April 26, 2005

Email DOES NOT affect IQ

I’m sure you’ve seen all these news articles flying around saying that reading your email lots lowers your IQ. Please, please, please don’t believe everything you read. Read the opposing argument and make your mind up for yourself.


4 thoughts on “Email DOES NOT affect IQ

  1. Thanks for that, really interesting. I love it when poor journalism is dissected and ripped apart.
    Anyway you can’t actually lower IQ can you? I mean your brain has whatever IQ it has right? All you’re doing is spitting up the brain MIPs into different tasks, so each task gets less brain MIPs.

  2. Wow – you mean that my brain could be more productive if only I could concentrate for more than 2 minutes? Well slap my thigh and call me Sherlock . .
    Did they have a control group to evaluate how other factors affect a person’s ability to take tests? The introduction of LSD and vodka may make for some interesting results.
    Though as it goes, my IQ is higher when I’m drunk. Fact. And a fact proven on numerous occasions.
    Anyway, what’s a MIP? Isn’t that the noise that Roadrunner makes? And does that mean that the hapless Wiley Cayote has actually been trying to steal some of Roadrunner’s IQ for all these years?

  3. I think you’ll find that the roadrunner goes meep, not MIP.
    And lack of sleep has been demonstrated to temporarily reduce IQ. Apparently. Which explains a lot.

  4. Dang!
    I left a comment about this on someone else’s blog. But I can’t remember who…
    The point of the article was that email/txting reduces performance – efficiency and quality. This appears to be due to the interruptions to the concentration and thought processes. So far so sensible.
    It then implies that performance in IQ-type tests is variable, depending on factors such as concentration. Concentration is affected by interruptions and physical conditions.
    In my view this is yet another reason for undermining IQ-type tests whch only test a small range of skills – presumably those that are concentration dependent.
    Whereas other skills fall under the umbrella of multi-tasking. I mean it’s useful to be able to blog whilst appearing to pay attention to one’s manager whilst also thinking about what to have for lunch, for example. But no IQ test measures that.
    And no IQ test measures this comment. The next reader may rate it as good, bad or mediocre. However, its quality is very little determined by my concentration levels, but more by my ability to a) understand the subject matter b) follow through a rational argument c) construct sentences d)grasp what is interesting to a reader e) grab the reader.
    All of these are dependent to a large extent upon my interest in the subject matter; also how highly the potential audience motivates me etc etc. And to what extent was I interrupted by es and ts.
    I love rambling on other people’s blogs…

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