May 7, 2011

IQ: Intelligence and/or motivation?

Bryan Caplan writes:
Years ago, I told Tyler Cowen, "It's surprising that IQ tests predict life outcomes so well, because there's usually no financial incentive to get a high score."  He replied, "People try out of pride - an under-rated motive."  So when Tyler blogged Duckworth et al, "Role of Test Motivation in Intelligence Testing" I naturally took notice.  Key claims: 
1. Material incentives boost IQ scores: ... "The authors reasonably infer that IQ is more of a composite intelligence/motivation measure than usually believed - especially by inter-disciplinary researchers." 
As far as I can tell, the authors do nothing to show that their results make IQ is less predictive.  They don't even show that IQ is more mutable than earlier studies find; boosting incentives boosts scores while the incentives remain in place, but there's no reason to think the boost lasts after the test-takers receive their pay.  All the researchers require us to reconsider is the reason why IQ is so predictive and hard to durably improve.  

I made Duckworth's point in my 2007 FAQ on IQ:
Q. So, you're saying that IQ testing can tell us more about group differences than about individual differences? 
A. If the sample sizes are big enough and all else is equal, a higher IQ group will virtually always outperform a lower IQ group on any behavioral metric.... 
Of course, everything else is seldom equal. A more conscientious group may well outperform a higher IQ group. On the other hand, conscientiousness, like many virtues, is positively correlated with IQ, so IQ tests work surprisingly well. 
Q. Wait a minute, does that mean that maybe some of the predictive power of IQ comes not from intelligence itself, but from virtues associated with it like conscientiousness? 
A. Most likely. But perhaps smarter people are more conscientious because they are more likely to foresee the bad consequences of slacking off. It's an interesting philosophical question, but, in a practical sense, so what? We have a test that can predict behavior. That's useful.

Keep in mind that the notorious average group gaps in cognitive test scores show up not only on low stakes tests, but on high-stakes tests where the testees are highly motivated: the SAT, ACT, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, GRE, the military's AFQT enlistment test, NYC firefighting hiring tests, New Haven fire department promotion tests, Chicago cop tests, the NFL's Wonderlic IQ test, insurance agent licensing tests, and so forth and so on ad infinitum.

I can think of only one example where different levels of group motivation had a sizable effect: the military's AFQT enlistment test was renormed in 1980 on the National Longitudinal Study of Youth sample of about 12,000 young people, most of whom weren't trying to enlist. The test was 105 pages long. It was found years later that the anomalously large white-black gap on this renorming (18.6 IQ points rather than the usual 15 or 16) was caused by blacks being more likely to give up from discouragement part way through this long and hard test and leave the latter questions unanswered or just "bubbled in." (Keep in mind that this was a low stakes test for the participants, who were just taking part in a social science project, not trying to enlist).

In 1997, the AFQT was renormed using a computer adaptive testing where wrong answers lead to easier questions and thus less discouragement. The white-black gap was only 14.7 points.

This finding is worth keeping in mind for evaluating school performance test scores, which are usually low stakes tests for the students. 

Some of the difference in performance among schools on achievement tests therefore depends upon how well the principal and teachers manage to motivate students to keep working until the end of the test.

So, a lot of reports of miracle schools that seem to fizzle out after awhile have to do with higher scores ginned up by getting students just to not bubble in.

On the other hand, I'd rather send my kid to a school where the management has enough on the ball to figure out how to look better and is persuasive enough to motivate students to work for an extra 20 minutes than a school where management isn't. And a school that manages to motivate students on their state tests is likely to attract the children of more motivated and smarter parents in the future. 

So, once again, the question of intelligence v. motivation turns out to be more philosophical than predictive.

One thing to keep in mind is that in experimental situations involving low stakes tests, if the experimenters _want_ one group of testtakers to be unmotivated, it's easy to demotivate them to work less hard on the test. The test administrator can convey that a lackadaisical attitude is okay just through word choice, tone of voice, body language, and so forth.

I suspect this is a major feature of the popular stereotype threat experiments where low stakes tests are given to blacks. In the test group, blacks are told that they are expected to score low on the following test and in the control group, they aren't. Not surprisingly, on these tests that are meaningless to the testtakers, the first group is more likely to pick up the experimenters' hopes that they will work less hard and they do work less hard.

I've never seen stereotype threat confirmed experimentally on high stakes tests. I can't see how such an experiment would pass an ethical review board.

You'll note that stereotype threat experiments aren't about getting blacks to perform better on tests but about getting them to perform worse. Big difference.

62 comments:

Louis B. said...

I've never seen stereotype threat confirmed experimentally on high stakes tests. I can't see how such an experiment would pass an ethical review board.

What's wrong with financial reward as in the Duckworth et. al. study?

Anonymous said...

In the old Soviet Union, by the 1980's, no one believed the bullshit anymore but people still went about publicly pretending they did, until one day they whole house of cards collapsed. The liberal project is in such a position.

Anonymous said...

Has everyone noticed that our media has essentially become like the old Soviet Pravda, a propoganda arm of the ruling regime and permanent elites? They completely parrot the ruling ideology and permanent inner party. Have you ever seen the political photographs carefully crafted by a Presidential administration so slavishly relayed as if they were news? There is zero curiosity, questioning or who/what/when/where/why/how of this administration, but rather hostile questioning and undermining of anyone who attempts to ask tough questions. Even those who are portrayed as "conservatives", like G W Bush, Bill O'Reilly, David Brooks, National Review, Krauthammer, etc. are a false opposition. Any individual, like a Glenn Beck, or any group, like the Tea Party, that even shows an inkling of being a real opposition, and getting "funny ideas" - AKA using common sense, recognizing patterns, and believing what their life experience, eyes and ears tell them, is subjected to a firestorm by Pravda.

Best,

Scales Fall

Svigor said...

Years ago, I told Tyler Cowen, "It's surprising that IQ tests predict life outcomes so well, because there's usually no financial incentive to get a high score." He replied, "People try out of pride - an under-rated motive." So when Tyler blogged Duckworth et al, "Role of Test Motivation in Intelligence Testing" I naturally took notice.

They forgot curiosity.

Ed R said...

Good analysis, Steve.

It is not just that stereotype threat is done in low-stakes tests and then the conclusions are generalized to high-stakes situations. Also note that the stereotype threat studies involve experimental manipulations that are cartoonishly extreme--and not present in any actual high-stakes testing situation. E.g., telling college student subjects "women [or African Americans] normally do poorly on this type of test". On a modern politically correct campus, hearing such a statement stands out as a bizarre experience, and subjects may perform poorly on tests because they are still ruminating about it ("gee, that was weird and rude! I wonder what that was about."). Or there may be a "demand effect" whereby the subjects pick up on the fact the experimenter is hoping they will do badly now and sort of play along (as many studies show they will tend to do, on average).

The fact that such a contrived manipulation can lower minority test performance does not make even a half strong case that this factor is the actual cause of low minority test performance in the real world. The fact that this stuff is taken so seriously is just another sign of what a silly left-wing echo chamber modern Social Psychology is (as Jonathan Haidt has been exposing:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/science/08tier.html

)

Anonymous said...

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/24/opinion/la-oe-kirp-esteem-20110424
A 1-hour fix for the racial achievement gap?
Op-Ed
April 24, 2011|By David L. Kirp
Minority students are especially prone to the fear of failing. But that can be changed.

dearieme said...

Having a high IQ didn't do Osama bin Killed much good, did it?

Anonymous said...

My ex-wife and I have had a very nasty ongoing custody fight for more than a decade. We have had to take the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality test no less than twice over about an eight time span to do two custody evaluations. Along with the test we were given a short IQ test similar to a Wonderlic. I am a little fuzzy on how they use it, in part because we were not told, but my belief is that the higher the IQ the more likely someone is to try and game the MMP. Of course that is part of the process. Both times I was accused of fairly horrible crimes against my daughter. After the evaluations, it was pretty clear that not only is my ex-wife a liar but hyper-vigilant and narcissistic as well.

Anonymous said...

The Global Warming Alarmists act surprised when skeptics don't immediately accept what they purport to be the official word of science. Science is supposed to be all on one side only and there is not supposed to be any legitimate debate.

But science has been so abused by the IQ issue that it's remarkable that we aren't all creationists.

For more than a half century the media and policy framers have claimed that science has demonstrated the equality of all races. To deny this assertion is the ultimate form of the self destruction of your personal reputation. If you so much as hint that race influences academic or social performance you are branded a racist. Your ideas no longer need to be attended to. You have revealed yourself to be a person of bad character and faulty judgement.

Yet is that what science actually says about race and IQ? No. Science says exactly the opposite. The races are not equal. Blacks are better at running and jumping and Whites are better at thinking.

In modern America we live in a crazy up-is-down universe. There have been thousands of studies and millions of test takers. The results have been in for decades. There is no room for argument. Yet in our public discourse we must pay homage to some myth of racial equality less we be shunned from polite society.

A society that ignores and rejects objective reality is in trouble. The Soviets believed in Lysenko because his genetic ideas were consonant with their Marxist political ideology. We have been doing much the same. We proclaim racial equality because it appears to be consonant with the ideas of our Founding Fathers. Like the Soviets we have been guilty of reasoning to genetics from politics rather than the other way around.

Albertosaurus

TGGP said...

Sounds like more support for Karl Smith's theory of intelligence.

Kylie said...

"...perhaps smarter people are more conscientious because they are more likely to foresee the bad consequences of slacking off."

Yes, because smarter people are more capable of abstract thought. They can more easily see the causal relationship between actions and consequences, the advantages of delayed gratification and impulse control, etc. than less intelligent people.

I wonder if any lefty trolls will conflate good-heartedness with virtue and leap on this one.

David said...

I'm betting character-formation is based on intelligence in some way.

Anonymous said...

dumbing down the MCAT--what a great idea!

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/a-better-medical-school-admissions-test/?ref=health

Anonymous said...

Do racial IQ differences depend on the length of the test? On a 1 hr test do blacks score worse in the last 30 minutes than the first 30 minutes?

This ability or inability to maintain concentration for a long period of time seems likely to have a genetic component.

I know as I've aged my ability to focus for more than an hour on a task has decreased. Now after a30-45 minutes of thinking hard I feel like I need to take a nap.

none of the above said...

It's also possible that motivation or interest or enjoyabolity of mental challenges is one of the things that drives people to develop different mental ability levels.

Anonymous said...

So, did big education destroy Detroit or did demographics?

Anonymous said...

So, they seem to be telling us that getting high IQ scores is a good predictor of your likely life outcome for two reasons:

1. Inherent smarts

2. The conscientiousness and perseverance to finish the damn test.

Of course, getting a college degree, except in grievance studies, has similar signalling uses.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat off-topic, but good humor for the HBD crowd:

http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105

jody said...

"If the sample sizes are big enough and all else is equal, a higher IQ group will virtually always outperform a lower IQ group on any behavioral metric"

i guess it depends on what "behavioral metric" means. this thing where we estimate some brain capabilities in a test and call the result "IQ", it just doesn't measure some abilities that well, nor does it predict some behaviors that well.

also we're already entering the age when this relatively crude method of evaluating some brain capabilities, with a pencil and paper test, is going to be less and less important as psychologists increasing peer into the brain with modern diagnostic tools, and directly observe what's happening in those neurons.

the concept of "IQ" is probably gonna be replaced with something like neuron firing efficiency or synapse connection density or maximum electrical output per brain specific region. certainly the things evaluated on an "IQ" test most closely measure ability to learn and memorize, which are fairly well understood brain processes at the physical level, so maybe "IQ" will be superseded by "speed of protein kinase" or something like that, where human brains are measured in millisecond response time instead of IQ points.

Let's! said...

The LA Times recently highlighted some stereotype-threat experiments designed to get NAMs to do better, rather than worse.

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/24/opinion/la-oe-kirp-esteem-20110424

Anonymous said...

"After the evaluations, it was pretty clear that not only is my ex-wife a liar but hyper-vigilant and narcissistic as well."

Have you considered cutting your losses? Give the kids what you can, making certain you leave them willing to interact with you freely when they reach adulthood. If you have the money/save the legal fees, you could marry again (this time getting pre-marital counseling) and make more BABIES!

Max said...

"Renorming" the Military AFQT in 1980 did one thing for it if nothing else. Mensa does not accept AFQT scores for tests taken after October of 1980.

Truth said...

"After the evaluations, it was pretty clear that not only is my ex-wife a liar but hyper-vigilant and narcissistic as well."

And you know what they say about birds of a feather...

Reality Check said...

In 1997, the AFQT was renormed using a computer adaptive testing where wrong answers lead to easier questions and thus less discouragement. The white-black gap was only 14.7 points.

Wow, I'm surprised that no one here has yet put 2 and 2 together and pointed out that the recent trend toward computer-adaptive testing is a Jewish/neocon/liberal/Marxist plot to create the illusion of a smaller gap.

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/04/james-watson-menaced-by-hoodie.html

James Watson menaced by hoodies shouting 'racist!

Wes said...

And doesn't the fact that East Asians consistently perform better on IQ tests that were originally designed by Europeans, give additional proof of their validity?

Wes said...

Does this mean testing authorities will find ways to deliberately impair the performance of White students in the future as a way of "leveling the playing the field"? If it is already "known" that blacks are at such a disadvantage, the only "fair" thing is to undercut the psychological self-confidence of White students.

Anonymous said...

Albertosaurus @ 8:07 -- "We proclaim racial equality because it appears to be consonant with the ideas of our Founding Fathers."

No, no, no, no, no. For the umptybillionth time, that is NOT what is meant by the Declaration's phrase "all men are created equal."

The phrase is the opening proposition in a series of propositions that make a Lockean argument designed to demonstrate that sovereignty resides with the people, and that the legitimacy of a government is derived from the just consent of the governed.

The phrase means that there is no such thing as a naturally "created" aristocracy or natural "nobility" which has inborn political rights that are "superior" to any other human being's political rights.

In other words, there isn't another person in the world (such as a king or a duke) who has a natural-born magical right to exert political power over other people who don't have magic powers. Someone might exert political power over you by virtue of conquest, or because you've agreed to be ruled by a hereditary king, or because they won an election, etc., but not because they were "created" with extra magical rights that you don't have.

The phrase "all men are created equal" has nothing to do with equality of ability, outcome, right to material equity, etc. etc. It's a phrase about the basic ontology of human political rights, and refers at bottom to, as Nietzsche might put it, the genealogy of sovereignty.

Steve, maybe you should do a thread devoted to clearing up this persistent misunderstanding.

Anonymous said...

IQ: Intelligence and/or motivation?

Isn't this a moot point, since Africans and their descendants are at the bottom of the totem pole in both categories?

Anonymous said...

Reality Check@2:04- Computer adapted testing is way more efficient than traditional methods and measures underlying traits rather than specific performance on items. Recent gains in popularity are due to software allowing for faster, easier calculations of an item's IRF. In that regard it's no different than the recent boom in factor analysis, SEM, and bayesian methods. Item Response Theory is superior in many ways to classical test theory, but until recently it was just too labor intensive to create an IRT based scale. Read up on the IRT lit and get back to me.

Chuck said...

"the concept of "IQ" is probably gonna be replaced with something like neuron firing efficiency or synapse connection density or maximum electrical output per brain specific region...

I posted Jensen's most recent paper below. He recently commissioned a company to manufacturer state of the art Mental Chronometers as a direct measure of g to test this theory and others. (See: Miele "The Jensen Mental Chronometer" page 58 of the 2010 ISIR Conference abstracts.)

Jensen, 2011. The theory of intelligence and its measurement
https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/jensen-2011-the-theory-of-intelligence-and-its-measurement.pdf

Here's the point: If the B-W or any other difference is a g difference then all these nigglings don't matter. IQ, at its best, is an imperfect measure of g. And g (technically defines as the "substantial co variation among diverse measures of cognitive ability as indexed by an unrotated first principal component score") in a manifestation of brain functioning. You can always raise IQ. Test-retest experiments show this. It's just that there's a perfect negative correlation between the increases and the general factor.

So the real issue is: is the B-W gap a g gap? To the extent it is, all these experiments concerning the manipulation of test scores are uninteresting. On average you could raise some scores for some individuals by retesting or threatening or enticing but if your not increasing brain functioning your not closing the gap. To the extent it isn’t a g-gap, then genetic or biological differences are irrelevant.

Now you can tell that many of these researchers are unfamiliar with the neurological research about general intelligence. If they were familiar, they would be doing (more) studies like to “Karama et al., 2011. Cortical thickness correlates of speciļ¬c cognitive performance accounted for by the general factor of intelligence in healthy children aged 6 to 18 “ to see if there were substantial difference. Instead, they go about as if the meaningful factor is one's raw score on this or that test/subtest.

Kylie said...

"'IQ: Intelligence and/or motivation?'

Isn't this a moot point, since Africans and their descendants are at the bottom of the totem pole in both categories?"


But the question is why. And apparently the answer the left is trying to tease out is that blacks want to do better but can't due to the inherent racism of the tests, testers, language, etc., etc., etc.

There's plenty of work to be done to close that pesky and persistent motivation gap.

Chuck said...

"I can think of only one example where different levels of group motivation had a sizable effect: the military's AFQT enlistment test was renormed in 1980"

Do you have a citation for this? Both Flynn and Chay et al argue that the 1980-1997 AFQT closing represented a real closing. Murray 2007 seemed to agree.

See: Chay et al., 2009. BIRTH COHORT AND THE BLACK-WHITE ACHIEVEMENT GAP: THE ROLES OF ACCESS AND HEALTH SOON AFTER BIRTH

Steve Sailer said...

Chuck:

I'm going from my memory of Murray 2007 (Commentary). Peck's 2002 metastudy of 100+ IQ gap studies came out to, what, 16.5 points as the average. The NLSY79's 1980 renorming of the military's AFQT came out to an oddly large gap of 18.6 points. (You'll notice that the exact size of the gap in the NLSY79 gets underplayed in "The Bell Curve," presumably because it was larger than other data would suggest.)

Murray said in, I think, this 2007 article that a study of item by item responses in the mid-1990s of the 1980 test showed that blacks, especially low IQ black males, were giving up more often and earlier than whites at finishing this highly daunting 105 page test. For example, a black guy who was heading for a 72 might give up and get a 62 instead. It doesn't make much difference from the Pentagon's point of view because they don't like enlistment applicants with scores that low, but when the new technology of adaptive testing was available by 1997, that was a good thing to have fixed.

My impression of Murray's thinking as of 2007 was that if you take Peck's 16.5 as the traditional white-black gap, and the AFQT gap fell from 18.6 points in 1980 on the NLSY79 to 14.7 points in 1997 on the NLSY97, then 18.6-16.5 = 2.1 points caused by the giganticness of the change caused by switching from paper to computer-based adaptive testing, which is less discouraging to people who aren't very smart because the computer gives them more softball questions, and 16.5 - 14.7 = 1.8 points of genuine narrowing.

Or maybe that was my thinking. That seems the single most reasonable explanation, but there is a big margin for error when considering changes in gaps over time across different test media.

Wandrin said...

"Has everyone noticed that our media has essentially become like the old Soviet Pravda, a propoganda arm of the ruling regime and permanent elites?"

Yes.

Anonymous said...

Has everyone noticed that our media has essentially become like the old Soviet Pravda, a propaganda arm of the ruling regime and permanent elites?

Absolutely. I read Pravda for 20+ years and I can affirm the remarkable similarities.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me Duckworth is not actually doing a controlled experiment where he gives some people incentives and not others. Instead is comparing the average result of studies with and without incentives.

This is quite a different thing. Controlled experiments of school tests show no improvement as a result of economic incentives.

http://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/15898.html

I have not read the article though, could someone confirm?

Regardless, this study does not say anything about race differences. Black I.Q might go up if you offer them money. But so would presumably white I.Q.

Scott said...

I've always heard IQ is correlated pretty highly with income. Is this true, and if so, what are the sources. I've seen some discussion that the correlation is rather low, but I'm suspect about that given the usual thought police on the subject. Who's right?

Anonymous said...

@ Truth

OK, so I took a gratuitous shot at my ex-wife. The funny thing is that I was not joking.

My bigger point is that tests like the MMP are not designed to see how intelligent someone is. Lots of really dumb people have custody of children. There are no "right" answers. It is designed to find out what kind of personality you have. The guy who did my last evaluation ($8,000) had done something like 1,800 MMPs in his career, mostly on guys who were trying to get released from prison. There is something like 553 questions, all of which have mutually exclusive answers. They are basically looking for patterns. People who try and game the test will answer they way they thinks helps their case but what is really is happening is that they reveal their lack of voracity.

This type of test also works well on potential hires. It does not matter how smart someone is if they hate they type of work they are applying for. A person who is highly motivated (i.e. desperate for work) will say anything on a job interview. They might look and sound like a good candidate but two weeks into the job they are already underachieving. Once they have an income, their motivation disappears like a sun tan and they are grinding away in a position they should not be in.

Pravda Today said...

"Has everyone noticed that our media has essentially become like the old Soviet Pravda, a propoganda arm of the ruling regime and permanent elites?"

From Wikipedia on Lysenko.

In succeeding years, however, further attempts to grow the peas were unsuccessful. Similar Soviet media reports heralding Lysenko's further discoveries in agriculture continued from 1927 until 1964; reports of amazing (and seemingly impossible) successes, each one replaced with new success claims as earlier ones failed. Few of the successes attributed to Lysenko could be duplicated. Nevertheless, with the media's help, Lysenko enjoyed the popular image of the "barefoot scientist"—the embodiment of the mythic Soviet peasant genius.

By the late 1920s, the Soviet political bosses had given their support to Lysenko. This support was a consequence, in part, of policies put in place by Communist party personnel to rapidly promote members of the proletariat into leadership positions in agriculture, science and industry. Party officials were looking for promising candidates with backgrounds similar to Lysenko's: born of a peasant family, without formal academic training or affiliations to the academic community.


Which contemporary politicians could be substituted for "Lysenko" and which ethnic group could be substituted for "peasant" and "proletariat"?

Sterotype Threat in Sports said...

I've seen the effects of someting similar to (yet distinct from) stereotype theat that affects motivation:

In the 70s & 80s whites felt they just couldn't compete with blacks in boxing. With many East European boxing champions today, that has changed however.

I've spoken with top college white track athletes who openly admit it's a fools errand for them to try to compete with blacks in short sprinting events.

As a parent, I steer my kids away from sports they are at a clear genetic disadvantage for and towards ones where they can succeed.

Today, the talent net is cast far wider, is more accurate at identifying potential talent and developing it. Competition at the top is so intense that any genetic limitations are disqualifiers.

I don't think these are cases of the standard "sterotype threat" that suggests a below average performance due to an irrational or unconscious debilitating state of mind. Rather, these are rational conscious mental calculations about the potential rewards for relative investments of time, effort and other resources.

Sports psychologists, trainers and coaches who try to motivate athletes toward better performances probably have no effect on average. Still, they could realize tremendous improvements in individual athtetes, especially noticible at the tails.

Anonymous said...

"Renorming" the Military AFQT in 1980 did one thing for it if nothing else. Mensa does not accept AFQT scores for tests taken after October of 1980.

I'd like to see a pre-1980 AFQT. The one I took in the mid-80s didn't look anything like an IQ test.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

OT, but according to a Tom Tancredo email: "The Whitehouse announced that the president will make a major immigration speech on Tuesday. According to Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney, "What I can say is that the speech will reflect the President's continued commitment to find a bipartisan way to create comprehensive immigration reform."

Hmmm. We had three pushes for amnesty during the Bush Administration (one aborted by 9/11) and one attempt during the lame duck session of the Democratic-controlled Congress late last year, but none at all when Democrats controlled everything.

Three observations: 1) If a limited amnesty for "students" couldn't happen when Dems controlled everything, a larger version won't happen now. 2) Democrats must see amnesty as a way of enticing Republicans into angering their base. Amnesty pushes depress a considerable number of Republican voters. 3) The fact that Republican leadership is willing to piss off its primary supporters by cutting Medicare, but is willing to push amnesty in order to (allegedly) attract Hispanics, should be depressing enough. Kowtow to the voters you don't have (and never will), but piss off your loyal supporters.

For me, it's working - I won't be voting Republican next year without a major effort to secure our borders.

Wandrin said...

Intelligence and, imo. However, if conscientousness (c-ness) is a trait that gets selected for due to benefits for conforming to an elite prescribed social identity then:

1) High population density would lead to a greater need for strong social identity restraint.

2) Highly complex societies would both require higher levels of c-ness to wade through higher levels of education and training and be able to provide greater rewards for the winners.

3) Societies with higher average IQ may be able to create more efficient methods of selecting for c-ness e.g Confucian exam system.

4) Mechanisms for selecting c-ness would work over time so a population that developed refined methods of selecting for c-ness and implemented them over a long period of time would have the greatest amounts.

5) Populations that didn't develop high-density populations or highly complex socieies would have less need to develop mechanisms for selecting c-ness and would likely have the lowest amounts.

6) If c-ness measured willingness to conform to the dominant social identity system then a minority group A's average c-ness would apply in group B's culture. However if c-ness measures willingness to conform to one's own group's social identity and that social identity is at odds with the dominant one then c-ness might have the opposite effect i.e conforming to one's own group's anti-education attitude.

7) High discipline would partially make up for low c-ness. If c-ness effectively determined what percentage of inherent IQ actually got used then someone who was 85 IQ but 70% c-ness could possibly be externally coerced to their maximum (but would probably back-slide if the discipline was removed).

I think the black population are likely to have lower average c-ness for reason 5) but it could be increased because of 6) and 7).

I think 6) could easily be proved by comparing middle-class Africans with slavery-descended black people of similar IQ. The Africans won't have the same "acting white" problem and will do a bit better.

8) Extremely high c-ness might have an overclocking effect.

.

Wandrin said...

OBL apparently watching himself on TV at his prison / hideout / retirement home.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/8500525/Osama-bin-Laden-home-video-terrorist-leader-shown-as-frail-figure-watching-himself-on-TV.html

Anonymous said...

Anyone care to take a shot at OBL's IQ?

Statsquatch said...

There is some weirdness in Duckworth's meta-analysis. Her pooled estimate of a .64 SD improvement depends heavily on one paper from the late 70s by a researcher who was later accused of research fraud.

RS said...

Captain JA, good analysis on the amnesty thing, I'd say - this is basically 'trolling' on the part of the president. You mention that it would have been far easier when the Dems had both houses of Congress. I'll add that the attempts under Bush were also much more likely to succeed, because economic conditions were (or seemed) much better.

Silver said...

Yet is that what science actually says about race and IQ? No. Science says exactly the opposite. The races are not equal. Blacks are better at running and jumping and Whites are better at thinking.

But why shoot yourself in the foot by leaving out the key words "on average"? Most people absolutely will take your point to be that all white are smarter than all blacks and that all blacks are better runners and jumpers than all whites. It's in the aggregate that the distributions of these abilities really matter, not at the level of the individual. At the level of the individual, the science of race has very little to tell us about ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Blacks Africans and Afro-Carribeans do pretty well academically in the UK. The black-white gap in "good GCSEs" (the measure of academic attainment in secondary school) is a lot smaller than in the U.S. Africans are also more likely to be enrolled in full-time university than the white British.

Anonymous said...

Afro-Caribians do terribly in England. I don't know where you get your information.

There is currently a scandal in the U.K because Oxford only accepted one (1) black-english student last year.

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/cedar/staff/stevestrand/strand_inpress_tiering_prepub.pdf

Anonymous said...

According to Richard Lynn Afro-Carribeans in the U.K have an I.Q of 86.

Kristen said...

captain Jack,

Agreed that Obama is playing immigration in such a way that Republicans split into Chamber of Commerce sorts v. the rest of Repubs.

That doesn't mean, however, he'll be successful. As you mentioned, immigration "reform" hasn't a chance when the economy rots. Too many struggling Americans, of any race, need those jobs, if only temporarily.

Perhaps, too, the recent capture of OBL will have a perverse effect (from a liberal perspective) of reminding voters how different and hostile is the Arab/Muslim culture. Media coverage of the capture was ubiquitous. Unavoidable. Low information voters got a glance into a world that hates us. frankly, I can't see how the media coverage of OBL could help Democrats in their drive to increase D voters through lax immigration policies. The media blew this one, if they were intending to help Obama, that is. In the long run, it may just undermine Obama.

A persistent and subtle identity between Obama and "foreigners" has never been shaken, which makes Immigration Reform impossible on his watch.

On a related note, when in Israel, simply driving between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the walls and fences separating the Arabs from the Jews are both effective and simply made. This begs the question: So who, here, is benefiting from lax immigration, if not the Democrats? Who on the R side wants more illegals? Why?

Anonymous said...

"But why shoot yourself in the foot by leaving out the key words "on average"? Most people absolutely will take your point to be that all white are smarter than all blacks and that all blacks are better runners and jumpers than all whites."

Apparently, English has lost that useful construction known as a "generalization". As Canadian blogger Kathy Shaidle once said, if Paul Revere was riding today, he'd have to say "Some British are coming! Some British are coming!"

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

"Black Africans and Afro-Carribeans do pretty well academically in the UK."

With regard to Black African immigrants, I imagine there is a selection effect, in North America as well as the UK. Nice work, skimming off the best and brightest from continent with the lowest average level of human capital. (Self-) congratulations are clearly in order!

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

"Blacks are better at running and jumping and Whites are better at thinking."

I assume you mean: "On average"?

Obviously at the collegiate, Olympic and professional levels black running and jumping superiority is evident but has there ever been a study on black vs white running/jumping ability in the general population?

catperson said...

Motivation might be a larger factor on group administered tests like the SAT, LSAT, GRE, and AFQT, but on actual professionally administered IQ tests like the WAIS, I don't think motivation looms large. These professional tests consist of fun engaging tasks that start off very easy, and as soon as the subject fails several items in a row, the examiner moves to another subtest, where items once again start off easy and then quickly discontinue when they become challenging. Thus, one would have to be conspicuously lacking in motivation to give up.

In addition, most of the questions can be answered quite rapidly (you either know the meaning of a certain word or you don't)and problem solving items usually have a time limit of no more than 3 minutes, so one does not need to sustain a huge amount of motivation to stay on task.

There are a few subtests (Matrix reasoning) that don't have a time limit, and motivation might play a role here, however many of the tests that do require motivation and many of those that don't, both seem to load very high on the g factor common to all the tests which means the g factor appears to be a cognitive variable not a motivational one, and since the overall score is highly g loaded, for most people IQ tests are measuring intelligence, even if motivation confounds the scores in rare cases. In addition, IQ tests are highly correlated with chonometric measures of the speed and consistency of compex reaction time which occur below the speed of motivation and thus are not at all affected by it. Indeed it's impossible to fake a slow reaction time without producing speeds that are extreme outliers for any human.

One scenario where I could see motivation being relevant are the exceptionally low IQ scores of the Roma. Despite the fact that Roma are non-white caucasoids, they average IQ 70; almost as low as pure black negroids living in Africa. One explanation for this is that the Roma (who have very little schooling) simply do not value intellectual pursuits enough to stay focused on Matrix reasoning type tasks. Indeed Rushton reported that many Roma complained that the test was giving them a headache.

TH said...

Statsquatch has essentially demolished this study at his blog.

jody said...

in this thread, like most HBD science threads, i continue to be annoyed by the strict focus on comparing western europeans and western africans. as if these were the only two groups of humans that existed.

if you're doing science by ignoring over half of the available data, you're not gonna increase your understanding of how the world works very much. somehow even HBD people are extremely locked in to this idea that there are only 2 or 3 groups in the world, when in reality there are like 5 or 6 broad groups to compare and contrast.

i only had 4 years of training as a scientist when i was an undergraduate college student, but that alone was enough for me to bust rushton's "races on a sliding axis" hypothesis, the very first time i encountered it. even without having years of experience thinking about HBD i knew it was wrong since it excluded groups that did not fit. compared to some groups, europeans seemed to be better at almost everything, but the axis hypothesis did not predict that.

i will say this, though. there is no doubt some types are africans are the least motivated people in the world. whether this is due to their brains or something else, i'm not sure. in sports threads we often talk about how black americans would dominate any sport if they were "interested", when in reality, many africans around the world are not even interested in the most important things in life, like not dying from hunger, thirst, or disease. they repeatedly show they have no interest even in copying technology some other group came up with for providing food, shelter, or vaccination, let alone playing some sport. detecting and avoiding, or at least mitigating, the devastation of earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes, does not seem to rank anywhere on their list of priorities. you can't be more motivated than by the threat of death, yet millions of them do nothing, ever.

none of the above said...

Silver:

I think even with the "on average" phrasing, you run into two really hard problems:

a. Most people just don't think in terms of probability distributions. That means that while you're thinking mu_0, mu_1, sigma_0, sigma_1, overlapping curves, etc., the other guy is likely having to force his brain through each step of the reasoning process.

It's easy to forget how utterly f--king unnatural mathematical and statistical reasoning is for the human mind. Having kids really brings this home--I keep finding myself going through things like "All X are Y, not all Y are X" with them. It's worth remembering that most people, when faced with something like differences in IQ distributions between two different groups, are having to do something like that "manual override" step to even think about the idea that, say, whites have a 15 point higher average IQ than blacks, and yet Tyrone the cardiologist is way smarter than BJ the janitor.

b. The more your listener is offended/upset by the implications of what you're saying, the less effectively he's likely to think about it.

Even very smart people with the right mental toolkit to understand you can run into their own taboos and moral offense. But people who don't have the right mental toolkit to begin with, who would have to painstakingly think through every step to get your argument, will have way more problem doing this when you're arguing toward a morally or personally offensive point.

Silver said...

Cenn,

Apparently, English has lost that useful construction known as a "generalization". As Canadian blogger Kathy Shaidle once said, if Paul Revere was riding today, he'd have to say "Some British are coming! Some British are coming!"

Lol. Good one.

Don't worry, I'm well aware of all that. But race is an emotional subject and generalizations do far more harm to understanding than they help.

none of the,

b. The more your listener is offended/upset by the implications of what you're saying, the less effectively he's likely to think about it.

Well obviously. That's the whole point behind including "on average." If "on average" is still upsetting (I'm "running into problems" according to you) then I'm stumped as to what you'd have me do.

Actually, I'm not stumped. A great deal depends on the context in which the issue is raised. Most people, in my experience, get upset by the very fact that you're even talking about it. There's nothing you can do, so even if it's true, why talk about it? You're just "spreading hatred" they'll tell you. (Curiously, none of the bastards who tell you this wish that they themselves had never been informed of the facts -- it's always other people who must be kept ignorant.) Nevertheless, there are some contexts in which it's relevant to raise these issues, which will you get you a mostly fair/receptive hearing. The reason this is so is that people silently ask themselves why you're talking about it. If you've got an obvious reason to bring it up, it's okay. Otherwise you're no different to some mormon proselytizing you out of the blue halfway through lunch. Imo, the best reasons are defensive. Eg Whites are being blamed for what is not their fault. If these differences had no social impact there would be no need to discuss them, but they exact an awful cost so they must be discussed. It's not so much a case of the literal truth as it is making those truths an object of intense focus. I can guarantee you there are plenty of hard left shitheads who are well aware of the truth but who just don't care (because they hate or fear the consequences) -- in other words, they're aware of these truths, but these truths are not a central focus in their minds. These truths can't just be acknowledged; they need to become a central focus if action is ever to be taken.

none of the above said...

Silver:

I'm not really recommending a better approach. I'm just pointing out that this is a known bug in the human brain. (Or at least the educated middle-class first-world-citizen brain, the only kind of person I spend much time chatting with.)

To misquote Sinclair Lewis, it's hard to make a man understand something, when his respectable membership in his community relies on him not understanding it.