brain sizes: Einstein's and women's

Bob LeChevalier lojbab at
Wed Jul 17 16:40:08 EST 2002

"John Knight" <johnknight at> wrote:
>It's impossible to know *exactly* how many girls thought they knew the
>and instead had the wrong answer (P2).  But because so few got the correct
>answer, it's a good educated guess that P1 can't be greater than 0.
>In the example above where 14.9% of girls got the correct answer, we know
>that 85.1% of them got the wrong answer, and that they did so by guessing

No we don't know that they "guessed" wrong.  We merely know that they chose
the wrong answer.  There are a multitude of wrong answers that can be
obtained by faulty logic, erroneous assumptions, misreading the question, or
even erroneous teaching.  TIMSS people chose specific wrong answers to catch
the most likely of those errors.  "Guessing" has to be RANDOM in order to use
probability to predict the distribution.  

>So based on this educated guess, P2 has to be 5.1%.
>What this means is that no girls knew the correct answer [P1 = 0] and 5.1%
>of them thought they knew the right answer but had the wrong answer [P2 =
>It's possible but highly unlikely that P1 > 0, in which event we'd have to
>subtract P1 from P2 to know exactly how many of them were this misinformed.

You have no basis for determining either P1 or P2.

>So the question is, Cary, why were American girls so misinformed about this
>particular problem (and a whole host of other problems which had a similar
>The way I see it, there are only three possibilities:
>1) They learned the wrong thing in the classroom.
>2) They were taught properly in the classroom, but relied on their
>"intuition" rather than on what they were taught.
>3) The error in the test is greater than 3% (like around 5%).

There are a multitude of other possibilities.

>Based on the repeatability of the test, and its relative consistency with
>other tests given by different organizations, I believe that their estimate
>of a 3% error is very conservative [read: too high].

There is no 3% error.  The TIMSS numbers are exact, and not statistical
samples.  You pulled the 3% out of your strange orifice.

>If they were taught the wrong thing in the classroom, then why did boys, who
>scored 27.2%, get taught the right thing?  Of course it's possible that they
>too were taught the wrong thing, then realized during the test that what
>they were taught was in error, and adjusted their answer accordingly.  Of
>course, if this is true, still far too many of American boys got it wrong to
>believe they were even taught this at all, particularly since 60% of Swedish
>boys got it right.
>And that leaves only one possibility:  women's intuition.  The way the
>collective feminazi mentality on this forum always manages to produce
>exactly the *wrong* answer is a great demonstration of what happens when
>women rely on "women's intuition" rather than facts.

Women's intuition does not explain D12, where men scored less than 17%
correct.  Furthermore, if women's intuition were just another form of guess
then it would be random.

>American girls got a much lower score than if they'd just guessed,

On a couple of problems, fewer girls chose the correct answer than if they
had guessed randomly.  Likewise for boys.  It is likely that someone guessing
on the entire test would have scored 200, which is typically the lowest score
possible on a normed test.

>My bet is that feminazis are too stupid and arrogant to even understand,
>much less care.

My bet is that *human beings* don't understand, much less care, what you


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