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Intelligence vs. Effort
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Intelligence vs. Effort

An interesting article:

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the ... ds&sc=atbr
01-10-2008 05:49 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Quote:Jonathan sailed through grade school. He completed his assignments easily and routinely earned As. Jonathan puzzled over why some of his classmates struggled, and his parents told him he had a special gift. In the seventh grade, however, Jonathan suddenly lost interest in school, refusing to do homework or study for tests. As a consequence, his grades plummeted. His parents tried to boost their son’s confidence by assuring him that he was very smart. But their attempts failed to motivate Jonathan (who is a composite drawn from several children). Schoolwork, their son maintained, was boring and pointless.

Quote:The result plays out in children like Jonathan, who coast through the early grades under the dangerous notion that no-effort academic achievement defines them as smart or gifted. Such children hold an implicit belief that intelligence is innate and fixed, making striving to learn seem far less important than being (or looking) smart. This belief also makes them see challenges, mistakes and even the need to exert effort as threats to their ego rather than as opportunities to improve. And it causes them to lose confidence and motivation when the work is no longer easy for them.

That's right. Ignore the kid when he says it's "boring" and "pointless", and rather assume that what he REALLY means to say is that the work is "too difficult" and he is "unmotivated".

Stabhead

The basic point of the article is right though. But I'm not reading past the first page.

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01-10-2008 06:26 AM
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The Apathy Offline
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Its common knowledge that the primary goal of school is not to even educate Cuckoo

Who am I? That is irrelevant.
What am I here for? That will become apparent.
You can call me Apathy!
01-10-2008 12:02 PM
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Quote:In particular, attributing poor performance to a lack of ability depresses motivation more than does the belief that lack of effort is to blame.

And teachers do this all over the globe, people. If you want a student to learn, you might want to motivate him more than you F him.

Jackasses.
01-10-2008 12:16 PM
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amizon Offline
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Wow. I seriously disagree with a lot of conclusions the writer of that article came to. Mostly my issue is that she equates effort with something that is intellectually challenging. In my experience that has been very untrue most of the time. She doesn't differentiate between effort for the sake of effort (busy work) assignments that have always tripped me up, and effort because you're just learning a concept (which I like the rare times I find them) assignments.

Also, I really think it's because I've always been told I'm smart that I tend to get good grades (when I can swallow down my hatred of school). It's always been kind of in my mind that when I don't do well on something it's been a misrepresentation of me--like "I'm smarter than that grade, so I'd better do some thing to fix it." I.E., study. I guess I've always thought of being smart as having a higher ability to learn, it's not like I think I was just born with a million facts in my head! I know this is just one little anecdote, but even though I feel pretty different from most kids, I'm obviously at the very least not the only person with this sort of attitude about what constitutes being smart.

The article talks about the kids that want to learn get the best grades because--in the example of a difficult chemistry class--they were more interested in learning chemistry than looking smart. Okay, I'll concede that, but the article leaves out the fact (maybe a fact without evidence, but a fact nonetheless Razz) that for many kids learning and school usually have nothing to do with each other.

Like I said, am I the only person that thinks like this???

One segment I did enjoy though...
Quote: A fixed mind-set can similarly hamper communication and progress in the workplace by leading managers and employees to discourage or ignore constructive criticism and advice. Research by psychologists Peter Heslin and Don VandeWalle of Southern Methodist University and Gary Latham of the University of Toronto shows that managers who have a fixed mind-set are less likely to seek or welcome feedback from their employees than are managers with a growth mind-set. Presumably, managers with a growth mind-set see themselves as works-in-progress and understand that they need feedback to improve, whereas bosses with a fixed mind-set are more likely to see criticism as reflecting their underlying level of competence.
I think there are a lot of teachers with a very fixed mindset lol. I've never quite understood why polite suggestions seem to piss so many of them off so badly..
01-10-2008 12:53 PM
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Intellect doesn't mean anything.
It's common sense and logic that matters.
01-10-2008 01:05 PM
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None of the above.

With school, the effort you often give is a pointless effort. At a young age you don't realize so, but when you are older it is something to think about.

Telling a kid that intelligence matters will either make them feel stupid, or if they are intelligent, will make them arrogant. Or afraid of challenges as some suggest. I wouldn't raise a child like that.

Likewise, I wouldn't give my child a huge focus on effort either. Some kids these days feel like they have an obligation to do things they don't want to, or else they'll be called lazy. As strange as it sounds, I don't think a strong work ethic is a great personal quality at all. In your adult life, work will consume you, and your career will be your identity, and all of your meaning, as schoolwork is for some now. Whether the intelligence or effort matters is irrelevant, you can't let them learn to identify themselves by what they produce.

I don't want people to think hard work is always good. They will psychologically feel that they owe society when they don't. You owe the people you love, and you owe help to everyone else based on the rule of what you would personally want for yourself. You however, do not owe anything to society, your country, or civilization. This is the mentality that more people need, that love is a virtue, along with empathy and generosity, but you do not have to give anything to the establishments of man.

The mentality that schoolwork creates is different than this. Because if you tell a child "all I care is how hard you work", they will take that idea into adulthood, creating a work ethic but no self-importance. It is better that a child learn to be free. Hard work and effort is meaningless if you do not want to give the effort in the first place.

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01-10-2008 02:17 PM
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My fucking sister has set a curve that I now have to live up to. See, when she was in high school, she made straight A's in Honor classes. She made no grades below 95. Now, I have to stumble upon the trail of supremacy she's left behind for me to live up. To top it all off, she now works at the grocery store where two of my teachers frequent. So now, all that bitch has to do is ask them how I'm doing, and those teachers will sing like freaking birds. So all of the people I talk to, I basically tell them to answer her questions with "He's fine." That's it.

Anyway, teachers get snide here since I don't even attempt to live up to her effort. So they make their remarks about how it's virtually impossible for me to be her brother. Alright, I know I don't give a shit about school and I don't put up full effort because it's wasteful and crap, but come the fuck on. Just because I'm sadly related to her doesn't mean I should have to live up to her standards. I've gotten in trouble because this more than once because my teachers fucking sing!
01-10-2008 02:45 PM
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I dislike that this article doesn't discuss whether intelligence is fixed, just the advantages of believing that it isn't. If intelligence is innate, then students shouldn't be convinced that it isn't just because it makes them try harder.

The purpose of school is to gain knowledge; both effort and intelligence can help achieve that. Intelligence definitely isn't the only way to do well in school, but that doesn't mean that intelligence can't lead to academic achievement. Effort can also help a person learn, and therefore get better grades. But neither effort nor intelligence should be specifically encouraged. If learning is the purpose of school, then learning should be what is encouraged. As long as a student learns what is being taught, how they did it is irrelevant.

This isn't entirely on topic, but I also don't think that being very intelligent is preferable to being of average intelligence. Even if intelligence can be useful, having any trait that is significantly different than average makes it harder to relate to people. Intelligence might have the potential to make one successful, but I doubt that it would make one any happier than everyone else.
01-10-2008 03:27 PM
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Mila: I love when people say what I feel much more eloquently than I could ever get it out. Smile

Although I don't know if I agree that relating to most people equals happiness.. I am just generally a bit different of a person (as I'm sure most people on this site are) and I'm not upset that there are plenty of people I don't relate with. I get a lot of satisfaction from relating to my family (not referring to the fact that they are my relatives here) and a few select friends. I have a bad tendency of using myself as an exemplar, so I must stress that this is indeed just how I feel, and I could be alone in it.
01-10-2008 04:54 PM
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mila260 Wrote:I dislike that this article doesn't discuss whether intelligence is fixed,
It actually kind of does. I'm not saying this if fact but make your own decisions.

It states that when learning the brain creates more connections between neurons. Obviously increasing the brains ability to process information. 'Nuff said.

The article is ok, nothing new to me though. I doubt anyone of importance will read it and if they do care though. Also, schools intentionally don't teach kids that effort is more important then intelligence, because this would create a independent, smart workforce, the kind of workforce that would realize how much power it has over the government and politics. The kind that would bring real democracy.
01-10-2008 05:07 PM
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mila260:

Thanks for posting this! I have scanned over it, and unlike SoulRiser who says he isn't going to read past the first page, I intend to take a closer look. (I've heard that some people have their minds made up and don't want anybody to confuse them with facts!)

I think the article doesn't talk about "whether intelligence is fixed" because how could it be? The old academic arguments have been over whether intelligence is inherent (nature) or learned (nurture) but nobody has ever proposed that the celestial assembly line had a measuring cup for intelligence and that's all you get! (I'm being silly, but you get the point.)

Also, I don't agree that "the purpose of school is to gain knowledge." There are many purposes for school, not the least of which is to keep young people out of the workforce until they can do something besides screw everything up. Another purpose of school is to provide jobs for some adults who can't do anything else worth a damn. While, there are adults who are good teachers--and provide a meaningful service for those kids who want to learn, school, particularly is big business. It has many reasons for being funded at tremendous levels by a government where most of the money comes from the people and businesses who are taxed.

A good way to see this reality is to watch political elections: In every political election you will hear the candidates talk about the most important issues and education will always be one of them.

That leads me to another of your points:

Quote:But neither effort nor intelligence should be specifically encouraged. If learning is the purpose of school, then learning should be what is encouraged. As long as a student learns what is being taught, how they did it is irrelevant.

How can you tell if a student learns anything without effort? How can you know if they know it without intelligence? I've met people who speak English as a second language and no matter what you say to them they agree. When you ask them if they understand they say "yes." Then, when it comes time to execute the request you have made--which they said they understood--they don't have a clue!

Also, I understand your position about "having a trait that is significantly different than average" as it makes it difficult to relate to people. That's the problem of the African guy in this cartoon:


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01-10-2008 05:26 PM
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Some people may be born more intelligent than others, but intelligence can be increased over time by using it (thinking, working stuff out, etc). So it's not completely fixed, but not completely effort-based either.

Quote:The mentality that schoolwork creates is different than this. Because if you tell a child "all I care is how hard you work", they will take that idea into adulthood, creating a work ethic but no self-importance. It is better that a child learn to be free. Hard work and effort is meaningless if you do not want to give the effort in the first place.

Very true. All the intelligence and effort in the world are wasted if you're using it on something that doesn't matter to anyone.

Quote:Intelligence might have the potential to make one successful, but I doubt that it would make one any happier than everyone else.

Indeed... in fact, intelligent people seem more likely to be unhappy.

Quote:Also, I don't agree that "the purpose of school is to gain knowledge." There are many purposes for school, not the least of which is to keep young people out of the workforce until they can do something besides screw everything up. Another purpose of school is to provide jobs for some adults who can't do anything else worth a damn.

Sad but true... though I think most people here were referring to how schools should be, rather than how they currently are. Razz

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01-11-2008 02:00 AM
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akdonn Wrote:I think the article doesn't talk about "whether intelligence is fixed" because how could it be? The old academic arguments have been over whether intelligence is inherent (nature) or learned (nurture) but nobody has ever proposed that the celestial assembly line had a measuring cup for intelligence and that's all you get! (I'm being silly, but you get the point.)
I think it's counter-intuitive that intelligence could be fixed, however it's not impossible. Some people who study general intelligence believe that it is innate and fixed. Of course, someone believing it doesn't substitute for proof, and other experts believe otherwise. Even if it's unlikely, it's still unproven and deserves consideration.

akdonn Wrote:Also, I don't agree that "the purpose of school is to gain knowledge." There are many purposes for school, not the least of which is to keep young people out of the workforce until they can do something besides screw everything up. Another purpose of school is to provide jobs for some adults who can't do anything else worth a damn. While, there are adults who are good teachers--and provide a meaningful service for those kids who want to learn, school, particularly is big business. It has many reasons for being funded at tremendous levels by a government where most of the money comes from the people and businesses who are taxed.
You're right. I was just being optimistic! Razz

akdonn Wrote:How can you tell if a student learns anything without effort? How can you know if they know it without intelligence?
I might have not said what I meant clearly enough. Some amount of both effort and intelligence is necessary, but a student can use one primarily and the other to a lesser extent. I still think it makes more sense to encourage whatever result is intended than a specific method used to accomplish it.
01-11-2008 03:46 AM
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SoulRiser Wrote:
Quote:Intelligence might have the potential to make one successful, but I doubt that it would make one any happier than everyone else.

Indeed... in fact, intelligent people seem more likely to be unhappy
"aye I can vouch for that. I'm intelligent - not to boast or anything, but I haven't found anyone that comes close to my level of understanding and open mindedness - and while it's brought me levels of happiness others might never reach, it's also brought horrible tormenting pain. Doesn't help me much that my subconscious is like 50 trillion times smarter then I am. Mainly because it has a habit of being ridiculously stubborn and making sure it gets it's point across. I now no longer have the mental capacity to do schoolwork, like I don't have the mental capacity to kill someone. *stops wandering offtopic*.

About the intelligence being fixed thing again...Honestly I highly doubt it is. Using myself as an example again and thinking back to my kindergarten times, I had a rather few friends. At least 4 good ones. Had lots of fun the sand. Now my point is that I started primary school at the age of 6. This was also when I got my first video game console. For a 6year old video games are somewhat complicated. I knew how to play and the rules - I guess was somewhat bright - but I didn't know anything deeper. Slowly during primary school I turned into a sheep, and by year 3/4 I was 100% sheep in my social behavior. I remember getting into huge trouble in year 5 for not doing homework. I think missed about 6 WEEKS of lunch play. Well it felt that long anyway. I stayed social sheep all the way up to about year 10. This doesn't mean much except for the fact I was VERY quiet. Thus I spent huge amounts of time thinking. Huge amounts. And I spent huge amounts of time playing video games. Specifically Starcraft:Broodwar. I spent about 500+ hours playing that over 2 years. It's an RTS. Incredibly complicated. Lots of logical thinking involved. Now that you know all that I can continue my point. Around the age of 15/16 I was quite literally struck with the realization that I had a deep understanding of starcraft. Once this happened all of a sudden my ability to learn shot up. It's being increasing exponentially ever since.

Now, I had to say all that so you'd understand this. I'm very smart. I also have an incredibly "nerd" background. 'Nuff said.
01-11-2008 04:29 AM
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SoulRiser Wrote:Indeed... in fact, intelligent people seem more likely to be unhappy.

Good article. I think it's pretty dead on and sad that it is so about how people treat the smart kids in class. I don't even think I'm that smart, but I've always been treated as one of the smarter kids, so it doesn't even matter if I really am or not. Thankfully though I think I've managed to dodge some of the "emotional development" issues thanks to a good friend who looked past how other people treated me and treated me well (and in many cases demanded that others do the same, lol). But yeah, this article actually highlights some of my biggest pet peeves about school, mainly that you can either do very well socially or very well academically (not just with grades but with actual learning), not both.
01-11-2008 01:18 PM
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Something_Spacey Wrote:Its common knowledge that the primary goal of school is not to even educate Cuckoo

Ummm....yes it is. Admittedly to educate people to be good little factory drones but it's still education, right?

If I seem rude to you, please call me on it gently.
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stupid article
01-15-2008 02:55 AM
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Re: Intelligence vs. Effort

Hey guys, I noticed this topic might be in good relation to this:

"not all children are gifted"
http://adsoofmelk.wordpress.com/2008/04 ... l-part-ii/
http://www.rfwp.com/samples/mct-gifted-children-98.pdf

So, what do you think?
12-19-2009 01:13 AM
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Re:

Oni-Chiisu Wrote:My fucking sister has set a curve that I now have to live up to. See, when she was in high school, she made straight A's in Honor classes. She made no grades below 95. Now, I have to stumble upon the trail of supremacy she's left behind for me to live up. To top it all off, she now works at the grocery store where two of my teachers frequent. So now, all that bitch has to do is ask them how I'm doing, and those teachers will sing like freaking birds. So all of the people I talk to, I basically tell them to answer her questions with "He's fine." That's it.

Anyway, teachers get snide here since I don't even attempt to live up to her effort. So they make their remarks about how it's virtually impossible for me to be her brother. Alright, I know I don't give a shit about school and I don't put up full effort because it's wasteful and crap, but come the fuck on. Just because I'm sadly related to her doesn't mean I should have to live up to her standards. I've gotten in trouble because this more than once because my teachers fucking sing!
Awesome! You've just proved that all that "you need to get high grades to be rich" bullshit, is, well, bullshit.

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12-19-2009 05:23 PM
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Re: Intelligence vs. Effort

Wow, that post was made when I was a sophomore, dude. I'm in college now. Those fuckers have my consensus that they can all die lodged in their brains at this point.

XD
12-20-2009 04:06 AM
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RE: Intelligence vs. Effort

I wish I could read the whole thing
11-15-2011 03:58 AM
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RE: Intelligence vs. Effort

"Work Ethic" is total crap. Work ethic and working hard is all about believing or tricking yourself into believing that whatever you are doing helps in the long run and is therefore worth it. This is why no one tries at school -- although I'm sure almost everyone could get A's and B's if they try hard enough. The problem is, the supposed reason to go to school is so abstract and the rewards don't come half the time and then so far in the future that most people lose sight of them. Or, like us, they recognize that it's all BS anyway.

As to intelligence being fixed, I disagree with that. I was always smart from an academic sense, but sometime in the past couple of years, I have gotten way smarter. I can now do things and think thoughts and learn and understand like I have never done before. If I ever figure out what happened I will post it.

[/quote] Indeed... in fact, intelligent people seem more likely to be unhappy. [/quote]

I can attest to this and agree to this from personal experience. For those who choose to act intelligently (Everyone is smart, but not everybody acts it) studying psychology and sociology allows you to make artificial social development, which becomes natural over time. (I kind of did it to have friends).

Personally, though, the deepest pain is knowing and not sharing, and having all that I know bottled up inside without any kind of place to release my ideas and no one to talk to about it, the pain of having everything I ever think being trapped up. Honestly, I never gave a fuck about fame,I only ever want my ideas to get out their.

The purpose of life is a life with a purpose
So I’d rather die for a cause than live a life that is worthless
I don’t need the circus or the day of national observance
I need you to think for you and stop being a servant
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12-21-2011 10:38 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Intelligence vs. Effort

Quote:Personally, though, the deepest pain is knowing and not sharing, and having all that I know bottled up inside without any kind of place to release my ideas and no one to talk to about it, the pain of having everything I ever think being trapped up. Honestly, I never gave a fuck about fame,I only ever want my ideas to get out their.
I know that feeling. It helps to write it down and put it up on the internets somewhere. Though there are some ideas I wouldn't want to put up publicly... Razz

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"I'm pretty sure there's a lot of beauty that can only be found in the mind of a lunatic." - TheCancer
EIPD - Emotionally Incompetent Parent Disorder

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12-21-2011 10:44 AM
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