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Old 03-07-2009, 09:10 PM   #1
Madam Broshkina
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Books that make you dumb

http://booksthatmakeyoudumb.virgil.gr/ is an interresting website that uses aggregated Facebook data about the favorite books among students of various colleges and plotted them against the average SAT scores at those schools, creating a tongue-in-cheek statistical look at taste and intelligence.

Some of the results, Lolita was favorite tome of the brightest students with an average SAT score of 1317. The lowest-scoring students liked the erotica author Zane, with an average score of 980. And strangely, the students who listed their favorite book as “The Bible” were smarter (1047) than those who said it was “The Holy Bible” (980).


Ironically, students who wrote “I don’t read” in the space for favorite books were only slots 14 from the bottom in terms of SAT scores, meaning that there were 13 other favorite books that theoretically made students “dumber” than not reading books at all.
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Madam Broshkina View Post
http://booksthatmakeyoudumb.virgil.gr/ is an interresting website that uses aggregated Facebook data about the favorite books among students of various colleges and plotted them against the average SAT scores at those schools, creating a tongue-in-cheek statistical look at taste and intelligence.

Some of the results, Lolita was favorite tome of the brightest students with an average SAT score of 1317. The lowest-scoring students liked the erotica author Zane, with an average score of 980. And strangely, the students who listed their favorite book as “The Bible” were smarter (1047) than those who said it was “The Holy Bible” (980).


Ironically, students who wrote “I don’t read” in the space for favorite books were only slots 14 from the bottom in terms of SAT scores, meaning that there were 13 other favorite books that theoretically made students “dumber” than not reading books at all.
It's always irritated me that people historically have associated being "dumb" -- as in incapable of speech -- with being unintelligent. Now, of course, it's an accepted use of the word ... and that irritates me even more.

As for the article, that is very interesting. It's been a long time since I took the SAT .... I do know that my score was over 1300 (because the local paper actually listed the names of all the students in the area that got a score over 1300), but I could not for the life of me tell you what my favorite books were at the time.

I was heavily into Azimov and Agatha Christie about then ....
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Old 03-07-2009, 10:16 PM   #3
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I'd laugh, but I got a 1070 in the SATs.


But then when I took the GREs, I got a 1350 (with a verbal in the 97th percentile), so I'll pass those SATs off as a fluke

Interesting on the Bible/Holy Bible thing.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
I'd laugh, but I got a 1070 in the SATs.


But then when I took the GREs, I got a 1350 (with a verbal in the 97th percentile), so I'll pass those SATs off as a fluke

Interesting on the Bible/Holy Bible thing.
I got somewhere between 1000 and 1100 (I don't recall the exact number.) So, I guess you can laugh.

But, my son got 800 on his math at 740 (I think) on his verbal. So, my genes were saving some smarts to pass on to the kids.

Of course did you know they dropped the analogies?

BOb
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:53 AM   #5
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I was heavily into Azimov and Agatha Christie about then ....

Er... Asimov.

I scored 1370 in irritating and unnecessary corrections.
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:33 AM   #6
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I got somewhere between 1000 and 1100 (I don't recall the exact number.) So, I guess you can laugh.

But, my son got 800 on his math at 740 (I think) on his verbal. So, my genes were saving some smarts to pass on to the kids.

Of course did you know they dropped the analogies?

BOb
They did? Well that's not fair.

Congrats on your son kicking some SAT butt
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by RickyMaveety View Post
It's always irritated me that people historically have associated being "dumb" -- as in incapable of speech -- with being unintelligent. Now, of course, it's an accepted use of the word ... and that irritates me even more.

'tis not the only association that results in irritation ....
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:53 AM   #8
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I didn't take the SATs (we took the ACT's in Oklahoma). But... I wouldn't call it a good test of intelligence in general. Any more than GPA. I know a lot of very stupid students who have a high GPA. I'm honestly not quite sure how they manage to get good grades without ever learning anything, or even learning how to think! But they do.

There's... well... a ton of other problems with this guys work. He did another version with music.

I think in general most the results aren't terribly surprising (on either - the music list for the "dumb" was pretty insipid and brainless, but I know a lot of bright people who like some pretty stupid people) but it'd be hard to really back it up in any real way.
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:23 AM   #9
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IQ test scores measure one thing and one thing alone - how good you are at doing IQ tests. Their connection with actual "intelligence" is contentious, to say the least.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:16 PM   #10
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The SAT isn't even an IQ test. It's a "readiness for college/university" test. This is more of a "Books that are popular amongst the socioeconomically disadvantaged" list (note the prevalence of African-American authors on the low end), but I still found it interesting.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:17 PM   #11
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The SAT isn't even an IQ test. It's a "readiness for college/university" test. This is more of a "Books that are popular amongst the socioeconomically disadvantaged" list (note the prevalence of African-American authors on the low end), but I still found it interesting.
I saw that as well.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:23 PM   #12
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They did? Well that's not fair.

Congrats on your son kicking some SAT butt
Yes, I think SAT score averages where constantly lowering, so they actually made the tests easier to bring the average back up.

BOb
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Old 03-08-2009, 02:05 PM   #13
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I never took the SATs since my undergraduate education was in India but when taking the GRE, I had a discernible edge over my classmates given how much I read. Reading led to a stronger vocabulary and a very comfortable relationship with words and their meanings. Personally, I fully credit my GRE score of 1460 and my presence here, at a leading doctoral program in the US, to my reading habits.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:02 PM   #14
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I can't remember what any of my scores were except for an 81 on the FLEX, a 93 on the ABPN written, and a high enough MedCAT to get into University of Iowa.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:21 AM   #15
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I completed High School. I can't remember my score. Semantically speaking (so to speak), pretty much all books make me "dumb".

Cheers,
Marc (I don't care where you SAT; just where you sit)
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