Political Scientists Are Pretty Smart Given How Incredibly Hot We Are

by John Sides on September 19, 2013 · 9 comments

in Academia,Frivolity

Henry’s old post on the “hotties and notties” in academia has been getting a lot of recirculation the last couple days.  Sanjay Srivastava takes it one step further, combining the hotness data with some data on IQ:

hotness-iqThe negative correlation is fun.  I’m just happy to see political science above the regression line.  More at Srivastava’s post.

{ 9 comments }

Jonathan Bernstein September 19, 2013 at 11:59 am

Now *this* is mostly what we want more of when you’re over at WaPo.

Matthew Stevens September 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm

But the really sexy academics are in theology, apparently.

Nadia Hassan September 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I wonder what the plot would look like if math ability was used instead of IQ.

Phillip Lipscy September 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I know this is tongue-in-cheek, but just so no one takes the IQ scores seriously: the IQ rank is based on combined GRE scores from the old test, where the third section was Analytical Reasoning:
http://web.archive.org/web/20070104093613/http://www.econphd.net/guide.htm

As you see from that list, English & Philosophy Ph.D.s did the best on the Verbal section as you might expect, but that is only one out of three sections, and Verbal has low variance compared to the Quantitative section, so it gets washed out when you sum the numbers. The old analytical section was basically a test of logic, so two out of three categories were ones that plausibly tilted the scales in favor of STEM fields. The third section has now been replaced with Analytical Writing, which leads me to suspect the rankings would change quite a bit if you updated based on the current GRE.

Seth Masket September 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Okay, as long as the operationalization of hotness is iron-clad.

JJ September 20, 2013 at 10:56 am

Yeah, What Seth said!

Amy Erica Smith September 20, 2013 at 11:19 am

There are a couple of important issues of causality that this research leaves unaddressed:

1) Does studying political science make you hot? Or is it just that hot people are naturally attracted to study political science?

2) What’s the causal relationship between IQ and hotness? Given that the IQ measure is based on a beginning-of-career assessment (the GRE score), and that hotness is based on a later-in-the-career assessment (Rate My Professor scores), one might assume that low IQ could lead people to compensate by working to become hotter. (Some of us are screwed, obviously, but surely on the margins there are things that most of us can do to enhance our own hotness.) Of course, it is also possible that being naturally hot makes you less concerned about other measures of self-worth, such as GRE tests.

John September 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm

As a hot chemist, I find this graph to be of dubious veracity.

aqui_c September 25, 2013 at 6:12 am

Physicists, on the other hand, are off charts!

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