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Benejeseret
2010-01-25, 11:48 PM
As yet another round of "stat yourself" threads just popped up, so did a common enough quote.

"Gamers tend to have above average intelligence."

Really?



Show me the evidence.

Not anecdotes, no generalizations, just peer-reviewed correlative studies supporting your statements with applicable references.

drengnikrafe
2010-01-25, 11:53 PM
I made that quote, I believe. In any case...

While in Statistics, I started gathering evidence. First of all, the gamers in that class had the highest grades, and understood the concepts the best. Upon investigating the rest of the classes, the trend remained. Granted, this isn't exactly what you asked for, but...
I can run a full-blown experiment if you want. Well, all except for the fact that the best thing I could do was use IQ tests, which, while a decent measure of intelligence, are less than perfect.

The problem with your request is that it asks us to take a semi-abstract concept and provide solid proof that Group A is better than Not-Group A.

Also, correlation is not causation.

sonofzeal
2010-01-26, 12:21 AM
Dude, if "peer-reviewed correlative studies" are your lowest standard of evidence for every little fact, you may want to go home and rethink your priorities. Many things can't be accurately measured or even properly defined, and Intelligence is one of these (http://www.iq-tests.eu/iq-test-Controversy-1200.html). In addition, not every question can be addressed by a scientific study, and of those that can be, not all have.

Sometimes you have to go on the best available evidence, and sometimes the best available evidence is common knowledge and anecdotes, both of which highly support pen-and-paper RPG gamers being well above average for intelligence.

RebelRogue
2010-01-26, 12:22 AM
At least, this seems to be generally true for a lot of forummers compared to average joes, all IMO (and thus not really what you asked for, sorry). However, it still seems people vastly overrated their Int stats in that thread (I'm not targeting anyone in particular, I just think the number of 18s in there was a little over the top).

drengnikrafe
2010-01-26, 12:23 AM
I would also like to add a disclaimer. People who become gamers of their own free will tend to be of higher intelligence. I can tell a story to justify it about "breaking out of social norms" and "memorizing rules", but... I find there isn't really a special connection between people born into a gamer family that are forced to game from a young age and intelligence. In my experience.

Also...

At least, this seems to be generally true for a lot of forummers compared to average joes, all IMO (and thus not really what you asked for, sorry). However, it still seems people vastly overrated their Int stats in that thread (I'm not targeting anyone in particular, I just think the number of 18s in there was a little over the top).

On what scale? 2e conventions say you're among the best in the country (I think) if you're an 18. 3e is more along the lines of "one in 512", or "20% better than average". I can believe that some people who came to this forum have 3e 18 INTs.

Optimystik
2010-01-26, 12:32 AM
As yet another round of "stat yourself" threads just popped up, so did a common enough quote.

"Gamers tend to have above average intelligence."

Really?



Show me the evidence.

Not anecdotes, no generalizations, just peer-reviewed correlative studies supporting your statements with applicable references.

Yay google! (http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Health/story?id=814080&page=1)

erikun
2010-01-26, 12:44 AM
"Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons." (from the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/theBasics.htm#intelligenceInt))

Roleplaying is a game which involves using your imagination to predict, analyze, and overcome challanges. D&D is a game involving learning and applying multiple rules to various situations in an attempt at simulation. The internet is a text-based medium where your ability to write and reason (or lack thereof) is the primary means of communication.

Therefore, a D&D roleplayer on the internet is someone who takes an effort to learn and apply rules to various imaginary situations, then uses language to the best of their ability to converse about doing so with other people. For fun. As recreation.

Now, there are several motivations for someone engaging in activities related to the D&D definition of Intelligence. (Note that D&D Intelligence doesn't necessarily resemble what you might call "real world intelligence".) For one, they might be naturally Intelligent, and be drawn towards roleplaying. They might have expanded their Intelligence through applying it repeatedly while roleplaying.

Or perhaps they are forced to roleplay, and are actually bad at it. Perhaps they stick with it solely for social reasons. Perhaps they are compulsive, and are simply interested in memorizing as much as possible about their desired subject, D&D. There are multiple reasons for someone to roleplay, or play D&D, and it does not mean that everyone doing so must have (or does have) above average intelligence.

D&D is a game which relies on Intelligence (the D&D term) for the best results. Thus, it will be assumed that a D&D gamer will be focused on Intelligence, just as it will be assumed that a weightlifter will be focused on Strength. This doesn't mean that a random gamer has high Intelligence, just as a random weight lifter has high Strength. It means that someone who wishes to spend their time in an Intelligence-related activity will more likely be one who takes an interest in their own Intelligence.

Or, if you prefer a different approach:

Show me the evidence that weightlifters have above average Strength.
Show me the evidence that religious persons have above average Wisdom.
Show me the evidence that politicians have above average Charisma.

If these requests are impossible to fulfill, either from being too vague or too difficult to measure, then the request, "Show me the evidence that gamers have above average Intelligence" is similarly impossible to fulfill and a pointless claim.

Temotei
2010-01-26, 01:06 AM
I learned to read from The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, if that's worth anything to you. That owl taught me well. :smalltongue:

RebelRogue
2010-01-26, 01:07 AM
Using Int to optimise/strategize when RPGing is but one "school of thought". It's common for D&D players, yes, but some are into the "acting" aspects of roleplaying moreso than fiddling with numbers/strategies. Such people would probably be more prone to high Charisma scores. Just saying!

Anyway, I've met quite a few gamers lacking in both these stats (in my humble understanding of them in the simplified stat system of D&D).

faceroll
2010-01-26, 01:09 AM
There are metrics in real life to describe all those characteristics, erikun.

Benejeseret
2010-01-26, 01:10 AM
Thanks Optimystik, following up on your link we have the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation putting out some report on the subject. I could not find the actual study, but given its a foundation report it may not actually be a reviewed publication but definitely a possible link.

erikun - Definitions are very important. I fully agree. However, I kept it fully open and I think we should consider any evidence of any kind (though we lean toward actual studies of some sort, whatever their methodology or assumptions)

Show me the evidence that weightlifters have above average Strength
I fully admit to only skimming abstracts. However, there are entire journals committed to that and here is just one quick example that addresses that very question and definition. I say again, there are likely thousands of studies backing that statement.

J Strength Cond Res. 2005 May;19(2):433-7.
Short-term effects on lower-body functional power development: weightlifting vs. vertical jump training programs.

Tricoli V, Lamas L, Carnevale R, Ugrinowitsch C.

Department of Sport, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil. vtricoli@usp.br

Show me the evidence that religious persons have above average Wisdom
Lets call this one a draw and pass over it for the sake of goodwill

Show me the evidence that politicians have above average Charisma
I am not a social scientist (no background) but I have managed to find at least some studies looking into that aspect.
J Appl Psychol. 2007 Nov;92(6):1584-96.
Adding fuel to fire: the impact of followers' arousal on ratings of charisma.

Pastor JC, Mayo M, Shamir B.

Department of Organizational Behavior, Instituto de Empresa, Madrid, Spain. juan.pastor@ie.edu

and what might be a review

Int J Psychoanal. 1995 Aug;76 ( Pt 4):845-55.
Charisma and attachment theory: a crossdisciplinary interpretation.

Aberbach D.

London School of Economics, Department of Sociology, London.




Finally, as a move toward what I am getting at I believe you said this quite well.


"Show me the evidence that gamers have above average Intelligence" is similarly impossible to fulfill and a pointless claim.

If it is impossible to fulfill and support, then we should stop using that rationalization entirely.

drengnikrafe
2010-01-26, 01:21 AM
Alright, Benej, you've established quite firmly that stories and rationalizations are not going to work on you. Here are my questions:
-Do you want this to be an Simple Random Sample, or will Stratified work?
-How big do you want the range of this experiment to be? Because I can test my school, no problem, or I could actually put a bunch of legwork in and test a larger area.
-Are you looking for something within the 5% range for confirmation of an absolute, or will a general trend work?
-How can I measure intelligence? Will IQ work, or do I need to dig up GPAs, SATs or ACTs too?

You design it, I'll work on it.

Benejeseret
2010-01-26, 01:21 AM
drengnikrafe -
Also, correlation is not causation.
Indeed. That is a chant that ever science/stats student should have to chant on a daily basis. If we can do better the correlation, great, but we might be stretched to even do that for this case.

sonofzeal -
In addition, not every question can be addressed by a scientific study, and of those that can be, not all have.
I agree to some degree. Science is not to answer Why, but certainly can do justice to How, When, Where, Who and the simple "Is this the case" type.

Here is a challenge then to all of us.

If the question has not been addressed, is it worth addressing?

If the question has not been addressed, what can we do (since we are proposed to be above average persons) to address the question?



If the question has not been addressed, should we be claiming an answer.
No

Yellow
2010-01-26, 01:27 AM
Why are we supposed to impress this guy again

drengnikrafe
2010-01-26, 01:29 AM
At this point, I just want to have a study somewhere on these forums that has been conducted, and can decidedly prove, once and for all, that gamers are above average.
Shoot. I'm not impartial, and thus am likely to use inadvertantly bias the results... Do we have anybody who is truly neutral on this, who is willing to process the data (when collected) using proper statistical tools?

erikun
2010-01-26, 01:41 AM
I agree, definitions are important, on both sides of the issue. For example, what should we include in the term gamer? Is anyone who sits at the table every week a gamer, or is it only the people who are "dedicated" to the game somehow. How would we make such a distinction? How would we determine a "professional" gamer? (My use of the term "professional" will become apparent later.)

I'm not very familiar with health studies, but I do know that it is a very well-informed field. A passing introduction in college courses has indicated that we know how much exercise the body needs to maintain optimal health, how much force a person can exert based on body muscle mass, and even how different weight-training exercises tone the body. And while we can clearly observe that professional bodybuilders are stronger than the average person, it becomes more questionable if you include "casual" weightlifters. How about the person who visits the gym once a week for weightlifting, and watches TV the other six days. Will he be stronger than the average person? If we set the casual weightlifters next to the professionals, will the average be (significantly, detectably) different from a worldwide average?

I admit that my priest/wisdom example was poorly thought out, so thank you for avoid it. My point was that wisdom is more abstract and difficult to measure.

Politicians have the same issue as gamers and weightlifters - are we counting just the professionals, or anyone who gets up on a soapbox and tries to make a statement? The studies you mention seem to be closer to "how are people affected when spoken to by a politician they agree with" as opposed to "how many people can a politician influence," though.

On the other hand, I think Optimystik has been more helpful in this thread than I have - I'm not exactly pointing out studies, as you requested. And while I'm not sure "gamers have above average intelligence" is a good phrase, I think it is because it can be worded better. I prefer "gamers tend to place mental activities in high priority," just as someone who visits the gym places physical activity as a priority, and a politician places the ability to influence others in high priority. This doesn't mean that a gamer necessarily has high intelligence - partially because being a gamer can be notoriously vague - but that someone who spends time in a medium focused around imagination and reasoning will likely be someone who places imagination and reasoning in high reguard.

And as RebelRogue mentioned, people play the game for various reasons. Someone might play for analytical reasons (in-game INT) while others for social roleplaying (in-game CHA) and others for simulationist aspects (arguably in-game WIS). And depending on how you look at it, all three could fit within the real-world term of intelligence.

Yet another long post.

Vorpalbob
2010-01-26, 01:58 AM
I myself don't really know how this sort of thing would be done, but a friend of mine IRL has the head for the data processing stuff. I'll see if he's interested.

He prowles the forums under the pseudonym Worira.

Bayar
2010-01-26, 02:03 AM
I learned english from Cartoon Network. At the age of 5. Am I smart now ?

sonofzeal
2010-01-26, 02:05 AM
sonofzeal -
I agree to some degree. Science is not to answer Why, but certainly can do justice to How, When, Where, Who and the simple "Is this the case" type.

Here is a challenge then to all of us.

If the question has not been addressed, is it worth addressing?

If the question has not been addressed, what can we do (since we are proposed to be above average persons) to address the question?



If the question has not been addressed, should we be claiming an answer.
No
I still think you're treading on very dangerous ground. I can claim to know all sorts of things that aren't actually the subject of scientific review, or at least where I don't know of any.

For example, I've never seen a scholarly study on what exactly the colour of the sky is (though one probably exists), but I can still claim to know that it's blue. For a more appropriate example, I've never seen a scholarly study that suggests that people who work in childcare tend to enjoy being around children, but it makes sense.

Similarly, it makes sense that people who enjoy playing a highly abstract game with a large amount of mental arithmetic and complex rulesets would tend to be above average for intelligence.



As to actual evidence, Braun and Sachs suggest (in a 1985 paper I can't get the name for) that Dissociative Capacity links strongly with an "excellent working memory", and others have suggested it relates very closely to "the capacity to ignore extrinsic stimuli". Since Dissociative Capacity is fundamentally about the ability to divorce a segment of the self able to operate semi-independently, it makes sense (though I can't prove it) that it's plays a role in good roleplaying. The ability to think, act, and react as if you were a different person is fairly close to the core talent we connect with Dissociative Capacity. This would suggest that RPG-gamers are hence likely to have above-average working memories and a good ability to ignore distractions.

I highly recommend "Exploring Dissociation: Definitions, Development and Cognitive Correlates" by Anne P. DePrince, Lisa DeMarni Cromer, for more on this subject.

Benejeseret
2010-01-26, 02:05 AM
Yellow - I'm not asking to be impressed. What I'm asking borders on rhetorical (though I like the idea of finding evidence) and here are the reasons I ask the question:

1. If it is true, then it is a great way to explain to parents or other anti-gaming groups the benefits. Especially if we can push past correlation and into causation. If nothing else, there is simple pride.

2. Accuracy...maybe it's just me, but I feel a twinge of hypocrisy when in a conversation about intelligence we rely on unsubstantiated bias and perception.

3. If it is not true, then we can stop relying on that crutch and take one step closer to a representative self-stat idea. Furthering self-awareness is ultimately a good thing even if we don't like the answer.

Benejeseret
2010-01-26, 02:18 AM
Sonofzeal - Love the suggested study, disagree with your earlier logical flow


I've never seen a scholarly study that suggests that people who work in childcare tend to enjoy being around children, but it makes sense..

Similarly, it makes sense that people who enjoy playing a highly abstract game with a large amount of mental arithmetic and complex rulesets would tend to be above average for intelligence.

Following from your nurse example, the next statement should read: it makes sense that people who play a highly abstract game with a large amount of mental arithmetic and complex rulesets enjoy playing a highly abstract game with a large amount of mental arithmetic and complex rulesets.

But I get where you're going.

That said, would it then make even more sense to say: people who play DnD with an inherent chance-based rolling system should have a higher percentage of people with gambling issues then the general public.

sonofzeal
2010-01-26, 02:30 AM
That said, would it then make even more sense to say: people who play DnD with an inherent chance-based rolling system should have a higher percentage of people with gambling issues then the general public.
Hardly. The addictive portion of gambling is not the fact that it is a chance-based rolling system, it's that it is a Variable Ratio Simple Schedule with a low probability of reinforcement but a strong reinforcement when it does happen. Experiments have shown that this is one of the most effective ways of producing non-functional addictive behaviour, where the behaviour in question is repeated almost indefinitely even after reinforcement has ceased altogether. This, I could probably find you papers on, although it's not my specialty so excuse me if I'm occasionally imprecise in my terminology. It's been a while since I really looked at it.


Anyway, D&D doesn't really have that. Rewards are more or less consistent from session to session, and while your character might go for many sessions without getting anything and suddenly gain some massive artifact, the pleasure that player himself experiences from playing the game should be subject to only minor variation. If it were a game where the players got nothing out of it for long stretches of time, punctuated randomly but infrequently by strong positive reinforcements, you'd be more likely to see crossover with problem gambling behaviour. I'd deny that this hypothetical game has much to do with D&D as I play it, though.

Semidi
2010-01-26, 02:34 AM
Asking a gaming forum if gamers are intelligent (whatever that means) is just about the one of the worst way of getting an accurate answer that I can think of.

Superglucose
2010-01-26, 02:44 AM
I have not personally noticed any particular trend regarding gamers and intelligence. Some are intelligent, some are not. In my experience, the average gamer is of average intelligence.

I will say that generally people think they're smarter than they really are.

Mikeavelli
2010-01-26, 02:52 AM
A lot of Gamers will think and believe their fellow gamers have above average intelligence because...

A. They're gamers, and believe themselves to have above average intelligence.

B. Their friends are gamers, and many people believe their friends are more intelligent than those idiots who aren't their friends. Especially if those idiots disagree with them.

C. There might really be something to it.

[hr]

I'm tending towards A and B actually. I've gamed with quite a few groups, in quite a few social situations.

- While in the Air Force, I gamed with a small group of people who were, as far as I knew, the only gamers in my entire squadron. The Air Force handles enlisted promotions through a weighted point system that depends heavily on a standardized test over your job field and general knowledge.

Every member of my gaming group did exceptionally well on that test, and tended to get promoted the first year they were eligible for promotion. Since only an average of 20% of eligible airman of my rank get promoted each year, the rate was much higher among gamers.

- Currently I'm out of the military (thankfully) and going to school on the G.I. Bill, I'm back to socializing with a lot of my former gamer friends. In the 'gamer' social group, a distressingly large number of my peers either dropped out of college, or never even started. Make of that what you will.

Leolo
2010-01-26, 03:20 AM
I do not believe that role playing games players tend to be more intelligent.

But this is by far related to an acceptable definition of the term. I know many people that are not as good in maths than i do. But it does not make them less intelligent.

What i can say is that gamers tend to have academical jobs, like computer scientist, teacher or something similar.
Also they tend to have interest in books, (fantasy) art, writing skills and things that require good imagination in general.
Outside of the english speech area there is also a tendency that role playing games encourage their players to be multilingual. Sometimes to the point where you are supposed to be multilingual or unable to use material published only in english language.
And then role playing games are a niche product. To be a gamer brings you in contact with a specific milieu of people.

But there are other social backgrounds and milieus that have similar prerequisites and consistence. All that a study could show is that the interests of people depends remarkable on their social background. And that we call someone intelligent if he has interests that are marked as being typically for intelligent people.

Demented
2010-01-26, 03:22 AM
While I don't think there's a correlation between gaming and intelligence, there does seem to be a moderate correlation between gaming and adolescent to college-age males capable of supporting an expensive hobby and ownership of a computer (at least for those who can frequent the forum to a webcomic).

I reckon that studies pertaining to the intelligence of adolescent males, college-age males, and individuals with disposable income are far easier to come by than studies pertaining to the intelligence of gamers.

...Though, the popularity of gaming is ever increasing to other demographics.

Kaiyanwang
2010-01-26, 04:23 AM
I will say that generally people think they're smarter than they really are.

I second this.

Zen Master
2010-01-26, 04:44 AM
Why are we supposed to impress this guy again

Well - what he asks is highly relevant. If we claim to be above average intelligence, but have nothing to support such a claim, then we do not know whether that is the case. We do, however, know that we are hypocrites.

Wouldn't you rather know you are above average intelligence?

Superglucose
2010-01-26, 04:49 AM
I'm smart enough for my own tastes. I'll always want to be smarter, I think, but I can figure out plenty, you know? It's not like I'm living life confused. I guess in that regard it doesn't really matter to me whether or not I'm smarter than everyone else or dumber than everyone else (though I'd say I'm right in the middle) so long as I am happy with who I am.

Zen Master
2010-01-26, 04:50 AM
I second this.

There was this survey that showed that 90% of everyone believed themselves to be well above average intelligence. I found that highly amusing.

There was a subsection of the survey devoted to the mindset of 'I may not have any education or much experience with the world - but at least I *know* I'm smarter than most people!'

Nero24200
2010-01-26, 04:53 AM
I can't speak alot for younger gamers, but those who started playing games with the Nintendo and other early consoles I could see "being smarter", mostly because games back then focused heavily on puzzles and problems.

Coincidently, it's only after playing some older Legend of Zelda games did I start to pick up on maths. Until I started online Roleplaying via Neverwinter Nights my grammer and spelling whilst typing or writing was pretty bad. Playing such games helped teach me to look at problems from different angles and work a little quicker under pressure. While it's possible this isn't true for most people, it was for me.

So for me, it's enough to convince me that playing games can inch your IQ up a little, at least in some areas (particularly problem solving).

Demented
2010-01-26, 04:54 AM
It's not difficult to have 101 IQ.
Nor is it particularly impressive.
You would nonetheless be above average.

As some nameless individual once put it, to my great satisfaction, and with the unintentionally delectable taste of blood irony, "the average I.Q. is only 100".

Kaiyanwang
2010-01-26, 05:05 AM
There was this survey that showed that 90% of everyone believed themselves to be well above average intelligence. I found that highly amusing.


I knew that, because my intelligence is well above average.

Nero24200
2010-01-26, 05:08 AM
It's not difficult to have 101 IQ.
Nor is it particularly impressive.
You would nonetheless be above average.

I do think this is an importent thing to note. I don't consider myself especially smart...but when I think of just how silly some people are that I've met, it wouldn't surprise me to find I'm above average intellegence...but again, given how silly some people are that I've met, I'm not sure if that's considered a big accomplishment.

Optimystik
2010-01-26, 07:16 AM
Wouldn't you rather know you are above average intelligence?

Without trying to sound conceited, I already know that. Whether it has to do with gaming or all the reading I did as a child (or both - I did play educational games growing up) is another matter, and the difficulty of isolating any one influence makes it not worth the trouble of exploring.

On the Wisdom issue - Wis-based classes in D&D are commonly portrayed as introspective, contemplative and focused. Those same classes gravitate towards religion for mechanical reasons more than anything else.

Whether wisdom correlates with religion in the real-world is a subject best left off these forums, but we can talk about the link between wisdom and clerics in D&D just fine.

Manga Shoggoth
2010-01-26, 07:37 AM
There was this survey that showed that 90% of everyone believed themselves to be well above average intelligence. I found that highly amusing.

There was a subsection of the survey devoted to the mindset of 'I may not have any education or much experience with the world - but at least I *know* I'm smarter than most people!'

Bear in mind that the sample may be skewed, in which case 90% of the sample could indeed be well above average intelligence.

In addition, the idea that only half of a statistical population can be above the average is wrong - that statement is only true for a normal distribution where the mean (aka average) and the median(*) are more or less coincident.


* Or the Mode - I can never remember the difference between median and mode, except that one is the "half-way" point in the distribution and the other is the most popular value

Optimystik
2010-01-26, 07:44 AM
* Or the Mode - I can never remember the difference between median and mode, except that one is the "half-way" point in the distribution and the other is the most popular value

Median is the former, Mode is the latter.

(To help you remember them in the future - median kinda sorta rhymes with "medium" which is half-way.)

Emmerask
2010-01-26, 08:05 AM
At least, this seems to be generally true for a lot of forummers compared to average joes, all IMO (and thus not really what you asked for, sorry). However, it still seems people vastly overrated their Int stats in that thread (I'm not targeting anyone in particular, I just think the number of 18s in there was a little over the top).

Well the main problem in that thread was that no scale and no base for your self comparison was given by the op.

For example lots of the 17+ int people wrote that they compared themselves to their immidiate surrounding ie compared to that I am perhaps around 17 but compared to some of the people at my university or even Hawking or Einstein or such people that would be a 15 compared to their 18 to 19 (cap). Futhermore this comparison does not factor in if its a linear or exponential progression (or how much is the difference from 16 to 17 compared to 17 to 18 for example ).

Another thing would how you think the cap is if its a 1 to 24 then you will have different stats then someone who thinks its a 1 to 19 :smallwink:

So take it at what this thread is a nice fun and sometimes good read but don´t take it seriously at all.

Oh and last but not least I do think that the avg d&d player has slightly above avg intelligence because such people are drawn to these kind of games where they can utililize their imagination (which in itself is a form of intelligence).

Zen Master
2010-01-26, 08:13 AM
Bear in mind that the sample may be skewed, in which case 90% of the sample could indeed be well above average intelligence.

In addition, the idea that only half of a statistical population can be above the average is wrong - that statement is only true for a normal distribution where the mean (aka average) and the median(*) are more or less coincident.


* Or the Mode - I can never remember the difference between median and mode, except that one is the "half-way" point in the distribution and the other is the most popular value

The sample was pretty monstrous, like .... 30000 people or so. It ... can still be skewed, but at least they tried to avoid the pitfalls.

Also, int 100 is supposed at least to be average intelligence. That number too may be skewed. And at any rate, IQ tests say little about intelligence outside 'the intelligence needed to solve IQ tests'.

Human Paragon 3
2010-01-26, 08:46 AM
Think of this.

Playing games like D&D at all requires a certain amount of intelligence. Some people aren't smart enough to grasp the mechanics or imaginative enough to put them to good use. Others may just lack the certain type of intelligence required of the hobby.

Note that many, many, many people are smart enough to "get" D&D but just don't want to play it. And many more have no interest in it, and wouldn't be able to hack it if they did.

Still others are gamers with a very poor grasp of the game.

All the same, out of Group A (gamers) all are at least intelligent enough to game. Out of group B (Non-gamers) some are intelligent enough to game. Thus it is likely, that on average, gamers are a little more intelligent, unless there are a disproportionate amount of super genius non gamers vs. super genius gamers, which I admit is a possibility.

Weimann
2010-01-26, 08:49 AM
I have never believed this.

It's the same thing as thinking that nice guys are always the shy, intelligent ones. I am a firm believer that an MC-riding, skin-jacket wearing muscleman can be just as nice as a socially inept cmputer geek. And the latter can be just as much of a butthole.

Optimystik
2010-01-26, 08:55 AM
I think (as per the study I linked on the first page) that being good at gaming simply correlates with problem-solving, multitasking and attention to detail. As those are all skills that depend on intelligence, gamers can thus appear more intelligent when tested.

Being a gamer thus provides cognitive potential - whether that potential actually translates to superior knowledge and learning, depends on other factors.

misterk
2010-01-26, 08:59 AM
Hi, a few notes from a statistician.

As people have mentioned, correlation does not equal causation. This is vital in response to this question. It may well be that intelligent people are attracted to roleplaying games, and that roleplaying games does not produce intelligence. Indeed, one would expect children with well off parents to be those who can afford to have those roleplaying supplements bought for them, and children of well off parents tend to be more "intelligent" for whatever marker you wish to use.

If we really wanted to answer this research question we would need a decent sized sample of the population, with the recipient of the survey answering not only their gaming habits and their educational acheivements/iq/whatever response we intedned to use, but also as much demographic information as possible. Any thing we could find in the literature which is known to be correlated with intelligence would need to be controlled for for us to aim for that heady goal of demonstrating the educational power of roleplaying games.

Finding a correlation between intelligence and roleplaying games? Probably a lot easier. I would be greatly surprised that it wasn't the case, considering its a fairly expensive, non-mainstream hobby. People who are well off enough to afford such things are probably a little smarter too. This, by itself, isn't an interesting observation if true.

To answer the ops question, I would be shocked if any research of the former kind has been conducted, but of the latter, we can probably look at the marketing information someone like wizards of the coast has, to see the demographic they are targeting.

Kzickas
2010-01-26, 09:06 AM
I don't think that the distribution of intelligence is entirely symmetrical, but I think that you're more likely to find that there are more under average than above it, and even then I don't think there's more than like 60% under average

Optimystik
2010-01-26, 09:16 AM
Finding a correlation between intelligence and roleplaying games? Probably a lot easier. I would be greatly surprised that it wasn't the case, considering its a fairly expensive, non-mainstream hobby. People who are well off enough to afford such things are probably a little smarter too. This, by itself, isn't an interesting observation if true.

Perspective is helpful here, though. Is it really that much more expensive than other hobbies? Collecting figurines/stamps, for instance, or painting, or sculpture, or sports? Indeed, many children play roleplaying games, both tabletop and electronic, and they are able to sustain the hobby despite being very restricted in terms of what they can acquire.

The children that do play are perhaps smarter than their peers who don't, but there are other factors at work here besides the games themselves. RPGs require a lot of reading to fully understand (again, this goes for both types.) There's definitely math involved, and complex interactions. The electronic incarnations strip a lot of that out - but replace them with complexities of their own, such as glitches and exploits.

Thufir
2010-01-26, 09:19 AM
I don't really have evidence to back this up, but a point I'd just like to make:

I think some people are looking at this the wrong way round. I don't think gaming in any way causes people to become smarter. Given problem-solving elements of games, it may help them learn to better apply their intelligence, but it doesn't make them smarter.
However I do think people of higher intelligence are more likely to be playing those games.

I'm worried this still isn't clear enough so I'm going to reduce it further:
Gaming does not cause intelligence.
Intelligence may cause gaming.

Tyndmyr
2010-01-26, 09:23 AM
At least, this seems to be generally true for a lot of forummers compared to average joes, all IMO (and thus not really what you asked for, sorry). However, it still seems people vastly overrated their Int stats in that thread (I'm not targeting anyone in particular, I just think the number of 18s in there was a little over the top).

Wild inflation is inevitible in those exercises, due to the biases inherent in rating yourself. Int is a particular favorite, as very few people are going to claim being below average in intelligence.

I've seen a very large volume of gamers that claim to be smart. Some of them actually are brilliant. Some of them played so much wow/counterstrike/etc that they failed out of college/military/life. My anecdotal evidence is that there's a pretty significant elitist view by gamers on their own intelligence, but no real evidence for it. They are hardly the only demographic to do that, though.

BigBadBugbear
2010-01-26, 09:26 AM
I cant give any enedence about Int, but I can give an evenece about Str.

This is a pic of me (the big one) and one of my friends. He is about 180cm..

http://www.devilfish.nl/html/images/gallery/catching_da_toymeeka/2.jpg
http://www.devilfish.nl/html/images/gallery/catching_da_toymeeka/1.jpg

And about IQ test... They also test your insight. And thats Wisdom...

Optimystik
2010-01-26, 09:30 AM
I cant give any enedence about Int, but I can give an evenece about Str.

This is a pic of me (the big one) and one of my friends. He is about 180cm..

http://www.devilfish.nl/html/images/gallery/catching_da_toymeeka/2.jpg
http://www.devilfish.nl/html/images/gallery/catching_da_toymeeka/1.jpg

Hmm. I'm not sure about your hypothesis. Better post more pictures to be on the safe side.

From multiple angles too. For science, or something.

Yuki Akuma
2010-01-26, 09:30 AM
Roleplaying games may train you in problem solving, critical thinking, social skills and strategy, but they won't make you any smarter.

Manga Shoggoth
2010-01-26, 09:48 AM
Median is the former, Mode is the latter.

(To help you remember them in the future - median kinda sorta rhymes with "medium" which is half-way.)

Thanks. I'll try to remember that one.


The sample was pretty monstrous, like .... 30000 people or so. It ... can still be skewed, but at least they tried to avoid the pitfalls.

Actually, the sample size has little to do with skew.

A skewed distribution is where the distribution does not follow the normal, bell-shaped curve. Skewed distributions are not a problem as long as you know they are skewed and that the sampling method is OK.

A skewed sample is where the sample does not represent the population correctly. Skew in sampling is much harder to deal with.

For example, if your sample consists of university students, then the results may be OK if the you are considering a population of university students, but horribly skewed if you are considering the population of the country as a whole.


Also, int 100 is supposed at least to be average intelligence. That number too may be skewed. And at any rate, IQ tests say little about intelligence outside 'the intelligence needed to solve IQ tests'.

If I recall correctly, in 1e, INT was roughly considered as IQ/10, so an INT of 18 implied an IQ of 180, and an INT or 10 implied an IQ of 100. (I don't know if the same scale holds for the newer editions).

At that time most of the DD players I dealt with were at university level, which tended to imply an IQ heading towards 180. (Can't speak for the rest of the market, though...)

(And, of course, the point about IQ tests is very appropriate - I remember an old Punch article ridiculing them on thoise very same grounds)

Frozen_Feet
2010-01-26, 09:56 AM
I'm not very familiar with health studies, but I do know that it is a very well-informed field. A passing introduction in college courses has indicated that we know how much exercise the body needs to maintain optimal health, how much force a person can exert based on body muscle mass, and even how different weight-training exercises tone the body. And while we can clearly observe that professional bodybuilders are stronger than the average person, it becomes more questionable if you include "casual" weightlifters. How about the person who visits the gym once a week for weightlifting, and watches TV the other six days. Will he be stronger than the average person? If we set the casual weightlifters next to the professionals, will the average be (significantly, detectably) different from a worldwide average?

This boils down to "are people who exercise more better fit than those who exercise less?" Any number of studies show that the answer is yes. A guy who goes to the gym thrice a week is usually better shape than one who only goes twice and so on. So, if we take the people who at least try to exercise (lets say scores 11 to 18) and compare their average to the whole population (10), math dictates that the subset has a higher average than the whole.

You can test this easily. Go to the local gym. Take a subset that exercises, say, thrice a week, and see where each invidual stands on the strenght grid. Take an average. Add people who exercise twice a week, factor them in and take an average. Same with those who go to the gym once a week. Next, lure in some of your geeky friends a bunch of physically inept test subjects, measure them and then take an average from the whoe lot. I'm willing to bet my hat that all of them combined have a lower average score than just those who exercise regularly, and those exercise more will have higher scores than the less active ones.

Really, physical stats are *easy* to measure. Mental stats are far more nebulous.

onthetown
2010-01-26, 10:01 AM
Since when do book-smarts have to do with video games?

To pick on stereotypes, here... Whether you're a hard-core gamer (to the point of never leaving the house and being completely maladjusted) or what my friends call a "grandma gamer" (somebody who hardly knows how to press a button when they're told to), it's separate from learning.

My first DM defined the Int stat to me as "book-smarts instead of life-smarts", so I'm going by that.

Assume you're in high school and, no matter what kind of student you are, you learn one thing that day. Something to do with biology... The difference between a species and a breed, or something like that. That's book-smarts; you don't learn that from life experiences.

You go home and sit in your chair and start playing your video game. If it's a first-person shooter, you kill things. If it's an RPG, you adventure to become the hero or whatever. The list goes on. What do you learn from that? If anything, tactics.

You can have below-average intelligence and still be good at tactics, and you can have above-average intelligence and still be horrible at tactics. Granted, there are video games now to mix learning and gaming, but I don't think that's what's being put up for discussion here.

I honestly don't see a connection between video games and intelligence. The friends I know who are hardcore gamers actually act like idiots constantly, act like they've never been taught how to act in public, and have a ton of emotional problems, while those of us who are casual gamers are content and well-adjusted. That's just my group; I don't assume that's what all gamers are like.

hamishspence
2010-01-26, 10:03 AM
At that time most of the DD players I dealt with were at university level, which tended to imply an IQ heading towards 180. (Can't speak for the rest of the market, though...)

Main problem with IQ = INTx10, was that IQ 30 seemed far too low for someone able to read and write (unless a barbarian, or some other illiterate class- several of the NPC classes are sometimes counted as illiterate, depending on the race and region).

Plus, IQ 180 seems far too high for "university level"- I got the impression that, even among people with doctorates (a very small proportion of university graduates go on to doctorate level), IQ 180 would be considered rare and unusual.

Frozen_Feet
2010-01-26, 10:09 AM
The more common IQ to INT conversion I've seen is IQ 100 = INT 10, and five points of IQ translate to one point of int. Thus, 18 INT = 140 IQ, and 3 INT = 65 IQ. This would put me at 16 INT, consequently.

Seeing that IQ 130 represents supposedly 10% of population, this seems more correct. If someone remembers distribution for 3d6 roll, we can compare it to that.

Optimystik
2010-01-26, 10:51 AM
Roleplaying games may train you in problem solving, critical thinking, social skills and strategy, but they won't make you any smarter.

Right, this is what I said earlier. Critical thinking gives you more reasoning potential, but it means nothing if you don't actually put things in your head.

Of course, many RPGs confer learning as well, because the sorts of people that create roleplaying games are very learned themselves and will include literary references, metaphors and idioms in their creations. Not to mention the mathematical skill needed to optimize within the constraints of the system mechanics.

Consider the Truenamer - not a great class for someone bad at math.

Manga Shoggoth
2010-01-26, 11:00 AM
Frozen_Feet, hamishspence:

Fair points - I am trying to remember back about 20 years here. I'll see if I can dig out the old DMG later.

It may well be that the methods of interpreting IQ have changed in that time, but back thethe university crowd were pretty much the top 6% or so of the population.

DabblerWizard
2010-01-26, 11:15 AM
A forum post that mixes my two loves - nerdiness and geekiness. Tell me I'm dreaming... actually, don't. :smallbiggrin:

I would find it rather fun to conceptualize feasible methodologies that would be able to test the relationship between intelligence and d&d gaming.

The problem with IQ

Starting off, I'd like to make a general disclaimer. Intelligence as a single variable is not especially useful except in its negative extreme. IQ is generally conceived, and plotted, along a normal distribution, where a majority of the population fits within 2 standard deviations of the mean.

For instance, about 65% of people will have between an IQ of 90 between 110, and about 90 some percent of people will have IQs between 80 and 120.

As a measuring tool, IQ is most useful when used for people with intellectual disabilities (otherwise formerly known as mental retardation). These people have an IQ of 70 or below, i.e. more than 2 standard deviations below the mean. IQ in this range is meaningful because it correlates well with the varying level of cognitive impairment the intellectually disabled face.

On a related note, specific cognitive faculties (i.e. abilities), such as memory, attention, perception, problem solving, and critical thinking, are less than adequately measured in a standard IQ test, among people with IQs above 70. The standard IQ test predominantly measures for spatial analysis and overall verbal comprehension, and these things are only partially indicative of general cognitive ability.

Therefore, even though IQ means "intelligence quotient" it says very little about mental abilities in a normative population.

Defining Gamers

As suggested previously, we need to decide on our population. "Gamers" and "d&d players" are very vague terms, at this point. They span too broad a range of populations as they are, representing multiple modalities of play as associated with "gamers", varying experience with playing (i.e. especially in varying age groups), seriousness of play, etc.

Methodology

Despite these conceptual hindrances, I think we can move forward. IQ, despite its pitfalls, is a highly well supported metric, and is easy to implement, two very good things in an experiment.

I would suggest we limit our population to "gamers" that are over 30 or older, who have played a roleplaying game, at least let's say, 10 times.

Why the age limit? It's possible that college aged, and high school aged "gamers" only have a transient interest in roleplaying games, with diminishing continuity over time. I would be more interested in studying a group that has remained gamers past the standard college and graduate school age range.

Considering these things, let's work out a viable study.

Operationalization

-- A correlational study would be easy to start with. Find at least a dozen 30 + year olds who fit the above criteria, measure their IQ. Compare the group to a control, of 30+ year olds who don't meet the above criteria, and measure their IQ as well. Use simple statistics to determine if there's a significant difference in IQ between the two groups. If it is found that gamers are more intelligent, then huzzah, but it if it's found that gamers are in fact statistically less intelligent, then we'll all have to hang our heads in shame. :smallamused: Just kidding.

-- Another correlational study, except this time we avoid the IQ trap. Find groups of 30+ year old gamers and 30+ year old non-gamers. Simply measure the presence of college education (maybe associates degree and up) in the two groups. I would hypothesize that there is no significant difference here.

[Edit] I don't claim to be an expert in statistics, research methodology, or social science conceptualizations of IQ. All of my interpretations are based on my memory of my college classes. I also don't claim to have shared any information that might otherwise be construed as non-common knowledge, or knowledge that is not easily found through a google search.

I wonder if that covers my lack of quotations...

Person_Man
2010-01-26, 11:16 AM
Here's my case for the US:

First let's deal with literacy, courtesy of a very rigorous study from the Dept of Education. (http://nces.ed.gov/naal/kf_demographics.asp)

In 2003, there were approximately 11 million non-literate adults in the US. 30 million adults tested as "Below Basic," which means (http://nces.ed.gov/naal/perf_levels.asp) that they can read simple language, sign forms, and differentiate numbers from text for simple math. 63 million adults tested as "Basic," which means that they can use a television guide, understand commonplace prose, and compare ticket prices with some level of accuracy. Put them together, and they represent 43% of adults in the US.

Here are a list of things that "Intermediate" and "Proficient" readers can do, which Below Basic and Basic readers cannot do reliably:

Reading and understanding moderately dense, less commonplace prose texts as well as summarizing, making simple inferences, determining cause and effect, and recognizing the author’s purpose.
Locating information in dense, complex documents and making simple inferences about the information.
Locating less familiar quantitative information and using it to solve problems when the arithmetic operation is not specified or easily inferred.
Consulting reference materials to determine which foods contain a particular vitamin.
Identifying a specific location on a map.
Calculating the total cost of ordering specific office supplies from a catalog.
Reading lengthy, complex, abstract prose texts as well as synthesizing information and making complex inferences.
Integrating, synthesizing, and analyzing multiple pieces of information located in complex documents.
Locating more abstract quantitative information and using it to solve. multistep problems when the arithmetic operations are not easily inferred and the problems are more complex.


As you can see, 43% of Americans are essentially incapable of reading a D&D book, much less using it.

In addition, according to the Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=11), "In 2008, over 7.3 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at yearend — 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 31 adults." A recent court case (http://www.twincities.com/ci_14264293) upheld the common practice of banning D&D in prisons. Prisoner's represent one of the most educationally challenged groups in the US on a number of measures, including literacy (http://nces.ed.gov/naal/fct_prison.asp).

So by default, D&D players belong to the non-incarcerated portion of the "Intermediate" and "Proficient" population, which is demonstrably more intelligent then the rest of the population.

Now you could argue that literacy and non-incarceration do not equate to intelligence - and are instead a function of socio-economic status and education. But the way that we as a society have chosen to measure intelligence is through testing, and the tests show that approximately 43% of Americans is not reasonably capable of playing D&D. Therefore, D&D players in the US are more intelligent then average Americans.

I don't have the time to show proof for every other country, but I imagine it exists (any grad students out there itching for a thesis topic!).

Also, did I mention I'm a government statistician?

Xenogears
2010-01-26, 11:17 AM
Consider the Truenamer - not a great class for someone bad at math.

This seems to imply that Truenamers are good for people who ARE good at math. If anything not realizing how badly screwed you are makes the class atleast seem better for people bad at math...

Back on Topic. Let me think. Of the people I know IRL who play games. Well I was always considered to be very intelligent by everyone else (It got annoying...), one of my friends (the one who games the most) is definately above average intelligence but certainly not genuis levels. Then I have one friend who gamed almost non-stop and thought he was extremely intelligent (and he could be sometimes) but definately was below average a fair amount of time as well.

So. Hmmm. Two above and one thats on the fence I guess? Meh. There are so many varied definitions of "Intelligence" that its almost impossible to judge it. I mean I was using book Smarts in the above paragraph but you could just as easily use only some areas of learning, speed of learning, retention of knowledge, memorization skills, etc. Some of those I am quite good at and others very bad at (damned memorization!) so depending on what standards you use I could be either very intelligent or very dumb. In the end the point is moot since intelligence is such an all-encompassing, vague, ill-thought out term.

Optimystik
2010-01-26, 11:20 AM
This seems to imply that Truenamers are good for people who ARE good at math. If anything not realizing how badly screwed you are makes the class atleast seem better for people bad at math...

That's not what I was implying at all. In fact, you correctly inferred what I was getting at - being bad at math puts the intricacies of the class (specifically, the DC-scaling mechanic) out of reach, making it that much more difficult to overcome its deficiencies.

OverdrivePrime
2010-01-26, 11:58 AM
It seems that some posters are confusing raw intelligence, learning ability and education. Someone who has the ability to learn very quickly is probably also very intelligent, but not always. Someone with massive amounts of education might be very intelligent, but that is absolutely not always the case. And someone who is extremely intelligent is *probably* a fast learner but could quite possibly be entirely ignorant to facts that most people take for granted.

I personally think that GiantITP forum-goers constitute a more intelligent community than many other Web communities I encounter, and certainly tend to display more reasoning ability than the truly "average" person I meet on the street. However, I think this is due to a process of selection. There are a number of aspects that, combined together, speak to the particular demographics of our community.

1. Online community - while the Web is certainly rife with dopes and morons, there are certain intelligence requirements for a person to get online and start communicating coherently. This sort of barrier prevents people with strong mental hinderances from participating, which is why you don't see people with an INT score of 7 or less in the "stat yourself" threads.

2. Humor community - A sense of humor is extremely difficult to quantify, but it does generally require imagination and lateral thinking ability. I'd never argue that all intelligent people have a stronge sense of humor, but I do strongly suspect that a sense of humor benefits from a sharp mind. I feel that because of this, the GiantITP community might skew ever so slightly higher in average intelligence than another game forum that is not centered around a very funny comic.

3. Fantasy community - Fantasy requires some degree of imagination and the ability to picture a reality besides the concrete world of the here-and-now. I believe that a powerful imagination requires a powerful mind. Consider the number of DMs within our community who have created whole, logically consistent worlds and have at-will mental access to them. That requires some serious mental horsepower, and in my opinion, skews the average intelligence of our community a little higher still.

4. Roleplaying community - not only do we benefit from strong imaginations, our hobby requires a lot of strategic and tactical planning, as well as the ability to handle a lot of numbers and a slew of (sometimes ridiculously) arcane jargon. I believe that comfort with learning complex words, tactics and number crunching continues to support a community of smarter-than-average people.

That's all just my theory, but I feel that with a $500,000 grant and a crack team of easily-exploited motivated teaching assistants, we could get to the bottom of the matter by 2012.

Soranar
2010-01-26, 12:18 PM
I don't think DnD stats represent reality well, I don't think they should bother either (the game would become so complicated it would be impossible to play)

but for the sake of argument

INT using SRD definition

-determines how many languages you speak and write

personally I speak and write fluently in only 2 languages (and it could be argued that one is a bonus language from my region) and I do not know anyone who is truly fluent in more than 3

and I still make plenty of mistakes in both languages I can write in

in the States most people speak at least English and maybe they're fluent in Spanish (and apparently 43% don't know how to read properly)

in Europe, polyglots are common but they only write well in 1 or 2 languages too and their writing skills are on par with ours (I don't know American statistics but compared to Canada is pretty close)

only using that you could argue that nobody is even higher than 14 but the vast majority are 10 or less

-number of skillpoints per level

cannot be quantified well, too hard to apply IMO as our society disregards most physical skills over technical and academic ones

-how your character learns and reasons

again impossible to quantify , entirely subjective

even claiming that people think they're smarter than they are is ridiculous since it's impossible to tell how smart anyone is in the first place

it's like claiming you think you're blue when everyone in the world is blind and other people are saying : he thinks he's blue but he's clearly red!

Mikeavelli
2010-01-26, 05:18 PM
Here's my case for the US:

First let's deal with literacy, courtesy of a very rigorous study from the Dept of Education. (http://nces.ed.gov/naal/kf_demographics.asp)

In 2003, there were approximately 11 million non-literate adults in the US. 30 million adults tested as "Below Basic," which means (http://nces.ed.gov/naal/perf_levels.asp) that they can read simple language, sign forms, and differentiate numbers from text for simple math. 63 million adults tested as "Basic," which means that they can use a television guide, understand commonplace prose, and compare ticket prices with some level of accuracy. Put them together, and they represent 43% of adults in the US.

Here are a list of things that "Intermediate" and "Proficient" readers can do, which Below Basic and Basic readers cannot do reliably:

Reading and understanding moderately dense, less commonplace prose texts as well as summarizing, making simple inferences, determining cause and effect, and recognizing the author’s purpose.
Locating information in dense, complex documents and making simple inferences about the information.
Locating less familiar quantitative information and using it to solve problems when the arithmetic operation is not specified or easily inferred.
Consulting reference materials to determine which foods contain a particular vitamin.
Identifying a specific location on a map.
Calculating the total cost of ordering specific office supplies from a catalog.
Reading lengthy, complex, abstract prose texts as well as synthesizing information and making complex inferences.
Integrating, synthesizing, and analyzing multiple pieces of information located in complex documents.
Locating more abstract quantitative information and using it to solve. multistep problems when the arithmetic operations are not easily inferred and the problems are more complex.


As you can see, 43% of Americans are essentially incapable of reading a D&D book, much less using it.

In addition, according to the Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=11), "In 2008, over 7.3 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at yearend — 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 31 adults." A recent court case (http://www.twincities.com/ci_14264293) upheld the common practice of banning D&D in prisons. Prisoner's represent one of the most educationally challenged groups in the US on a number of measures, including literacy (http://nces.ed.gov/naal/fct_prison.asp).

So by default, D&D players belong to the non-incarcerated portion of the "Intermediate" and "Proficient" population, which is demonstrably more intelligent then the rest of the population.

Now you could argue that literacy and non-incarceration do not equate to intelligence - and are instead a function of socio-economic status and education. But the way that we as a society have chosen to measure intelligence is through testing, and the tests show that approximately 43% of Americans is not reasonably capable of playing D&D. Therefore, D&D players in the US are more intelligent then average Americans.

I don't have the time to show proof for every other country, but I imagine it exists (any grad students out there itching for a thesis topic!).

Also, did I mention I'm a government statistician?

You've pretty much just won this thread.

Congrats!

Benejeseret
2010-01-26, 05:32 PM
we can probably look at the marketing information someone like wizards of the coast has, to see the demographic they are targeting.

I had not thought of marketing data. Good call, as that would likely have a lot of what we're looking for.


Person_Man - Now there are some sobering thoughts.

It is likely unfair to completely equate low reading skills to not gaming in general, but it would indeed seem reasonable to assume those 43% do not commonly write/read online forums such as these.

Thus saying posters here are likely in the top 57% of reading skills sounds reasonable, and although not conclusive to the above average claim it does offer support - at least for online posters.

I would love to see this as someone's graduate thesis. It would be a sweet gig too, getting together with 'focus groups' to game, scouting out cons (for the research of course) and similar gaming related activities.

Irreverent Fool
2010-01-26, 06:43 PM
Intelligence measures usually rely heavily on reading comprehension.

Edit: Or what Person_Man said on page 2, since I seem to have failed in that department, myself.

obnoxious
sig.

Ormur
2010-01-26, 06:44 PM
Hmmm, literacy and intelligence isn't always the same although considering the vagueness of what constitutes intelligence it might not be worse than other indicators.
A dyslexic friend of mine stated he didn't read books but he's completing a BS in mathematics, something most people would find very hard. His statement was probably hyperbole since he had to read schoolbooks to get to university in the first place (although he used a lot of tricks to get out of reading) and math textbooks include text. He probably just has a hard time of reading prose for pleasure or dense text. I don't know whether that even places him below average in literacy.

Playing role playing games may also not require much reading even though hard core D&D players must read hundreds of pages.

lisiecki
2010-01-26, 06:47 PM
Yay google! (http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Health/story?id=814080&page=1)

Do the kids in this study play Pen and Paper roleplaying games, or just video games?

For this argument are you saying that ANYONE who plays games has a high INT?

Role-players, Video-game Players, Gamblers, athletes all play games, so were using the term "gamer" to mean anyone who plays games, at all, ever?

Or od you have a study about pen and paper games?

Lappy9000
2010-01-26, 07:23 PM
"Gamers tend to have above average intelligence."Okay, so that's 1d20...rolled an 17, and I need to add in my 4 Strength modifier...plus the 2 for the charge, and oh, the +1 Morale bonus from Steve's bard song and that makes...uh...um...crap, uh, 25?

Gnaeus
2010-01-26, 07:27 PM
Just throwing out that I do know role playing gamers who are at basic or below reading proficiency, and require friends to make their characters and tell them how or when to use their abilities, so you can't completely discount that portion of the population. I will readily concede that that is only a handful of the hundreds of gamers I have known, so way under 43%.

Callista
2010-01-26, 07:51 PM
Try re-phrasing the statement and you may understand why. Like so:

"Smarter people tend to be gamers more often."

People enjoy doing what they are good at.

Many of the tasks required of RPGs, especially tabletop RPGs, are tasks that are also required of people in academic areas--especially math and science, stereotypically "smart" subjects.

People who are good at academics tend to score higher on IQ tests. (The correlation is not strong by any means, but it does exist.)

So I think it's not that gamers tend to be smart so much as smart people simply being more drawn to tabletop RPGs and other strategic games than most people would be.

Optimystik
2010-01-26, 07:58 PM
Do the kids in this study play Pen and Paper roleplaying games, or just video games?

For this argument are you saying that ANYONE who plays games has a high INT?

Role-players, Video-game Players, Gamblers, athletes all play games, so were using the term "gamer" to mean anyone who plays games, at all, ever?

Or od you have a study about pen and paper games?

The OP did not specify, thus, neither did I.

Take it up with him, not me.

lisiecki
2010-01-26, 08:03 PM
The OP did not specify, thus, neither did I.

Take it up with him, not me.

Well it was posted in the "role-playing games" forum not the "gaming (other): For the discussion of video games, board games, war games, LARPs, kick-the-can, etc." forum.

However you are correct, he didn't specify. Do you have any articals on the intelligence of role-players, gamblers or athletes?

Since he didn't specify, it's best we cover all the bases

Optimystik
2010-01-26, 08:18 PM
Well it was posted in the "role-playing games" forum not the "gaming (other): For the discussion of video games, board games, war games, LARPs, kick-the-can, etc." forum.

Come back when you get a mod to move my post then :smalltongue:


However you are correct, he didn't specify. Do you have any articals on the intelligence of role-players, gamblers or athletes?

Since he didn't specify, it's best we cover all the bases

Nah, that's too much work.

lisiecki
2010-01-26, 08:24 PM
Come back when you get a mod to move my post then :smalltongue:



Ok, I'm lost here?

I have to be a mod to point out that the forum we're posting in is a clue to the ... what were posting about?

Curmudgeon
2010-01-26, 08:38 PM
Most RPGs select for both literacy and the ability to use basic high school math (linear and quadratic equations, and simple statistics). This selection excludes those without appropriate capabilities, meaning the population that could play such games is selected from a group that averages higher than the whole population.

Unless you can prove that gamers are clustered at the low intelligence end of those who can master the games, the requirements of gameplay will make the case, as Person_Man stated.

Next up: proving that rock climbers have higher strength and dexterity than average. :smallbiggrin:

Benejeseret
2010-01-26, 09:12 PM
hmmm, I like how the last poster makes it seems like it's my responsibility to show an below average Int among players...otherwise he wins?

No, the statement of higher Int on average has been made by multiple others and I was asking to see an actual justification for those perceptions.


To compile what we have:

1. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation publishing that video games correlate to increased intelligence markers of "fluid intelligence," or problem solving skills.
Cons: About video games specifically. A foundation's report rather then independent study.
Pros: Links playing games to better problem solving skills


2.
Braun and Sachs suggest (in a 1985 paper I can't get the name for) that Dissociative Capacity links strongly with an "excellent working memory", and others have suggested it relates very closely to "the capacity to ignore extrinsic stimuli". Since Dissociative Capacity is fundamentally about the ability to divorce a segment of the self able to operate semi-independently, it makes sense (though I can't prove it) that it's plays a role in good roleplaying. The ability to think, act, and react as if you were a different person is fairly close to the core talent we connect with Dissociative Capacity. This would suggest that RPG-gamers are hence likely to have above-average working memories and a good ability to ignore distractions.
Cons: Seems to be a tangent from their actual conclusions (ie. indirect) thus still speculative
Pros: Published study. Implied to support that roleplaying capacity linked to working memory.

3.
Dept of Education.

In 2003, there were approximately 11 million non-literate adults in the US. 30 million adults tested as "Below Basic," which means that they can read simple language, sign forms, and differentiate numbers from text for simple math. 63 million adults tested as "Basic," which means that they can use a television guide, understand commonplace prose, and compare ticket prices with some level of accuracy. Put them together, and they represent 43% of adults in the US.

Cons: We must assume above basic reading skills are fundamental to play games. Likely a general trend, but to what extent in undetermined. 57% who are above basic is still the majority and we cannot discount language barriers such as dyslexia or simply english-as-a-second-language
Pros: Reputable source, large sampling, specific testing parameters and definitions.



I feel it is fair to say we have supported:
a. That the average poster/RPG gamer likely has improved their problem solving skills through their playing.
But does not mean they started or became higher than average

b. Those who can role-play well may have and increased capacity to ignore distractions

c. Forum posters likely have a higher than average reading comprehension ability.

kjones
2010-01-26, 09:15 PM
"That's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the gamers are above average."
Spellcheck recognizes "Wobegon"? Sweet.

Xenogears
2010-01-26, 09:45 PM
"That's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the gamers are above average."
Spellcheck recognizes "Wobegon"? Sweet.

Lucky. My spellchecker think such words as "katana", "Dwarves", and "Halflings" are misspelled.

Jayabalard
2010-01-27, 09:38 AM
As you can see, 43% of Americans are essentially incapable of reading a D&D book, much less using it. I think you're drawing a really false conclusion here; just because they don't read good doesn't mean that they aren't gamers. You're making the assumption that people who can't reliably [yadda yadda yadda] aren't gamers, and I don't agree that this is a valid assumption. There are plenty of people who play D&D (and other games) who have a really sketchy understanding of the game at best. They know to roll a D20, and other people in the group help make sure they've calculated their bonuses correctly. They tend to make very basic mistakes in evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of elements of the game (Wizards suck, Monks rock) and so on.

This gets even more true when you start dealing with extremely rules lite systems; once the system is simple enough, even the people who read at below basic can (and do) play quite well. I'd still label these people as gamers.


So by default, D&D players belong to the non-incarcerated portion of the "Intermediate" and "Proficient" population, which is demonstrably more intelligent then the rest of the population. That's just the current people who are actively playing D&D... it doesn't say anything about the number of "gamers" in prison, just that they are prevented from gaming during the actual time of their incarceration. If they have to actively ban D&D in prison, that shows that there are at least some of the prisoners who would otherwise be playing it, and who do play it when they aren't in prison. I'd personally still label those people as gamers, just like I'd label anyone else who used to play D&D, and intends to play it in the future but isn't currently involved in a game. So you can't really narrow down the set of gamers to being the the non-incarcerated portion of the population either.


Also, did I mention I'm a government statistician?Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics. :tongue:

Benejeseret
2010-01-27, 01:06 PM
That's why I reworded the reading statement to only include play-by-post forum gamers at it would be fairer to assume that people who choose to dedicate hours reading forum posts would be in that upper 57% (on average...not necessarily exclusive).

I agree that the 43% are in no way excluded from general gaming.

Bagelz
2010-01-27, 02:02 PM
It seems to me that original catalyst to this thread was a large number of 18 int's in the stat yourself thread.
While I do believe on average roleplayers tend to be more intelligent (not to be confused with streetwise or common sense). Also roleplayers tend to read more than the average population, even if it is derivitive scifi/fantasy :smallbiggrin:

I think the discrepancy comes in because we tend to think about an average character not an average person. While 10 is suppose to be average for a human in a stat, it is low for a character. where 14's or 16's are not uncommon for a character: if somone sees themself as "smart" they are likely to put a 16 instead of a 12 or 13 where their iq test would place them.

They should look at it this way: if you are old enough, if you know your iq divide it by 10 and round up. if you remember your math and verbal sat scores (don't use the writing section) divide by 100 and add 1. thats a very very rough estimate.

Fiery Diamond
2010-01-27, 03:08 PM
Regarding people thinking they are more intelligent than they are:

I find this to be generally true. On the other hand, there are oddballs who believe that they have lower intelligence than others believe that they have, like me. Not going by 3.x distributions but rather by 3.x descriptions of intelligence ranges (10-11 is average, 17-18 is genius, intelligence scale isn't exactly linear), I would have put myself at a 14 (I was valedictorian in highschool of a graduating class of almost 200 - a country, not generally well-educated area as well), but my older brother, who I would place as an 18, thinks that I'm more like a 16. It made me feel good.

Especially since my physical stats are all 8 or below and my Wisdom and Charisma are probably around average. (My Strength is probably about 6 or so.)

RS14
2010-01-27, 03:47 PM
The closest I've been able to find is this minor note:

The personality of fantasy game players. By: Douse, Neil A., McManus, I. C., British Journal of Psychology, 00071269, Nov93, Vol. 84, Issue 4:

"Players of FRPGs show clear personality differences from controls, although the differences are not as extreme as some stereotypical descriptions might have suggested. Players tend to be male, of high educational level, and sharing common interests in FRPGs and PBMs and in computer games in general."

Person_Man
2010-01-27, 04:26 PM
I think you're drawing a really false conclusion here; just because they don't read good doesn't mean that they aren't gamers.

I apologize if I was not clear enough in my post. Perhaps I should elaborate.

No one is arguing that someone who is illiterate, disabled, imprisoned, or poorly educated is incapable of playing D&D. We can all think of counter examples of individuals who do play D&D that fall into one or more of those groups.

What I am arguing is that for the United States:
1) An "Intermediate" or "Proficient" level of reading ability and non-incarceration are required to read and understand a D&D book.
2) 43% of Americans do not have that level of reading proficiency. And 3.2% are currently incarcerated (some of which no doubt fall within that 43%, but some of which fall into the Intermediate or Proficient group).
3) The vast majority (though certainly not all) of D&D players can read and understand a D&D book.
4) A primary measure of intelligence is the level of literacy.
5) Therefore, since the vast majority of D&D players have a intermediate or proficient level of literacy, they are on average more intelligent then non-D&D players.

A similar argument would be that people who have completed college are, on average, more intelligent then people who have not college. Certainly you find many examples of super geniuses who have not attended or completed college. And there are many different types of measurements for intelligence. But on average, people who have completed college will be more literate, have superior math skills, and will earn more money then people who have not.

To argue that basic measures like literacy and education do not have a correlation with intelligence is disingenuous. But assuming that you are not arguing from a post-modernist "nothing is knowable" position, I am always willing to admit that my knowledge of the world is incomplete and consider alternatives. How would you suggest that we measure intelligence?

hamishspence
2010-01-27, 04:32 PM
For example, being the first person on record to get 100% in a particular exam, isn't so much intelligence as very good memory.