Saturday, February 06, 2010


I suppose I am dreaming but I have this crazy idea that as a much-published psychometrician, I should be permitted to convey what I know about IQ research. IQ research is part of psychometrics. I will of course be accused of being a "racist" for telling what I know but to hell with that: truth comes first for me. If telling the truth makes you a racist, that sounds like praise for racism to me.

I reproduce below some excerpts from the latest academic paper on the subject. I first give the abstract and then an excerpt from the body of the article. Readers who want to look at the full article will find the link at the bottom, as is my usual practice. The excerpt from the body of the article first gives the misleading claims of Nisbett in Nisbett's own words and is followed by a recounting of what Nisbett has left out or misrepresented.

The Open Psychology Journal, 2010, 3, 9-35

Race and IQ: A Theory-Based Review of the Research in Richard Nisbett's Intelligence and How to Get It

By J. Philippe Rushton and Arthur R. Jensen


We provide a detailed review of data from psychology, genetics, and neuroscience in a point-counterpoint format to enable readers to identify the merits and demerits of each side of the debate over whether the culture-only (0% genetic- 100% environmental) or nature + nurture model (50% genetic-50% environmental) best explains mean ethnic group differences in intelligence test scores: Jewish (mean IQ = 113), East Asian (106), White (100), Hispanic (90), South Asian (87), African American (85), and sub-Saharan African (70). We juxtapose Richard Nisbett's position, expressed in his book Intelligence and How to Get It, with our own, to examine his thesis that cultural factors alone are sufficient to explain the differences and that the nature + nurture model we have presented over the last 40 years is unnecessary. We review the evidence in 14 topics of contention: (1) data to be explained; (2) malleability of IQ test scores; (3) cultureloaded versus g-loaded tests; (4) stereotype threat, caste, and "X" factors; (5) reaction-time measures; (6) within-race heritability; (7) between-race heritability; (8) sub-Saharan African IQ scores; (9) race differences in brain size; (10) sex differences in brain size; (11) trans-racial adoption studies; (12) racial admixture studies; (13) regression to the mean effects; and (14) human origins research and life-history traits. We conclude that the preponderance of evidence demonstrates that in intelligence, brain size, and other life history traits, East Asians average higher than do Europeans who average higher than South Asians, African Americans, or sub-Saharan Africans. The group differences are between 50 and 80% heritable.



James Flynn discovered that in the developed world as a whole, IQ scores increased markedly over the last 50 years. This suggests that the 15-point IQ difference between Blacks and Whites will gradually disappear over time. Indeed, Black IQ today is superior to White IQ in 1950! Dickens and Flynn [24] showed the Black-White IQ gap narrowed by 5.5 points between 1972 and 2002. They documented a drop from 15 to 9.5 points on a combination of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), the Stanford- Binet, and the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). It is hard to overestimate the importance of a gap reduction of this magnitude. It reduces the ratio of Whites to Blacks with an IQ of 130 (the level needed to be a highly successful professional) from 18 to 1 to only 6 to 1. Even including the several additional tests that Rushton and Jensen [25] said were wrongly omitted, the median Black IQ gain is still 4.5 points, which is not very different from the 5.5 point estimate given by Dickens and Flynn.

The Black-White difference shrank comparably on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Long- Term Trend tests. These have been given every few years since the early 1970s by the U.S. Department of Education to a random sample of 9-, 13-, and 17-year-olds. For children born as early as 1954, the Black-White difference in reading and math averaged a full 1.2 SDs. For the most recent cohorts the gap is between .60 and .90 SDs-a very large reduction. It is interesting to note that if we convert the NAEP gains to IQ-type scales with a mean of 100 and SD of 15, and average the gains in math and reading across all age groups, we obtain a 5.4 point reduction in the Black-White education gap during the period for which Dickens and Flynn [24] found a 5.5 point reduction in the IQ gap.

Rushton and Jensen:

In fact, there is very little evidence of any significant narrowing of the Black-White IQ gap. Rushton and Jensen [25] disputed Dickens and Flynn's [24] claim that Blacks gained 5.5 points by showing that Dickens and Flynn excluded several tests and then "projected" forward by multiplying a small gain from their highly select group of tests by more years than were available for most of the data. Dickens and Flynn excluded the Wonderlic Personnel Test, which showed a gain of only 2.4 points for Blacks between 1970 and 2001; the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC), which showed a loss of 1 IQ point for Blacks between 1983 and 2004; the Woodcock-Johnson test, which showed a zero gain for Blacks; and the Differential Ability Scale, which showed a gain of only 1.83 points for Blacks between 1972 and 1986.

Moreover, even the test data they did present did not directly support their conclusion. Simple arithmetic, rather than a multiplied projection, yielded a mean gain for Blacks of 3.4 points (23%), not the 5.5 points claimed (37%). Including the aforementioned tests reduced the gain from 3.4 to 2.1 points (14%).

Nisbett does not explain how he arrived at an overall Black gain of 4.5 IQ points (30%) after including the four small (or negative) gain tests. Simple arithmetic applied to all eight tests yielded a mean gain for Blacks of only 2.1 points (14%).

Other researchers have also failed to find a significant narrowing of the Black-White gap over the 30 years covered by Dickens and Flynn (i.e., from 1972 to 2002). For example, Murray [26, 27] concluded there was "no narrowing" in two independent studies. In the first, he found no narrowing in either verbal IQ or achievement test scores for children born to women in the 1979 sample of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. In the second, he found no narrowing for 6- to 65-year-olds in the Woodcock-Johnson standardizations of those born in the last half of the 1960s and early 1970s.

When Roth et al. [9] confirmed the 1.1 SD difference in a sample of 6,246,729 corporate, military, and higher education testees, they also addressed the question of whether the differences were decreasing. They concluded that any reduction was "either small, potentially a function of sampling error.or nonexistent for highly g loaded instruments" [9, p. 323, our italics].

Nisbett seems also to have exaggerated a select sampling of NAEP scores to emphasize gains. Gottfredson [28, 29] found that from the 1970s to the 1990s, the Black-White difference on school achievement tests only narrowed from 1.07 to 0.89 SDs. Even this 20% reduction (not the 35% claimed by Nisbett) had: (a) occurred by the 1980s and no longer continued; and (b) was compatible with a heritability of 80% for IQ.

However, the differences in results between Nisbett and Gottfredson are partly due to the NAEP scores coming in two distinct varieties. Nisbett reported on the NAEP Long Term Trend Assessment test, which measures student performance in Reading and Mathematics every four years or so and has remained relatively unchanged since its first administration. Gottfredson analyzed the Main NAEP Assessment test, which is given every two years and includes other subjects such as Science, Geography, and History, with test items modified every few years to reflect changing school curricula.

In any case, when gains do occur, they may be due to increased familiarity with test material and "teaching the test" rather than to genuine improvement in learning (see Section 8.1).



Obama ditching soft approach towards China?

By Dr John Lee

If 2009 was the year of treating China with kid gloves, 2010 is likely to be much more tumultuous with President Barack Obama gearing up to prove that he has the mettle to defend American interests as well as the charm that swept him into power.

Last year, Obama’s foreign policy advisors conceded that China responded to the President’s softly, softly approach with disrespect and ‘kicked him in the teeth’ over and over again, most notably at the Copenhagen Summit. With poll numbers sagging and no foreign policy achievements to speak of, he is trying to avoid being compared to previous failed Presidents such as the one-term Jimmy Carter – also a Nobel Peace Prize winner – who was seen as cerebral but na├»ve and weak.

Indeed, it the first month of 2010, Obama has publicly defended Google in the company’s spat with China, approved an arms package for Taiwan that includes a few unexpected military ‘extras,’ and announced his intention to meet the Dalai Lama – something that was postponed in 2009 to appease Chinese sensitivities when the Dalai Lama visited the United States. America has done more in January to stand up to and enrage China than during the whole of 2009.

Ultimately, Washington wants China to be part of the solution rather than problem on global issues: to be a ‘responsible stakeholder.’ When China fails to behave like one – which is often the case – it creates additional headaches for an America burdened by global responsibilities. From Beijing’s point of view, the ‘responsible stakeholder’ approach is cleverly designed to inhibit and restrain China’s rise and to preserve American advantages in the bilateral relationship and within the global order. The implication: US-China tension is structural.

The above is a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated February 5. Enquiries to Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590.


Dumbama just hasn't got a clue

Today President Obama told Senate Democrats that they had faced "enormous procedural obstacles that are unprecedented.." "You had to cast more votes to break filibusters last year than in the entire 1950s and 1960s combined. That's 20 years of obstruction jammed into just one."

This is astonishing. A filibuster is the successful use of 41 or more votes to prevent the closing of debate. There wasn't a single filibuster in 2009. Not one.

The president will say anything to advance a narrative that makes him a victim of obstruction. It is clear that 2010 will be spent pivoting from his 2009 mantra of Bush's fault to his campaign year blasts at the "do nothing Republicans."



The Great Peasant Revolt of 2010

"I am not an ideologue," protested President Obama at a gathering with Republican House members last week. Perhaps, but he does have a tenacious commitment to a set of political convictions. Compare his 2010 State of the Union to his first address to Congress a year earlier. The consistency is remarkable. In 2009, after passing a $787 billion (now $862 billion) stimulus package, the largest spending bill in galactic history, he unveiled a manifesto for fundamentally restructuring the commanding heights of American society -- health care, education and energy.

A year later, after stunning Democratic setbacks in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, Obama gave a stay-the-course State of the Union address (a) pledging not to walk away from health care reform, (b) seeking to turn college education increasingly into a federal entitlement, and (c) asking again for cap-and-trade energy legislation. Plus, of course, another stimulus package, this time renamed a "jobs bill."

This being a democracy, don't the Democrats see that clinging to this agenda will march them over a cliff? Don't they understand Massachusetts? Well, they understand it through a prism of two cherished axioms: (1) The people are stupid and (2) Republicans are bad. Result? The dim, led by the malicious, vote incorrectly.

Liberal expressions of disdain for the intelligence and emotional maturity of the electorate have been, post-Massachusetts, remarkably unguarded. New York Times columnist Charles Blow chided Obama for not understanding the necessity of speaking "in the plain words of plain folks," because the people are "suspicious of complexity." Counseled Blow: "The next time he gives a speech, someone should tap him on the ankle and say, 'Mr. President, we're down here.'" A Time magazine blogger was even more blunt about the ankle-dwelling mob, explaining that we are "a nation of dodos" that is "too dumb to thrive."

Obama joined the parade in the State of the Union address when, with supercilious modesty, he chided himself "for not explaining it (health care) more clearly to the American people." The subject, he noted, was "complex." The subject, it might also be noted, was one to which the master of complexity had devoted 29 speeches. Perhaps he did not speak slowly enough.

Then there are the emotional deficiencies of the masses. Nearly every Democratic apologist lamented the people's anger and anxiety, a free-floating agitation that prevented them from appreciating the beneficence of the social agenda the Democrats are so determined to foist upon them.

That brings us to Part 2 of the liberal conceit: Liberals act in the public interest, while conservatives think only of power, elections, self-aggrandizement and self-interest.

More here



Biden swears in Brown as newest US Senator: "Republican Scott Brown has become the junior senator from Massachusetts today after being sworn in a week earlier than expected on the Senate floor. Brown, 50, was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden more than two weeks after his upset victory in the Jan. 19 special election shook up the political landscape in Washington by giving Republicans the 41 votes they need to block controversial bills.”

Hypocrite Obama hits tactic he himself used as a senator: "President Obama blasted Senate Republicans Wednesday for using "holds," a Senate tactic that delays consideration of nominees - even though as a senator he used the technique to block several of President George W. Bush's appointments. Mr. Obama complained that Republican objections have created "a huge backlog of folks who are unanimously viewed as well qualified" but who get held up because a single senator is trying to force the administration's hand on an issue. He said that's the case with Martha Johnson, his nominee to head the General Services Administration. "Let's have a fight about real stuff. Don't hold this woman hostage. If you have an objection about my health care policies, then let's debate the health care policies. But don't suddenly end up having a GSA administrator who is stuck in limbo somewhere because you don't like something else that we're doing," he said. But that's exactly what Mr. Obama did in two instances when, as a senator, he blocked all Environmental Protection Agency nominees in late 2005 to try to force release of new rules on lead paint and, a year later, blocked a Federal Aviation Administration nominee to try to force the FAA to decide whether Midwest wind farms would interfere with radar."

Job losses from Great Recession about to get worse: "Job losses during the Great Recession have been huge and they’re about to get bigger. When the Labor Department releases the January unemployment report Friday, it will also update its estimate of jobs lost in the year that ended in March 2009. The number is expected to rise by roughly 800,000, raising the number of jobs shed during the recession to around 8 million.”

Air marshals say service roiled with cronyism, chaos: "Despite calls from President Obama to beef up the program designed to provide security aboard U.S. flights, the Federal Air Marshal Service is in disarray, a CNN investigation has found. In more than a dozen interviews across the country, air marshals said the agency is rife with cronyism; age, gender and racial discrimination; and attempts by managers to make the agency appear more efficient than it is by padding numbers.”

Zogby poll: Ethnic and religious profiling OK: "Majorities of U.S. adults favor both ethnic and religious profiling and full-body scans at airports as measures to prevent terror attacks; and 69% say they are comfortable sacrificing some privacy for security. These are among the findings of a Zogby Interactive survey of 2,003 U.S. adults conducted from Jan. 15-18, 2010. This survey has a margin of error of +/-2.2%, with larger margins for sub-groups. The survey also found that 51% expect a major terror attack in the next year, and 25% plan to fly less frequently in order to lower their risk of being a terror victim. Seventy-five percent agreed that there is too much political correctness in discussion of terrorism."

Illinois primary voting numbers look good for Republicans: "Illinois held the nation’s first non-special primary election this year, and almost all the results are in. The big story for national politics is the race for Barack Obama’s old Senate seat, now held by the inimitable Roland Burris. And the news is very good for Republicans. North Shore suburban Congressman Mark Kirk won the Republican primary with 57% of the vote to 19% for conservative Patrick Hughes, while the Democratic race was much closer. State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, long well ahead in the polls, won 39% to 34% for former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman. Giannoulias has been running mostly ahead of or even with Kirk in public polls, but there’s reason to believe he is beatable. He is young and articulate, but his family-owned bank, Broadway Bank, has made some loans to unsavory individuals, including convicted fraudster Tony Rezko. Kirk, in contrast, is a clean-as-a-whistle representative of the affluent North Shore suburbs, historically very Republican but in recent years trending Democratic on cultural issues; Kirk managed to win reelection by a 53%-47% margin in 2008 even as Barack Obama was carrying his district 61%-38% and his Democratic opponent was spending $3.5 million."


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


1 comment:

Robert said...

Even "do nothing Republicans" would be far, far better and preferable than do-evil Democrats.