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January 25, 2009


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This result is not at all surprising. It has been known from experiments 30-odd years ago that black American students perform statistically significantly better in IQ tests when the test papers are handed out by black invigilators than when the test papers are handed out by white invigilators. Presumably seeing a black person in a position of authority increases the student's self-esteem and hence their self-confidence.

Ian Leslie


But seriously - it may not be news that black students' underperformance is affected by confidence... it may not even be 'surprising' that a black president makes them more confident. But - if true - it's still somehow astonishing, and inspiring. To me anyway.


If true, it's damn good news. People of all stripes (no pun intended) and ages need more can-do spirit and optimism these days. A Paris-based friend just returned from a trip to visit family in Philadelphia; he reported, in terms of the economy, "Man, it's bleak over there. You can smell the fear." Oy vey!

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