EDST 391 Intelligence in Everyday Life


P/F Writing Assignment for Day 10

Chronic diseases and accident prevention as cognitively demanding jobs


  1. Gottfredson & Deary ("Intelligence predicts health and longevity, but why?") 
  2. Jensen (“Accident proneness and mortality rate” Pp. 298-299)

Try this! How many hazards can you find in this picture? Bring it to class

Writing assignment:


1.       Please develop two very different possible explanations—two competing theories—for why early IQ predicts later health. As described in your readings, the IQ-health link has been confirmed (actually exists)—your task here is to come up with alternative hypotheses that could possibly explain it. (For example, what explanation might a g theorist propose vs. what a skeptic of g theory might propose? Draw on your reading, where helpful, but try to go beyond it.)

2.       Please describe the ways in which driving a car might, or might not, be cognitively demanding. Provide specific examples, and draw on evidence to support your claims. Here are two kinds of evidence you can draw upon:

·         NALS findings about what increases literacy items’ “process complexity” (number of features to match, literalness of match, number & proximity of distracters, amount information to be integrated, number & literalness of inferences required, number & level of numeric operations to be determined).

·         Job analysts’ findings about which particular job attributes and work contexts seem to pump up a job’s overall complexity (e.g., Tables 5, 7, and related text).   

·         NOTE: making your case will require you to create a logical connection between driving and g:  (a) describe specific examples of tasks or challenges faced in driving [drawing on your experience], (b) describe exactly how those tasks are or are not complex [drawing on the evidence], and (c) then explain why the complexity of the tasks has anything to do with g, that is, with being cognitively demanding [drawing on evidence]. No linkage, no cigar.

3.       Reminder: Please email me a thesis statement for your paper before Monday. (Several sentences only)

·         Thesis=the claim you will prove plus the gist of the argument you will use to prove it.

·         Note that this is much like a lawyer’s opening argument in a court case: “I will prove ___, and will do so by providing evidence that:   (a)___(b)__(etc.)_   (DON’T USE THESE WORDS—I AM JUST ILLUSTRATING THE IDEA!!!)