How smart are you ?

How smart are you, I mean really ?

Here is a little test. There are ten questions. Each is worth the number of points shown in parentheses. For each correct answer you get the appropriate number of points. But here is the kicker: DO NOT GUESS. For each incorrect or incomplete answer there is a deduction of the number of points that is assigned to the question. Remember: there are no partial answers. To get the credit, the answer has to be complete and accurate. Any (substantial) error or incompleteness will earn you the full demerit.

For each statement, explain — clearly and thoroughly — what it most likely means, and also give examples of how it could be applied. Give as much detail as necessary, but no more.

1. “Other things being equal, it is expected that X causes Y.” (2)

2. “It was found that the law regulating X had unexpected consequences.”(2)

3. “There is only a weak correlation between X and Y.” (7)

4. “Most reviewers were favorable, but, even among the supporters of the work, there were reservations.” (1)

5. “The possibility for this happening is very remote.” (1)

6. “This is an empirical question.” (5)

7. “What is the place of value in a world of fact ?” (8)

8. “Sometimes an ad hominem argument is appropriate, sometimes it is not.” (8)

9. “Anachronism is the enemy of historical understanding.” (10)

10. “Under certain circumstances, all differences are statistically significant.” (13)

Any score of one or more is good, actually. A score of 57, the maximum, means that you have probably cheated. (Just kidding; you cannot cheat. If you get a 57 you can be satisfied with yourself — up to a point.)

Good luck !

Thanks to Shoshana and Ruthie Schoenfeld for their help in this project.