Saturday, August 04, 2007

Puzzle of the Day

My sister in law has a Ph.D. from Cambridge. Whenever she dispenses her opinion, my wife and her parents (my inlaws were both graduates from Peking University back in the late 1950s, no small feat indeed) listen.

It doesn't matter what topic is being discussed, it does not matter that my wife and my inlaws start with different views on the same matter, they will automatically switch side and accept my sister in law's view without hesitation.

And the question is why?

Is it because she has her Ph.D.? But isn't it the case that her Ph.D. only represents her expertise in certain area of study not in all areas.

Is it because the fact that she has got her degree signals to others that she is smart (like higher IQ), so people who have received less education believe that in matters that they are not completely sure how to deal with themselves, it is better to delegate the task of workng out a solution to those who have higher IQ. The presumption is that higher IQ people have a better chance of figuring out the best course of action. Is there any basis on this claim?

Is it because higher level of educational attainment indicates higher level of IQ and problem-solving ability as well?

Those readers who are knowledgable in neuroscience and psychology, educate me.

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