Robin Hanson, back in 2008 [emphasis his]:
Discussion of the Science article on gender differences in math test variance got me thinking. Since a test score is a noisy measure of some underlying ability, an unusually high score can come either from an unusual high ability, or from an unusually positive measurement error (or both). If higher male score variance is due more to a higher male ability variance than to a higher male measurement error variance, then a high female score is more likely to be due to measurement error than is the same high male score. If so, treating the same score value as the same ability, independent of gender, as is common in school admissions, creates a bias (vs. men) in favor of high scoring, and against low scoring, women.
Bryan Caplan's new post is titled "Intelligence Makes People Think Like Economists: Further Evidence." The claim from the Duarte, Haidt et al. article he quotes is that "economic conservatism" and IQ are positively correlated. The comments on my FB make me think I should have stressed this more, as some seem to have run away with the idea that high IQ folks tend to frame questions in the same sort of way as academic economists. Now that's a pretty debatable interpretation of "economic conservatism". Maybe I'll get around to checking how the article operationalises this concept some time, or maybe someone else will let me know.
Bryan's post provides the 7 relevant references given in the article's mini literature review.
I think leftism is often seen as the province of intelligent people, and dispelling that notion with sheer IQ data might do a lot of good. True, people will get to say "ad hominem". And, of course, that people are more likely to think X the smarter they are does not guarantee that X is true. Still, I think it's evidence for X. How strong this evidence is depends on a number of other contentious issues, though.
Maja Djikic and Keith Oatley say:
Recent studies have shown that reading literary fiction can prompt personality changes that include improvements in abilities in empathy and theory-of-mind. We review these studies and propose a psychological conception of artistic literature as having 3 aspects that contribute to such changes. These are that literary fiction is simulation of selves with others in the social world; that taking part in this type of simulation can produce fluctuations that are precursors to personality changes; and that the changes occur in readers’ own ways, being based not on persuasion but on indirect communication.
Fluctuations in personality comparable to those that occurred in reading artistic literature have been found when people listened to music (Djikic, 2011) and looked at pieces of visual art (Djikic, Oatley, & Peterson, 2012).
Maja Djikic, Keith Oatley and Matthew Carland say:
We tested whether the genre of a literary text (essay as compared with short story) or its artistic merit would be primarily responsible for the variability in the self-perceived personality traits that individuals experience when they read. One hundred participants were randomly assigned to read either one of eight essays or one of eight short stories, matched for length, reading difficulty, and interest. The Big-Five personality traits were measured before and after reading. Genre did not affect variability in personality. Rather, participants who judged the text they read to be more artistic reported a greater variability in their personality trait profile after reading, independently of whether the text was an essay or a short story.
Robin Hanson sez:
…we need to be able to change our nature and norms, to adapt to changing conditions. Yet we also want such changes to feel authentic, and not consciously or overtly done just to accommodate neighbors.
We become like metal that is forged by heat; we usually have a solid reliable shape, but we let ourselves be reshaped by the rare heat of great impressiveness.