A Day at the Races. A Study of IQ, Expertise, and Cognitive Complexity

Stephen J. Ceci, Jeffrey K. Liker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 123 Citations

Abstract

This study was undertaken to examine the relations among cognitive complexity, expertise, and intelligence-the latter reflected by subjects' IQ test scores, as measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). Cognitive complexity was measured by the extent to which subjects used a sophisticated multiplicative model to handicap races, as opposed to a simpler additive model. Thirty middle-aged and older men who were avid racetrack patrons were the subjects of this study. They were studied and tested over a 4-year period. None of the men earned their living exclusively by handicapping races, though all of them attended the races nearly every day of their adult lives. The men were selected for inclusion in the study on the basis of their high levels of knowledge about harness racing, as evidenced by their performance on a test of factual information about racing (e.g., rank ordering of tracks by their United States Harnessracing Association speed ratings, identification of record holders and speeds in each class) and the fact that they had all purchased the "early form" which comes out the day prior to the race. As purchasers of the early form, they represented approximately the top 3% of racetrack patrons. Within this group of 30 men, 14 were classified as experts and the remaining as nonexperts based on their ability to predict post-time odds on the basis of factual information about horses. The important background characteristics of experts and nonexperts were equivalent (i.e., their factual knowledge about racing, years of experience attending the track, age, IQ, socioeconomic status, and years of schooling). The difference between these two groups of men was their actual handicapping ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-266
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Volume115
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1986

Fingerprint

Intelligence
Social Class
Horses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Cite this

A Day at the Races. A Study of IQ, Expertise, and Cognitive Complexity. / Ceci, Stephen J.; Liker, Jeffrey K.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol. 115, No. 3, 09.1986, p. 255-266.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ceci, Stephen J.; Liker, Jeffrey K. / A Day at the Races. A Study of IQ, Expertise, and Cognitive Complexity.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol. 115, No. 3, 09.1986, p. 255-266.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{2733ed0eb0f64a2dbf9e2804bd4b9599,
title = "A Day at the Races. A Study of IQ, Expertise, and Cognitive Complexity",
abstract = "This study was undertaken to examine the relations among cognitive complexity, expertise, and intelligence-the latter reflected by subjects' IQ test scores, as measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). Cognitive complexity was measured by the extent to which subjects used a sophisticated multiplicative model to handicap races, as opposed to a simpler additive model. Thirty middle-aged and older men who were avid racetrack patrons were the subjects of this study. They were studied and tested over a 4-year period. None of the men earned their living exclusively by handicapping races, though all of them attended the races nearly every day of their adult lives. The men were selected for inclusion in the study on the basis of their high levels of knowledge about harness racing, as evidenced by their performance on a test of factual information about racing (e.g., rank ordering of tracks by their United States Harnessracing Association speed ratings, identification of record holders and speeds in each class) and the fact that they had all purchased the {"}early form{"} which comes out the day prior to the race. As purchasers of the early form, they represented approximately the top 3% of racetrack patrons. Within this group of 30 men, 14 were classified as experts and the remaining as nonexperts based on their ability to predict post-time odds on the basis of factual information about horses. The important background characteristics of experts and nonexperts were equivalent (i.e., their factual knowledge about racing, years of experience attending the track, age, IQ, socioeconomic status, and years of schooling). The difference between these two groups of men was their actual handicapping ability.",
author = "Ceci, {Stephen J.} and Liker, {Jeffrey K.}",
year = "1986",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1037/0096-3445.115.3.255",
volume = "115",
pages = "255--266",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Psychology: General",
issn = "0096-3445",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A Day at the Races. A Study of IQ, Expertise, and Cognitive Complexity

AU - Ceci,Stephen J.

AU - Liker,Jeffrey K.

PY - 1986/9

Y1 - 1986/9

N2 - This study was undertaken to examine the relations among cognitive complexity, expertise, and intelligence-the latter reflected by subjects' IQ test scores, as measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). Cognitive complexity was measured by the extent to which subjects used a sophisticated multiplicative model to handicap races, as opposed to a simpler additive model. Thirty middle-aged and older men who were avid racetrack patrons were the subjects of this study. They were studied and tested over a 4-year period. None of the men earned their living exclusively by handicapping races, though all of them attended the races nearly every day of their adult lives. The men were selected for inclusion in the study on the basis of their high levels of knowledge about harness racing, as evidenced by their performance on a test of factual information about racing (e.g., rank ordering of tracks by their United States Harnessracing Association speed ratings, identification of record holders and speeds in each class) and the fact that they had all purchased the "early form" which comes out the day prior to the race. As purchasers of the early form, they represented approximately the top 3% of racetrack patrons. Within this group of 30 men, 14 were classified as experts and the remaining as nonexperts based on their ability to predict post-time odds on the basis of factual information about horses. The important background characteristics of experts and nonexperts were equivalent (i.e., their factual knowledge about racing, years of experience attending the track, age, IQ, socioeconomic status, and years of schooling). The difference between these two groups of men was their actual handicapping ability.

AB - This study was undertaken to examine the relations among cognitive complexity, expertise, and intelligence-the latter reflected by subjects' IQ test scores, as measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). Cognitive complexity was measured by the extent to which subjects used a sophisticated multiplicative model to handicap races, as opposed to a simpler additive model. Thirty middle-aged and older men who were avid racetrack patrons were the subjects of this study. They were studied and tested over a 4-year period. None of the men earned their living exclusively by handicapping races, though all of them attended the races nearly every day of their adult lives. The men were selected for inclusion in the study on the basis of their high levels of knowledge about harness racing, as evidenced by their performance on a test of factual information about racing (e.g., rank ordering of tracks by their United States Harnessracing Association speed ratings, identification of record holders and speeds in each class) and the fact that they had all purchased the "early form" which comes out the day prior to the race. As purchasers of the early form, they represented approximately the top 3% of racetrack patrons. Within this group of 30 men, 14 were classified as experts and the remaining as nonexperts based on their ability to predict post-time odds on the basis of factual information about horses. The important background characteristics of experts and nonexperts were equivalent (i.e., their factual knowledge about racing, years of experience attending the track, age, IQ, socioeconomic status, and years of schooling). The difference between these two groups of men was their actual handicapping ability.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=58149366503&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=58149366503&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/0096-3445.115.3.255

DO - 10.1037/0096-3445.115.3.255

M3 - Article

VL - 115

SP - 255

EP - 266

JO - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

T2 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

JF - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

SN - 0096-3445

IS - 3

ER -