Sunday, October 30, 2022

Controversial 'race researcher' who wrote a 2019 report about 'gaps' in IQ between white and blacks is hired by Cambridge University's philosophy faculty - and says the university knew about it before hiring him

 I helped proof-read and comment on a draft of Nathan Cofnas's book "Reptiles With a Conscience" so I know exactly what Nathan says and why.  After reading Nathan's rigorous and relentlessly factual book, I can only wonder at the empty abuse aimed at him below.  Note that all the adverse comments about him are simply abuse and condemnation.  There is no attempt to address his facts or arguments.  His claims MUST NOT be true, apparently

But his claims are not in fact extreme or eccentric. <a href="">An official report of the American Psychological Association</a> concluded much the same thing.  It concluded that  there was a gap of one standard deviation (about 15 IQ points) between average black and white IQs in the USA.  And the American Psychological Association is the official body of American psychologists. Nathan actually has some authority on his side as well as the facts.

And his conclusions have never been more relevant amid the current furore over Critical Race Theory.  He points out -- as I have pointed out -- that this evil racist theory stems directly from the denial of black/white inborn differences.  If there is nothing in blacks to explain their great failures in education, income and much else, some other explanation has to be found.  

It has been found in Critical Race Theory.  The theory is that discrimination against blacks by whites has caused blacks to fail.  Black woe is the fault of white racism.  The fact that whites have enegetically been doing the opposite for many years under the rubric of "affirmative action" is blithely  ignored.  Whites have long discriminated IN FAVOUR  of blacks, in fact.  Critical Race theory is counterfactual nonsense but, if there is nothing in blacks to explain their failures, it is all that is left.  

Turning a blind eye to black/white differences is well intentioned but ignoring reality is always disastrous and ignoring black/white differences has become a major example of such a disaster.  In denying one sort of racial difference, it has invented another

The University of Cambridge has hired a controversial 'race researcher' to its Faculty of Philosophy who previously came under fire for publishing a 'racist' paper - despite knowing about its contents before hiring him.

Nathan Cofnas, an American who was appointed on a three year programme as an 'early career fellow' on September 1 of this year, has previously been the subject of fierce debate over his argument that there are intrinsic differences between races when it comes to intelligence.

Speaking to MailOnline, he confirms he still stands by what he wrote and said the University of Cambridge knew about the paper before he took up his position there.

Cofnas told MailOnline he would advise critics to 'read it'. He added: 'The paper represents my views then and now.'

In a 2019 paper published in Philosophical Psychology he criticised the idea that all 'human groups have, on average, the same potential', and argued that the 'hypothesis' of differences in IQ between men and women and different racial groups is 'ignored'.

Cofnas also referenced adopting black children into white families and argued that some 'race groups' are 'falsely blamed' for structural racism.

His paper was widely debunked by various scientists, and in June 2020 the editor of the journal resigned over the controversy.

There has been backlash amongst students who have called the decision 'crazy' and 'disappointing', according to Cambridge's student newspaper Varsity.

A response paper published by a leading group of researchers called Cofnas' work 'unintelligible and wrong-headed': 'Most researchers in the area of human genetics and human biological diversity no longer allocate significant resources and time to the race/IQ discussion... an equally fundamental reason why researchers do not engage with the thesis is that empirical evidence shows that the whole idea itself is unintelligible and wrong-headed.'

They added that Cofnas' work had 'racist ideological undertones' and 'pandered' to racist ideas.

In the 2019 paper he refers to the theory of hereditarianism throughout, which relies on the fact that genetics are more important that environmental factors in determining people's actions and decisions.

Students have begun to criticize his appointment, with one philosophy student telling Varsity: 'It's crazy that someone who's published such obviously questionable work has been given not only a platform but a Fellow position. 'It's obviously disappointing but not surprising.'

Cofnas refers to old studies that claim white populations have a higher intelligence than black populations.

In the article, Cofnas repeatedly references what he sees as 'race differences in intelligence', and claims that 'the adult black-white IQ gap has remained stubbornly constant... since around 1970.'

He referred to studies into 'early intervention' techniques to battle his so-called 'race difference', including adoption.

He wrote: 'Adoption by white families [of black children] - one of the most extreme interventions possible - has virtually no effect on the IQ of black adoptees.'

Cofnas appears to question the extent that racism exists within society and argue that white populations are unfairly 'blamed' for 'differences' between races.

He wrote: 'As long as people believe that race differences have a purely environmental cause, differences will, in practice, most likely be attributed to racism or institutional racism.

'Denying the possible genetic cause of race differences will not stop people from being focused on race.'

He added that 'if people believe that members of certain races are victimized or benefited by racism' this could cause harm to society.

He called for research to give a 'biological account' of how 'genes lead to race differences', adding: 'As of now, there is nothing that would indicate that it is particularly unlikely that race differences will turn out to have a substantial genetic component.

'If this possibility cannot be ruled out scientifically, we must face the ethical question of whether we ought to pursue the truth, whatever it may be.'

He claimed research such as his is censored and that 'if not all groups have identical distributions of potential, then it is unjust to assume that some people must be blamed for average differences in performance among groups.'


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

How malleable is IQ?

I reproduce below an enthusiastic summary of a famous study which reported considerable malleability in children's IQ score. Following that report I will offer some remarks about it.

In 1969, UCLA psychologist Dr. Robert Rosenthal did an IQ experiment.

He met with two grade-school teachers. He gave them a list of names from their new student body (20% of the class). He said that each person on that list had taken a special test and would emerge as highly intelligent within the next 12 months.

In reality, those students were chosen totally at random. As a group, they were of average intelligence.

The incredible finding is that, when they tested those children near the end of the year, each demonstrated significant increases in their IQ scores.

The twin studies always point to a large genetic component in IQ -- as high as 80%. That means that IQ is not very malleable. You are stuck with what you are born with.

This is a highly objectionable conclusion to Leftists in particular, who tend to regard people as a blank slate upon whom can be imposed traits desired in some Leftist idea of a good thing. The "new Soviet man" in early Bolshevik thinking is perhaps the best example of that. So various treatments of children have been proposed with the aim of redirecting their growth.

The most decisive test of our ability to change what children become is undoubtedly the long-running American "Head Start" program. It was designed to take children from disadvantaged backgrounds and enrich their early education in various ways. The experiment did give some early hopes of success but the long term conclusion was that the interventions had no lasting effect. "Enriching" the environment did nothing

But what about that 20% which is NOT genetically given? Could that potential be worked on in some useful way? Did the Head Start experiment simply push on the wrong levers?

All the studies so far have not found much that could profitably be changed. Early nutrition is an obvious candidate for change but even in ideal circumstances only about 5% of the variance could be accounted for that way

An interesting possibilty is that people can be made more intelligent by being treated as more intelligent. That unlikely possibilty is in fact the conclusion of the famous Rosenthal study of experimenter expectations above. There are many problems with the study which I will allude to briefly hereunder but what interested me in the study was how large were the differences found. That is not usually mentioned. They were in fact slight.

The results showed that the favoured students' IQ scores (experimental group) had risen significantly higher than the average students (control group), even though these alleged favoured students were chosen at random. They gained an average of two IQ points in verbal ability, seven points in reasoning and four points in overall IQ.

So the effects observed were slight. The two points in verbal ability were especially notable as the verbal ability score is usually the best predictor in an IQ test. So the Rosenthal treatment showed no substantial success in making IQ more malleable.

Wikipedia gives a useful summary of other problems with the Rosenthal study. I reproduce it below:

"The educational psychologist Robert L. Thorndike described the poor quality of the Pygmalion study. The problem with the study was that the instrument used to assess the children's IQ scores was seriously flawed.[6] The average reasoning IQ score for the children in one regular class was in the mentally disabled range, a highly unlikely outcome in a regular class in a garden variety school. In the end, Thorndike concluded that the Pygmalion findings were worthless. It is more likely that the rise in IQ scores from the mentally disabled range was the result of regression toward the mean, not teacher expectations. Moreover, a meta-analysis conducted by Raudenbush[7] showed that when teachers had gotten to know their students for two weeks, the effect of a prior expectancy induction was reduced to virtually zero".


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Are Conservatives Dumber Than Liberals?

This article goes back a few years but is still very relevant

It depends on how you define "conservative." The research shows classical liberals/libertarians are smartest of all.

Conservatives exhibit less cognitive ability than liberals do. Or that's what it says in the social science literature, anyway. A 2010 study using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, for example, found that the IQs of young adults who described themselves as "very liberal" averaged 106.42, whereas the mean of those who identified as "very conservative" was 94.82. Similarly, when a 2009 study correlated cognitive capacity with political beliefs among 1,254 community college students and 1,600 foreign students seeking entry to U.S. universities, it found that conservatism is "related to low performance on cognitive ability tests." In 2012, a paper reported that people endorse more conservative views when drunk or under cognitive pressure; it concluded that "political conservatism may be a process consequence of low-effort thought."

So have social scientists really proved that conservatives are dumber than liberals? It depends crucially on how you define "conservative."

For an inkling of what some social scientists think conservatives believe, parse a 2008 study by the University of Nevada at Reno sociologist Markus Kemmelmeier. To probe the political and social beliefs of nearly 7,000 undergraduates at an elite university, Kemmelmeier devised a set of six questions asking whether abortion, same-sex marriage, and gay sex should be legal, whether handguns and racist/sexist speech on campus should be banned, and whether higher taxes should be imposed on the wealthy. The first three were supposed to measure the students' views of "conservative gender roles," and the second set was supposed to gauge their "anti-regulation" beliefs. Kemmelmeier clearly thought that "liberals" would tend to be OK with legal abortion, same-sex marriage, and gay sex, and would opt to ban handguns and offensive speech and to tax the rich. Conservatives would supposedly hold the opposite views.

Savvy readers may recognize a problem with using these questions to sort people into just two ideological categories. And sure enough, Kemmelmeier got some results that puzzled him. He found that students who held more traditional views on gender and sex roles averaged lower on their verbal SAT and Achievement Test scores. "Surprisingly," he continued, this was not true of students with anti-regulation attitudes. With them, "all else being equal, more conservative respondents scored higher than more liberal respondents." Kemmelmeier ruefully notes that "this result was not anticipated" and "diametrically contradicts" the hypothesis that conservatism is linked to lower cognitive ability. Kemmelmeier is so evidently lost in the intellectual fog of contemporary progressivism that he does not realize that his questionnaire is impeccably designed to identify classical liberals, a.k.a. libertarians, who endorse liberty in both the social and economic realms.

So how smart are libertarians compared to liberals and conservatives? In a May 2014 study in the journal Intelligence, the Oxford sociologist Noah Carl attempts to answer to that question. Because research has "consistently shown that intelligence is positively correlated with socially liberal beliefs and negatively correlated with religious beliefs," Carl suggests that in the American political context, social scientists would expect Republicans to be less intelligent than Democrats. Instead, Republicans have slightly higher verbal intelligence scores (2–5 IQ points) than Democrats. How could that be?

Carl begins by pointing out that there is data suggesting that a segment of the American population holding classical liberal beliefs tends to vote Republican. Classical liberals, Carl notes, believe that an individual should be free to make his own lifestyle choices and to enjoy the profits derived from voluntary transactions with others. He proposes that intelligence actually correlates with classically liberal beliefs.

To test this hypothesis, Carl uses data on political attitudes and intelligence derived from the General Social Survey, which has been administered to representative samples of American adults every couple of years since 1972. Using GSS data, respondents are classified on a continuum ranging from strong Republican through independent to strong Democrat. Carl then creates a measure of socially liberal beliefs based on respondents' attitudes toward homosexuality, marijuana consumption, abortion, and free speech for communists, racists, and advocates for military dictatorship. He similarly probes liberal economic views, with an assessment of attitudes toward government provision of jobs, industry subsidies, income redistribution, price controls, labor unions, and military spending. Verbal Intelligence is evaluated using the GSS WORDSUM test results.

Comparing strong Republicans with strong Democrats, Carl finds that Republicans have a 5.48 IQ point advantage over Democrats. Broadening party affiliation to include moderate to merely leaning respondents still results in a Republican advantage of 3.47 IQ points and 2.47 IQ points respectively. Carl reconciles his findings with the social science literature that reports that liberals are more intelligent than conservatives by proposing that Americans with classically liberal beliefs are even smarter. Carl further reports that those who endorse both social conservatism and economic statism also have lower verbal IQ scores.

"Overall, my findings suggest that higher intelligence among classically liberal Republicans compensates for lower intelligence among socially conservative Republicans," concludes Carl. If the dumb, I mean socially conservative, Republicans keep disrespecting us classical liberals, we'll take our IQ points and go home.

As gratifying as Carl's research findings are, it is still a deep puzzle to me why it apparently takes high intelligence to understand that the government should stay out of both the bedroom and the boardroom.


Friday, August 19, 2022

What If Black People Are Just Stupid?

The black writer below has a glancing familiarity with the research on his topic but fails to give sufficient weight to the fact that academic talk about IQ is concerned with AVERAGES

In everyday situations, averages hardly matter. What matters are the individual characteristics of the person we are interacting with. What group they belong to will not usually matter. But there are some situations where averages DO reasonably concern people.

A major example of that is Leftist concern about black educational attainment. For perhaps a couple of decades, Leftist psychologists and educators used all their ingenuity in an effort to overcome the "gap" between black and white educational attainment. And the gap was and is large. About a third of blacks do not even finish High School. They "drop out"

But no matter what the Leftist academics tried, nothing could budge that gap. Black education failure strongly validated what average black IQ tests showed: That most blacks are not very good at intellectual tasks.

And that was a concrning finding. The Leftist academics were understandably concerned. They were well aware of how important education is in our society. Educational failure predicts economic failure and a whole lot of other problems. It was reasonable to be concerned about that. But they found no solution to it. The low level of black educational attainment remained as average black IQ predicted it would be

So the characteristic Leftist dogma that all men are equal was greatly challenged. They were confronted with strong long-term evidence that IQ tests did in fact predict what they purported to predict. The differences were real and had real-life implications. IQ tests were highly valid in a psychomentric sense.

But that COULD not be accepted by Leftists. There HAD to be something other than IQ behind black life failures. And so we got a new dogma: Entrenched but covert white racism was behind black failure -- so called "Critical Race Theory"

But whatever the reason, the concern was with averages. Blacks were on average failures in much of life and that had to be explained. So for some people in some situations, averages do matter. So average IQ can matter too. The author below dismisses the importance of average IQ but the saga of efforts to close the black/white "gap" in education shows that it can indeed matter to some people

It is interesting that the concern about averages is mainly a Leftist concern. Conservatives just accept them without doing much about them. The members of the Ku Klux Klan were after all overwhelmingly members of the Democratic party. They ATTACKED Republicans

In 1971, Michael Cole, and a team of his fellow psychologists, travelled to West Africa to settle a question about race and intelligence.

They gave members of the Kpelle tribe various items (food, tools, cooking utensils, clothing) and asked them to sort them into categories. They then compared the results to a group of American students.

The Kpelle failed miserably.

Or rather, instead of grouping the items by type, as the students had, the Kpelle divided the objects into functional pairs. Here’s how Joseph Glick, one of Cole’s colleagues, described the experiment:

When the subject had finished sorting, what was present were ten categories composed of two items each — related to each other in a functional, not categorical, manner. Thus, a knife might have been placed with an orange, a potato with a hoe, and so on. When asked, the subject would rationalize the choice with such comments as, “The knife goes with the orange because it cuts it.” When questioned further, the subject would often volunteer that a wise man would do things in this way.

When an exasperated experimenter asked finally, “how would a fool do it,” he was given back sorts of the type that were initially expected — four neat piles with foods in one, tools in another, and so on.

As Cole noted in his report, the Kpelle weren’t less intelligent than the students because they thought oranges should be paired with knives instead of potatoes, they’d just grown up in a different environment with a different set of cognitive and cultural biases.

Or, to put it another way, the Kpelle weren’t wrong, but they weren’t white either.

Racial intelligence is one of those topics that’s a trainwreck no matter how you approach it.

Virtue-signalling politicians like Kate Brown lower test standards to “help students of colour,” race essentialists like Nicholas Wade publish pseudoscience about racial disparities, sociopaths like Payton Gendron use memes about IQ to justify racist mass shootings, the topic is so radioactive that most people just avoid it.

So let’s get one source of confusion out of the way from the start:

There are obviously going to be IQ differences if you group people by skin colour.

I say, “obviously,” because there will be differences if you group human beings by literally any measure.

If you group people by hair colour, you’ll discover that one shade is statistically more intelligent than the others. If you group people by height, you’ll find that one height has the highest percentage of mathematical savants. Somewhere, if some maverick ever decides to search for it, is the most eloquent penis size.

But when we try to draw meaningful conclusions with this quirk of statistical analysis, we run into a few problems. The first of which is what a black person even is.

According to a 2015 analysis of genetic data, around one in 10 self-identified African Americans have less than 50% African ancestry. And around one in 50 have less than 2%. We’ve become so comfortable with the idea that people whose skin is a roughly similar colour are the same “race” that we forget that a good suntan can throw the whole thing up in the air.

But okay, let’s get all “one drop rule” about this, and say that a black person is anyone whose skin is “milk chocolate or darker,” and who has some African ancestry in the past few generations. Very scientific.

The next problem is figuring out whether IQ differences are genetic.

For example, in support of the idea that “racial” differences are genetic, it’s often pointed out that Kenyans and Ethiopians dominate long-distance running. And they do. But does this mean “black people” are better distance runners than “white people?”

Well, if we take a closer look at these dominant athletes, we notice that they come, almost exclusively, from just three tribes (specifically the Kalenjin, Nandi and Oromo). All of which benefit from low oxygen/high altitude conditions, in a country that has numerous programs designed to identify and nurture long-distance running talent.

So instead of, “black people are genetically better at long-distance running.” We get, “black people who grew up in certain high-altitude regions of Ethiopia and Kenya, and who were encouraged to nurture their long-distance running talents from an early age, are better than everybody, including other black people, at long-distance running.

I admit this is a bit more of a mouthful.

But none of this addresses the biggest problem with IQ differences; the concept of IQ itself.

I mean, just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that IQ is a perfect predictor of culturally-neutral, genetically-predetermined intelligence. And let’s even assume that people with African ancestry have, on average, lower IQs than anybody else.

What do we do about this?

Should black people be shipped off to separate schools if our average grades are a few points lower? Should we be denied access to opportunities or jobs if a slightly smaller percentage of black people turn out to be geniuses? Is a high IQ more valuable than creativity? Or people skills? Or persistence?

Well, it turns out that Dr Lewis Terman, a psychologist at Stanford University and one of the pioneers of IQ research, had similar questions.

In 1921, in one of the longest-running studies on intelligence ever conducted, Terman began tracking the progress of 1521 children who scored highest on his intelligence test, confident that they would all be “at the top of their fields,” as adults.

But almost none of them were. Instead, “willpower, perseverance and desire to excel,” were far better predictors of success. As Terman concluded, “intellect and achievement are far from perfectly correlated.”

Honestly? I’m surprised his IQ wasn’t high enough to figure that out in advance.

The controversy over racial IQ differences was born out of a desire to justify slavery and colonialism. But it persists because our obsession with this vague, unscientific concept known as “race” persists. It persists because the delusion that our skin holds some identity-defining significance persists. It persists because the belief that we’re divided by these arbitrary differences persists.

But why are we so focused on skin colour and not eye colour or ear shape or hand size? Why do we define ourselves and each other by the actions of people who died centuries ago? Why are we still talking about genetic racial differences when, thanks to the fact that we’ve decoded the entire human genome, we know there’s more variation within the “races” than between them?

Because instead of wasting time ranking ourselves by our skin or our hair or our other…attributes, maybe we should be fixing the impoverished schools that leave young children functionally illiterate. Maybe we should stop teaching kids that rational thinking and hard work is “whiteness.” Or better yet, maybe we should stop teaching kids to think about the colour of their skin at all.

Maybe we should follow the Kpelle’s example and sort ourselves into more meaningful categories.


Sunday, June 5, 2022

Are Video Games Harmful or Will They Make Your Kids Very Intelligent?

There was a big debate about this in 2009. See here. Computer games were generally found to be beneficial

The debate about whether or not screen time is harmful has been around for years. Some people believe that screen time, especially for children, is bad because it stunts their development and impairs their ability to think creatively.

Others claim that screen time can actually have positive effects. A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports provides some evidence for the latter claim.

Researchers at Karolinska University in Sweden studied how screen time relates to intelligence. The study produced some interesting results about the effects of various screen activities on intelligence.

The study looked at thousands of US children

In the study, conducted over a two-year period, the IQ scores of a group of children aged 8–10 years were followed.

The study examined the cognitive abilities of more than 9,000 boys and girls. In the beginning, the children completed a series of tests to measure their intelligence. The tests included measures of memory, attention and problem-solving skills.

Parents were also asked how much time their child spends watching TV and videos, playing video games and using social media.

The researchers studied 5,000 of the children again after 2 years. They asked the children to repeat the psychological tests to examine how their performance changed from one testing session to another.

The researchers also controlled for individual differences in the first test, such as genetic differences that might affect intelligence and differences that might be related to parents’ education level and income. This gave them a more accurate picture of how different factors influence intelligence.

Playing video games is better than watching TV

The results showed that those who played more games than the average increased their intelligence by about 2.5 IQ points between the two measurements.

No significant positive or negative effect of TV -watching or social media was found. These results suggest that not all activities are equal in terms of screen time.

Playing video games appears to have a positive effect on intelligence, while time spent on social media doesn’t appear to have a significant effect.

This study provides valuable insight into how different screen activities affect children’s intellectual development.


Contrary to popular belief, spending time staring at screens doesn’t seem to have a negative impact on children’s cognitive abilities, as this recent study shows.

In fact, the study found that playing video games can boost intelligence.

The researchers haven’t yet examined how screen time affects other factors, such as physical activity or school performance.

We didn’t examine the effects of screen behaviour on physical activity, sleep, wellbeing or school performance, so we can’t say anything about that,” says Torkel Klingberg, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.

However, these findings are consistent with several experimental studies on video game playing, which suggest that this activity can improve hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and more.


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

‘I make men take an IQ test – if they don’t pass, I ditch them’

image from

Candice Kloss

As a Mensa member who once married a very pleasant fellow Mensa member, I think I am in a good position to comment on this report. And the first thing that surprises me is that she needs test results to gauge IQ.

My Mensa wife

I have had relationships with many women over the years and I know very soon after having met one whether she is bright enough. I ask her if she has a favourite piece of music by J.S. Bach. If she is completely flummoxed by that question, I know she is very unlikely to be satisfactory to me.

Mind you, if she says she prefers the music of Palestrina that answer is even better.

Having a bright partner can have some problems, however. Zoe, my present girlfriend, is clearly very bright. And it means that I cannot ever put one over her for long. I never lie to women but I do not always give all the information I could. That does not wash with Zoe. She draws correct conclusions about me amazingly quickly

An interesting footmote: High IQ people tend to be better looking as well as bright. Candice Kloss is an example of that. Zoe is too.

New Yorker Candice Kloss – who hit the headlines last year after revealing men find her intelligence “intimidating” – has shared the extreme lengths she is willing to go to in order to find “Mr Right”, The Sun reports.

She gives prospective partners a written IQ test to take on their first date.

The model, who has 109,000 followers on Instagram, doesn’t want to “waste her time” with “idiots”.

“I want to make sure that it’s worth it to go on a second date with them,” Candice, who has been a member of Mensa since she was 17, told Jam Press.

“There are a lot of men that are attractive but if they aren’t intelligent it takes away from good looks. “How can you enjoy time with someone if you can’t connect over conversation?”

Those who pass will still have to stay on their A-game, as the model expects them to stay up-to-date on current affairs and be able to entertain her with their knowledge of maths, finance and science.

“Some people don’t care to keep up with current events, which can be a turn-off,” she said. “It’s attractive if someone picks up on things quickly, as well as emotional intelligence and a quick wit.

“Behavioural economics is my favourite topic, but it’s a lot of fun to hear anyone talk about something they’re experienced [with] and enthusiastic about.

“Growing up, I was a huge science and math nerd and still love maths.”

The college dropout is nearly considered a “genius” by Mensa standards.

According to the IQ scale, a score of 120-140 is classed as “very superior intelligence” – whereas anything over 140 is considered a “genius”.

Candice falls just short of the latter, at 136, and is in the top 2 per cent of the population for intelligence.

So, what IQ number do men need to date her?

“They need to be above average on the scale,” she said. “You don’t have to be a math whiz but you should be able to hold a conversation and be exceptionally smart in at least one subject.

“I’m attracted to intelligent (book-smart but also street-smart) men who have a good sense of humour, and are adventurous, straightforward and fun.”

Candice is often “underestimated” by men who assume she’s stupid because of her looks and modelling career.

But, she says it doesn’t bother her – in fact, she uses it to her advantage. “It’s better to be underestimated at first – I love to prove men wrong,” she previously told Jam Press.


Sunday, March 6, 2022

Is your social class holding you back in your career?

It can do but it is not destiny. Let me give an example and then explain it:

Britain is probably the most class-ridden society in the Western world. Yet when I spent a year there in 1977 as a mere Australian of humble background, I had great social entree. For instance:

* I acquired a girlfiend of aristocratic lineage. She traced her ancestry back a thousand years.

* And I was told I could be nominated to one of London's prestigious gentleman's clubs.

* I got to have a chat to Margaret Thatcher at a small private garden party in Kent

So how did I do it? How did a mere Australian have the social acceptance that many an Englishman would have given his right arm for?

The first part to note is that I did not seek such acceptance. That would have been self-defeating. I just acted as myself. So what is there in me that opened so many doors in the "best" circles of England?

Charles Murray answered that a couple of decades ago in his notorious book and Toby Young has expanded it. Obnoxious though it may sound, there is a strong correlation in most societies between social status and IQ. The habits, attitudes and practices that characterize high status people are the habits, attitudes and practices of high IQ people. High IQ people set upper class standards. And they are often rather subtle and very hard to fake. You have got it or you do not. I did.

So, No. Your social status will not hold you back. But your IQ might. As long as you are reasonably socially competent. most doors will open to very bright people

The importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace has been well established. But one factor of identity has largely been left out: socio-economic class.

Research has shown that moving up the socio-economic ladder is becoming more difficult, and class bias has been known to affect lifetime earnings. Studies on first-generation college students also suggest disparities may follow them into their post-college careers.

Few studies have investigated the workplace experience of those from different socio-economic backgrounds. To fill this knowledge gap, we conducted a study of first-generation professionals, or FGPs. Also known as class migrants, FGPs are those who move from working-class roots to white-collar careers. We included FGPs and non-FGPs in the study to produce comparative data. Here’s what we learned about FGPs and what company leaders can do to support them.

FGPs were likelier than others to report that structured programs were helpful to their careers. For example, we asked each survey respondent how they obtained their first professional job and found 23.7 per cent of FGPs acquired their jobs through a work-study program at college, compared with just 7.6 per cent of non-FGPs.

Likewise, FGPs were almost twice as likely as non-FGPs to report they found employee resource groups helpful during their first job (23 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively). In contrast, non-FGPs indicated they were likelier to lean on family and friends for support and advice.

FGPs were also significantly likelier to report that professional development and leadership training was useful for their careers, contributed to promotions and improved their skills. “Code switching” means adapting one’s communication, appearance and mannerisms to fit in. It’s widely documented that people of colour feel pressured to act differently at work to be accepted. We found people from working-class backgrounds often feel similarly. Many FGPs also reported being shocked and disappointed that their hard work and results were notably less important to their careers than knowing how to communicate in a certain way and build networks. As one respondent explained: “At first I thought, oh … just as long as I’m a great worker, right? You know, I do what I need to do, I’ll get promoted fast. That’s not the case. What it really is, is your contacts. Building that network.”

In our survey, considerable differences arose between FGPs and non-FGPs when participants were asked directly about how they felt in the workplace. They were asked to rank several statements on a five-point scale. FGPs rated almost every statement lower than non-FGPs, including: “My personality type is valued,” “I have access to decision-makers,” “I feel comfortable talking about my family and personal life”. This tells us overall feelings of inclusion and belonging are likely lower for FGPs.