Tag Archives: psychometrics

In Honor of Newton’s Birthday*

Anybody who knows me at all knows that I get really, really obsessive about things. I kind of go off on these monomaniacal mental benders where whatever it is I’m obsessing over is doggedly demanding as much of my attention as it can get.

If you’ve perused the last month’s worth of posts here, you know that the current item of obsession is the calculus priority dispute. Obviously the Leibniz factor plays a big part as to why I’m so into this particular bit of mathematical history, but there’s another component that’s equally as fascinating to me.

The reason I went into psychology when I first started college was really because of my interest in intelligence. The various ways we measure intelligence interested me and I was curious as to whether there could be alternate scales produced that would better get at whatever latent factor(s) composed what we call intelligence.

Along those lines, the idea of “genius” has always been intriguing to me as well. I sit here and read about these ridiculously ingenious dudes and I cannot imagine what it would be like going through life with a mind of that caliber. What kind of unique thought processes must you have in order to theorize and describe universal gravitation? How must have Newton seen the world and interpreted even the most mundane of things? Did Leibniz go through life examining every facet of his experiences trying to see how to fit everything into his attempt to create an alphabet of human thought? What kind of mind does it take to go from “I feel that my mathematics knowledge is inadequate” *studystudystudy* “oh, here’s this new thing I came up with called ‘calculus’!”?

I’m such a pleb I can’t even fathom the depth of thought these guys (and other ridiculously intelligent people like them) possessed. It would be the coolest thing to be able to experience that level of understanding, even for like five minutes.

And then, of course, you have to wonder what that component (or components) is (are) that pushes someone from “normal intelligence” to this level of genius. And that brings up the question of whether we all possess that level of thought and the only thing separating “regular” people from the super geniuses is some other component of brain chemistry/personality/persistence/something else.

This is something I’m pretty much always thinking about; the whole calculus thing has just brought it back to the forefront of my mind.


Oh, and Merry Christmas, y’all!

*Newton was born before the English switched to the Gregorian calendar (they were using the Julian calender back when he was born); using the Gregorian puts his DoB on a different day.


Okay. Now there’s sort of a light at the end of this never-ending tunnel of depression that I’m going through at the moment. Apparently, my dad knows one of the ladies who works over at the school district, and he got into a conversation with her in which was mentioned my future career goals. Well, this lady, according to my dad, does basically for the school district what I want to do, and she was very interested in meeting me. So I called her and we’re setting up a meeting for next week.
An internship is a possibility.


Yes, my blogs are short. I still feel like crap. Deal with it.

Tra-la-la! Life is great in No Pants Land!

Remember how I said I was conflicted over majors a couple of weeks ago?

Yeah, that’s not happening anymore. Philosophy is freaking AMAZING, don’t get me wrong. But when I’m removed from the philosophy stimuli, I’m right back to the “Psychometrics is the way to go, totally” case.
Of course, I’ll probably be conflicted even more than I was last semester when Metaphysics starts up in the fall.


Waiter! There’s an e in my pi (thus meaning he brought me pie! Sweet!)

Question 1: Do you pronounce the word “route” as “rowt” or “root”?

Question 2 (much more important): So the main reason I’m so interested in psychometrics (aside from the awesomeness of item-analysis and such) is to improve how we measure and test for intelligence. I personally think that what we measure to determine “intelligence” does not account for a lot of important things—especially if we redefine intelligence (which I think we should) to relate more to actions and mental states that aim to advance the species (not in that way, you sickos!).
So on to the actual question, something I’ve been mulling over for a while now: is motivation a component of intelligence? I’m not asking if motivation brings about intelligence, I’m asking whether or not two people with equal IQs (let’s just use the IQ number as the definition of what we call intelligence today, just for simplicity’s sake) are actually of different intelligence if one is more motivated than the other. In other words, if we had one person with an IQ of 130 and another person with an IQ of 130, and one of them had little motivation and the other had a lot of motivation, would the one with more motivation be more “intelligent”? What do you all think?
Of course, there are other concepts than just motivation that should be considered when trying to create a new measure for intelligence. So how about you guys tell me what you think should constitute intelligence, so I can see how other people see this topic. Also, do you think such a concept as intelligence can be quantified?



You can convert me to a z-score anytime, baby…

OH MY GOODNESS I love my tests and measurements class!! I’ve never been so in love with a class in my entire life. It’s all z-scores and t-scores and figuring out the flaws in grade equivalency scores and whatnot…it’s riveting, really! It’s the stuff I want to do.


I know, I know, boring blog, but I just wanted to express the awesomeness of this class and how much I love it. Hooray!