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Reply to Bailey et al. and Daly: Indigenous societies enable identification of nurture but require nonstandard measures

Uri Gneezy, Moshe Hoffman and John List ()

Natural Field Experiments from The Field Experiments Website

Abstract: We therefore agree with the sentiments of Bailey et al. (1) and Daly (2): Our study should not be viewed as the definitive study on this topic but as a proof of concept, which should propel researchers to exploit this unique sample to its fullest advantage. Further research using noncognitive measures, as well as alternative spatial measures would prove invaluable in addressing some of the shortcomings pointed out by Bailey et al. (1) and Daly (2). Moreover, such research would reveal the generality of our results and could focus activist efforts on traits that are most amenable to nurture. Also, if the measures are chosen to be more or less gender-dimorphic and more or less influenced by motivation, stereotype threat, and training, for example, this research, in addition to addressing some of the astute criticisms of Bailey et al. (1) and Daly (2), could also reveal mechanism, which would likewise be invaluable for focusing activists' efforts. We welcome collaboration with psychologists and anthropologists, such as the experts to whom this letter replies, to help us develop such measures of spatial and nonspatial cognitive abilities that are easy to explain and quick to implement, to take full advantage of this unique sample.

Date: 2012
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