June 23, 2010

Not this again!

See if you can spot the fallacy in the following. I'll explain what's wrong with this logic afterwards.

From Inside Higher Ed:
New Evidence of Racial Bias on SAT

A new study may revive arguments that the average test scores of black students trail those of white students not just because of economic disadvantages, but because some parts of the test result in differential scores by race for students of equal academic prowess.

The finding -- already being questioned by the College Board -- could be extremely significant as many colleges that continue to rely on the SAT may be less comfortable doing so amid allegations that it is biased against black test-takers.

"The confirmation of unfair test results throws into question the validity of the test and, consequently, all decisions based on its results. All admissions decisions based exclusively or predominantly on SAT performance -- and therefore access to higher education institutions and subsequent job placement and professional success -- appear to be biased against the African American minority group and could be exposed to legal challenge," says the study, which has just appeared in Harvard Educational Review (abstract available here).

The existence of racial patterns on SAT scores is hardly new. The average score on the reading part of the SAT was 429 for black students last year -- 99 points behind the average for white students. And while white students' scores were flat, the average score for black students fell by one. Statistics like these are debated every year when SAT data are released, and when similar breakdowns are offered on other standardized tests.

The standard explanation offered by defenders of the tests is that the large gaps reflect the inequities in American society -- since black students are less likely than white students to attend well-financed, generously-staffed elementary and secondary schools, their scores lag.

In other words, the College Board says that American society is unfair, but the SAT is fair. And while many educators question that fairness of using a test on which wealthier students do consistently better than less wealthy students, research findings that directly isolate race as a factor in the fairness of individual SAT questions have, of late, been few.

The new paper in fact is based on a study that set out to replicate one of the last major studies to do so -- a paper published in the Harvard Educational Review in 2003, strongly attacked by the College Board -- and the new paper confirms those results (but using more recent SAT exams). The new paper is by Maria Santelices, assistant professor of education at the Catholic University of Chile, and Mark Wilson, professor of education at the University of California at Berkeley. The earlier study was by Roy Freedle of the Educational Testing Service.

The focus of both studies is on questions that show "differential item functioning," known by its acronym DIF. A DIF question is one on which students "matched by proficiency" and other factors have variable scores, predictably by race, on selected questions. A DIF question has notable differences between black and white (or, in theory, other subsets of students) whose educational background and skill set suggest that they should get similar scores. The 2003 study and this year's found no DIF issues in the mathematics section.

But what Freedle found in 2003 has now been confirmed independently by the new study: that some kinds of verbal questions have a DIF for black and white students. On some of the easier verbal questions, the two studies found that a DIF favored white students. On some of the most difficult verbal questions, the DIF favored black students. Freedle's theory about why this would be the case was that easier questions are likely reflected in the cultural expressions that are used commonly in the dominant (white) society, so white students have an edge based not on education or study skills or aptitude, but because they are most likely growing up around white people. The more difficult words are more likely to be learned, not just absorbed.

While the studies found gains for both black and white students on parts of the SAT, the white advantage is larger such that the studies suggest scores for black students are being held down by the way the test is scored and that a shift to favor the more difficult questions would benefit black test-takers.

Ready? Here goes:

By definition, blacks and whites are equally good at randomly guessing on multiple choice questions. So, the more difficult the question and thus the higher the percentage of students who randomly guess, the narrower the white-black differential.

If you made all the questions impossibly esoteric, so that everybody would guess on everything, then the white-black gap would disappear. If you made all the questions unbelievably easy, the white-black gap would also disappear. But when you make them a reasonable mix of difficulty in order to maximize the predictive value of the SAT, you wind up with a white-black gap -- because there is also a white-black gap in real world performance.

85 comments:

Φ said...

I remember your hypothesis, in the context of the NAEP, that math scores serve as a proxy for how good the school is, verbal scores for how smart the student is. This SAT study appears to support that hypothesis. When education inputs are controlled -- i.e. "students [are] matched by proficiency and other factors" -- the math scores for blacks and whites are the same. The differential remains, however, on the more highly G-loaded verbal section.

But you missed the biggest fallacy of all! The point of the SAT is not to indicate how well a student did in high school. The point of the SAT is to predict how well a student will do in college. Thus, the appropriate metric for detecting a biased test would be to compare SAT scores with, say, college GPA (controling for academic program -- no fair compairing ed school GPAs with engineering). If blacks are outperforming what their SAT scores would predict, then the SAT is biased. If not, then not.

Kylie said...

This is like the title of some avant-garde piece, the sort of thing that Twyla Tharp or Paul Taylor would choreograph.

Cotillion and Regatta: Theme and Variations Op.1, No.5987

Anonymous said...

There are many different ways to figure out if a test is testing something meaningful or not, but the existence of a significant white/black gap is almost always a surefire way of knowing the test is testing something meaningful.

This is just one way of knowing that Firefighter exams, the SATs, GREs and IQ tests are testing something meaningful. If blacks score the same as whites on a particular job or intelligence test, then that test is utterly worthless; it's not really testing anything. It is for good reason that tests like are virtually non-existent.

Perhaps this could be reduced to a new "Sailer's Law": The degree to which a test can be deemed useful is the degree to which whites outperform blacks on a test.

It is for this reason that a "useless" test(or an otherwise meaningful test using a curve or system that suppresses white scores) would result in no black/white difference.

Even more extreme is something that may be called an "anti-test": Blacks significantly outperform whites in an extreme inversion of reality. A "test" like this or the scoring was obviously racist toward whites.

Anonymous said...

This is a joke. Everybody knows that the SAT bar for NAMs is substantially lower than for non-NAMs. There are effectively two separate admissions processes that effectively acknowledge the gap (either in the testing or inherent ability).

Anonymous said...

No one will admit the simple truth. Blacks are less intelligent then other races.

Anonymous said...

you seem to go out of your way to dig up these articles that have no relevance or power to move.

it just re-confirms what you already believe about our education system.

This appears to be true in other areas too.

bjdouble said...

On the tougher questions, there is usually a red-herring answer for kids who confuse dispositive and disposable, for instance. But if you don't go for the trap and guess randomly, you will score higher.

Anonymous said...

Steve -- the researchers aren't that dumb. The differential is seen between blacks and whites matched for overall ability (score).

The real problem is that the results aren't very statistically significant, and items that showed the b/w difference in one sample didn't show it in other samples.

Anonymous said...

"On some of the easier verbal questions, the two studies found that a DIF favored white students. On some of the most difficult verbal questions, the DIF favored black students."

Careful scrutiny would probably show that both groups were guessing on the "hard" questions, and that the AA advantage is statistical noise. I suspect the study artificially clips the data sample to look at students within 1 - 2 sigma of average. But that's throwing the baby out with the bath water. With sufficient statistics, the size of the tails can be used to accurately predict the middle. It's in fact an excellent cross check of which ethnic groups are making it and which ones are faking it.

It's also possible that ETS is producing bad "hard" questions -- levels of competence in American society have plunged across the board due to 40 years of third world immigration and Progressive teacher training. Yes, white students get dumber when put in classrooms with low functioning minority students -- I've checked this carefully by studying the Great Schools data base. (I may publish the result, sometime). Exactly why would ETS be immune? They get a lot of their employees from Ivy Schools, and Harvard grads frequently flunk simple tests on grade school math and American History.

Anonymous said...

Uh? I get your last 2 grafs of reasoning but, not how they explain how blacks do better on (some) ultra-hard questions. Unless you're saying that a black 'signal' appears by chance, with a white signal appearing on other ultra-hard questions also by chance (an appearance not mentioned). Maybe I should read the original. But as it stands, to me it's unclear.

Anonymous said...

From Kitchen Table...

SAT math

54 questions, 70 minutes, many working parts

no time to 'think'

no time for 'many ways to solve it'

to score well on the SAT, you need to use the fastest method, and you need to know what the fastest method is about 5 seconds after you start reading the problem

if not sooner

asdfadsfasfsaf said...

Again, what about the Jewish and white gentile gap?

Anonymous said...

Actually you're wrong about the scores that students get when they guess on multiple choice tests (MCT). You're right in principal and right in most practice but it doesn't have to be that way.

Many teachers avoid multiple choice tests because they think they take to long to prepare and are too easy. Actually multiple choice tests cut both ways - they test the student and they test the teacher.

Teachers especially grade school teachers are generally not sharp enough to create a good multiple choice test. This is what contributes to the myth that multiple choice tests are easy.

Cisco, Microsoft and other high tech outfits use multiple choice tests for their certification exams. These tests are far from easy. Some have failure rates over 80%.

I learned long ago when I was a student that I could get a good score on most multiple choice tests irrespective of the subject or my knowledge of the subject because most such tests reveal the correct answer to most questions elsewhere in the test. The test creator typically asks more or less the same question several times, tipping his hand.

Similarly bad MCTs don't set traps. Student errors and misunderstandings are predictable. The wise test creator will offer choices that exploit that knowledge. He will create plausible sounding but erroneous answers that trip up those who don't really understand the material.

Microsoft MCTs often include questions in which you have to get several of the choices right in order to get the item scored as correct. Such an item asks the student to check all the correct answers - not just one. The student doesn't know how many correct answers there are. On a typical five answer set of choices there may be one, two, three, four or five correct.

On these type of tests it's quite common for students to get scores that are seemingly less than chance.

Students also guess on speed tests (as opposed to power tests) when they don't have time to study all the choices. Many commercial certification tests include long elaborate "scenario" questions that take so long to read and digest that the student is under time pressure. This means that only those who truly master the subject matter won't be forced to guess on a lot of items that they might have gotten right if they had had more time.

Finally with machine administration of an MCT it is possible to to create an "adaptive" test. With this kind of test if you give an incorrect answer the machine gives you another and another similar questions. Get three wrong and you flunk. Novell used to do this. Someone might study for a year and flunk out in ten minutes on the third or fourth question. Students who skipped a particular area in the hope that they could guess on the few questions they thought they would get, learn to their sorrow that they only get questions in the area where they are weak.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Indians do better than whites in verbal SAT and are even mostly bi-lingual and tri-lingual

The more straight forward explanation is smaller black brain volume and the Bantu-Non-African DNA split is over 110K years similar to the Grizzly bear - Polar bear split

and perhaps similarly Bantus must be considered a separate sub-species, even though they can inter-breed just as Polar bears and Grizzly bears can do

Anonymous said...

Racial difference we should be most worried about most is birthrates.

How come white women have fewer babies? Could it due to anti-white racism?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoKl47nK04M&feature=player_embedded

David said...

"The confirmation of unfair test results"

What is an unfair test result?

I failed. That confirms the test is unfair.

What is a fair test result?

Everyone passed. The test is fair.

The prediction power of the SAT is strong. How will they spin that? "SAT scores are no more than self-fulfilling prophecies." Let them have that idea. Shooting it down (for the nth time) will be fun!

It's actually good that their losing arguments are constantly repeated - because it gives us a great opportunity to re-air our refutations...thus every new crop of people coming along gets to read them like it's hot news.

josh said...

And this,that the ability to guess is equal,except among the psychic, never occured to these guys? Time for my favorite bible quote: As a dog returneth to his vomit,so doth a fool to his folly.

Anonymous said...

I recall missing a question on an 8th grade science test in a beverly hills school that presumed I knew what ice tongs looked like (as opposed to scissors).
As a very low income kid three years out of Eastern Europe, I had no idea what ice tongs even were.
So even though I'm not a minority, I know what it feels like to be disadvantaged by a culturally biased test...
By the time I was taking the SAT in high school, I missed one question on the verbal section.
Even though I was white, I was a total outsider. I made up for it - at least wrt academics - by reading voraciously to learn about the dominant culture.

Anonymous said...

Good analysis. Both too easy and too difficult tests are not good at detecting difference of ability.

Thrasymachus said...

Whether it is intuitively obvious, or whether is can shown through empirical observation that blacks are not on the average as smart as whites is not the point. The point is that it is a matter of *legal truth* that if whites and blacks score differently on a test, the test is racially biased.

The habitual use of the term "politically correct" to describe this situation makes it seem it's a matter of dogma, cant, or social convention, and it's nothing of the sort. It is a settled matter of the constitutional law of the US that this is *legally* true and you are *legally* required to believe it. If you are a writer or some loser on the street you are perfectly free to disagree with this- that too is settled constitutional law- but if you are a person with any kind of authority at all to select, supervise, or evaluate other people to disagree with this would show you might not act on this and cannot hold that position. Not even assistant manager at a convenience store.

Fjordman said...

The lies are becoming more and more aggressive and absurd, which is good. It means that the ideological censorship regime is weakening. White people are daily becoming less and less scared of being called "racists."

spacehabitats said...

"Stop and think for a moment about what the fallacy might be."

Ah yes, exactly what the PC police do NOT want anyone to do.
Ever.

Anonymous said...

I find the part about "dominant white culture" bizarre. White culture has largely been erased from the USA.

I remember there used to be a culture. There was music. I was teenager in the 60's. Every kid had a device called a "transistor radio". It was about the size of an iPod, but thicker. Every channel was a Rock music channel. All of them. You could roll this little dial and always find some channel playing a song that you liked. This was in L.A. My favorite was KHJ.

That's all gone now. Just talk radio and Latino radio. Gone.

We also had baseball. We had classic Dodgers. In person. At the stadium. Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale. Their big rival was the SF Giants.

The TV and movies were about us. They liked us. They were about our history and our people. TV didn't hate us. Movies didn't mock us. They celebrated us - our courage, our morality, our lives.

All gone now.

We also had authors. Every young woman had read most modern authors. They were commonly talked about. Hemingway, Faulkner, James Joyce. Everyone knew about Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare.

Now, nothing. I blame New York and Hollywood (aka the West Side). Who else to blame ? It was a deliberate assault. A deliberate destruction.

In the current USA there is no "white culture". Whites are furniture in the USA. This USA is nothing to me.

Rural South said...

Can SAT data be parsed by zip code? I'd like to see scores for poor whites, especially from the rural south.

Anonymous said...

Not peer reviewed. Methodology highly suspect, excludes asian population which would probably invalidate theory - how convenient. More advocacy dressed up as science. And the first person to point this out in the comments is called a racist, not even deigning to address a single argument. Have these people no shame?

Alisa said...

Heh. Let's see. Less capable people are more likely to guess. If they're really not capable they're going to be about as likely to get the hard ones as the easy ones right (if four answers, about 25%). Soooo, gee, blacks are less likely to get easy ones right, even controlling for everything else, because they are, in fact, guessing. On the harder questions of the SAT I know sometimes only 15% or so of test takers get the question right, so you have a BETTER chance guessing. People who know something often will know just enough to fall for the trick and mark the trick answer. People who know nothing will not have that problem.

Couchscientist said...

Do these same effects happen with black SAT takers in foreign countries verse nonblack SAT takers in foreign countries? My guess is the same pattern would hold for Japenese and Nigerian SAT takers. If so, there would have to be an even more complicated cultural explanation for it.

rob said...

Blacks are probably more likely to guess when they don't know. The DIF isn't meaningful unless it compares right-no answer-all the different kinds of wrong. At any level of competence, blacks believe themselves far more capable than whites, so they probably miss easy questions cuz they aren't paying attention.

Isn't vocabulary g loaded because smart people just pick up words from their everyday lives, not because they memorize lists of definitions?

What determines equal levels of proficiency? Grades, other SAT items? Also, if the verbal gap is cultural, why do blacks do even worse on the math section?

Anonymous said...

they'll never stop trying to figure out ways to prove their theory. look at the mountain of evidence ignored already.

SGOTI said...

Can we please just write an SAT where every situation was based upon activities in the 'hood and all the names were changed to Ty'Sheoma, Shakeem, Janesia and Sanasia (real names from a local news story BTW) and just be effing done with it?

stari_momak said...

Yes, I was trying to work out some way this could be purely a statistical artifact as reasoned along your (and 'Griffe's' lines.

Then there is the whole definition of 'easier' -- which I suppose means q's that most students get correct. But of course it is still the case -- despite the plethora of black doctors, lawyers, and indian chiefs on TV -- that whites make up a fairly large majority of SAT takers. That means easy is, in part, the questions white students get correct. Its like they used to say about Fidelity's Magellan -- it was so large it didn't out perform the market, it was the market. A SAT question is easy because a lot of white students get it right, so its no wonder white students the easier questions right, because their correct answers are, in large part, the criteria for 'easy'.

Anonymous said...

Classic Griffe du Lion.

ziel said...

And of course we'd have to believe that the verbal test is fatally flawed due to bias while the math test is not - and the math test has a bigger gap. Orwellianism is very tiresome.

Rachelle said...

Indeed, the underlying flaw in these studies is in the assumption that all varieties of our species are identical and should perform in an identical manner in the absence of prejudice or other externally imposed burdens.

If we never had IQ tests then any assessment of an ethnic group's abilities would have to be based on what it has done.

What has the black population of the world actually done? Not much. In Africa longer than the rest of humanity has been in Europe, Asia or America, they never seem to have independently invented writing, mathematics, or civilization. They have traveled the world as cargo rather than explorers. Doesn't the history of a people count when one considers its abilities? I think it does. Black performance on standardized tests is entirely consistent with any other means we have of judging a people's native abilities.

If one accepts the basic truth of evolution [and I do] then we would expect varieties of our species who have evolved in very different conditions to exhibit different abilities. The only way we could be exactly identical in mental abilities is if we reintroduce God or some other supernatural agency to keep a firm hand on human evolution. It hasn't happened. We evolve like other species. Different ethnic groups have different characteristics, including different mental abilities. Standardized tests simply confirm the expected and the obvious.

Anonymous said...

Please

GOD

Make

It

Stop

ARaceAgainstTime said...

When I took practice standardized tests when I was younger, the answer keys included the percentage of test-takers who had gotten each question correct when the tests were first administered. I recall that most tests had one or two questions that less than 20% of test-takers had gotten correct. By definition, these were the "most difficult" questions on the test.

If all students had answered those questions at random, 20% would have gotten the question correct. For less than 20% to answer a question correct, there had to have been some trap that students were lured into.

I'm guessing that on the most difficult questions, white students, who attend "well-financed, generously-staffed elementary and secondary schools," are more likely to be lured into the trap, while black students are more likely to have no idea and guess at random.

Anonymous said...

Whenever this comes up, why don't we keep shouting out to those who scream "bias" that whites don't score as well as Asians in math and ask them if they think this is because of test bias?

mug said...

As a former SAT tutor, Alisa's explanation above is correct.
On the very hardest questions, stupid students who guess are more likely to be right than somewhat smart students who fall for the "plausible distractor" answer choice. That is all that this study is measuring. The hardest questions are only the SAT to separate the somewhat smart from very smart students. They are not supposed to have any predictive value for below average NAM students who are on their way to getting a 400 or less. Anyone who knows anything about the SAT understands this.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to suggest that the SAT beging administering a few more subtests:

the 100 meter dash
the 110 meter hurdles
the long jump
the vertical jump as administered by the NFL in pre-draft camps

Then, let them scream "bias."

Anonymous said...

Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew: ‘The Bell Curve [of test scores] is a fact of life…These are realities that, if you do not accept, will lead to frustration because you will be spending money on wrong assumptions and the results cannot follow.’

Anonymous said...

"Indians do better than whites in verbal SAT and are even mostly bi-lingual and tri-lingual"

Americans only know a selective sub-sample of Indians. And it turns out their kids, while way above average (IQ 112), are not as bright as the kids of white Princeton grads (IQ 125), another selective sub sample.

From a billion Africans I'm sure you could find a half million with an IQ over 132. That's more than enough to replace every Indian in in Si Valley, Austin, Redmond, and Triangle Park.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the most simple refutation to this dissembling rationalization for HBD differences as reflected in standardized testing the results of the math portion of the SAT itself?

Or is math, too, somehow a cultural expression dominant in white society?

Anonymous said...

The SAT doesn't hold NAMs back: it helps admissions committees identify who needs "affirmative action"!
I had a NAM classmate with an SAT hundreds of points lower who got in every Ivy college he applied to (with decent, but not great, grades). Ergo, he needed AA.
The circular nature of their logic is almost fascinating.

ben tillman said...

Can we please just write an SAT where every situation was based upon activities in the 'hood and all the names were changed to Ty'Sheoma, Shakeem, Janesia and Sanasia (real names from a local news story BTW) and just be effing done with it?

How about we let Blacks have their own schools, devise their own tests, and set their own standards?

Anonymous said...

mug - thanks for the 'plausible distractor' definition. I'm glad to hear there is actually a term for it, even if you only made it up just now.

I think there is a subjective element to this though. All MCT questions might include a plusible distractor, the point where a given answer shifts from being obviously wrong to a plausible distractor depends on the ability of the student.

Chief Seattle said...

in the current USA there is no "white culture". Whites are furniture in the USA. This USA is nothing to me.

You've got to get out of CA. I felt the same way there. But there's plenty of places in the country where whites can be comfortable in their skin and as a dominant minority. We're not too far from the point where the last productive person leaves CA and it falls officially into the third world status it's been slouching towards for the last two decades.

BamaGirl said...

Ridiculous. I hate it when people try to attack standardized tests since its what paid for my college basically. Saddens me to know that my future children might not have the same advantage.
I've even heard that certain colleges are eliminating merit-based aid in favor of strictly needs-based aid. Some schools make sending your ACT/SAT scores optional. Lord help us!

fasdfasdfasdf said...

Regardless of the results, how about rich liberals hiring a lot of blacks. Let Google, Goldman Sachs, Apple, etc, etc, hire mostly blacks for the next decade. Let Warren Buffet and George Soros only hire blacks to run their businesses. And let Harvard and Yale admit ONLY blacks for the next 20 yrs. Let's see what happens to those businesses and institutions. Probably something like what would happen to a basketball team if it recruited only Asians or Mexicans for the next decade.
What does it matter? Racial differences are a myth. So, the hell with test results.

Marc B said...

"White people are daily becoming less and less scared of being called "racists."

I've noticed the same thing too, Fjordman. It's been applied far too liberally that it is beginning to lose it's sting. I remember telling a friend who happened to be on the Geraldo Rivera Show that day in 1988, that it didn't bother me at all if someone called me a racist and he was visibly stunned just three years ago. These days when I say the same thing to semi-level headed liberals they shrug their shoulders.

ben g said...

Steve,

On the SAT you get one point for a correct answer and -1/4 point for an incorrect answer. Are you taking this into account in your explanation?

TangoMan said...

You'd think that, in the interest of academic integrity, ahem, that these folks would have mentioned that the College Board has released a technical bulletin on the predictive validity of the SAT and have noted that:

"In terms of grade prediction, the common finding was one of overprediction of college grades for all of the minority groups (except for Asian Americans), although the magnitude differed for each group. With Asian American students, studies that employed grade adjustment methods found that underprediction of grades occurred."

You know, data like that might be kind of pertinent to the debate. One would think so, wouldn't they?

TangoMan said...

I'm reading through the comments of the linked article and Bob Schaeffer, the Public Education Director at FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing, jumps into the fray and declares that:

the University of California study did match students for "cognitive ability," as least so far as that trait is measured by total SAT Verbal score

He doesn't account for the overprediction effect for black students, so to the extent that cognitive ability is measured by the SAT verbal subtest and to the extent that first year college grades are a reflection of cognitive ability, a black student and a white student with identical SAT-V scores will not have equal level of cognitive ability.

How this effect will impact on Differential Item Functioning is unexamined. It would seem to me that one shouldn't draw the conclusions that are drawn in this study until one has controlled for the overprediction effect.

Anonymous said...

"On some of the easier verbal questions, the two studies found that a DIF favored white students. On some of the most difficult verbal questions, the DIF favored black students."



There you go! Clearly, we need to make the SAT more difficult in order to help blacks get better scores relative to whites.

Anonymous said...

The TV and movies were about us. They liked us. They were about our history and our people. TV didn't hate us. Movies didn't mock us. They celebrated us - our courage, our morality, our lives...

It was a deliberate assault. A deliberate destruction...

In the current USA there is no "white culture". Whites are furniture in the USA. This USA is nothing to me...


Early candidate for POTY [Post of the Year].

But look - if you allow yourself to sit around and wallow in it, then obsessing about this stuff can be really depressing.

So cheer up, concentrate on accomplishing something productive with your life, and remind yourself how much better things are going to be after we secede.

Anonymous said...

From a billion Africans I'm sure you could find a half million with an IQ over 132.

That would barely be true of a billion EUROPEANS:


Average IQ: 100
Standard Deviation: 15
Required IQ: 132
Percentage Meeting Requirement: 1.64488%

[0.0164488] X [1,000,000,000] = 16,448,800.


In sub-Saharan Africa, you are looking at Lynn & Vanhanen guesstimates in the 60s, so if you are really generous, and assume a standard deviation of 15, then you are looking at:


Average IQ: 65
Standard Deviation: 15
Required IQ: 132
Percentage Meeting Requirement: 0.00039724%

[0.0000039724] X [1,000,000,000] = 3,972.4


On the other hand, with a SD of 12, then things get really bad:


Average IQ: 65
Standard Deviation: 12
Required IQ: 132
Percentage Meeting Requirement: 0.00000117978%

[0.0000000117978] X [1,000,000,000] = 11.7978


Or about 12 people in all of sub-Saharan Africa [with a hypothetical population of 1 Billion].

So even if you threw in South Africa and Christian Egypt and [the few whites who remain in] Rhodesia, together with all of the Chinese ex-pats, and the UN aid workers, and the "Doctors Without Borders" crowd [and Jane Goodall and the "Born Free" lionkeepers, etc etc etc], then I still seriously doubt that you could anywhere near 500,000 on the entire continent.

And as far as sub-Saharan Africa is concerned, I'd be more than willing to bet that, as we speak, there aren't 5,000 people [including both natives and foreigners] with IQs at or above 132.

Half Sigma said...

Because of the shape of the bell curve, the biggest differential will be among both the hardest and the easiest questions.

For example, if there's a 1 SD difference between whites and blacks, a super easy question answered wrong by only 2% of whites will be answered wrong by 14% of blacks, thus an apparent huge gap in performance.

Just basic statistics, no news here.

Anonymous said...

One good critique of the study:
http://www.junksciencemom.com/2010/06/junk-reporting-hidden-truth-behind.html

And from the same person, a good critique of the journalists promoting it:
http://www.junksciencemom.com/2010/06/blatant-bias.html

Anonymous said...

Very white in Montana. Even the Indians stay on the rez here; no drive I guess.

"and all the names were changed to Ty'Sheoma, Shakeem, Janesia and Sanasia"

Yeah what's up with that. Even the white welfare moms here seem to gravitate toward babytalk names like Kay-tee, Kay-Lee, Kay-tee-Lee etc. At least they're off the witch names Tabitha and Sabrina.

Anonymous said...

Americans only know a selective sub-sample of Indians. And it turns out their kids, while way above average (IQ 112), are not as bright as the kids of white Princeton grads (IQ 125), another selective sub sample.
---

I wonder what the IQ is of kids of Indian Princeton
grads ?
Maybe 140, since Indians and Chinese face a 150 SAT point handicap compared to whites for admittance
And how much of the white 125 IQ is made of jewish kids. Likely gentile kids standalone have about 120 or less

--

Regarding billion black africans
Their mean IQ is 70
Getting to 130 IQ means 4 standard deviations ( SD 15 )
so only 0.006% of a billion or 60,000 only blacks will have over 130 IQ

In the SATs only 100 blacks a year score over 1400, whereas thousands of Indian immigrants do

AmericanGoy said...

"but because some parts of the test result in differential scores by race for students of equal academic prowess."

Uh... heh heh... heh... (said in the voice of Beavis).

Jack said...

If there's a 65 IQ, for every 132 IQ there would have to be an IQ of -2. A negative IQ. Literally dumber than dirt.

walter condley said...

on a BART train few years ago I witnessed a reunion of sorts of two blacks. One guy tells the other he's going to Cal, and the other immediately asks with a sardonic smile, "Ethic Studies?" So if it's expected that blacks admitted to prestige U's will take up garbage majors, why don't we just waive the SAT for them?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of greatschools...

from drudge: Moms Brawl At Kindergarten Graduation

the info missing from the story: 60% hispanic, 25% black, 10% white

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote:

I wonder what the IQ is of kids of Indian Princeton
grads ?
Maybe 140, since Indians and Chinese face a 150 SAT point handicap compared to whites for admittance
And how much of the white 125 IQ is made of jewish kids. Likely gentile kids standalone have about 120 or less

_________________


Can anyone clarify how powerful the reversion to the mean effect is?

There are two reversions to the mean going on at the same time, and I'd like to know how they work together.

The first reversion to the mean is the reversion to the mean of the racial group. The second reversion to the mean is the reversion to the immediate family mean.

Let me explain: If you take a young man and a young woman of European Christian ancestry, and the man and the woman happen to both have IQ of 100, but the IQ of all of the great grandparents and grandparents involved is 140, then the resulting child is likely to have an IQ over 100. The IQ of mom and dad will tend to push the child's IQ towards 100, and the IQ of the white christian race will push the IQ towards 100, but the family IQ of 140 will tend to push the IQ of the child up. So can anyone here explain how powerful the reversion to the family mean is vs. the reversion to the mean of the entire race?


Let's put it another way. Who is going to produce children with a higher IQ - a Korean couple whose entire family has an IQ of 100 or a white christian couple whose entire family has an IQ of 120? If reversion to the mean of the race is most important, bet on the korean child. If reversion to the family mean is more important, bet on the white christian child.

Anyone understand the research on what type of reversion to the mean is more important?

Anonymous said...

Razib had a graph a few years ago, which showed that Indian immigrant kinds have the lowest regression to the mean

An Indian father with 18 years of schooling had a son with 17 years of schooling, a minimal loss of 1 year

IMHO, this is due to centuries of the caste system, wherein the population within a caste has been homogenized and IQ fixated

My maternal grandfather won a silver medal at Oxford, and 4 of his 5 grandkids scored IQ between 145 - 152 and same for 3 of his great grandkids

Anonymous said...

This is very very interesting

Assume that certain Brahmin families have been breeding for super high IQ for more than a thousand years

Assume that these families average 130 IQ. If these 130 IQ brahmins continue to breed with other 130 iq Brahmins can they sustain the 130 IQ average in to the next few hundred years? Anyone understand this well enough ?

liberal biorealist said...

Not sure I get your argument here, Steve.

But I did follow a few links to what appears to be a sensible critique of the study (I assume the author -- "Junksciencemom" -- is being accurate in her reporting here):

An examination of the performance of different groups of students on individual questions – something researchers refer to as differential item functioning or DIF – showed that in three of the four tests included in the study, there was no significant DIF between white students and minority students. But on one of the tests from 1999, researchers found a significant DIF on two questions.

Again, not a typo. Two questions.

Another salient fact that did not occur to Mr. Mathews is that the 1999 test with a significant DIF on two questions included the exact same questions as the second 1999 test that had no significant DIF – the questions were just presented in a different order. Rather than an indictment of the SAT, we have a statistical quirk!

But wait, there’s more.

Millions of kids across the country take the SAT every year as they begin their own personal Paper Chase in earnest. But this study didn’t look at that. It looked only at students from California and even then, it included only kids who were accepted and admitted to the University of California system. Wouldn’t a larger sample be needed to draw any meaningful conclusions?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've always felt that this "regression to the mean" stuff was a bunch of crap.

If you choose your spouse wisely - i.e. if you aren't making children with random whores or whoremongers whom you pick up in bars - then you shouldn't have any trouble maintaining a respectable baseline of intelligence in your family.

Anonymous said...

If there's a 65 IQ, for every 132 IQ there would have to be an IQ of -2. A negative IQ. Literally dumber than dirt.

Yep.

That's the ticket.

Max said...


Assume that these families average 130 IQ. If these 130 IQ brahmins continue to breed with other 130 iq Brahmins can they sustain the 130 IQ average in to the next few hundred years? Anyone understand this well enough ?


IF they breed for IQ they not only sustain but likely to increase their average.

Regression to the mean only is meaningful as statistical average for population which does not breed for IQ

High IQ (145+) in general population is an aberrant mutation, by using selection you can isolate and make it as a baseline.

Main problem is humans do not breed for IQ, they do completely opposite.

Anonymous said...

Math is less g-loaded than verbal. See the whole Jaime Escalante episode. Lots of drill can substitute for intelligence-- heck, at the high-school math level a computer expert system can substitute for intelligence (except for the difficulty of coding the word problems, Wolfram Mathematica would probably get a 750 on the SAT math).

OhioStater said...

Wall Street Journal has a new article about "good schools".

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704009804575308951902854896.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_realestate

David said...

>You're right in principal and right in most practice but it doesn't have to be that way.<

12. Which word is misspelled in the sentence above?

Anonymous said...

I'm still skeptical of the predictive strength of multiple choice tests when it comes to IQ. I'm a total math idiot and still managed to score a decent 700 (pre 1995) on the math section of the SAT, just by doing basic algebra and remembering to look for and eliminate the obviously wrong answer, the obvious trap answer, and the subtle trap answer. If you know how test-takers make the tests, these things are easy to do pretty well on.

Anonymous said...

I'm still skeptical of the predictive strength of multiple choice tests when it comes to IQ.

I'm skeptical of the predictive strength of multiple choice tests when it comes to TALENT.

After a certain point, you aren't dealing with things that can be measured easily - you start straying off into the territory of God-given talent - and goodness only knows how a bunch of cubicle-bound number-crunchers at ETS could possibly hope to measure [much less predict] something like that.

ben tillman said...

Can anyone clarify how powerful the reversion to the mean effect is?

Can anyone explain how it happens? I've often asked for but never heard an explanation of the mechanics of this putative phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

1984 Abe and Sue Study
( Old SAT scores ) of UCal freshmen

East Indians/Pakistanis had the highest verbal scores (520.0), followed by the Japanese (510.8) and Chinese (473.4), and Koreans the lowest (417.8), whereas the Chinese had the highest math scores (611.8) followed by East Indians/Pakistanis (605.8), Japanese (603.8), and Koreans (594.0). Only the East Indians/Pakistanis had higher verbal SAT scores than whites (512.4), whereas all the subethnic groups had higher math SAT scores than whites (576.9) with the exception of Filipinos (519.5) and Other Asian Americans (555

Anonymous said...

@Anon
Brahmins dont explicitly breed for IQ, but what happens is that
during the marriage process, in the arranged marriage system, the girls father will prefer a groom with high educational qualifications and those with low educational qualifications will not get a wife and will go extinct.
So every generation the bottom 15% , or 1 SD below norm, go extinct. whereas those 1 SD above norm may get a second wife. Roissy type alpha males get pruned out every generation

My subcaste has been endogamous for 1000 years and only 30 years ago rules were relaxed to allow to marry other brahmin subcastes. So over this 1000 years, the IQ SD has been reduced. IMHO it is more like 10-12 for Indian castes than 15 for whites. And each sub-caste has its own mean to which it regresses to very slowly.

Anonymous said...

" recall missing a question on an 8th grade science test in a beverly hills school that presumed I knew what ice tongs looked like (as opposed to scissors).
As a very low income kid three years out of Eastern Europe, I had no idea what ice tongs even were.

You were poor but going to a Beverly Hills school? How come most Americans can't do that. I just don't get this country. We let an immigrant in from Eastern Europe who is poor, but he gets to go to a Beverly Hills school. I want all immigration cut off. Eastern European screwed their countries up. Why should they get to come here and go to a Berverly Hills school? Please leave.

I am like the other poster. The USA means nothing to me.

Anonymous said...

"Indians do better than whites in verbal SAT and are even mostly bi-lingual and tri-lingual"

How come India is a garbage country then?

Anonymous said...

@anon
How come India is a garbage country then?
--

The bottom 40% of the IQ layers - muslims, untouchables and tribals are essentially absent in the US ( less than 5% )
and the upper 20% of the IQ layers, brahmins and merchants
are 50% of the US diaspora.

There is an article by Swaminatha Anklesa Iyer recommending shipping out 50 million upper castes and take over the world from within

Anonymous said...

Yes, India is a garbage country, but is it not mind-numbingly obvious that they did not send their garbage-folk over here. Indians are the new Jews.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what test results show because a liberal moron is always going to try to blame racial score differences on white racism or some b.s. like that. I question whether such liberals grew up and went to school with a significant number of black kids. The people who grew up with blacks are much more likely to realize that blacks are simply less intelligent than any other race.

David said...

ben tillman said

>Can anyone explain how [regression to the mean] happens? I've often asked for but never heard an explanation of the mechanics of this putative phenomenon.<

The Bell Curve measures what a given population rates most of the time. It's empirical. Exceptional individuals are not in the middle by definition.

Regression to the mean is a fancy way of saying exceptions are exceptions. It's sort of tautological.

Mathematical examples of regression to the mean are possible, but as a layman, I seem to do just fine thinking of coin-flipping. The more times you flip a coin, the more likely it is that the tail count will equal the head count.

As for Bell Curves changing, a move of the middle (of an IQ curve) "upward" is called the Flynn Effect. The Flynn Effect is sort of mysterious. (Since it may have ended in some places, might it be analogous to a run of heads or tails before the other face recovers?)

Anonymous said...

Regression to the mean is just a bit too hard for most people in the HBD-sphere to understand.

It involves the addition of uncorrelated random variables and conditional probabilities.

See link for a decent explanation.

http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2008/10/regression-to-mean.html

"Suppose that you meet someone with, say X = +4 SD (i.e., someone with an IQ of 160 or a (male) height of roughly 6 ft 9). What are the likely values of G and E? It's more likely that the +4 SD is obtained from two +2 SD draws from the G and E distributions than, say, a +3 SD and +1 SD draw. That is, someone who was lucky(?) enough to grow to seven feet tall probably benefited both from good genes and a good environment (e.g., access to good nutrition, plenty of sleep, exercise, low stress).

Now consider a population of +4 SD men married to +4 SD women. (More generally, we can consider a parental midpoint value of X which is simply the parental average in units of SD.) Suppose they have a large number of children. What will the average X be for those children?"