intelligence vs LSAT

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
kjunfood
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:59 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby kjunfood » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:59 pm

I feel like a lot of people are comparing apples w/ oranges...and things that cannot be known. You may all be glad to know, however, that you ACT like lawyers in that you dissect things down to the word. Technicalities seem to carry more weight than a person's meaning (whether implicit or explicit).

I mean, if you really think about it...or talked face to face, I don't think anyone here is arguing different views (yes, I actually read every post up till now). Could LSAT be positively correlated to a high intelligence? Probably, but so are a lot of things. That being said, what constitutes intelligence? g? IQ tests?

And I am sure the LSAT is a reasonable predictor of how well an individual performs in law school during her first year (even more so when coupled w/ one's UGPA)...but once again, just a positive correlation. Law schools and LSAC both seem to agree on this: it is not a perfect test but it's a good one (and the best they have at the moment).

Finally, no one is saying causation = correlation. How did causation even get thrown into this debate?

nicola.kirwan
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:33 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby nicola.kirwan » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:15 pm

kjunfood wrote:I feel like a lot of people are comparing apples w/ oranges...and things that cannot be known. You may all be glad to know, however, that you ACT like lawyers in that you dissect things down to the word. Technicalities seem to carry more weight than a person's meaning (whether implicit or explicit).

I mean, if you really think about it...or talked face to face, I don't think anyone here is arguing different views (yes, I actually read every post up till now). Could LSAT be positively correlated to a high intelligence? Probably, but so are a lot of things. That being said, what constitutes intelligence? g? IQ tests?

And I am sure the LSAT is a reasonable predictor of how well an individual performs in law school during her first year (even more so when coupled w/ one's UGPA)...but once again, just a positive correlation. Law schools and LSAC both seem to agree on this: it is not a perfect test but it's a good one (and the best they have at the moment).

Finally, no one is saying causation = correlation. How did causation even get thrown into this debate?



I think your points are well taken. I think that to put my particular question in its basest terms, would people recommend that someone who gets into the best school they can with an LSAT that puts them in the bottom 25% go there, or would that basically doom that person to being stuck at the bottom of the class? Of course correlation is not causation, but to what degree is the LSAT actually measuring different abilities for success, and is there a score threshold at which the correlation becomes weaker or non-existent?

User avatar
bwv812
Posts: 548
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 12:18 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby bwv812 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:22 pm

.
Last edited by bwv812 on Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sempervirens
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:23 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby sempervirens » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:48 pm

Dead Ringer wrote:I tutor the LSATS and can tell you that, on the level, the people who would strike you as intelligent after even a single conversation do much better than those who strike one as boring and dull witted [...] Plainly, I think being "sharp" is necessary for success on the LSATs.


I'd subscribe to this. There's a lot of analysis going on in the thread, but your LSAT score is probably a function of a few different things (including intelligence, diligence, time, and money). There's some degree of correlation between your IQ and your score; it's unlikely you score above 165 if your IQ is under 100. And that's not to say that hard work and resources don't play a part. Those who do best probably have some combination of a bunch of factors.

awesomepossum wrote:You guys will be happy to know that nobody gives a shit about the LSAT once you're in law school.


I haven't taken the LSAT yet and I already hope this is true!

User avatar
dailygrind
Posts: 19668
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:08 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby dailygrind » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:06 am

nicola.kirwan wrote:
kjunfood wrote:I feel like a lot of people are comparing apples w/ oranges...and things that cannot be known. You may all be glad to know, however, that you ACT like lawyers in that you dissect things down to the word. Technicalities seem to carry more weight than a person's meaning (whether implicit or explicit).

I mean, if you really think about it...or talked face to face, I don't think anyone here is arguing different views (yes, I actually read every post up till now). Could LSAT be positively correlated to a high intelligence? Probably, but so are a lot of things. That being said, what constitutes intelligence? g? IQ tests?

And I am sure the LSAT is a reasonable predictor of how well an individual performs in law school during her first year (even more so when coupled w/ one's UGPA)...but once again, just a positive correlation. Law schools and LSAC both seem to agree on this: it is not a perfect test but it's a good one (and the best they have at the moment).

Finally, no one is saying causation = correlation. How did causation even get thrown into this debate?



I think your points are well taken. I think that to put my particular question in its basest terms, would people recommend that someone who gets into the best school they can with an LSAT that puts them in the bottom 25% go there, or would that basically doom that person to being stuck at the bottom of the class? Of course correlation is not causation, but to what degree is the LSAT actually measuring different abilities for success, and is there a score threshold at which the correlation becomes weaker or non-existent?


Keep reading. R^2 for lsat+ugpa = 25%, or 25% of the variation in first year grades can be explained by a combination of the lsat and ugpa. Not enough predictive power to keep me out of a reach school.

Your other question I have no clue.

User avatar
acr0504
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:55 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby acr0504 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:19 am

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the most idiotic lawyer I work with scored the highest on the LSAT out of all the lawyers in the firm where I work.

Certainly LSAT is a measure of CERTAIN types of intelligence and certainly gauges the effort that someone puts into studying, but only to a certain degree. Some people test better than others on any given type of test, but this isn't necessarily a measure of intellect. That being said, (in my experience) in the real legal world LSAT has NOTHING to do with being a great attorney. The best attorneys I work with are the ones that are stellar writers and find ways to bend perspective instead of approaching it from a purely analytical perspective, like one does in the LSAT.

awesomepossum
Posts: 928
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 12:49 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby awesomepossum » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:22 am

dailygrind wrote:
nicola.kirwan wrote:
kjunfood wrote:I feel like a lot of people are comparing apples w/ oranges...and things that cannot be known. You may all be glad to know, however, that you ACT like lawyers in that you dissect things down to the word. Technicalities seem to carry more weight than a person's meaning (whether implicit or explicit).

I mean, if you really think about it...or talked face to face, I don't think anyone here is arguing different views (yes, I actually read every post up till now). Could LSAT be positively correlated to a high intelligence? Probably, but so are a lot of things. That being said, what constitutes intelligence? g? IQ tests?

And I am sure the LSAT is a reasonable predictor of how well an individual performs in law school during her first year (even more so when coupled w/ one's UGPA)...but once again, just a positive correlation. Law schools and LSAC both seem to agree on this: it is not a perfect test but it's a good one (and the best they have at the moment).

Finally, no one is saying causation = correlation. How did causation even get thrown into this debate?



I think your points are well taken. I think that to put my particular question in its basest terms, would people recommend that someone who gets into the best school they can with an LSAT that puts them in the bottom 25% go there, or would that basically doom that person to being stuck at the bottom of the class? Of course correlation is not causation, but to what degree is the LSAT actually measuring different abilities for success, and is there a score threshold at which the correlation becomes weaker or non-existent?


Keep reading. R^2 for lsat+ugpa = 25%, or 25% of the variation in first year grades can be explained by a combination of the lsat and ugpa. Not enough predictive power to keep me out of a reach school.

Your other question I have no clue.


Your second to last sentence makes no sense.

nicola.kirwan
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:33 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby nicola.kirwan » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:09 am

awesomepossum wrote:
dailygrind wrote:
nicola.kirwan wrote:
kjunfood wrote:I feel like a lot of people are comparing apples w/ oranges...and things that cannot be known. You may all be glad to know, however, that you ACT like lawyers in that you dissect things down to the word. Technicalities seem to carry more weight than a person's meaning (whether implicit or explicit).

I mean, if you really think about it...or talked face to face, I don't think anyone here is arguing different views (yes, I actually read every post up till now). Could LSAT be positively correlated to a high intelligence? Probably, but so are a lot of things. That being said, what constitutes intelligence? g? IQ tests?

And I am sure the LSAT is a reasonable predictor of how well an individual performs in law school during her first year (even more so when coupled w/ one's UGPA)...but once again, just a positive correlation. Law schools and LSAC both seem to agree on this: it is not a perfect test but it's a good one (and the best they have at the moment).

Finally, no one is saying causation = correlation. How did causation even get thrown into this debate?



I think your points are well taken. I think that to put my particular question in its basest terms, would people recommend that someone who gets into the best school they can with an LSAT that puts them in the bottom 25% go there, or would that basically doom that person to being stuck at the bottom of the class? Of course correlation is not causation, but to what degree is the LSAT actually measuring different abilities for success, and is there a score threshold at which the correlation becomes weaker or non-existent?


Keep reading. R^2 for lsat+ugpa = 25%, or 25% of the variation in first year grades can be explained by a combination of the lsat and ugpa. Not enough predictive power to keep me out of a reach school.

Your other question I have no clue.


Your second to last sentence makes no sense.


Seems like they meant that the established LSAT-LSGPA correlation isn't enough to stop them from going to a school where their LSAT and/or UGPA might be in the bottom 25%, which is what my question was asking.

Yeah, I've taken absolutely no stats classes, but I would agree that a correlation explaining 25% of the variation in 1L grades is not enough to personally go on--one isn't doomed to relative failure or guaranteed sucess on that basis.

I'm really curious about the LSAT threshold question, though. I just really doubt that after a certain score there's a material difference in ability to ace ls exams or to effectively comprehend and analyze the material. Just don't know what that score is--could it be as low as 160?. As an extreme example, if you're comparing high school freshman and ph.d students (or 120 IQ with 150 IQ), there shouldn't be a difference in overall ability to add and subtract or do multiplication tables, regardless of the comparative intellectual ability/achievement. The activity only requires so much intellect, and after a certain point it's just extra. That's the most extreme example I could come up with, but it's the same principle.

User avatar
dailygrind
Posts: 19668
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:08 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby dailygrind » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:39 am

Yeah, that is what I meant.

As to your second question, this early in the morning with caffeine rushing through me I feel good enough to hazard a guess. If the LSAT measures certain types of intelligence, then of course higher levels of that intellect are better. It is most likely subject to diminishing returns, which is what I think you were getting at with your HS freshman/PhD example. Where the dropoff is sharp enough that increasing intelligence becomes worth less probably varies depending on what you're doing. For instance, if you're in Yale and there is a great deal of abstract thought, it seems likely that the extra analytical ability is very helpful. In other instances, perhaps not so much. The other factors that determined your 1L grades, like creativity, diligence, w/e, probably can make up for a great deal more the further you get from Yale. Is that helpful?

interestedbyestander
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:44 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby interestedbyestander » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:55 am

I love the title of this topic ..... it's like one is pitted against the other ...

... Ladies & Gentlemen, in this corner we have ..... LOL



(Sorry I don't have any statistical r^curve data to offer here, just a dumb observation)

User avatar
goosey
Posts: 1543
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:48 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby goosey » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:33 pm

Doing well in X program does not guarantee overall intelligence. For example, a math major with a 4.0 gpa can become a philosophy major and get a 3.0---did his intelligence change? That same person can become and art major and get a 2.5. There are people that naturally excel in the areas required to do well in law school. That doesn't even mean that every one in law school is intelligent. It just means their brain is wired in a way that makes them do well in that type of program. The same person can have two totally different GPAs if they were to be in different programs, yet its not possible that the persons intelligence changed.

roark
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:59 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby roark » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:43 pm

Mensa thinks the lsat is a good way to measure intelligence

http://www.us.mensa.org/Content/AML/Nav ... Scores.htm

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby RVP11 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:54 pm

roark wrote:Mensa thinks the lsat is a good way to measure intelligence

http://www.us.mensa.org/Content/AML/Nav ... Scores.htm


Speaking of Mensa, does anyone else LOL @ "Joining Mensa has never been easier!" on their homepage.

Joining our supposedly exclusive, elite club has never been easier!!!

User avatar
goosey
Posts: 1543
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:48 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby goosey » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:04 pm

What's mensa?

User avatar
jessicaw
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:14 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby jessicaw » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:16 pm

k
Last edited by jessicaw on Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

interestedbyestander
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:44 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby interestedbyestander » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:25 pm

Mensa is a cult organization who believe that one's LSAT score directly correlates to sexual prowess.

User avatar
dailygrind
Posts: 19668
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:08 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby dailygrind » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:19 pm

Eh, I guess a lot of us here on TLS can get into Mensa based on our LSAT scores, but is there any benefit? You get to interact with other "smart" people but if we get into our chosen law schools we get that anyway. Plus there are dues...

User avatar
mormondem32
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:56 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby mormondem32 » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:05 am

There is a definite correlation between the LSAT and IQ. However, high scores on one will not guarantee high scores in another, obviously. Given that one can often improve their score by ten to fifteen points through study and practice might be used to argue a weaker connection between the two.

sempervirens
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:23 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby sempervirens » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:14 am

dailygrind wrote:Eh, I guess a lot of us here on TLS can get into Mensa based on our LSAT scores, but is there any benefit? You get to interact with other "smart" people but if we get into our chosen law schools we get that anyway. Plus there are dues...


Most of the members are pretty normal... but there's a large minority who're socially awkward or phobic, maybe both. At my first RG there was a serious conversation about how Walmart = Satan, and how public places (like Walmart) are scary and cause claustrophobia. Maybe this was more normal than your average law school conversation? It was good for networking, FWIW.

User avatar
bwv812
Posts: 548
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 12:18 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby bwv812 » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:21 am

.
Last edited by bwv812 on Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nicola.kirwan
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:33 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby nicola.kirwan » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:13 pm

dailygrind wrote:Yeah, that is what I meant.

As to your second question, this early in the morning with caffeine rushing through me I feel good enough to hazard a guess. If the LSAT measures certain types of intelligence, then of course higher levels of that intellect are better. It is most likely subject to diminishing returns, which is what I think you were getting at with your HS freshman/PhD example. Where the dropoff is sharp enough that increasing intelligence becomes worth less probably varies depending on what you're doing. For instance, if you're in Yale and there is a great deal of abstract thought, it seems likely that the extra analytical ability is very helpful. In other instances, perhaps not so much. The other factors that determined your 1L grades, like creativity, diligence, w/e, probably can make up for a great deal more the further you get from Yale. Is that helpful?


That is helpful...and is at least interesting to think about. From what I've observed thus far in my 1L year (T20), I'm not quite sure that the people who at least appear the brightest are actually siginificantly smarter than most. It seems like they are gunners who meticulousy read every detail of every case and do a lot of outside reading....which I would never knock. My UG thesis was in legal philosophy, so I can appreciate the nerdiness. But thus far I haven't found my classes to be a stretch intellectually at all really. It's a lot of information to absorb, but that seems to require more the discipline to study than having sheer mental prowess.

It makes me want to sit in on a class at Yale or Harvard to see if at the elite schools with the most brilliant students, the concepts being talked about are really that difficult to grasp--difficult enough that only people with super high LSATs (and presumably IQs) can adequately grasp them. Again, that's not to knock the elite schools, but I just wonder if the law school emphasis in general on school rank and class rank and LSAT score (at least in the T20) serves more to give people a feeling of being elite than to make dinstinctions which reflect actual differences in ability to analyze the law.

User avatar
mormondem32
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:56 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby mormondem32 » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:38 pm

bwv812 wrote:You don't think a standard IQ test can be studied for?

I suspect an LSAT test is a pretty good indicator of intelligence if taken blind, as IQ tests are intended to be.
That's what I was trying to indicate. The fact that an lsat score can be improved with practice weakens the correlation to IQ.

huckabees
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:38 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby huckabees » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:57 pm

Yeah, IQ-ish tests can definitely be studied for, although I feel like the studying is often accompanied by improvement in one's logical reasoning skills (i.e., you don't learn just how to take the test, but also the skills that the test tries to measure).

On a different note, I just checked out the US Mensa website (never heard of it until now), but it really IS very easy to qualify! I bet 70% of TLS qualifies! :shock:

User avatar
edcrane
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:28 pm

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby edcrane » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:03 am

huckabees wrote:Yeah, IQ-ish tests can definitely be studied for, although I feel like the studying is often accompanied by improvement in one's logical reasoning skills (i.e., you don't learn just how to take the test, but also the skills that the test tries to measure).


This was discussed in The Bell Curve. In a study referenced in the book it was found that studying for the math section on the SATs produced proportional increases in both SAT scores AND unrelated IQ tests. Unfortunately almost all of the gains are lost after practicing ceases.

User avatar
dailygrind
Posts: 19668
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:08 am

Re: intelligence vs LSAT

Postby dailygrind » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:17 am

edcrane wrote:
huckabees wrote:Yeah, IQ-ish tests can definitely be studied for, although I feel like the studying is often accompanied by improvement in one's logical reasoning skills (i.e., you don't learn just how to take the test, but also the skills that the test tries to measure).


This was discussed in The Bell Curve. In a study referenced in the book it was found that studying for the math section on the SATs produced proportional increases in both SAT scores AND unrelated IQ tests. Unfortunately almost all of the gains are lost after practicing ceases.


Then perhaps the LSAT is a measure the capacity of a person when they are at full readiness. When we take our 1L tests, hopefully we will be studying for them as hard as we studied for the LSAT, and our operational peak will be reached. Hopefully.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dasq5511 and 5 guests