in various fields of mathematics, including graph theory, algebra, advanced logic and model theory, abstract computation theory and the theory of computational intractability, artificial intelligence, physics and cosmology". Langan said he developed a "double-life strategy": on one side a regular guy, doing his job and exchanging pleasantries, and on the other side coming home to perform equations in his head, working in isolation on his Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU).
In 1999 Langan and others formed a non-profit corporation called the "Mega Foundation" to "create and implement programs that aid in the development of gifted individuals and their ideas."
Langan has allegedly completed Design for a Universe, but is searching for ways to optimize the publicity and sale of the book. Langan has also been quoted as saying that "you cannot describe the universe completely with any accuracy unless you're willing to admit that it's both physical and mental in nature" and that the CTMU "explains the connection between mind and reality, therefore the presence of cognition and universe in the same phrase". He calls his proposal "a true 'Theory of Everything', a cross between John Archibald Wheeler's 'Participatory Universe' and Stephen Hawking's 'Imaginary Time' theory of cosmology."In conjunction with his ideas, Langan has claimed that "you can prove the existence of God, the soul and an afterlife, using mathematics."
The CTMU has gained both praise, and controversy in the scientific community. Robert Seitz, a former NASA Executive and Mega Foundation director stated "every physicist is inundated with amateurs' ‘Theories of Everything,' but Chris' CTMU is very, very different".On the flip side, the CTMU theory has been criticized for its use of convoluted language. Langan's use of terms he has invented (or redefined) has made his exposition obscure, leading some to question his honest intention to make himself clear.
In 2004, Langan moved with his wife Gina (née LoSasso), a clinical neuropsychologist, to northern Missouri, where he owns and operates a horse ranch and undertakes activities for his Foundation.
Asked about creationism, Langan has said:
I believe in the theory of evolution, but I believe as well in the allegorical truth of creation theory. In other words, I believe that evolution, including the principle of natural selection, is one of the tools used by God to create mankind. Mankind is then a participant in the creation of the universe itself, so that we have a closed loop. I believe that there is a level on which science and religious metaphor are mutually compatible.
Langan has said elsewhere that he does not belong to any religious denomination, explaining that he "can't afford to let [his] logical approach to theology be prejudiced by religious dogma."He calls himself "a respecter of all faiths, among peoples everywhere."

I know i am a bit lazy and i just took this information, but i think it is important to find about some living examples to whom we can relate, before we start to talk about some brainy complicated theories and methods.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Edward Thorndike - ideas and studies

Adult learning and how the IQ test started

Thorndike put his testing expertise to work for the United States Army during World War I. He created both the Alpha and Beta versions that led to today's ASVAB, a multiple choice test administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command that is used to determine qualification for enlistment in the United States armed forces. For classification purposes, soldiers were administered Alpha tests. With the realization that some soldiers could not read well enough to complete the Alpha test, the Beta test (consisting of pictures and diagrams) was administered. Such contributions anchored the field of psychology and encouraged later development of educational psychology.

Thorndike believed that "Instruction should pursue specified, socially useful goals." Thorndike believed that the ability to learn did not decline until age 35, and only then at a rate of 1 percent per year, going against the thoughts of the time that "you can't teach old dogs new tricks." It was later shown that the speed of learning, not the power of learning declined with age. Thorndike also stated the law of effect, which says behaviors that are followed by good consequences are likely to be repeated in the future.

Thorndike identified the three main areas of intellectual development. The first being abstract intelligence. This is the ability to process and understand different concepts. The second is mechanical intelligence, which is the ability to handle physical objects. Lastly there is social intelligence. This is the ability to handle human interaction.

Learning is incremental.
Learning occurs automatically.
All animals learn the same way.

Law of effect- if an association is followed by a "satisfying state of affairs" it will be strengthened and if it is followed by an "annoying state of affairs " it will be weakened.
Thorndike’s law of exercise has two parts; the law of use and the law of disuse.
Law of use- the more often an association is used the stronger it becomes.
Law of disuse- the longer an association is unused the weaker it becomes.
Law of recency- the most recent response is most likely to reoccur.
Multiple response- problem solving through trial and error. An animal will try multiple responses if the first response does not lead to a specific state of affairs.
Set or attitude- animals are predisposed to act in a specific way.
Prepotency of elements- a subject can filter out irrelevant aspects of a problem and focus and respond only to significant elements of a problem.
Response by analogy- responses from a related or similar context may be used in a new context.
Identical elements theory of transfer- This theory states that the extent to which information learned in one situation will transfer to another situation is determined by the similarity between the two situations. The more similar the situations are, the greater the amount of information that will transfer. Similarly, if the situations have nothing in common, information learned in one situation will not be of any value in the other situation.
Associative shifting- it is possible to shift any response from occurring with one stimulus to occurring with another stimulus. Associative shift maintains that a response is first made to situation A, then to AB, and then finally to B, thus shifting a response from one condition to another by associating it with that condition.
Law of readiness- a quality in responses and connections that results in readiness to act.Thorndike acknowledges that responses may differ in their readiness. He claims that eating has a higher degree of readiness than vomiting, that weariness detracts from the readiness to play and increases the readiness to sleep.Also, Thorndike argues that a low or negative status in respect to readiness is called unreadiness. Behavior and learning are influenced by the readiness or unreadiness of responses, as well as by their strength.
Identifiability- According to Thorndike, the identification or placement of a situation is a first response of the nervous system, which can recognize it. Then connections may be made to one another or to another response, and these connections depend upon the original identification. Therefore, a large amount of learning is made up of changes in the identifiability of situations.Thorndike also believed that analysis might turn situations into compounds of features, such as the number of sides on a shape, to help the mind grasp and retain the situation, and increase their identifiability.
Availability- The ease of getting a specific response. For example, it would be easier for a person to learn to touch their nose or mouth than it would be for them to draw a line 5 inches long with their eyes closed.

Saturday, 10 October 2015


Hello everyone. This is my story. This could be everyone story. What do you mean when you say genius? But talented? Multipotentialite? Multipode? Renaissance person? What all of those have in common? Is genius something you are born with or you can achieved? If the answer to last option is yes, how can you achieved? This are only few of the questions i will try to find an answer for you. This blog is one of my many side projects, or maybe just a way to put all my info in just one place. We will see what will happen. Enough for today. See you soon.