The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Statistical Illiteracy

Kos points to a recent study from the University of Wisconsin Madison that gets touted in the UK Guardian. But he titles it: Daily Kos - Not So Fast Summers.

[A] scientific study just published in American Psychologist provides strong reasons to doubt that there are many inborn differences between genders. Janet Shibley Hyde, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has shown that in most cases psychological differences are small or nonexistent. It turns out that there is no difference in how good girls and boys are at maths.
....

NOTE: Yeah I know Summers didn't say men were smarter than women, he just said they had greater aptitude in math and the sciences than women. Huge difference.

Errr... No he didn't. What he said was that at the tails of the distribution there may be morer men than women, meaning the shapes of their statistical distributions for intelligence are likely to be different. He said nothing about means or averages which is what Kos implies he says. If men were smarter than women in math and science they would be smarter on average. But he didn't say that. He suggested that the distribution of men's science and math intelligence may be different by being wider than womens.

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