The Simpsons

Season 15 Episode 13

Smart and Smarter

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 22, 2004 on FOX



  • Allusions

    • Simon Cowell: She's as common as an angry woman in an Ibsen play.
      Cowell's revelation that Maggie is only smart because she's watching Lisa is similar to the case of Clever Hans at the turn of the century. Hans was a horse reputed to be able to think. He would answer yes and no questions and add and subtract numbers, answering by tapping a hoof. Oskar Pfungst, a young German psychologist, proved the horse was responding to the nonverbal cues of the questioner--head nods, finger movements, eye twiches, and such--that they weren't aware they gave. So in short, horses can't think. Ibsen was an Icelandic playwright who invented the realistic drama and wrote Lady From the Sea, A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler, which are stark tragedies with female protagonists.

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