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Valley News, The New York Times, and Nature articles on Mozart and IQ.

Music and IQ


Read the three articles relating to the music and IQ study and answer the following questions.

1. Do you think that the authors have demonstrated that listening to music before taking an IQ test has a significant effect on the outcome of the test?

2. The authors suggest that further studies should be done with other kinds of music. If this is done what do you think the outcome will be?

3. What do you think of the opinions expressed in the Valley News editorial? Could you have told the experimenters what they would find?

4. Is it reasonable to say that a person has an IQ somewhat like they have a height or a weight?


A number of the book's illustrations are in terms of data from the HANES (Health and Nutrition Examination Study). This is a very large survey designed to try to answer questions of health of the U.S. population. We have put on public in the Chance folder a sample of 1000 men and 1000 women from the study. Plot a histogram of the weights of the men and find their mean and standard deviation. Then make a derived variable to obtain the weights standardized to have mean 0 and standard deviation 1. Plot a histogram of this new variable and comment on whether you think this data reasonably fits a normal curve. Do the same for the women.


(1) It would be interesting to carry out an experiment like the one reported in Nature but with a different kind of music.

(2) Our small experimentation has suggests that changes in the stock market might be somewhat random. A good project would be to do further studies on different stocks and try to come to some conclusion as to how random you think it is. An interesting reference for this project would be the book ``A Random Walk Down Wall Street" written by Burton G. Malkiel. We have put this book on reserve in Kresge Library.

(3) We have data that gives the hitting performance of almost all the major league players in the years from 1988 to 1990. In addition to the information about what they did at each time at bat the data has all kinds of other information: was the picher right handed or left handed?, the number of people on base, the score etc. An interesting project would be to see if any of these variables affects a players hitting.

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