The logic of journalism?

From BBC:

Intelligence tests are as much a measure of motivation as they are of mental ability, says research from the US.

Researchers from Pennsylvania found that a high IQ score required both high intelligence and high motivation but a low IQ score could be the result of a lack of either factor.

It looks like “P implies A and B” BUT “not A or not B implies not P”. This seems a strange way to write a news story, since the second statement is logically equivalent to the first.

Another interpretation is that the event “low IQ score” is not the complement of  the event “high IQ score”. This gives a little more content: “non-high” is implied a priori by lack of either factor, but in fact “low” is implied.

Of course “could” might mean that “not A and not B is not inconsistent with not P”, but that would be very much less newsworthy. Perhaps we need a standard language for journalists to deal with such issues.

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