The Phoenix

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Think You're Smarter Than A Monkey?

(I apologize for a lack of posts lately. Work has been crazy, and I've been traveling a lot).

As if we didn't need any more proof that college students today are falling short, scientists have been pitting chimps against college students in a variety of mental tasks. Not surprisingly, the chimps are as smart or even better than the human "scholars." Incoming freshmen are taking remedial courses (AKA skills they should've learned in high school) at an alarming rate, and maybe we should reward them with bananas or some other kind of tasty treat.

It seems to work for the chimps.

Earlier this month, scientists at the University of Kyoto were surprised to find that young 5-year old chimps were actually better than college students at memory tasks. Even after three months of memory training, three of the brighter students could still not match the chimps' ability to remember sequence-oriented tasks.

Did the students have too much saki???

So scientists at Duke University took the research further and found that the chimps performed just as well as the college students at mental addition. Jessica Cantlon, a cognitive neuroscience researcher at Duke, helped test the monkeys and college students in "non-verbal math." She said, "It shows when you take language away from a human, they end up looking just like monkeys in terms of their performance."

Hahahaha...take that college kids.

In this study, both groups were paid for their time and efforts. The two chimps got to drink Kool-Aid, and the college kids got $10. But something tells me those students were drinking another kind of Kool-Aid.

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Blogger Tai said...

I'm glad I never went to college. Then I know I can't be as dumb as a student. Or a monkey.


What was the question?

12/20/2007 12:24 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/20/2007 2:10 PM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

You had me at saki. ;)


12/20/2007 2:10 PM  
Blogger KC said...

Yes, but do monkeys have the same distractions as college students? You know... being away from home for the first time; drinking all night; gettin' nekkid with attractive members of the opposite sex? At least those are the excuses my son had for only getting a 3.0 in his freshman first semester.

12/21/2007 12:25 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Wow, that's really sad. I actually have this crack pot theory that if they tossed out one year-length course in high school and taught instead a course on problem solving, analytic skills, and intensive communication and writing, that it might do them more good when they get to college than cramming facts into their head that they won't remember after the SATs.

I'm also not really surprised our memories aren't as good. Why would we have to remember anything when we have all this information at our fingertips?

12/21/2007 3:03 PM  
Blogger delmer said...

I always seem to forget just how young Belushi was when he died.

12/21/2007 7:09 PM  
Blogger Jillian said...

That doesn't surprise me. I mean, look at ISU - a bunch of drunk students ALL the time, really - only a small percentage actually take the time to study or even prepare for a test.

Maybe they have the wrong college students, if you know what I mean?

Although, this doesn't surprise me honestly in the least bit. I'm sure that the chimps can beat out even a PhD person, given the right task. If a chimp is taught nothing else but to memorize things, and then you pit them against an average adult, then the chimp will do what it has been trained to do: memorize everything.

Doesn't mean the chimp is smarter - just that maybe the human has 1,000 other things on his mind besides memorizing things, and the chimp just knows how to memorize.

12/22/2007 1:34 AM  
Blogger Jillian said...

Whoops sorry wrong account, that was me up there ^^^^^^^^


12/22/2007 1:36 AM  
Blogger Etchen said...

An early Merry Christmas to you!

12/22/2007 3:48 PM  
Blogger DaBich said...

I blame the remedial courses in college and the other problems on the high schools just passing students through. The slogan at the local high school here is "No student left behind." That's wrong. If the student isn't performing, or learning the material,then the student SHOULD be held back. Passing them through is NOT solving the problem, only compounding it. Ok nuff seriousness.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Phoenix!

12/22/2007 7:56 PM  
Blogger Rocky said...

Monkeys also can hurl their feces further than college students...

Great to read you again, Phoenix. Happy Holidays!

12/27/2007 8:17 PM  

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Welcome to the blog that aims to examine the lighter side of science. From the paranormal to wacky inventions, to strange mysteries and goofy experiments, I cover it all. Thanks for stoping by science is always stranger than fiction


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