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Quotes from Nyborg (ed.) The Scientific Study of Human Nature (
The Scientific Study of Human Nature - Helmuth Nuborg ed I had thought about reading this book, but decided against it due to its age (1997). The reasoning is that significantly more data has emerged since that time (15 years!), and so the book generally may be out-dated. However, some particular chapters still sounded so interesting to me that I cudn't help but read them. The quotes below are from them.
"The description of the behavioral scientists contrasted that of the physicists and biologists in almost every conceivable way. Behavioral scientists tended to be highly gregarious, and to be socially active at an early age. Often they were acknowledged leaders already in school, where they practiced intense and extensive early dating. They were deeply concerned with human relations, showed many dependent attitudes, much rebelliousness, and considerable helplessness. They tended to be quite openly aggressive, and to experience a high divorce rate (41%). Roe further noted that very few of these highly gifted scientists came from the South of the U.S.A., none were Catholics, five came from Jewish homes, and the rest were raised in Protestant homes. However, irrespective of background very few scientists had any serious interest in religious matters. Table 20.1 (from Nyborg, 1991) summarizes, in modified form, Roe's observations of the overall pattern of representation of abilities and personality in the different academic disciplines, and contrasts them with data for blue- collar workers. The table illustrates how abilities clearly distinguish natural from social scientists. Roe, in fact, even found group differences within these categorizations. To get that far, special tests to map exceptional verbal (V), spatial (S), and mathematical (M) abilities had to be constructed by the Educational Testing Service, as currently available standard tests were much too easy for many of these eminent scientists. The physicists without question scored highest on these demanding tests, but theoretical physicists performed relatively better on verbal tests, and experimental physicists relatively better on spatial and mathematical tests. Among the scientists, the biologists, physiologists and botanists scored relatively higher on verbal, and geneticists and biochemists relatively higher on nonverbal tests. Social scientists obtained a significantly lower overall IQ score than physicists. However, even within this group of scientists, social psychologists and anthropologists performed relatively better on verbal tests, and experimental psychologists better on spatial and mathematical tests. Some of the anthropologists were, in fact, unable to understand the mathematical tasks, whereas the most difficult of these items were too easy for some of the physicists. Here, perhaps, we have identified an important factor in the differential developmental status and sophistication of various scientific areas!" (p. 432)
"Postwar (but perhaps not prewar) fertility, as measured by number of offspring, is lower in high IQ individuals (Vining, 1982, 1984), but their life expectancy is higher (Danmarks Statistik, 1985). There is a tendency for high IQ boys to behave less physically aggressive, and for high IQ girls to behave more physically aggressive than the average (Maccoby & Jacklin, 1974). Roe (1952b) noted that exceptionally creative natural scientists tend to have few children, social scientists more, but lower IQ. What about sociability? Highly creative children in elementary schools tend to feel estranged from their teachers and peers (Torrance, 1962), as do creative adolescents (Getzels & Jackson, 1962) and high IQ children. Cattell and Butcher (1968) found, like Roe, that adult research scientists tend to be
skeptical, withdrawn, unsociable (McClelland 1962; Taylor & Barron 1963; Terman & Oden 1959) critical, precise, apt to express socially rather uncongenial and "undemocratic" attitudes (Van Zelst & Kerr, 1954) associated with dominance (Rushton, Murray, & Paunonen, 1983; see also chapter 19), to hold the belief that most other people are rather stupid, and to show a surprising readiness to face endless difficulties and social discourage- ment in order to have it their way. Barron (1965) finds that the original individual rejects regulation by others, and has a strong need for personal mastery, involving self-centeredness and self-realization. MacKinnon (1962, 1964, 1970) finds profound skepticism, rebelliousness, self-assertiveness, and independency characteristic for highly creative architects, already manifested clearly in school and onwards (Dudek & Hall, 1984)." (434-5)