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    #184633 - 03/12/14 10:32 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: Bostonian]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    Culture is shaped by biology. East Asians have a relative strength in spatial ability, which may explain their use of pictographic writing.


    You have a causality issue here. Do they use pictographic writing because they have a strength in spatial ability, or do they have a strength in spatial ability because they use pictographic writing?

    This assumes the spatial ability has been reliably demonstrated in the first place.

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    #184634 - 03/12/14 10:36 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: Bostonian]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1450
    Loc: NJ
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    Originally Posted By: binip
    Almost all Japanese people born in Japan speak Japanese, because that's what their brains get as input. It's not biological, but for thousands of years, people thought it was, because you didn't have such mass inter-lingual migrations.

    Culture is shaped by biology. East Asians have a relative strength in spatial ability, which may explain their use of pictographic writing.


    And if I remember correctly - haven't looked at it for over 25 years - culture can at least impact cognitition itself as shown by Luria's work in Central Asia.
    _________________________
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    #184635 - 03/12/14 10:38 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: Bostonian]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    Culture is shaped by biology. East Asians have a relative strength in spatial ability, which may explain their use of pictographic writing.


    (Chinese and Japanese writing systems are actually properly called logographic.)

    Korean isn't logographic. Nor are Thai, Burmese, or Cambodian. Alternatively, Egyptian hieroglyphics were logographic. Though a variety of new world languages used pictographs for writing, as do a few languages in and around Nigeria and old Chinese writing systems. Etc. So logographic and pictographic systems show up all over the world.

    Burmese letters are rounded: people originally wrote on palm leaves and straight lines would have torn the leaves. So in this case at least, the writing system was dictated by the medium that was available to be written on. Also, if I was carving a story into a stone using the tools available 3,000 years ago, I might be inclined to use the most efficient means possible, which would be logographic or pictographic over letters. And, TBH, pictograms seem to be a natural way to start a writing system, and I can see how they would evolve to logographic systems and letters as the available materials changed and as people tinkered with them.


    Edited by Val (03/12/14 10:59 AM)

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    #184638 - 03/12/14 11:16 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: JonahSinick]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    ... as anyone who has ever played Pictionary with a seriously competitive group of people soon realizes.

    wink
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    #184651 - 03/12/14 01:04 PM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: HowlerKarma]
    binip Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/10/14
    Posts: 96
    "East Asians have a relative strength in spatial ability"

    Begging the question. Even assuming that the tests of spatial ability are properly measuring it--which may well be the case--we have no reason to believe that that is a cause of, rather than consequence of, the symbolic nature of Kanji.

    The whole point is that we do not have tools, given a respect for basic human rights and unpredictability and complexity of human societies, to perform the experiments that would allow us to tease out cause from effect in these socio-economic, ethnic and gender based differences.

    There is absolutely no question that people of African-American descent perform worse on average on standardized tests. THAT is not the question.

    The question is WHY. Simply saying, "Well, we haven't managed to change it, so it's biological," is totally illogical. Same goes for "girls can't do math", "white guys can't dance", "boys aren't verbal", etc. You need to be able to show a causative relationship, not just a correlation.

    Randomized controlled trials that would control for the variables in question from conception to adulthood (well past 26) would require the controlling of thousands of individuals for three decades. If you can get funding and approval for that, let me know. wink I'm in!

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    #184700 - 03/13/14 06:34 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: binip]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2595
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: binip
    "East Asians have a relative strength in spatial ability"

    Begging the question. Even assuming that the tests of spatial ability are properly measuring it--which may well be the case--we have no reason to believe that that is a cause of, rather than consequence of, the symbolic nature of Kanji.

    The whole point is that we do not have tools, given a respect for basic human rights and unpredictability and complexity of human societies, to perform the experiments that would allow us to tease out cause from effect in these socio-economic, ethnic and gender based differences.

    There is absolutely no question that people of African-American descent perform worse on average on standardized tests. THAT is not the question.

    The question is WHY. Simply saying, "Well, we haven't managed to change it, so it's biological," is totally illogical. Same goes for "girls can't do math", "white guys can't dance", "boys aren't verbal", etc. You need to be able to show a causative relationship, not just a correlation.

    Randomized controlled trials that would control for the variables in question from conception to adulthood (well past 26) would require the controlling of thousands of individuals for three decades. If you can get funding and approval for that, let me know. wink I'm in!

    For the reasons you stated, we will never know for sure to what extent sex differences in STEM achievement and racial differences in academic achievement are genetic. In that case, we should not jump to the conclusion that any difference is either a flaw in the measuring instrument ("the SAT is biased") or the result of unequal opportunities ("rich kids score better because of test prep").

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    #184704 - 03/13/14 06:54 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: Bostonian]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4299
    Quote:
    we will never know for sure to what extent sex differences in STEM achievement... are genetic. In that case, we should not jump to the conclusion that any difference is either a flaw in the measuring instrument ("the SAT is biased") or the result of unequal opportunities...
    Agreed! We ought not to presume. Until we do know, we can continue to discuss and explore. There is a current discussion thread with a similar theme here ... it is speaking of a district with more boys than girls identified for the gifted math class.

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    #184707 - 03/13/14 07:20 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: Bostonian]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    For the reasons you stated, we will never know for sure to what extent sex differences in STEM achievement and racial differences in academic achievement are genetic. In that case, we should not jump to the conclusion that any difference is either a flaw in the measuring instrument ("the SAT is biased") or the result of unequal opportunities ("rich kids score better because of test prep").


    We can know how cultural bias influences STEM achievement gender gaps by cross-referencing data against other countries. Any differences due to genetics should be consistent.

    Originally Posted By: OECD
    Boys outperform girls in mathematics in 35 of the 65 countries and economies that participated in PISA 2009. In five countries, girls outperform boys, and in 25 countries there is no significant difference between the genders.


    We can find out more by doing controlled studies into such things as teacher bias:
    http://www.livescience.com/19552-girls-math-teachers-bias.html

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    #184708 - 03/13/14 07:35 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: Dude]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4299
    Interesting links, thanks for sharing!

    In the second link, the article first speaks of comparable test scores, then contrasts this with stating the teachers believed the math was easier for boys. In fact, both could be true: students could have comparable test scores and at the same time the math may be easier for some than for others.

    Finishing a test early and receiving the same score as a student requiring the full allotted time comes to mind. Growth mindset and the virtue of effort come to mind. One is not better than the other, but they do represent a difference.

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    #184743 - 03/13/14 11:36 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: DAD22]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: DAD22
    You can see how different cultures influence statistical comparisons relative to one another, but you still can't say what the statistics would be like in a neutral culture. I've seen many people (including study authors) jump to the conclusion that if culture affects a statistic relating to subgroup performance, then culture must be wholly responsible for the differences. Unfortunately, that's not a logical conclusion.


    Well, if it's not genetic, and it's not cultural, then I'd be interested in your alternative hypotheses. Because we live in an "advanced" Western civilization which only, after millennia of feminine marginalization, have reluctantly allowed equality of opportunity for women for only the last 3-4 decades, and yet we can still see a math gap in only 35/65 participating nations... so it's most definitely NOT genetics.

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