Is Psychometric g a Myth? - "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g." [more inside]
Does the language we speak shape our thoughts? The Economist is hosting an interactive online debate running all this week. Lena Boroditsky, a Stanford psychologist, supports the motion that it does, while Mark Liberman, a linguist from the Univ of Pennsylvania opposes it. Elsewhere you can read a WSJ article in which among other things Boroditsky argues that Japanese and Spanish speakers have a different sense of blame, and listen to a lively in-depth seminar at the Long Now Foundation. All her articles and papers are available in PDF online.
Recursion and Human Thought - Why the Piraha don't have numbers
How Culture Molds Habits is a fascinating article. Read this article, tally another point for nurture. I've long thought this was true, but Nisbett's supposedly gathered rather a lot of data proving it is so. The article raises some interesting parts of the study, but I think the ramifications bear some considering. I'd be interested in reading the full study when it's published, but I haven't a clue where to get the Psychological Review. And can you imagine what the advertising execs will do with this stuff? Ads tailored to the way you think. Wheee. It does, of course, raise some fun questions about religion and politics.