Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What if You Could Test Your Child at Three and Know His or Her Future?

There may be such testing.
A study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour revealed the findings of scientists at King’s College London following 35 years of research.  The study charted more than 1000 children from before they started school until they reached the age of 38.  All subjects underwent a 45 minute-long series of tests at the age of three.  The tests gauged intelligence, language and motor skills, and assessed such things as level of tolerance, restlessness, impulsivity, and social hindrances.
The testing and the years of study that followed were put in place to weigh the study subjects against the “Pareto principle,” sometimes called the 80/20 rule.  This principle maintains that 80 percent of the output from a given system or situation is determined by 20 percent of the input. The 80/20 rule has been observed in both biology and in behavior.  A common example in business would be this: 80 percent of a team’s project value is achieved by the first 20 percent of effort.
The numbers for this ratio may not be exact in all examples, but the principle seems to be at work in many places.  The Kings College study was fashioned to see if predictors were in place early in life that might indicate the future of a child in terms of their ultimate place in society as adults.  The 80/20 rule designates that 20 percent of the population is responsible for 80 percent of the burden on society.  These burdens include substance abuse, crime, and reliance on public assistance.
The study directly connected the three-year-olds with the lowest test scores to the 20 percent of adults that acted as a drag on society.  Those children became those adults.
The beauty of this study is that researchers found places early in childhood where early intervention might change outcome dramatically.  A little extra effort and expense early in life might save society greatly later on.  A change in the input will cause a change in the output.

--Mitchell Hegman


  1. Donny's parents forgot to get early intervention for him. So now we will all feel the effects of his psych issues.