In a recent DISCOVER Magazine post the author of its Gene Expression blog, Razib Khan, wrote a piece called “Higher Vocabulary ~Higher Income”. Exploring the correlation between intelligence and income, he used the statistical correlation between intelligence and vocabulary to show the correlation between vocabulary and income.
It must be added that the differences in vocabulary here are not differences learned in oral conversation. After grade 4 vocabulary growth is largely driven through literacy not speech. Because most of the difference in adult vocabulary is a result of reading, using vocabulary as a proxy for intelligence is an indirect way of pointing to the role of reading in intelligence. Advance the following video (“Reading Matters”) to 1:14 for a sequence on reading, vocabulary, and intelligence. After that it’s easier to understand what Dr. Louisa Moats means in the second video (“Academic Danger”).
[…] I am not saying we aren’t responsible for our choices. I am saying that it’s no where near that simple. Our choices are enabled and constrained by our learning. Yes, our learning is also enabled and constrained by our choices, but it’s also enabled and constrained by forces and factors over and about which we have no choice. Babies have no choice about how much their parents talk to them yet the volume and quality of the language they are bathed in (before they’re even 3 years old) has a profoundly powerful affect on how well they will do in school, which in turn, affects their path in life, their options in life, and their capacity for choice within those options. (see 6-30-2012 post: “Higher Vocabulary ~ Higher Intelligence ~ Higher Income) […]