Shoe size linked to intelligence

AuthorDaniel Steel
DateMay 31, 2001
Copyright Copyright (C) 2001 Carnegie Mellon University
  • causation vs. association
  • variables
  • relative frequencies/associations
  • causal graphs
  • intelligence

The contents of this case study are a complete and utter fabrication designed solely for the purpose of illustrating the concepts taught in this course.
Children with bigger shoes are more likely to perform well on achievement tests
Big shoes, big test scores
Making your kid wear shoes just a few sizes larger might make a big difference when it comes to academic performance, scientists say.
In a new study to be published in this week's issue of the Journal of American Education, researchers report that children who wore larger size shoes scored significantly higher on standardized academic tests than children shod in smaller sizes.
They found that this difference occurred among both boys and girls and across all ethnic and racial categories.
"This is a strikingly powerful and robust result," said Herman Hopper, the lead author of the study. "We thought we might find a correlation, but nothing this big."
Researchers administered an IQ test to a sample of a total 978 children. The possible grades on the test were poor, acceptable, good, and excellent.
65% of the children with larger shoes scored a "good" or better compared to only 35% among the children with smaller shoes. This result is highly statistically significant, the researchers said.
Hopper proposed that shoe size has a positive effect on self-confidence, which translates into better learning and test-taking skills.
"When these kids turn on the TV and see Shaq with his size sixteens, they come to equate big feet with success," he said. "So it's not in the least bit surprising that bigger shoe sizes provide a boost to school performance."
Hopper also suspects that the rise in SAT scores in the last decade may be linked to the increased popularity of oversized athletic shoes. "Ever since 'Air Jordan' kids have been wearing bigger and bigger shoes and their test scores have been steadily rising," he said.
The study was funded by the Nike corporation.