So, yesterday I got to finish reading Freakonomics, thanks to a malfunctioning DVD drive. I had read everything but the last chapter.
I'm going to be posting today... as much as I can. It's a long weekend. You'll have to go without me for THREE WHOLE DAYS, so I'll give you as much "wisdom" as possible to tide you over.
First, just to establish a bit of a dessert (since most people apparently read blogs 'backwards'), here's a BAD article:
Putting aside all my preferences, this article studies how well babies test. TWO YEAR OLDS. How well they 'test'.
First, yeah, at the age of two, the parents would be the primary factor - the kid spends ALL his time with the parents. That's not exactly a surprise but, unfortunately, it can't last. Okay, I'm not putting aside all my preferences.
Second, these tests? They're SHITE. TESTS ARE SHITE. Especially on TWO YEAR OLDS. They MAY have use - if we're lucky - but since they don't TELL us what the tests were, we can't know, can we?
Third, they showed CORRELATION, not CAUSATION. They say "babies who have mothers who can read their moods test better". They go on to say that, although there is a correlation between social status and testing, it is less prevalent than an empathic mommy. In their minds, this 'proves' the empathy is the cause.
Okay, look, these babies are FUCKING TWO YEARS OLD. Of COURSE how much cash their parents have doesn't much matter - the kids aren't AFFECTED by cash yet. Unless we're talking the EXPENSIVE baby foods and SILK bonnets. At this point in time, the kids primary interaction is with their PARENTS, and there's no socio-economic difference between the kid and his parents. That doesn't change the effect of that cash later in the child's life.
I can see not going that route, though. It's hardly scientific - it's just me bitching.
But that doesn't change the fact that this 'empathy' stuff is STILL JUST CORRELATION. There's NO CAUSATION PROVEN.
Maybe some other force is causing BOTH. Like the fact that these babies did well on LANGUAGE AND PLAY tests. Gee, do you think LANGUAGE AND PLAY are critical to being empathic with your child? Maybe it's simply GENETIC? I'm not saying it IS, but it COULD BE.
I HATE SENSATIONALIST SCIENCE.
I posted an irritated comment, but they won't let it get through.