Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This is what I think about in the shower*

Thought experiment: consider the game of chicken, played at a non-lethal (or at least very close to it) but heavily significant pain incurrence if both players "win"/"lose." I'm thinking along the lines of 8 year olds riding their bikes at each other** (as I used to do this on the occasion...Mom/Dad, don't worry my injuries were never from chicken).

So here's my question: does someone's success at playing this game of chicken correlate with their IQ? If so, does this factor correlate with someone's political views? Religious views? How would this correlation change if the game were played with a significant chance of fatality? ***

Also, for bonus points -- and unfounded assertions are otherwise sufficient -- what is your model for determining the answer to this question?

In a sense, although I do believe there is probably a right answer -- probably different for each society, however -- I think the interesting thing is not whether your answer is correct (I doubt the correlation is so high as to be massively significant), but what your answer says about you.

* Seriously. This is pretty typical of my shower ruminations. And there's research that suggests a small positive correlation with thinking better and showering. As I recall, it was posited that warm tempatures increased the blood flow.

** For what it's worth, I recall being pretty good at chicken, and I played it with a very bright friend.

*** I almost said that family folklore indicates that I am distantly related to Aaron Burr, who fatally shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel. But after reflection, I'm pretty sure that it's actually Aaron Burr's second who I'm related to. Which is much less interesting. And probably as famous as anyone in my family has ever been.


Tim said...

My answer: No, chicken strategy is not a good indicator of IQ.

However, I would say that there is a negative relationship between the amount of time spent thinking about this question and IQ.

Jenn said...

What about the game of chicken you play when you turn 16? That is, when you drive your cars at each other instead of riding your bikes at each other?

No, I never played this, but I knew kids that did. And one of my friend's dad was killed by some kids doing it.

I always thought it was a stupid game. What does that say about my IQ?

Peter Chi said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the shout-out

Those were the days...