A letter from a reader: What it takes to do research: a hypothesis

March 19, 2008:

I am a computer software engineer, an occupation not requiring higher education, and although I had higher SAT scores and lower grades, I agree with Dr. Marta Tienda's point of view (Notebook, Sept. 17). My Myers-Briggs Type of reasoning is that it takes both extraverted sensing types (who have higher grades, collect data, and report accurately) and introverted intuitive types (who have higher IQs, analyze data, and accurately consider possibilities) to do research. My life recently has been a microcosmic proof of this hypothesis (like a tortoise at breakneck speed, I analyzed 1992 data in time to be published in 2006-07). 

   Lately I have read some of Rex Stout's novels about the analyst Nero Wolfe, who practically never leaves his house; his operatives, Archie Goodwin et al., who are out and about collecting the data; their occasional arguments and mutual firings; and the police who are dumbfounded (climate-change analysis, anyone?). 

Palm Beach, Fla.

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