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September 07, 2004

Bad Science of the Day

The headline screams Having Children Significantly Lowers Parents' IQs (all over the Interweb, but I got it from Bloggerheads). When you read the article, you discover that it shows that parents' IQs, when tested when their baby is six months old, are lower than before the baby was conceived.

OK. So that headling ought to read Six Months of Systemic Sleep Deprivation Significantly Lowers IQs. But that might not be quite so newsworthy, right?

I noticed that my brain function reduced substantially while my children were tiny, mostly due to sleep deprivation and exhaustion but also to some extent not having time for intellectual pursuits. And of course, as everyone ages, some mental skills wane while others improve. But overall, I think I've now recovered most of the faculties I lost in childbirth, and I'm quite sure that I wouldn't score 12 points lower in an IQ test than I did at age 18 or 30. (Not least because in most IQ tests, there aren't 12 points more to score; they top out at about 155).

Posted by Alison Scott at September 7, 2004 01:45 PM


Methinks a </a> is missing there somewhere. [Yup -- Ed.]

And a week of sleep dep makes you stupid. Never mind months. I am convinced it's a survival trait. Kids make you stupid enough so that you don't blame them.

Posted by: Erik V. Olson at September 7, 2004 05:27 PM

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