Friday, April 14, 2017
More on politics and IQ
Further to my recent comments on IQ, someone has drawn my attention to a 2014 article by Noah Carl. Carl recently came to attention for his articles on Leftism among academics. I had some comments on that on March 5 and on March 17. Carl is clearly something of a bad boy from a Leftist perspective. The 2014 journal article is as follows:
Cognitive ability and party identity in the United States (2014)
Carl (2014) analysed data from the U.S. General Social Survey (GSS), and found that individuals who identify as Republican have slightly higher verbal intelligence than those who identify as Democrat. An important qualification was that the measure of verbal intelligence used was relatively crude, namely a 10-word vocabulary test. This study examines three other measures of cognitive ability from the GSS: a test of probability knowledge, a test of verbal reasoning, and an assessment by the interviewer of how well the respondent understood the survey questions. In all three cases, individuals who identify as Republican score slightly higher than those who identify as Democrat; the unadjusted differences are 1-3 IQ points, 2-4 IQ points and 2-3 IQ points, respectively. Path analyses indicate that the associations between cognitive ability and party identity are largely but not totally accounted for by socio-economic position: individuals with higher cognitive ability tend to have better socio-economic positions, and individuals with better socio-economic positions are more likely to identify as Republican. These results are consistent with Carl's (2014) hypothesis that higher intelligence among classically liberal Republicans compensates for lower intelligence among socially conservative Republicans.
So what are we to make of it? Let us first compare it with two papers by the indefatigable Ian Deary. Deary has access to some very well sampled British databases so is in a position to report highly generalizable results:
Childhood intelligence predicts voter turnout, voting preferences, and political involvement in adulthood: The 1970 British Cohort Study (2008)
Ian J. Deary
Little is known about the association between measured intelligence and how people participate in democratic processes. In the 1970 British Cohort Study, we examined the association between childhood intelligence and, at age 34: whether and how people voted in the 2001 UK general election; how they intended to vote; and whether they had taken part in other political activities. People with higher childhood intelligence were more likely to vote in the 2001 election (38% increased prevalence per SD increase in intelligence), and were more likely to vote for the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats (49% and 47% increased prevalence per SD increase in intelligence, respectively). The intelligence-Green party voting association was largely accounted for by occupational social class, the intelligence-Liberal Democrat voting association was not. Similar associations between intelligence and preference for the Green Party or Liberal Democrats were found as regards voting intentions, but neither of these associations was accounted for by occupational social class. People with higher childhood intelligence were more likely to take part in rallies and demonstrations, and to sign petitions, and expressed a greater interest in politics (40%, 65%, 33%, and 58% increased prevalence per SD increase in intelligence, respectively).
Bright Children Become Enlightened Adults (2008)
Ian J. Deary
We examined the prospective association between general intelligence (g) at age 10 and liberal and antitraditional social attitudes at age 30 in a large (N = 7,070), representative sample of the British population born in 1970. Statistical analyses identified a general latent trait underlying attitudes that are antiracist, proworking women, socially liberal, and trusting in the democratic political system. There was a strong association between higher g at age 10 and more liberal and antitraditional attitudes at age 30; this association was mediated partly via educational qualifications, but not at all via occupational social class. Very similar results were obtained for men and women. People in less professional occupations-and whose parents had been in less professional occupations-were less trusting of the democratic political system. This study confirms social attitudes as a major, novel field of adult human activity that is related to childhood intelligence differences.
So in the first Deary study above we find that high IQ British voters did lean Left but they leant towards minority Leftist parties, not the major Leftist party, the Labour party. The Labour party has some repellent union associations so may have been seen as unattractive for that reason. The two minor parties, however, come across as high-minded.
The second study looked at the correlates of attitudes rather than vote. And ever since LaPiere in the 1930s we have known that attitudes are at best only weakly related to behaviour. Deary found greater social liberalism among high IQ people.
And so we come to Carl's 2014 American study. GOP identifiers were found to be slightly brighter on average than Democrat identifiers.
It is of course perfectly possible and reasonable that trends in Britain might not be reflected in the USA -- and vice versa. That would seem to be the case here. But note that in no case is the major Leftist party favoured. But the association between vote and IQ was in any case weak so IQ is clearly a very minor factor in determining vote. As I have often argued, it is a miserable personality that makes you Leftist. See, for instance, here
Posted by jonjayray at 9:48 PM
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Politics and IQ
Are smart people Left-leaning? There is some recent evidence to say so, though the correlation is weak. A paper by Michael Woodley is therefore of interest ("Problematic constructs and cultural-mediation: A comment on Heaven, Ciarrochi and Leeson (2011)").
He surveys the literature and shows that the findings go both ways. On some occasions Leftists score highest while on others conservatives do.
He resolves that the way I do -- by saying that high IQ people are quicker to figure out what is currently socially acceptable and say that. At the moment being conservative is likely to bring a ton of abuse ("racist") down on your head so it is no wonder that smart people claim to be Leftist
Posted by jonjayray at 4:43 PM
Monday, April 3, 2017
Scientists predict reading ability from DNA alone
Reading ability is a major component of IQ so this is another step forward towards measuring IQ directly from brain features
Researchers from King's College London have used a genetic scoring technique to predict reading performance throughout school years from DNA alone.
The study, published today in Scientific Studies of Reading, shows that a genetic score comprising around 20,000 of DNA variants explains five per cent of the differences between children's reading performance. Students with the highest and lowest genetic scores differed by a whole two years in their reading performance.
These findings highlight the potential of using genetic scores to predict strengths and weaknesses in children's learning abilities. According to the study authors, these scores could one day be used to identify and tackle reading difficulties early, rather than waiting until children develop these problems at school.
The researchers calculated genetic scores (also called polygenic scores*) for educational achievement in 5,825 individuals from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) based on genetic variants identified to be important for educational attainment. They then mapped these scores against reading ability between the ages of seven and 14.
Genetic scores were found to explain up to five per cent of the differences between children in their reading ability. This association remained significant even after accounting for cognitive ability and family socio-economic status.
The study authors note that although five per cent may seem a relatively small amount, this is substantial compared to other results related to reading. For example, gender differences have been found to explain less than one per cent of the differences between children in reading ability.
Saskia Selzam, first author of the study from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London, said: 'The value of polygenic scores is that they make it possible to predict genetic risk and resilience at the level of the individual. This is different to twin studies, which tell us about the overall genetic influence within a large population of people.'
'We think this study provides an important starting point for exploring genetic differences in reading ability, using polygenic scoring. For instance, these scores could enable research on resilience to developing reading difficulties and how children respond individually to different interventions.'
Professor Robert Plomin, senior author from the IoPPN at King's College London, said: 'We hope these findings will contribute to better policy decisions that recognise and respect genetically driven differences between children in their reading ability.'
*Calculating an individual's polygenic score requires information from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) that finds specific genetic variants linked to particular traits, in this case educational attainment. Some of these genetic variants, known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), are more strongly associated with the trait, and some are less strongly associated. In a polygenic score, the effects of these SNPs are weighed by the strength of association and then summed to a score, so that people with many SNPs related to academic achievement will have a higher polygenic score and higher academic achievement, whereas people with fewer associated SNPs will have a lower score and lower levels of academic achievement.
Posted by jonjayray at 4:44 PM
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Why the high intelligence of Indian Americans?
I reproduce below a well-informed answer to the above question. I disagree with his conclusion that it is all due to nutrition however. Other work finds only 5 IQ points attributable to nutrition. The suggestion of 15 IQ points is therefore startling. So I think we need to look at other possibilities. I think that the Indian advantage is probably a compound of several factors.
The treatment of Indians as a single group is of course absurd. Almost any Indian will regale you with stories about the great gaps between the castes. And the castes do seem to have a racial and historic origin. A Brahman and a Dalit are worlds apart in all sorts of ways, including skin color. And it is usually held that the differences arose from the Northern Brahmins being in fact late "Aryan" invaders on top of an original Dravidian population. So we would expect Brahmins to have higher IQs. And Brahmins seem well-represented in Indian immigrants to America.
Everything in the above paragraph is however subject to controversy so how much caste accounts for higher IQs in Indian Americans remains "under study". Something that would reveal the effect (or not) of caste would be a study of Indian diaspora populations in places such as Fiji, where the Indians there are the descendants of coolies imported to act as agricultural labourers. If they have high IQs, there is no caste effect. But I can find no data on such populations. It is however true that Indians run just about everything in Fiji these days.
The next possibility is related to the one above: A general selective effect of immigration. Diaspora populations are not always brighter than the home population but when we are looking at poor countries they probably are. To get yourself out of a poor country to a rich one surely requires brains. So regardless of caste, diaspora Indians should be brighter.
The third possibility is one shown up by the Flynn effect: Education. Education does have an effect on at least some measures of intelligence. How that works is speculative but the most plausible explanation is that doing tests and exams in the course of a long education develops test-taking skills (e.g. guessing when uncertain) that generalize to IQ tests. And the Indian education system is woeful so a transition to the less woeful U.S. system should confer an advantage.
A fourth factor that is rarely mentioned in these discussions is regional differences within India. The Indian South seems to be much brighter, particularly where mathematical ability is concerned. The great concentration of Indian IT knowledge is in Bengaluru (Bangalore), which is in the South. And it was almost entirely Southern engineers who were behind the quite remarkable Indian Mars shot.
I am not going to say much about why the Southerners are smarter but I note that they hate one-another. Keralans despise Tamils, for instance. And that is related to the long history of warfare between them. And dummies are the least likely to survive wars. So warfare has dragged up the average IQ of most of the South.
But getting back to Indians in America: I have seen no figures on it but I gather that a huge proportion of Indians came to America to work in IT. If that is so, they would mostly have come from the South -- because that is where the IT ability is. So the Indian immigrants to the USA came from a (Southern) population that was ALREADY pretty high on IQ. So from that starting point, the various advantages (already mentioned) of life in the USA could easily have added one third of a standard deviation -- which could explain what we see. It could in fact explain the whole of what we see.
And regardless of where they come from in India, being employed to work in IT is a HUGE selective pressure. To code easily in languages like C and its derivatives requires an IQ within about the top 2%. If that doesn't bring up the average, nothing would.
So I would summarize that the high IQs of Indians in the USA is the combined effect of nutrition, education, caste, an immigrant effect, an effect of regional origin and an effect of occupation.
Given the extraordinary difference in average IQ between Indians in India and Indians in America (well over one standard deviation) I think a multifactorial explanation has to be strongly indicated. But all answers at this point are speculative.
One of the great mysteries in IQ research is why Indian Americans are such super achievers despite the fact that India reportedly has an IQ of only 82 according to the book IQ and Wealth of Nations.
And yet Indians in North America are known for their high intelligence and scholastic achievement, and despite being new to America, are already slightly over-represented on Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans. In some parts of Canada (particularly the maritime provinces like Newfoundland) if you’re Indian, all the white will people will assume you’re a doctor.
So how can Indians in North America be so smart when India’s average IQ is not great? Many people in the HBD-blogosphere invoke the theory that India is nation of many micro-races (castes) and that largely the smartest castes migrate to America, but the truth is usually much simpler.
Of the 2.8 million Indians in America, probably no more than 25% (700,000) are the ones who initially gained immigration (and the remaining 75% are the spouces, siblings, parents, and children, who came alone for the ride). But these 700,000 who actually gained immigration for themselves and their families are probably roughly the most occupationally successful 700,000 Indians out of a population of nearly 1.3 billion. In other words, they are above the +3.3 standard deviation mark in occupational status, and are on on average +3.5 SD. Since occupational status (mostly a function of education and income) correlates 0.7 with IQ, we should expect their IQ’s to be 3.5(0.7) = 2.45 SD higher than the average Indian (assuming Indians have a mean IQ of 82 and an SD 15, those who initially gain immigration to America should have an IQ of 119).
But because the IQ correlation between a parent and his adult offspring is about 0.45, the children of these high achieving immigrants from India should regress precipitously to the Indian mean:
0.45(119 – 82) + 82 = 99
Thus we should expect second-generation Indians born in America to have IQ’s around the U.S. average which is inconsistent with their incredible achievements. Can their achievements thus be explained by Tiger Moms? According to excellent Jamaican American blogger JayMan, parenting has zero impact.
So how do we explain the high achievements of second generation Indian immigrants? Nutrition. Blogger Steve Sailer was perhaps the first to notice that even un-mixed black Americans who have lived in the United States for centuries are several inches taller and about 13 IQ points smarter than black Africans. This suggests that first world nutrition adds about 13 IQ points (and several inches of height) to people of third world ancestry.
Posted by jonjayray at 9:50 PM
Friday, March 17, 2017
Academics are hugely Left-leaning. Is it because they have higher IQs?
One explanation that has been put forward to explain the overrepresentation of individuals with left-wing and liberal views in academia is that they tend to have higher intelligence. The theory is that academic advancement requires very high intelligence, and since few individuals with right-wing and conservative views possess very high intelligence, such individuals are comparatively scarce within the academy (Solon 2014; Solon 2015; Charlton 2009; Gross 2013).
Several recent studies from the US, where the academy also has a sizable left-liberal skew, have concluded that intelligence does not contribute much to explaining the tilt (Gross & Fosse 2012; Gross 2013; Fosse et al. 2014). On the other hand, using a slightly different method, Carl (2015b) found that intelligence may account for more than fferent method, Carl (2015b) found that intelligence may account for more than half of the overrepresentation of socially liberal views, but may not account for any of the overrepresentation of economically left-wing views. His finding is consistent with evidence that cognitive ability is positively related to both socially liberal beliefs and at least some measures of economically right-wing beliefs (Carl 2015a).
Unfortunately, there do not appear to have been any surveys of British academics asking about specific policy issues, either economic (e.g., nationalisation of industry) or social (e.g., immigration). Only the distribution of party support among academics is available, which as noted above points to an overrepresentation of both left-wing views and liberal views.
To see whether intelligence contributes to explaining the left-liberal skew of party support among academics, I calculated the distribution of party support for individuals within the top 5% of IQ, using data from the Understanding Society survey. This is shown in Table 3, along with the distribution of party affiliation within the general population and among academics, also calculated from the Understanding Society data.
Note that the distribution within the general population differs from the outcome of the general election; this is probably due to the phrasing of the question posed in Understanding Society, to the sample being slightly unrepresentative, to the timing of the data collection, and to differential turnout by party.
However, what is of primary interest is the comparison between the figures for the general population and those for the top 5% of IQ, which were both calculated from the same data.
Conservative supporters are about as well represented within the top 5% of IQ as they are within the general population, Labour supporters are slightly underrepresented, UKIP supporters are underrepresented, Lib Dem supporters are overrepresented, and Green supporters are overrepresented. Overall, as Figure 2 illustrates, the distribution of left/right orientation within the top 5% of IQ is relatively similar to the distribution within the general population.
While intelligence may account for some of the underrepresentation of UKIP supporters among academics, and some of the overrepresentation of Green supporters (Deary et al. 2008), it cannot account for the substantial underrepresentation of Conservative supporters. To the extent that the Conservatives are a less socially conservative party than UKIP, the figures in Table 3 are consistent with Carl’s (2015b) finding that intelligence may contribute to explaining the underrepresentation of socially conservative views in American academia, but not necessarily the underrepresentation of economically right-wing views.
Somewhat surprising is the relative scarcity of Lib Dem supporters among academics, given their overrepresentation within the top 5% of IQ. This may be attributable to the fact that, as noted above, the Lib Dem party was until recently dominated by its classically liberal wing, which espoused comparatively more right-wing policies, which may not have been appealing to academics. On the other hand, it may simply be due to sampling error.
Posted by jonjayray at 9:52 PM
Friday, February 10, 2017
The Bermuda Triangle of Science
by Brian Boutwell
This is an essay about how to avoid carpet-bombing your career as a scientist. The academy, in general, is a wonderful place to work, but not everyone plays nice. Veer too far from carefully charted courses and someone may slip quietly up behind you and slide a cold piece of steel in between the ribs of your budding research career.
They’ll do this believing that they are serving public interest by snuffing out dangerous research agendas, but that won’t make any difference to you. It’ll be your reputation that will suffer grievous injury. What in the world might elicit such harsh rebuke from a community of otherwise broadminded, free speech spouting scholars? What is so verboten that it constitutes academia’s Bermuda Triangle, a place where careers disappear more often than ships in the actual Bermuda Triangle? In one word, it’s race.
Now, had I written this a decade or more ago, general intelligence would have topped the list of forbidden academic fruit. This is not to say that intelligence research has magically become mainstream. It still carries its fair share of controversy. On one level, the continued debate about intelligence strikes me as quite funny, honestly. If you want to watch academics glorify a trait that many still think, “doesn’t exist” or “doesn’t matter”, hang around them when student applications are being reviewed. It’s hilarious to watch folks froth at the mouth over sky-high test scores that they would otherwise tell you measure nothing at all.
Nonetheless, the evidentiary base regarding the existence of general intelligence and its ability to predict important life outcomes — including health, longevity and mortality, as well as other key variables — is beyond compelling, it’s overwhelming. And if you find yourself feeling like you can do damage to this evidence base by invoking arguments about “multiple intelligences” or something of the sort, let me save you the effort. Those urges illustrate unfamiliarity with any of the serious research done on the topic in the last several decades. If those urges haunt you, I’d recommend Stuart Ritchie’s excellent primer on the topic. The waters of intelligence research, though controversial, no longer require that you be Magellan to navigate them. As we will see below, however, it is only one small step from banal psychometric work on IQ, to the mother-load of academic controversy. Stay tuned.
Quantitative genetic work on human behavior has also had its time in the spotlight as arguably the most controversial subject in science. Like intelligence, the evidence base regarding the heritability of human outcomes is beyond reasonable dispute. However it hasn’t always been like that, as folks like Thomas Bouchard can rightly attest. Some controversy still erupts from time to time, but the general themes of these controversies often have more to do with fine-grained methodological points, and not the wholesale dismissal of the notion that human behavior is heritable. So, while not exactly free from rancor, behavior and molecular genetics represents a sea of much calmer waters than in prior years.
Evolution, as it applies to the social sciences, would have also made the list some decades back. But pioneers like E.O. Wilson, Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, David Buss, Margot Wilson, and Martin Daly (as well as a number of others) have absorbed many punches and blows for us younger generation of scholars. Their efforts produced a sizeable evidentiary base regarding the role that evolutionary processes have played (and continue to play) in sculpting human psychology. Debates still rage, and controversies still exist, but nowadays arguing that natural selection played some role in molding human psychology will no longer jeopardize your career.
There have, of course, been other controversial issues that have popped up. I might have talked about the study of sex differences for example, which has drawn the ire of critical scholars for years. Yet much of that discontent was because people were approaching the subject in an evolutionary/biologically informed framework (for more broad insight on academic controversies see Steven Pinker’s discussion in The Blank Slate).
So this brings us back to the notion that race represents academia’s true Bermuda Triangle. Perhaps never has the topic of genetic ancestry been so important, yet despite its relevance, bright scholars continue to stay away from it in droves. Who can blame them, really? As John McWhorter has pointed out, screaming “racist” at every one who dives off into this topic has become a religious rite, of sorts. It will not matter how noble you think your motives are, if you factor in race as a variable, your actions are subject to impeachment, and your reputation may be sacrificed as a burnt offering to our new religion. Let me give you an example.
Linda Gottfredson is a brilliant, productive, and innovative scholar. Dr. Gottfredson, however, found herself in the Bermuda Triangle some years back, and her story should serve as a lighthouse for those looking to avoid the same fate. In an article published in the academic journal Personality and Individual Differences a few years ago, Gottfredson described her ordeal with the University of Delaware. I would encourage you to read her paper; it’s very accessible and non-technical. In it, Gottfredson unleashes an account of gross academic freedom violations, owing to a research program tainted with the stain of connections to race. After having grant dollars denied, which resulted in an initial complaint filed against the university, four more separate cases were also filed by Gottfredson and her collaborator Jan Blits. All told, the cases levied against the university detailed instances of denied promotions, removal of a course from course listings, and an atmosphere of general harassment on the part of the chair.
As I write about Gottfredson and Blits, and again read about their ordeal, I can’t help but recall many of the more recent, yet equally obscene, violations of free speech on college campuses. I am nonetheless encouraged of late to witness what seems to be a rising tide of support for the fundamental principals that should govern academic life; classical liberalism, freedom of thought, and freedom of speech. Yet, should those voices only be selectively employed? Should they only apply to topics that are fashionably controversial? I can assure you that few rush to the defense of someone who has drifted out into the Bermuda Triangle of academia. No flare is strong enough to cut the fog, no distress beacon can be seen, and no one is likely to welcome the call for assistance that crackles in over a weak radio signal; but why not?
For starters, crossing the boundaries of the Triangle (even if only to defend a colleague) can be frightening. Angry invectives hurled in your direction will come so fast, and so fierce, it will likely leave your head spinning, as Gottfredson illustrates (p.276):
News coverage was often lurid. The UD African-American Coalition argued that my work was not just offensive, but dangerous. My ‘‘so-called research” and the social policies I ‘‘was likely to propose” were ‘‘liable to threaten the very survival of African-Americans” (Tarver, 1990, p. 6A).
Within the Bermuda Triangle, you see, it is a free for all when it comes to accusations and motive indictment. There is no suitable defense, trying to mount in fact one will only fan the flames. Consider the following:
An allegedly dishonest or malevolent scholar who appeals to the protections of free speech or academic freedom is said to be ‘‘hiding behind” them, which provokes further scorn. Every attempt at self-defense becomes another offense. Intimations of immorality, mean-spiritedness, perverse tendencies (‘‘preoccupation” with race), and the like all mobilize distaste for targeted scholars, relax scruples in dealing with them fairly, and cause associates to shun them. (p.276)
There is quite literally, nothing you can do.
Perhaps the invective aimed at scholars such as Gottfredson comes from a “good” place. Many are concerned about what research into race differences might inspire in the form of prejudice and discrimination among the populace. Techniques to preclude such dangerous knowledge from seeping out of the Ivory Tower don’t even have to take the form of a full frontal ad hominem assault (recall our earlier imagery of the knife slid silently in the back). As Gottfredson notes (p.277):
Some critics avoid making ad hominem claims by asserting that, although the researcher may not be evil, their work can be used for evil purposes. The supposed dangers of the research are seldom explained, however, but just connoted. For instance, assertions that certain conclusions about intelligence or genetic influences are ‘‘obviously” harmful or dangerous are virtually never supported by any argument or evidence. Owing to constant repetition of such claims, however, it has become intellectual reflex in most quarters to associate the word intelligence with ‘‘hereditarianism” and, next, ‘‘hereditarianism” with evil (the Nazis), and ‘‘environmentalism” with benevolence (despite its disciple Stalin’s even larger genocide). So, although my intelligence research dealt exclusively with phenotypic differences between races, I was accused of espousing unsavory genetic policies.
Gottfredson also reveals to us (p.277, below) a different piece of weaponry popular for sinking ships that have meandered into troubled waters.
Another common retort to scholars who assert a right to investigate socially sensitive issues is that ‘‘with rights come responsibilities.” That is, one retains or deserves the right to speak freely only if one speaks ‘‘responsibly.” This hedge is usually asserted by university faculty and administrators because they are professionally obliged to pledge allegiance to the general principle of academic freedom. But being responsible is as much in the eye of the beholder as being dangerous. The former is only a muted form of the latter, as its antonym (‘‘irresponsible”) illustrates. Demanding ‘‘responsible” scholarship on selected topics simultaneously invites and legitimates burdening that research, and it thereby selectively skews the menu of ideas available for public consideration.
For years during this ordeal Gottfredson and Blits were prevented (at least partially) from doing their jobs of teaching and researching freely and without restriction. The erosion of academic freedom is a topic for another day; the point now was to illustrate the perils one faces if they choose to work in this specific area. Can any good come from pursuing a research agenda like this? Is it worth it to explain to your family, or your significant other, that your career is in crisis because you decided to pursue a specific scholarly topic?
I would advise young scholars not to study race, and it’s not because the area is unimportant. Understanding genetic differences between human populations is critical. My warnings come because if you’re not careful, you may very well have your career stripped away from you. Your vessel may take on water faster that the bilge pumps of academic freedom can pump it out. The wreckage of your reputation may sink quietly to the inky, black, bottom of history.
It need not be this way, the currents could change, the storms could clear, and the legitimacy of the topic be restored. That is partly my goal in writing this essay, to plead with you to stop demonizing scholars who engage in politically controversial work, yet do so within the ethical confines of science, as Linda Gottfredson and Jan Blits did. Must we continue to embarrass our liberal, freethinking, democratic values by telling our scholars that some topics are off limits to them? For now, view this as one signal that’s managed to penetrate the fog of the Triangle, sent from someone [the author of this essay] whose ship sailed into to it a few years back.
You should steer clear, however, if you decide to cross the border regardless of my advice, just know that even the staunchest of free speech defenders (those who would otherwise advocate for your right to study whatever you want), will very likely abandon you to the depths. There is no Coast Guard coming to rescue us, we are alone, adrift in this desolate ocean of political correctness. With that in mind, I think it’s appropriate to let Linda Gottfredson have the last word, I’m quite sure she has earned it (p. 273):
“Americans have a constitutional right to speak their mind in the public sphere, and their ability to enjoy that right is similarly vulnerable to improper constraint. It is the scholar’s job, however, to think and speak freely nonetheless.”
Posted by jonjayray at 8:25 PM
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Psychopathy and IQ
Leftists such as the Clintons have a lot of psychopathic traits and it is clear that most psychopaths don't get into trouble with the law and can be fairly successful in business and politics. So it is a condition that we do well to know about.
Because of some prominent examples of psychopaths who have high IQs, there has developed an impression that psychopaths are generally of above average IQ. It is always unsafe to generalize from a few examples, however, so a paper that looks at a full range of the evidence on the subject is very welcome. And the finding (see below) is that ON AVERAGE, psychopaths are in fact a bit dim.
There is a fuller discussion of the matter here
On the relationship between psychopathy and general intelligence: A meta-analytic review
Olga Sanchez de Ribera et al.
Over recent decades, a growing body of research has accumulated concerning the relationship between indicators of general intelligence and the personality construct known as psychopathy. Both traits represent key correlates of life outcomes, predicting everything from occupational and economic success, to various indicators of prosocial behavior (including avoiding contact with the criminal justice system). The findings to date regarding the association of the two traits, however, have been somewhat inconsistent. Thus, there remains a need for a more systematic investigation of the extant empirical literature. The current study reports a meta-analysis conducted to evaluate the direction and overall effect size of the relationship between these two constructs. Our analyses revealed a small, but significant, negative effect of intelligence on psychopathy. The results and impact of possible moderating variables such as type of intelligence test used are discussed. Finally, the study limitations, and possible directions for further research on this issue are detailed prior to concluding.
Posted by jonjayray at 8:13 PM
Friday, January 20, 2017
We’re evolving stupid: Icelandic study finds gradual decline in genes linked to education, IQ
This has long been predicted. Robert Zajonc highlighted the problem way back. That the dummies have most of the children would seem to make a decline in average IQ inevitable in a world where welfare policies make sure that the feckless no longer starve.
EVOLUTION is continuing to shape our future, research from Iceland has found. But not in the way we want. We’re losing our ability to learn.
A study from the genetics firm deCODE in Reykjavik has uncovered an emerging change in our brains.
Put simply, those born in 1910 were more likely to stick with education for longer than those in 1975.
And it’s not just a matter of changing attitudes. The gradual demise of a cluster of genes is being blamed for the slow but steady drop in IQ.
At the researchers fingertips was a genetic database of more than 100,000 Icelandic citizens. They matched this against a set of 74 genes identified early last year as being involved in brain development during pregnancy.
Put together, their presence — or absence — could be used as an indicator for how long an individual was likely to spend going through the school and university systems. This is what the Icelandic researchers sought to test.
Their study, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last month, uncovered the decline.
“As a species, we are defined by the power of our brains,” deCODE CEO Kari Stefansson said in a statement. “Education is the training and refining of our mental capacities. Thus, it is fascinating to find that genetic factors linked to more time spent in education are becoming rarer in the gene pool.”
It’s a revelation, if proven true, that has dire implications. But it is supported by circumstantial evidence. It’s long been noted people who seek higher education tend to have fewer children.
This, the researchers say, means Iceland’s smarter population have been contributing less to the nation’s gene pool. And it’s beginning to show.
“The rate of decrease is small per generation but marked on an evolutionary timescale,” the paper reads.
The researchers argue that time spent in the education system itself does not appear to be to blame for the fall in fertility.
It’s all in the genes. Those predisposed towards education appear also to have a predisposition towards having children later in life.
“In spite of the negative selection against these sequence variations, education levels have been increasing for decades,” Dr Stefansson notes. “Time will tell whether the decline of the genetic propensity for education will have a notable impact on human society.”
Posted by jonjayray at 8:14 PM