Thursday, May 23, 2019

Posh privilege? Upper class people's 'belief that they are better than others' helps them to find jobs, study finds

This is just another example of the old halo effect.  In this case the halo emanates from the fact that a person is in a prestigious position. That tends to suggest other desirable attitudes in the person. I suppose the interesting thing here is the demonstration that the priviliged person himself perceives the halo.

And in this case there is good reason for the effects discussed below.  High status persons tend to have higher IQs and IQ does have wide-ranging positive effects.  So the privleged person has good grounds for feeling that he will do well on various tests.

So what we have is a demonstration of what Jesus said:  "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance" (Matthew 13:12).

Self confidence is in some ways nearly as advantageous as high IQ

People from higher social classes believe themselves to be more capable than those of lower class, even if they are equally as qualified.

This leads to better outcomes in life-changing scenarios like job interviews as they are more confident than their less-privileged peers due to an inflated sense of self.

In a large scale study, scientists saw this to be true across the board, from business owners to undergraduates.

Dr Peter Belmi of the University of Virginia and lead author of the study, said: 'Advantages beget advantages. Those who are born in upper-class echelons are likely to remain in the upper class, and high-earning entrepreneurs disproportionately originate from highly educated, well-to-do families.'

Researchers from the University of Virginia conducted four separate investigations to look at the connection between social class and overconfidence.

In each study, they discovered that those from higher social classes tended to be more overconfident.

In one study, this overconfidence was shown to be misinterpreted by others as a higher level of competence.

In the biggest study, which involved business owners, researchers obtained information about the individual's income, education level and where they thought they stood in society.

The participants were also required to complete a psychological assessment that rated their self-perception.

'Posh privilege' occurs when people of a higher social class perceive themselves to be better than those of lower classes - even if such is unfounded.

Factors that lead to people developing posh privilege include higher levels of education, greater income and perception of belonging to a better  social class.

Others perceive this excess of assuredness as real and deserved confidence.

This leads to better outcomes in life-changing scenarios like job interviews as they are more confident than their less-privileged peers thanks to their inflated sense of self.

In a large-scale study, researchers found that this privilege applied universally - affecting everyone from students to business heads.

One experiment was a flashcard game where individuals were shown an image that disappeared after they press a key, before being replaced by another image.

They then have to determine whether the second image matched the first.

After completing 20 rounds, they were asked to rate how they think they performed compared to others on a scale of 1 to 100.

When the researchers compared the actual scores with the predicted scores, they found that people with more education, more income and a higher perceived social class had greater belief they performed better than others.

Two other groups each with 1,400 online participants found a similar association.

In one, the researchers gave participants a trivia test and those from a higher social class thought that they did better than others.

Again, when the researchers examined actual performance, no difference was found between the social classes based on this belief.

In the last experiment, researcher recruited 236 undergraduate students, and asked them to complete a 15-item trivia quiz and predict how they scored compared with others.

They were also asked to rate their social class and their families' income and their parents' education levels.

A week later, the students were brought back to the lab for a videotaped mock hiring interview.

More than 900 judges, recruited online, each watched one of the videos and rated their impression of the applicant's competence.

Not only were the higher social class students more confident, this overconfidence was interpreted by the judges who watched their videos as greater competence.

'Our research suggests that social class shapes the attitudes that people hold about their abilities and that, in turn, has important implications for how class hierarchies perpetuate from one generation to the next,'  they write in the study.

The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

NEW BOOK: Lynn, R. & Becker, D. (2019). "The Intelligence of Nations" London: Ulster Institute for Social Research. ISBN 97809930000157. œ20

It has generally been assumed by economists and sociologists that all peoples in the world have the same intelligence. Now a new study shows that this is far from the case and that there are large differences in the IQs of different peoples and that these differences explain a number of economic and social phenomena.

Richard Lynn, a Cambridge educated psychologist and former professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, and David Becker, a political scientist at Chemnitz University in Germany, have collected the IQs for virtually all nations in the world. Their results show that IQs range from the highest of 106 in Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, closely followed by Hong Kong (105), China (104) and South Korea (102) to the lowest in Nepal (43), Sierra Leone (45), Guatemala (48), Nicaragua (53), Gambia (53), Ghana (58) and South Sudan (59). Analysed by regions, IQs are highest in North East Asia at 105, followed by Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand at 100, falling in Southern Europe to 94 in Italy, 93 in Spain and Portugal, and 91 in Greece and Malta.  IQs fall further to 84 in North Africa and South Asia, and finally to 70 in sub-Saharan Africa.

In the Americas IQs are the highest at 99 in Canada, 97 in the United States and 96 in Argentina and are in the 80s in most of Latin America, e.g. 88 in Chile and Mexico, and 83 in Venezuela and Colombia, while (as noted above) to the very low IQs of 53 in Nicaragua and 48 in Guatemala.

Lynn and Becker claim that differences in national IQs are resposible for much of the disparities in wealth between different peoples. This problem has been discussed since the eighteenth century when it was analysed by Adam Smith in his An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), in which he argued that the principal factors responsible for national wealth were specialisation and the division of labour, the skills of the population and free markets. From this time up to the present day, numerous theories have been proposed by economists and sociologists to explain why some nations are so rich and others are so poor.

Lynn and Becker argue that it is well established that IQs are a major determinant of earnings among individuals. As most parents know, siblings generally differ in their IQs and it has been found that the sibling with the higher IQ normally achieves a higher income. They argue that higher intelligence brings higher earnings because intelligence is the ability to learn effectively and to solve problems. People with high intelligence lean to acquire more productive skills and can solve more problems than those with low intelligence. Lynn and Becker argue that the same is true for nations.They argue that the intelligence of the populations together with strong market economies are the two major determinants of national differences in per capita incomes. They regard an additonal factors as the possession of natural resources, especially oil and minerals.

Lynn and Becker also show that national IQs contribute to the explanation of national differences in economic growth in the decades following the end of World War Two. In particular the high IQs of the North East Asians contributed to rapid economic growth of Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore and, more recently, of China after it had thown of the constaints of communism and adopted a market economy. Conversely, the low IQs in sub-Saharan Africa contributed to the explanation of its low economic growth and continuing poverty.

Lynn and Becker argue that national IQs explain a number of other economic and social phenomena. National IQs explain much of the differences in educational attainment, intellectual achievements such as innnovative patents and Nobel prizes, political institutions (e.g. democracy and a market economy), happiness, health and nutrition. They also argue that low national IQs explain greater belief in religion, higher rates of crime and higher fertility. They argue that because of the higher fertility in low nations, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, the IQ of the world is declining.

Lynn and Becker discuss the causes of national differences in intelligence. They show that these are strongly associated with the colder environments of Europe and Northeast Asia and argue that highter intelligence evolved in the European and Northeast Asian peoples to survive in these colder latitudes during the last ice age that lasted from around 28,000 years ago to around 12,000 years ago. They show that the European and Northeast Asian peoples evolved large brain size to accommodate their greater intelligence.

Lynn and Becker conclude by discussing the future of national IQs. They argue that the IQs in Europe, the United States and Canada will decline as a result of the low fertility of women graduates with high IQs because many of these are not having children. This is because many of them spend their twenties advancing their careers and then find they are not able to have children, are unable to find a partner with whom to have them or do not want to have them. They have been educated out of their biological function. IQs in Europe will also decline as a result of the immigration of peoples with low IQs from Africa and South Asia. IQs in the United States and Canada will also decline as a result of the immigration of peoples with low IQs from Latin America. They argue that Donald Trump's wall along the southern border with Mexico will not be effective in preventing continuing Latin American immigration. They argue that intelligence will continue to increase in China and that as the IQs in Europe and the United States declines, China will emerge as the world's superpower in the second half of the twenty-first century.

Via email

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Clever men are more fertile and have more children than others

This is very strong data and is more evidence that IQ is an index of general biological fitness

Clever men are more fertile and have more children than others, research has found.

The findings suggest that those with higher IQs are considered more attractive by women. In addition, being intelligent leads to status in society and more wealth - extra factors as to why eggheads are considered `a catch'.

The research overturns previous findings - that larger families are the preserve of people who are not blessed with higher IQs.

University of Stockholm scientists looked at a database of IQ scores of all Swedish men born between 1951 and 1967.

The IQ tests were used for conscription to the army's national service and covered more than 779,000 men.

They then followed up how many children each man went on to have.

The scientists writing in the Royal Society Journal Proceedings B said: `We find a positive relationship between intelligence scores and fertility, and this pattern is consistent across the cohorts we study.' They added: `Men with the lowest categories of IQ scores have the fewest children.'

The researchers said they controlled for additional factors such as levels of education and parental background. They said: `After such adjustments we find a stronger positive relationship between IQ and fertility.'

To assess the impact of family background, the researchers compared how many children brothers had.

They found that a brother with the lowest category of cognitive ability would have 0.58 fewer children compared to a brother with an IQ of 100, the average IQ level, while men with the highest category had 0.14 more children than someone of the average ability.

While it may sound comical to talk about an extra child' or `14 per cent of a child', across a whole population, this would mean thousands of extra children born to more intelligent people thousands fewer to the less intelligent.

The researchers said that earlier research on the subject had been flawed as, unlike the Swedish survey, they were not based on a whole population, but instead school classes or samples.

The authors say that possible explanations are that having a low IQ score is closely linked to poor health in childhood, which may be the reason why people with lower scores have fewer children.

They added: `The positive relationship between intelligence and fertility is probably explained by men with higher cognitive ability having higher status and more resources, and the fact that high cognitive ability is an attractive trait in the partner market.'

They said the trend emerging in Sweden is likely to be seen elsewhere: `We think that a plausible future scenario is that many societies will see the re-emergence of a positive association between high intelligence as well as other dimensions and correlates of status-and fertility.'