- Mixing Memory discusses some of his favorite experiments. He begins with schemas, encoding and selection. Nothing new here for those who've studied psychology, but if you didn't study psychology this post offers a taste of some of the interesting stuff that was all the rage back when I was in school.
- Comments on empathizers, systemtizers and autism at Laura's Psychology Blog.
- The addition of a simple paper and pencil test may increase the accuracy of lie detection when using polygraphs. (Deception Blog)
- Practice Peeves: You have to fill out this form... No I don't.
- Understanding the relative contributions of genetics and environment to intellectual functioning is not nearly as simple a matter as much of the discussion in the blogs would suggest. Deric Bownds (Mindblog) reports on research showing an instance of an interaction effect exerted by genes and environment on IQ. Breast feeding was associated with higher IQ among children who had one of two allelic variants of FADS2. "[C]hildren carrying the C allele showed a 6.4-IQ-point advantage relative to children not fed breast milk." That's over 1/3 of 1SD. Those carrying the G variation were neither advantaged by being fed breast milk nor disadvantaged by not being fed breast milk.
Assuming for a moment that both groups are otherwise identical, how would one meaningfully answer the question: which group is smarter, those genetically endowed with the C variation or those endowed with the G variation? Answer: it depends.
On a personal note, I continue to wonder why so many people who couldn't tell a WAIS from a Stanford-Binet or a Kaufman if their lives depended on it have such an intense interest and personal investment in fisking a single mental construct, g. Why don't we see, for example, a similar level of interest (or any interest at all) in the relative elevations of Scales 6,7 and 8 on the MMPI-2 or an interest in x+% on the Rorschach? For that matter, why aren't these self-appointed blogsperts similarly interested in the interplay of genetic and environmental factors that could be associated with any of the other (many) mental constructs that are the subject of measurement by clinical psychologists? Related post.