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Delaying Gratification and Social Trust

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Charles Darwin

Denis Noble

JP Rushton

Richard Lynn

L:inda Gottfredson

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1900 words

Tests of delayed gratification, such as the Marshmallow Experiment, show that those who can better delay their gratification have better life outcomes than those who cannot. The children who succumbed to eating the treat while the researcher was out of the room had worse life outcomes than the children who could wait. This was chalked up to cognitive processes by the originator of the test, while individual differences in these cognitive processes also were used as explanations for individual differences between children in the task. However, it doesn’t seem to be that simple. I did write an article back in December of 2015 on the Marshmallow Experiment and how it was a powerful predictor, but after extensive reading into the subject, my mind has changed. New research shows that social trust has a causal effect on whether or not one would wait for the reward—if the individual trusted the researcher he or she was more likely to wait for the other reward than if they did not trust the researcher, in which they were more likely to take what was offered in the first place.

The famous Marshmallow Experiment showed that children who could wait with a marshmallow or other treat in front of them while the researcher was out of the room, they would get an extra treat. The children who could not wait and ate the treat while the researcher was out of the room had worse life outcomes than the children who could wait for the other treat. These lead researchers to the conclusion that the ability to delay gratification depended on ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ cognitive processes. According to Walter Mischel, the originator of the study method, the ‘cool’ system is the thinking one, the cognitive system, which reminds you that you get a reward if you wait, while the ‘hot’ system is the impulsive system, the system that makes you want the treat now and not want to wait for the other treat (Metcalfe and Mischel, 1999).

Some of these participants were followed up on decades later, and those who could better delay their gratification had lower BMIs (Schlam et al, 2014); scored better on the SAT (Shoda, Mischel, and Peake, 1990) and other tests of educational attainment (Ayduk et al, 2000); along with other positive life outcomes. So it seems that placing a single treat—whether it be a marshmallow or another sweet treat—would predict one’s success, BMI, educational attainment and future prospects in life and that there are underlying cognitive processes, between individuals that lead to differences between them. But it’s not that simple.

After Mischel’s studies in the 50s, 60s and 70s on delayed gratification and positive and negative life outcomes (e.g., Mischel, 1958; Mischel, 1961Mischel, Ebbeson, and Zeiss, 1972) it was pretty much an accepted fact that delaying gratification somehow was related to these positive life outcomes, while the negative life outcomes were partly a result of the lack of ability to delay gratification. Though in 2014, a study was conducted showing that ability to delay gratification depends on social trust (Michaelson et al, 2013).

Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, (n = 78, 34 male, 39 female and 5 who preferred not to state their gender) completed online surveys and read three vignettes in order—trusty, untrustworthy and neutral—while using a scale of 1-7 to note how likeable, trustworthy, and how sharing their likelihood of sharing. Michaelson et al (2013) write:

Next, participants completed intertemporal choice questions (as in Kirby and Maraković, 1996), which varied in immediate reward values ($15–83), delayed reward values ($30–85), and length of delays (10–75 days). Each question was modified to mention an individual from one of the vignettes [e.g., “If (trustworthy individual) offered you $40 now or $65 in 70 days, which would you choose?”]. Participants completed 63 questions in total, with 21 different questions that occurred once with each vignette, interleaved in a single fixed but random order for all participants. The 21 choices were classified into 7 ranks (using the classification system from Kirby and Maraković, 1996), where higher ranks should yield higher likelihood of delaying, allowing a rough estimation of a subject’s willingness to delay using a small number of trials. Rewards were hypothetical, given that hypothetical and real rewards elicit equivalent behaviors (Madden et al., 2003) and brain activity (Bickel et al., 2009), and were preceded by instructions asking participants to consider each choice as if they would actually receive the option selected. Participants took as much time as they needed to complete the procedures.

When one’s trust was manipulated in the absence of a reward, within the group of subjects influenced their ability to delay gratification, along with how trustworthy one was perceived to be, influenced their ability to delay gratification. So this suggests that, in the absence of rewards, when social trust is reduced, ability to delay gratification would be lessened. Due to the issues of social trust manipulation due to the order of how the vignettes were read, they did a second experiment using the same model using 172 participants (65 males, 63 females, and 13 who chose not to state their gender). Though in this experiment, a computer-generated trustworthy, untrustworthy and neutral face was presented to the participants. They were only paid $.25 cents, though it has been shown that the compensation only affects turnout, not data quality (Burhmester, Kwang, and Gosling, 2011).

In this experiment, each participant read a vignette and there was a particular face attached to it (trustworthy, untrustworthy and neutral), which were used in previous studies on this matter. They found that when trust was manipulated in the absence of a reward between the subjects, this influenced the participants’ willingness and to delay gratification along with the perceived trustworthiness influencing it as well.

Michaelson et al (2013) conclude that the ability to delay gratification is predicated on social trust, and present an alternative hypothesis for all of these positive and negative life outcomes:

Social factors suggest intriguing alternative interpretations of prior findings on delay of gratification, and suggest new directions for intervention. For example, the struggles of certain populations, such as addicts, criminals, and youth, might reflect their reduced ability to trust that rewards will be delivered as promised. Such variations in trust might reflect experience (e.g., children have little control over whether parents will provide a promised toy) and predisposition (e.g., with genetic variations predicting trust; Krueger et al., 2012). Children show little change in their ability to delay gratification across the 2–5 years age range (Beck et al., 2011), despite dramatic improvements in self-control, indicating that other factors must be at work. The fact that delay of gratification at 4-years predicts successful outcomes years or decades later (Casey et al., 2011; Shoda et al., 1990) might reflect the importance of delaying gratification in other processes, or the importance of individual differences in trust from an early age (e.g., Kidd et al., 2012).

Another paper (small n, n = 28) showed that the children’s perception of the researchers’ reliability predicted delay of gratification (Kidd, Palmeri, and Aslin, 2012). They suggest that “children’s wait-times reflected reasoned beliefs about whether waiting would ultimately pay off.” So these tasks “may not only reflect differences in self-control abilities, but also beliefs about the stability of the world.” Children who had reliable interactions with the researcher waited about 4 times as long—12 minutes compared to 3 minutes—if they thought the researcher was trustworthy. Sean Last over at the Alternative Hypothesis uses these types of tasks (and other correlates) to show that blacks have lower self-control than whites, citing studies showing correlations with IQ and delay of gratification. Though, as can be seen, alternative explanations for these phenomena make just as much sense, and with the new experimental evidence on social trust and delaying gratification, this adds a new wrinkle to this debate. (He also shortly discusses ‘reasons’ why blacks have lower self-control, implicating the MAOA alleles. However, I have already discussed this and blaming ‘genes for’ violence/self-control doesn’t make sense.)

Michaelson and Munakata (2016) show more evidence for the relationship between social trust and delaying gratification. When children (age 4 years, 5 months, n = 34) observed an adult as trustworthy, they were able to wait for the reward, compared to when they observed the adult as untrustworthy they ate the treat thinking that, since they observed the adult as untrustworthy, they were not likely to get the second marshmallow than if they waited for the adult to return if they believed him to be untrustworthy. Ma et al (2018) also replicated these findings in a sample of 150 Chinese children aged 3 to 5 years old. They conclude that “there is more to delay of gratification than cognitive capacity, and they suggest that there are individual differences in whether children consider sacrificing for a future outcome to be worth the risk.” Those who had higher levels of generalized trust waited longer, even when age and level of executive functioning were controlled for.

Romer et al (2010) show that people who are more willing to take risks may be more likely to engage in risky behavior that provides insights to that specific individual on why delaying gratification and having patience leads to longer-term rewards. This is a case of social learning. However, people who are more willing to take risks have higher IQs than people who do not. Though SES was not controlled for, it is possible that the ability to delay gratification in this study came down to SES, with lower class people taking the money, while higher class people deferred. Raine et al (2002) showed a relationship between sensation seeking in 3-year-old children from Mauritius, which then was related to their ‘cognitive scores’ at age 11. As usual, parental occupation was used as a measure of ‘social class’, and since SES does not capture all aspects of social class then controlling for the variable does not seem to be too useful. Because a confound here could be that children from higher classes have more of a chance to sensation seek which may cause higher IQ scores due to cognitive enrichment. Either way, you can’t say that IQ ’causes’ delayed gratification since there are more robust predictors such as social trust.

Though the relationship is there, what to make of it? Since exploring more leads to, theoretically, more chances to get things wrong and take risks by being impulsive, those who are more open to experience will have had more chances to learn from their impulsivity, and so learn to delay gratification through social learning and being more open. ‘IQ’ correlating with it, in my opinion, doesn’t matter too much; it just shows that there is a social learning component to delaying gratification.

In conclusion, there are alternative ways to look at the results from Marshmallow Experiments, such as social trust and social learning (being impulsive and seeing what occurs when an impulsive act is carried out may have one learn, in the future, to wait for something). Though these experiments are new and the research is young, it’s very promising that there are other explanations for delayed gratification that don’t have to do with differences in ‘cognitive ability’, but depend on social trust—trust between the child and the researcher. If the child sees the researcher is trustworthy, then the child will wait for the reward, whereas if they see the researcher is not trustworthy, they ill take the marshmallow or whatnot, since they believe the researcher is not trustworthy and therefore won’t stick to their word. (I am also currently reading Mischel’s 2014 book Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control and will have more thoughts on this in the future.)

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24 Comments

  1. I’ve done the marshmallow test with my own children, which hopefully eliminates the trustworthy aspect. The only variables that have so far impacted marshmallow eating is age (younger children struggle to delay while older children do it easily) and desire for marshmallows (kids who want more marshmallows make more effort to get more marshmallows than kids who are happy with just one.)

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  2. meLo says:

    This could simply be an effect from conditioning on a collider. Of course trust in the researcher could be be analogous to trust in the governmental/economic system. The causation can be probed out by identifying the present feedback loops, children are probably more likely to distrust the system if their parents do too , as well as if the individuals were unsuccessful in attaining a high resource output through their careers. It’s already well known that delayed gratification is a biological entity related to the level of cognitive complexity of the species, so the differences seen in humans is probably due to niche construction, which of course is still hereditary.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/111/20/E2140

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    • RaceRealist says:

      It’s already well known that delayed gratification is a biological entity related to the level of cognitive complexity of the species, so the differences seen in humans is probably due to niche construction, which of course is still hereditary.

      I love how those who push the gene-centered view always go back to ‘it’s the genes’ argument. Source that these differences is due to niche construction, even after I’ve provided evidence for alternative explanations of Mischel’s studies? I don’t deny (and I didn’t even imply) that DG did not have a biological component between species. The point is, DG studies that don’t control for social trust are confounded, and you, therefore, cannot state definitively that DG has to do with differences in cognition between individuals, when it just, as I’ve cited, tests differences in trust between individuals.

      And it’s also worth noting that Mischel has been against these conclusions in recent years that one little marshmallow can predict your life success.

      The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

      “That iconic story is upside-down wrong,” Mischel says. “That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn’t.”

      Invisibilia: Is Your Personality Fixed, Or Can You Change Who You Are?

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    • meLo says:

      “I love how those who push the gene-centered view always go back to ‘it’s the genes’ argument. ”

      I love how literally everything goes over your head, to the point that i have to explain it to you like you’re a 5 year old. Genes are required for long term evolution, they are highly important to evolution, this is an irrefutable fact. That’s not me saying genes are “selfish” or “slaves”, but Darwin’s theory of natural selection needed a mode of inheritance, otherwise it was unscientific. I didn’t bring anything back to “it’s the genes” I just brought it back to evolution, because selection is always occurring. This bring me to my next point, where you stated:

      “Source that these differences is due to niche construction, even after I’ve provided evidence for alternative explanations of Mischel’s studies?The point is, DG studies that don’t control for social trust are confounded, and you, therefore, cannot state definitively that DG has to do with differences in cognition between individuals”

      See, I can definitively state that because these differences in social trust are evidence of the niche that has been constructed. Society is our niche, and as you know niche construction is still a selection pressure. Culture is just another word for environment and environment is what directs selection. Society causes differences in social trust and subsequently DG, the relative level of which is dependent on the niche. It may be more adaptive to have low DG in the hood. This is still all assuming the results of your studies are not simply due to conditioning on a collider(selection bias).

      “that one little marshmallow can predict your life success.”

      Nobody thinks that. Your arguments are always based on extreme strawmans.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      1) You implicated genes as the ’cause’ for different niches. Nature, meet nurture. You are a false dichotomy.

      2) Social trust as the cause for differences in the test is an apt explanation. The authors write:

      For example, the struggles of certain populations, such as addicts, criminals, and youth, might reflect their reduced ability to trust that rewards will be delivered as promised. Such variations in trust might reflect experience (e.g., children have little control over whether parents will provide a promised toy) and predisposition (e.g., with genetic variations predicting trust; Krueger et al., 2012).

      So this implies, if one is more trusting of authority or whatever else, they will also be better able to delay their gratification. (But in today’s political climate in America, I doubt that’ll happen.)

      It may be more adaptive to have low DG in the hood.

      Of course. And, as seen in the above quote, if people see that they cannot trust others, then they will not be able to delay their gratification because they may believe they may not get said reward due to life experiences. (Saying that everything, in the end, is ‘genetic’ or ‘controlled by’ ‘genes’ is lazy because genes do not work like that.)

      This is still all assuming the results of your studies are not simply due to conditioning on a collider(selection bias).

      What do you think?

      Nobody thinks that. Your arguments are always based on extreme strawmans.

      1) that is not an argument, it is a quote. Arguments have premises and conclusions and 2) I quoted that to show you Mischel’s thoughts on his studies over the decades and how they are painted in the media.

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    • meLo says:

      “You implicated genes as the ’cause’ for different niches. Nature, meet nurture. You are a false dichotomy.”

      You seriously need to improve your reading comprehension, because i never stated any of that, neither did I imply it.

      “2) Social trust as the cause for differences in the test is an apt explanation.”

      This doesn’t necessarily conflict with what i wrote, but since it is essentially a repetition of what i already addressed with my point on niche construction, this implies you didn’t understand what i said. go back and read and readdress the point, otherwise your statement is just a redundant comment. I understand if you sometimes lack the ability to grasp the points I make. So don’t be afraid to ask questions if it sounds confusing.

      Basically my point ca be summed as”Social trust is a product of a niche which is a selection pressure that selects fro dg”. Start thinking feed back loops, not dichotomies. If you don’t get it then you’re hit bud.

      “What do you think?”

      Not sure. Biology is a pretty soft science, so the variability can make things confusing.

      “1) that is not an argument, it is a quote. Arguments have premises and conclusions and 2) I quoted that to show you Mischel’s thoughts on his studies over the decades and how they are painted in the media.”

      1) A strawman is a false premise to begin with so my statement was still correct. Your arguments are based on extreme strawmans. 2) Whatever.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      Basically my point ca be summed up as Social trust is a product of a niche which is a selection pressure that selects fro dg

      We can surely implicate the sociocognitive-affective nexus, what you term “a new word” for feedback loops but it’s much much more than that. I’ve already discussed it too much so you know where I am going with this. Either way, lower class people, since they don’t have much, would take it since, for instance, they may be hungry. The sociocognitive-affective nexus is powerful with a ton of explanatory power.

      Biology is a pretty soft science.

      I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. Do me a favor and take a biology 1 class and tell the professor that biology is a ‘pretty soft science’ and report back what he/she says. I’d love to hear it.

      Please explain you’re reasoning because it’s highly flawed. Biology is not psychology. It’s a hard science.

      1) I didn’t make an argument, I only provided a quote from the originator of the feat and his thoughts on what the media says about his studies. 2) It’s not ‘whatever’ because that wasn’t an argument (arguments have premises and conclusions) and see 1.

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  3. meLo says:

    “but it’s much much more than that.”

    How?

    “I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life.”

    ….Why? Are you seriously that ignorant that you didn’t even know Biology is soft?

    “Do me a favor and take a biology 1 class and tell the professor that biology is a ‘pretty soft science’ and report back what he/she says. I’d love to hear it.”

    It’s safe to say I know far more than your professor about Biology especially if he’s the one teaching you this garbage you’ve been parroting lately.

    “Please explain you’re reasoning because it’s highly flawed. Biology is not psychology. It’s a hard science.”

    I’ll go ahead and quote someone “Much of Physics and Chemistry is rooted in mathematical principles. Math is considered the purest of disciplines because it’s not open to subjective interpretation. Biology, although utilizing math at times, is more rooted in conceptual understanding and interactions between living systems, which generally cannot be mathematically explained. Something like evolution doesn’t have a scientific law that says “if these conditions then this result” like, say, the laws of gravity or thermodynamics have.”

    The theory of evolution and genetics contributes to Biology also being a historical science. Which is why you and Afro sound really stupid when you say things like construct validity should be a perfect correlation of 1, or all HBD theories are Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Because technically all historical science is and expecting 1 correlation to arise out of such variation is unreasonable.

    “I didn’t make an argument”

    This entire post is an argument, and it’s wahtever because i dont even care.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      How?

      How is the sociocognitive-affective nexus much more than feedback loops? Because it implies that when lower scorers get access to the cultural and psychological tools needed to, say, delay gratification for a little treat (in Mischel’s original studies they were mini-marshmallows), then they too will be able to delay their gratification since they also have the same tools as others.

      It’s safe to say I know far more than your professor about Biology especially if he’s the one teaching you this garbage you’ve been parroting lately.

      You didn’t know what ATP was so that’s a false statement. I don’t take the class anymore (I passed with flying colors, of course), and so I teach myself, reading and studying my textbook.

      “Much of Physics and Chemistry is rooted in mathematical principles. Math is considered the purest of disciplines because it’s not open to subjective interpretation. Biology, although utilizing math at times, is more rooted in conceptual understanding and interactions between living systems, which generally cannot be mathematically explained. Something like evolution doesn’t have a scientific law that says “if these conditions then this result” like, say, the laws of gravity or thermodynamics have.”

      Is this a quote from Reddit? Either way, the statment that ‘conceptual understanding and interactions between living systems … cannot be mathematically explained” is a false statement.

      On the mathematical theory of living systems II: The interplay between mathematics and system biology

      Coincidentally, it uses systems biology, Denis Noble’s field.

      There are no ‘laws’ other than ‘species change’ (which isn’t even a law, too lazy to word it like one), but there are ‘patterns’ and ‘generalizations’, to quote Jerry Coyne (my archnemesis).

      Four laws of evolutionary biology

      And the final sentence in that Reddit quote “Something like evolution doesn’t have a scientific law that says …”, how about “if a species survives and passes on its genes, then it will evolve under the right conditions” (which is also a logical argument)?

      Also see:

      The proposed laws are based on continuous representation in both time and population. Their generic nature is demonstrated through their equivalence to classical formulations. The present three laws appear to provide a coherent framework for the further development of the subject.

      Laws in Darwinian evolutionary theory

      all HBD theories are Post hoc ergo propter hoc

      Most are, and I’ll reiterate that most HBD theories are ‘just-so stories’.

      This entire post is an argument, and it’s wahtever because i dont even care.

      Yes the post is an argument, but the quote from Mischel that I provided, to which you said that “my arguments” are “always based on extreme strawmans” is wrong because that’s not an argument and the I didn’t even write that. It’s simple. Logic 101.

      Like

    • ron burgundy says:

      one thing no HBDer understand is history.

      the world’s most advanced society was once located in what is today iraq. then it was egypt. then persia. the greece. then rome. it was never chiner. sad! therefore, i conclude iraqis are superior to china people. the philippines have always sucked. sad!

      Like

    • meLo says:

      “then they too will be able to delay their gratification since they also have the same tools as others.”

      Again, not all properties of this system are equal in dynamism. Plasticity is relative as well.

      The reddit comment was not meant as evidence, but just a way to better articulate myself. It should be noted, by “soft” I am not degrading it’s scientific importance or validity but judging by your reaction, you do. Which is very erroneous, because science is not a competition, Evolutionary theory has as much validity as gravity, just the latter has more concrete predicitonal power, which is why it’s called “soft”

      Secondly, I realize Biology contains a lot of math, especially biochemistry and medicine which are very “hard” fields, but Evolution is not. Which again is why when you bark “correlations not causation” and Afro barks “construct validity” you just embarrass yourselves.

      “The present three laws appear to provide a coherent framework for the further development of the subject.”

      Notice how he continuously puts quotations around the word “laws”. yeah, that’s because they aren’t actually laws LOL.

      “Most are, and I’ll reiterate that most HBD theories are ‘just-so stories’.”

      As is all historical science so go ahead and throw Physical Anthropology and evolutionary theory out the window.

      “Logic 101.”

      The quotation was a premise for your opponents views. Get over yourself.

      Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      Again, not all properties of this system are equal in dynamism. Plasticity is relative as well.

      These tools, though, make up the special cognitive preparedness needed to take the tests. Cognitive systems have evolved to deal with changeable but unpredictable circumstances, like those created in social contexts. This occurs by distilling the abstract informational structure and then apply it to the problem. These structure then can be used as psychological tools, which can then be used to generate processes specific to the problem at hand but informed by the informational structure. Cultural tools are self-explanatory.

      Evolutionary theory has as much validity as gravity, just the latter has more concrete predicitonal power, which is why it’s called “soft”

      Natural sciences are hard sciences while social ‘sciences’ are soft sciences. Natural science is life science and physical science. Therefore biology is a hard science.

      Secondly, I realize Biology contains a lot of math, especially biochemistry and medicine which are very “hard” fields, but Evolution is not

      Evolution is part historic, part a-historical science. See Are ecology and evolutionary biology “soft” sciences? by Pigliucci (2002).

      Research in ecology and evolutionary biology (evo-eco) often tries to emulate the “hard” sciences such as physics and chemistry, but to many of its practitioners feels more like the “soft” sciences of psychology and sociology. I argue that this schizophrenic attitude is the result of lack of appreciation of the full consequences of the peculiarity of the evo-eco sciences as lying in between a-historical disciplines such as physics and completely historical ones as like paleontology.

      The quotation was a premise for your opponents views. Get over yourself.

      I didn’t quote that to imply you meant it, just showing what the creator of the test said about it, I’ve seen people say the same, but I know you have a problem with me using my past experience.

      Like

    • meLo says:

      “Cultural tools are self-explanatory.”

      You didn’t address my point.

      “Natural sciences are hard sciences while social ‘sciences’ are soft sciences. Natural science is life science and physical science. Therefore biology is a hard science.”

      Subject is not what defines a “soft” or “hard” science. It’s how close it adheres to experimentation as defined under the rules of the scientific method.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      You didn’t address my point.

      Yes I did. Special cognitive preparedness explains it. When you say ‘this system’, what do you mean? The developmental system right? Epigenetic effects due to stress would also effect plasticity and the dynamic changes that would occur with better access to the cultural and psychological tools needed to do well on these tests.

      I’ve shown that it’s not a soft science. Psychology is soft, evolutionary biology and ecology are not.

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  4. meLo says:

    “Yes I did.”

    No you didn’t, beneficial mutations of regulatory genes are far more rare, which means that Intelligence is possibly more plastic than plasticity itself. Different parts of the brain also have varying levels of this plasticity, and it’s a well established fact that our brains lose enormous amounts of plasticity as we grow.

    “I’ve shown that it’s not a soft science. Psychology is soft, evolutionary biology and ecology are not.”

    LOL no, try again. If you jump out of your window, you will hit the ground every time, at the same time I can guarantee you of the existence of two species with identical genotypes yet completely different phenotypic expressions. Evolution lacks repeatibility, or more precisely, the results will always be variable. Go ahead and make a long term prediction on our evolution, or any other multicellular species, It’ll be very wrong. When you a make a prediction in physics, the result is the same every single time.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      The point is about special cognitive preparedness, the sociocognitive-affective nexus and how they intertwine with social class. I’ve shown so-called generic differences in IQ using GWAS are flawed and don’t take into account population stratification within Britain, nor do they take into account migratory patterns of different social classes that have become stratified. There is no evidence for the assertion—other than GWAS studies which are highly flawed—that differences between classes come down to genetic differences because the behavioral genetics model is highly flawed and based on numerous false assumptions.

      Evolutionary biology has predictive power.

      The Predictive Power of Evolutionary Biology and the Discovery of Eusociality in the Naked Mole Rat

      The claim that evolutionary biology has no predictive power is a Creationist ploy (no I am not calling you a Creationist). That fact has been discredited by philosophers of science and Karl Popper.

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    • meLo says:

      “The point is about special cognitive preparedness, the sociocognitive-affective nexus and how they intertwine with social class.”

      Irrelevant. You didn’t address my point you’re just repeating yourself.

      “Evolutionary biology has predictive power.”

      I didn’t say or imply the opposite. Evolution has predictive power, just less than any theory in physics. Evolution is science, it’s just less scientific, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Naked mole rats are actually a perfect example of my point:

      https://elifesciences.org/articles/31157

      “Moreover, unlike all other mammals studied to date, and regardless of sex or breeding-status, the age-specific hazard of mortality did not increase with age, even at ages 25-fold past their time to reproductive maturity. This absence of hazard increase with age, in defiance of Gompertz’s law, uniquely identifies the naked mole-rat as a non-aging mammal, confirming its status as an exceptional model for biogerontology.”

      In physics, there is nothing that violates the laws of thermodynamics.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      Irrelevant. You didn’t address my point you’re just repeating yourself.

      It’s not irrelevant. This: “Again, not all properties of this system are equal in dynamism. Plasticity is relative as well.” does not address the point on affective prepardness and cultural and psychological tools used for test-taking. Which properties of the system that use psychological tools are not ‘equal in dynamism’ and which show that ‘Plasticity is relative as well’? I’ve shown previous citations on the epigenetic effects brought on by certain social class living, which then would effect test performance. Must not be relevant.

      In physics, there is nothing that violates the laws of thermodynamics.

      If you’ve ever stated that “a calorie is a calorie”, that violates the Second Law and there have been instances of the First Law being violated:

      Violation of the First Law of Thermodynamics in f(R,T) Gravity

      Second Law being violated:

      Violation of the second law of thermodynamics in the quantum microworld

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    • meLo says:

      “does not address the point on affective prepardness and cultural and psychological tools used for test-taking”

      It does address it, you just lack the ability to understand what it means. I’ve explained it’s reasoning multiple times, and this is the last time. The different parts in our biological systems are not equal in plasticity. Meaning, you can never fully mute all observed mental gaps between individuals. You’re living in a fantasy world, where you think everything is fair. Sorry bud, but Innate potential exists, it’s gotten to the point that you are literally denying evolution.

      “Second Law being violated:”

      LOL, you don’t know physics. Why are you trying to debate me on it? Physics breaks down in blacks holes, hence why thermodynamics does not apply in singularities brought on by massive gravitational effects. Secondly, Quantum mechanics does not violate Thermodynamics, thermodynamics just doesn’t apply on the small scale(As do almost all physical laws, one reason why Cells could not possibly be intelligent) So size is simply a confound. Which bring me to my next point: Evolution, biology have infinitely more confounds to control for, which is why the predictional power is so low to begin with. Also I should mention, unlike 90% of all physics theories, Thermodynamics is a statistical law, not an absolute one.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      The different parts in our biological systems are not equal in plasticity.

      Where did I assert this? I made a claim that psychological and cultural tools are unevenly distributed between classes which is why they score differently, also bringing up the fact that IQ tests are constructed by people from a narrow social class which is another reason why lower classes score lower. So since they have differential access to these tools then they score differently.

      you can never fully mute all observed mental differences between individuals.

      These mental differences in the normal range, what causes them and where is the evidence for the assertion? Yea yea P-FIT. But where are the genes that cause these differences?

      but Innate potential exists, it’s gotten to the point that you are literally denying evolution.

      Thanks for the laugh. I’ve shown that IQ heritability estimates are way inflated. I’ve shown that natural selection lowers heritability for traits important for survival. Ergo genetic variation in ‘IQ’ should be low. Therefore I’m not ‘literally denying evolution’.

      You made an absolute claim. I showed your absolute claim was wrong.

      Scientific American: “Now Australian researchers writing in the July 29 issue of Physical Review Letters report that even larger systems of thousands of molecules can also undergo fleeting energy increases that seem to violate the venerable law.”

      Either way my main concern with thermodynamics are the claims that the First Law has any relevance to weight loss. Since you’re so much more knowledgeable on physics than my measly brain is, does the First Law apply to human physiology? Is it relevant to human physiology?

      Like

  5. meLo says:

    “Where did I assert this? which is why they score differently”

    This quote implies it. Meaning you don’t understand that “The different parts in our biological systems are not equal in plasticity.”

    “But where are the genes that cause these differences?”

    This question is more evidence of how little you actually know about biology.

    ” I’ve shown that IQ heritability estimates are way inflated.”

    What does that have to do with anything I stated? Reading comprehension.

    “You made an absolute claim.

    Because you have a higher chance of winning the lottery 50 times in a row then observing Thermodynamics breaching the classical limit.

    “I showed your absolute claim was wrong.”

    No you didn’t. Try again.

    “Either way my main concern with thermodynamics are the claims that the First Law has any relevance to weight loss.”

    Thermodynamics always has relevance, it’s just how one interprets it. Thermodynamics is still relevant to weight loss in the sense that it’s relevant to biochemistry in general. The way calories work has no bearing on that.

    “Since you’re so much more knowledgeable on physics than my measly brain is, ”

    Look, you can’t help what your genes do, they’re very selfish.

    “does the First Law apply to human physiology? Is it relevant to human physiology?”

    Go ahead and post the link, you’ve already tried this before I was even reading on physics, and now that i know it I’m going to go ahead and dissect it and explain why it’s bullshit.

    Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      This quote implies it. Meaning you don’t understand that “The different parts in our biological systems are not equal in plasticity.”

      Of course I understand this. My assertion re psychological (and cultural) tools still hold. Psychological tools can be used to generate solutions unique to that problem, which comes from the structure of the problem. So if you’re not exposed to middle class culture, then you won’t know how to integrate the statistical information seen to generate solutions unique to said problem.

      This question is more evidence of how little you actually know about biology.

      I laughed. I’ll play your game though. Where are the genes that are expressed differently that cause these differences in trait variation?

      What does that have to do with anything I stated? Reading comprehension.

      No, no ‘reading comprehension’. You said I am denying evolution. I then used evolution to prove my point.

      Because you have a higher chance of winning the lottery 50 times in a row then observing Thermodynamics breaching the classical limit.

      I provided evidence against your absolute claim.

      Thermodynamics is still relevant to weight loss in the sense that it’s relevant to biochemistry in general. The way calories work has no bearing on that.

      No it is not relevant to weight loss. It tells nothing about causation. And the way calories work DOES have a bearing on this.

      Let’s say two people are on a diet with the same amount of kcal, say they both are the same height and weight, they consume the same amount of kcal, but the only difference is that one man is eating 60 percent kcal from CHO while the other is eating 60 percent kcal from fat. Over a 6 month period, what will happen to both of them? Will they end up losing the same amount of weight if they were locked inside of a metabolic chamber? Why or why not? Is a calorie a calorie? That is, does it matter where calories come from? If I eat 60 percent of my diet from sugar one week and 60 percent from fat another week, will there be any difference? Are calories ‘just calories’? Does it matter what type of source they come from?

      Go ahead and post the link, you’ve already tried this before I was even reading on physics, and now that i know it I’m going to go ahead and dissect it and explain why it’s bullshit.

      “now that i know it” hahaha. You think because you did some auto-didactic reading on something that you “know it”? OOoooookkkk…..

      Why the first law of thermodynamics is utterly irrelevant

      The First Law gives no causal information, someone eats more they gain more weight. Cool, we know that. Why do they gain more weight? It doesn’t answer what causes it. No, ‘eating more’ is not the cause, it becomes circular.

      This is also my go-to video when showing new people why it’s not relevant.

      Like

    • meLo says:

      “Of course I understand this.”

      But you obviously don’t. The basic premise of your thesis: is that culture will equalize mental differences between individuals. This disregards any differences in plasticity that could exist between biological structures that control cognition. For example, you have no idea whether the PFC is more malleable to the environment compared to the V1. Neither did you take into account that the V1 in one individual could be more plastic than the V1 in another. Culture can of course mute discrepancies assuming epigenetic change follows, which is still hereditary, still genetic, and still responsive to varying modes of selection.

      “I laughed.”

      I’m sure you did, Idiots tend not to know how stupid they really are.

      ” Where are the genes that are expressed differently that cause these differences in trait variation?”

      The same question. It’s seems you simply don’t get that even asking that question means you have not successfully extrapolated the necessary knowledge from the corresponding literature. When I have tried to correct you on these misconceptions you simply ignore, or possibly can’t grasp it. Phenotype does not equal genotype.

      “You said I am denying evolution. I then used evolution to prove my point.”

      Heritability has little to do with what i was talking about, so yes, reading comprehension. Also it seems redundant for you to claim heritability as a useless measure, and then use it to try and prove a point.

      “I provided evidence against your absolute claim.”

      Pffft. Did that boost your ego? Do you want a cookie now?

      “No it is not relevant to weight loss. It tells nothing about causation. And the way calories work DOES have a bearing on this.”

      CICO follows Thermodynamics, but CICO is not the correct way weight regulation actually functions, because of confounding variables like Insulin. So the issue isn’t the relevancy of Thermodynamics, it’s the way people interpret how their metabolic system works. Thermodynamics is always relevant because it’s a physical law and Biochemistry runs on physical laws. Thermodynamics defines the origins of life itself.

      http://www.englandlab.com/uploads/7/8/0/3/7803054/2013jcpsrep.pdf

      “You think because you did some auto-didactic reading on something that you “know it”? ”

      Well so far my “auto didactic reading” has gotten me much farther than you, at least in knowledge on biological systems and evolution. I already read the paper you posted on the supposed irrelevancy of thermodynamics in weight loss. Im sure you read it too, the difference is I critically analyzed it and took into account the physics I had been reading. This quote describes you to the T:

      “I know people who read interminably, book after book, from page to page, and yet I should not call them ‘well-read people’. Of course they ‘know’ an immense amount; but their brain seems incapable of assorting and classifying the material which they have gathered from books. They have not the faculty of distinguishing between what is useful and useless in a book; so that they may retain the former in their minds and if possible skip over the latter while reading it”

      Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      The basic premise of your thesis: is that culture will equalize mental differences between individuals. This disregards any differences in plasticity that could exist between biological structures that control cognition.

      And the other part of said thesis is that the test items are biased towards higher classes since they are exposed to more of what are on these tests. IQ tests, then, can be said to screen for those who have the requisite psychological/cultural tools to take said IQ test, and people in lower classes will be less prepared since they have less access to said cultural and psychological tools.

      For example, you have no idea whether the PFC is more malleable to the environment compared to the V1. Neither did you take into account that the V1 in one individual could be more plastic than the V1 in another.

      I know that stress affects the growth of the hippocampus and the vmPFC

      Culture can of course mute discrepancies assuming epigenetic change follows, which is still hereditary, still genetic, and still responsive to varying modes of selection.

      Epigenetic changes are not ‘genetic’. We’ve been through this. Read the section on chromatin in my MS article. That’s not ‘genetic’. Just because it passes through the germline/survive meiosis/mitosis does not mean it’s ‘genetic’. Of course epigenetic variation would then become a target of selection if possible.

      Phenotype does not equal genotype.

      Thanks. I didn’t know that.

      You said that “innate potential exists”. Where is this “innate potential”? Is it “in the genes”? If so, which genes? Do differences in genes account for differences between individuals in ‘intelligence’? If so, which genes? I hope these aren’t vague, what you would term ‘trap’ questions, I think they’re pretty clear.

      Heritability has little to do with what i was talking about, so yes, reading comprehension. Also it seems redundant for you to claim heritability as a useless measure, and then use it to try and prove a point.

      You’re talking about ‘innate potential’ (whatever that is). So can you be more specific? Because I take “innate potential” to be IQ. So it’d be great if you can clarify your statement. Thank you. You think that because I’m denying what you term ‘innate potential’ means that I’m “literally denying evolution”? It is the logic of natural selection to have low heritabilities (genetic variation say). You know this. Therefore discussing heritability estimates (regarding humans) is useless (especially since they’re gathered using the flawed CTM). Others have argued that they’re useless for biological systems as a whole and that we need to study causes and not variances. Either way, it’s not useful for humans.

      CICO follows Thermodynamics

      The First Law states that an increase in energy will accompany an increase in fat mass, but—and here’s the kicker—it does not say anything about causation.

      it’s the way people interpret how their metabolic system works

      How people interpret their metabolic system is different from how it actually runs (and obviously what you put into your body can make it more/less efficient).

      Thermodynamics is always relevant

      Not regarding obesity (it always holds, but is irrelevant to human physiology), why should people attempt to be ‘cured’ with physics when we need to address the human metabolic system to cure the disease?

      Two people, same height and weight go on an isocaloric diet but the only difference is that one is 60 percent CHO and the other is 60 percent fat. They are both in the same deficit and hypothetically, since they’re in a metabolic chamber. Over, say, one year they stick to the same diet, at the end, who would have the better body composition and weight loss?

      I already read the paper you posted on the supposed irrelevancy of thermodynamics in weight loss. Im sure you read it too, the difference is I critically analyzed it and took into account the physics I had been reading

      Well, what did you think when you critically analyzed it? Because what you stated above was not critical at all and does not contradict what is stated regarding the First Law and obesity (it’s irrelevant to human physiology).

      Like

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