August 29, 2007

Graduate Record Exam scores by graduate field of study

A reader sends along this table from the Graduate Record Exam from ETS giving average scores by intended field of study in grad school. He includes an estimate of IQ from one of the popular conversion tables, although he didn't tell me which one.

One problem I saw was that the mean score for the Quantitative section is so much higher than for the Verbal section, and the standard deviation is also larger for Quant, that the combined scores were biased in favor of highly quantitative fields. So, I added three more columns on the right that show difference fro the mean in standard deviations and just take the average for verbal and quantitative compared to their separate means. That seems fair, since there's no evidence that verbal intelligence correlates lower with general intelligence, and it may well be the best surrogate for the g factor. So, that's how I sorted it, which moves philosophy up into second place behind physics.

That reminds me of how I wrote a review of a book by David Stove in 1999 making gentle fun of philosophy (well, maybe not that gentle: I referred to the "uselessness of philosophy"). I received a number of superbly articulate and intensely argued emails telling me I didn't know what I was talking about. You'll notice I've drawn in my horns on this topic ever since!

This table may not be fair to business students since perhaps the better ones tend to take the GMAT to apply to MBA schools.

Graduate Record Examination Scores






Mean

465

584






Standard Deviation

117

149







Verbal

Quant

Sum

IQ

Verbal SD

Quant SD

Avg. SD

Physics & astronomy

533

736

1269

133

0.58

1.02

0.80

Philosophy

590

638

1228

129

1.07

0.36

0.72

Mathematical Sciences

502

733

1235

130

0.32

1.00

0.66

Materials Engineering

494

727

1221

129

0.25

0.96

0.60

Economics

503

706

1209

128

0.32

0.82

0.57

Chemical Engineering

485

726

1211

128

0.17

0.95

0.56

Other Engineering

493

714

1207

128

0.24

0.87

0.56

Mechanical Engineering

469

724

1193

126

0.03

0.94

0.49

Other Humanities & Art

563

599

1162

124

0.84

0.10

0.47

Physical Sciences

486

697

1183

125

0.18

0.76

0.47

Engineering

468

719

1187

126

0.03

0.91

0.47

Electrical Eng

459

726

1185

126

(0.05)

0.95

0.45

Banking & finance

467

711

1178

125

0.02

0.85

0.43

Chemistry

486

680

1166

124

0.18

0.64

0.41

Computer & Infor Sci

466

701

1167

124

0.01

0.79

0.40

Civil Engineering

457

700

1157

124

(0.07)

0.78

0.36

Religion & Theory

541

589

1130

121

0.65

0.03

0.34

Industrial Engineering

440

707

1147

123

(0.21)

0.83

0.31

Earth, Atmos & Mar. Sci

495

636

1131

121

0.26

0.35

0.30

English language & lit

560

553

1113

120

0.81

(0.21)

0.30

Humanities & arts

545

566

1111

120

0.68

(0.12)

0.28

Arts-History, theory, crit

539

572

1111

120

0.63

(0.08)

0.28

Biological Sciences

491

631

1122

121

0.22

0.32

0.27

Political Science

524

588

1112

120

0.50

0.03

0.27

Foreign languages & lit

531

574

1105

119

0.56

(0.07)

0.25

Anthropology & Archeology

533

569

1102

119

0.58

(0.10)

0.24

History

542

557

1099

119

0.66

(0.18)

0.24

Library & Archival Sciences

536

542

1078

117

0.61

(0.28)

0.16

Architecture

475

610

1085

118

0.09

0.17

0.13

Natural Sciences -Other

474

598

1072

117

0.08

0.09

0.09

Secondary

485

578

1063

116

0.17

(0.04)

0.07

Social Sciences

487

565

1052

115

0.19

(0.13)

0.03

Agriculture

458

592

1050

115

(0.06)

0.05

0.00

Arts-Performance & studio

488

553

1041

114

0.20

(0.21)

-0.01

Life Sciences

462

581

1043

114

(0.03)

(0.02)

-0.02

Sociology

488

545

1033

114

0.20

(0.26)

-0.03

Other business

444

599

1043

114

(0.18)

0.10

-0.04

Business

442

592

1034

114

(0.20)

0.05

-0.07

Psychology

472

545

1017

113

0.06

(0.26)

-0.10

Higher

464

548

1012

112

(0.01)

(0.24)

-0.13

Communications

470

533

1003

111

0.04

(0.34)

-0.15

Curriculum & Instruction

459

546

1005

111

(0.05)

(0.26)

-0.15

Health & medical sciences

447

552

999

111

(0.15)

(0.21)

-0.18

Other social Science

465

527

992

110

0.00

(0.38)

-0.19

Business admin & mgmt.

438

561

999

111

(0.23)

(0.15)

-0.19

Education

449

534

983

110

(0.14)

(0.34)

-0.24

Accounting

408

585

993

110

(0.49)

0.01

-0.24

Evaluation & Research

450

530

980

109

(0.13)

(0.36)

-0.25

Public Administration

453

515

968

109

(0.10)

(0.46)

-0.28

Other Education

439

532

971

109

(0.22)

(0.35)

-0.29

Elementary

442

526

968

108

(0.20)

(0.39)

-0.29

Administration

426

522

948

107

(0.33)

(0.42)

-0.37

Home Economics

435

501

936

106

(0.26)

(0.56)

-0.41

Special

431

502

933

106

(0.29)

(0.55)

-0.42

Student Counseling

427

500

927

105

(0.32)

(0.56)

-0.44

Early Childhood

418

497

915

104

(0.40)

(0.58)

-0.49

Social Work

428

466

894

103

(0.32)

(0.79)

-0.55

***Permalink/Comments***

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

66 comments:

Daniel said...

I have heard that many engineering and math programs openly state that they do not give any weight to the verbal section of the GRE's. This fact may be depressing the verbal scores of some budding engineers and mathematician, they aren't studying for the verbal section.

tommy said...

Student Counseling: IQ 105

Those who can't, council others.

Cedric Morrison said...

It is an interesting table. I've seen others like it around the Internet. It would be nice to see equivalent numbers for people who take exams other than the GRE: physicians, lawyers, and MBAs. Also, I believe some graduate schools use the Miller Analogies Test. Another useful set of numbers would be how many people are employed in each field.

Before anyone makes fun of the relatively low IQs of people in education, they should ask themselves whether they would want to see high IQ people deployed away from their current jobs. The supply of smart people is limited. As the rule goes, 68% of the normal curve is within one standard deviation from the mean, and 95% is within two standard deviations from the mean. That implies that about 13.5% of the white population has IQs between 115 and 130, and only about 2.5% of the white population has IQs above 130. (Of course, those estimates are lower for Hispanics and blacks and higher for East Asians.)

Do we want the people who are smart enough to be doctors, scientists, lawyers, and engineers to be teaching school? My (more-or-less wild) guess is that it might be worth it if we could arrange things so that the smartest students get the smartest teachers, but using a teacher with an IQ of 130 to teach students with average IQs of 100 is probably a waste of human resources.

Peter said...

I'm surprised social work is at the bottom. An MSW degree is quite marketable, so you'd think the field would attract some fairly smart people who are looking for a way to make a good living in a secure field.

Luke said...

So, where are those superbly articulated e-mails? I am curious.

tommy said...

Before anyone makes fun of the relatively low IQs of people in education, they should ask themselves whether they would want to see high IQ people deployed away from their current jobs.

In most cases, you would be right. But I would say we would be all right sacrificing a few philosophers upon the altar of education. ;-)

Peter said...

Student Counseling: IQ 105

Those who can't, council others.

Er, no, they counsel others.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Steve said...

I too would like to see the 'superbly articulate' letters. I remember reading your David Stove review and enjoying it, despite being a philosopher: you did raise important points about the uselessness of certain kinds of philosophy.

Peewee said...

I think the chart is slightly messed up. You have "other business" sorted higher than business, which I guess is OK, but you also have a category called "Higher" which I assume means Higher Education but the context doesn't make it clear what it is.

My IQ:
208 Visuospatial
95 Verbal

Believe me, the 95 really shows and the 208 hasn't helped me much at all. I've been around high-IQ people with a more balanced profile and I would consider them to be smarter than me. In fact, they usually outperform me even in math. I think that verbal IQ is definitely the more important of the two types in today's modern world, and perhaps has been for all of time. It may help explain why East Asians are not leaving the West far behind despite their much higher IQ's: most of their advantage if not all is concentrated in the visuospatial aspects.

I didn't get a "your reply has been saved" message, so I'm posting this again. If the first one went through fine just delete this =)

Randy L. said...

I'm surprised economics is that high.

Anonymous said...

The verbal score for philosophers is pretty impressive. Explains how they are make bad arguments sound reasonable. They do well on the LSAT too.

Fred said...

Steve,

Do you have IQ equivalent score tables for GMAT scores? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Cedric Morrison: My (more-or-less wild) guess is that it might be worth it if we could arrange things so that the smartest students get the smartest teachers, but using a teacher with an IQ of 130 to teach students with average IQs of 100 is probably a waste of human resources.

And the converse is also a very strong argument for homeschooling your children.

If a husband & wife are out around IQ 130+, then it's highly unlikely that any formal school [be it public, private secular, private religious, or other] will be able to supply any teachers capable of challenging their children.

[Plus the children will never receive the TLC in formal schooling that they'd get from their very own parents.]

Off the top of my head, a few famous home-schooled men from the modern era [in the way-olden days, everybody was home-schooled]:

Thomas Alva Edison [home-schooled by his mother]

John Tukey [his mother gave up a very promising career to home-school him]

Glenn Gould [taught piano by his mother]

Maynard Ferguson [taught violin & piano by his mother at the age of 4; homeschooled throughout high school so that he could travel with various bands]

tommy said...

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Funny! I commented groggily after a getting back from walking my Doberman a few miles and as soon as I submitted it and the comment disappeared from my screen, I asked myself "Did I spell that right the way? I thought I wrote 'council' instead of 'counsel.' I hope I wrote 'counsel.'" I thought I avoided that error, but apparently not. I know the difference between the verb and the noun, really I do! ;-)

Steve Sailer said...

Maybe they want to get an advanced degree in Student Council Studies?

Fred said...

BTW, Steve:

Congrats on getting a letter published on Opinion Journal.com in response to Kim Strassel's latest execrable essay (this one about "nativists" alienating the Hispanic vote). The letters editor deserves credit for this headline: You Forgot the Word 'Illegal,' Pt. XXVII

JMongrel said...

I find it interesting that Accounting PhD's are low on the scale. I guess there's not much correlation between IQ and salary when it comes to PhD jobs. Accounting professors are among the highest paid of all professors, while Mathematics professors are generally somewhere in the middle or lower. It has more to do with opportunity costs than actual intelligence. An accounting PhD can make a lot more in the private sector than a Math PhD can, therefore professorial jobs for accountants have to pay more to offset the lost opportunity cost. Incidentally, English professors are about the lowest paid of all.

Anonymous said...

I’ve seen these numbers and suspect they’re an example of interested parties slicing the data in a flattering way. They are specific enough to lend credence to some easily observable phenomena (e.g. EdD are dimwits), yet too misleading to give information that can be generalized (e.g. extrapolating that philosophy majors are smarter than almost all other majors).

I suspect the following factors skew the data (any citations offered appreciated):

* I suspect a much higher percentage of computer scientists and engineers take the GRE compared to all other majors whether or not they go one to graduate school. A Masters is economically useful in these technical fields, GRE scores are valid for a few years and test-taking ability is probably at a peak. To the vast majority of philosophy and physics undergrads a Masters is just a few more years of debt or a mark of failing out of a PhD program.

* Similarly, generally only the true zealots in fields like physics and philosophy take the GRE because nothing can be done in the field without a PhD from a top institution. Given the statistics of zealots, I suspect the drop-off between philosophy undergrads who do and don’t sit the GRE is much larger than those in more practical fields. While this supports the direct claim, it contradicts a corollary many will draw that the undergrads in such fields are also be smarter on average. My personal experience was philosophy and economics were dumping grounds for the pretentious, lazy and/or low-brow undergrads while experts in these fields can be outstanding.

* Bright 1st or 2nd generation immigrants are concentrated in engineering, computer science and others like chemistry where language is less of a barrier and they can establish an economic toehold in America. This pattern is clearly seen visiting any top technical institution and in the data itself. Given that this language barrier is a transitory cultural artifact compared to the innumeracy in the liberal arts, this ranking clearly artificially underestimates the underlying IQ of people in these fields. Assuming their innate verbal IQ was even half as good as their quantitative IQ, many of fields would be near the very top, jumping econ and even philosophy. (Didn’t Jenson and others find quantitative and verbal intelligences correlate – how strongly?)

Some interesting follow-up questions that would shed more light:

* what percentage GRE takers actually end up going to grad school in their field
* what percentage come from mills like community colleges that distort the numbers
* what percentage end up going to grad school outside their field
* how do the top n individuals in each field compare?
* how does comparative quality drop off as you go down the talent curve for each field

- JAN

Anonymous said...

Engineering is one of the few places an intelligent white male can hide from the PC, multicultural, feminist, "Christian" egalitarian lawnmower which is being pushed across western society.

Peter said...

I have heard that many engineering and math programs openly state that they do not give any weight to the verbal section of the GRE's. This fact may be depressing the verbal scores of some budding engineers and mathematician, they aren't studying for the verbal section.

One more thing may depress the verbal scores. Many engineering and math graduate students aren't native speakers of English.

Anonymous said...

What is the source of the GRE data?

Anonymous said...

It would also be interesting to see how native English speakers do on the verbal section. I suspect that the verbal scores for science and engineering fields are depressed by zillions of Chinese test takers.
David

Anonymous said...

Before anyone makes fun of the relatively low IQs of people in education, they should ask themselves whether they would want to see high IQ people deployed away from their current jobs.

Would I like to see more high IQ people deployed in education? Emphatically, YES. Putting the dumbest into the field of education is akin to eating your seed corn. It's an investment that has to be made.

Now obviously given that there are 2 million or so teachers that can't happen everywhere. But we could start, at least, with high school math and science. My two high school comp sci teachers, for example, were appallingly bad - two of the worst teachers I ever had, ever. And why would they be better? If they had been any better they'd have been making 4 times as much in private industry.

And socialist workers are at the very bottom of the heap? How very unsurprised I am. ROFLMAO.

rbc said...

I had a part-time job coaching for the SAT at the same time I was taking the GRE. One thing which really struck me is that while the verbal GRE is somewhat harder than the verbal SAT, the math GRE is actually *easier* than the math SAT (at least, it was in 1996). I suspect the reason for this is that no one really cares about the math GRE -- if you're an art history major, you probably haven't taken a math class since high school, and if you're a scientist or engineer, the only score that really matters is your *subject* test. Even perfect scores on the general GRE won't get you into a good physics grad school unless you score above the 90th percentile on the *physics* GRE. For that reason, I suspect good engineering and science programs ignore the math section of the general GRE more than they do the verbal.

As for how lawyers rank, one way to do it would be to fill in the missing column on the existing table: what happened to the GRE analytical section? In content, it's almost identical to the LSAT, which is why it was fun!

I wonder how closely the GRE correlates with the SAT. They're made by the same people to test the same thing, and my own scores on the two tests were identical. Note that this is consistent with them both being tests more of IQ than anything else (at least for people who have been to school), and inconsistent with them testing how much you learned about the subject matter, at least in my case. I majored in physics at MIT, but everything I got right on the GRE that I would have missed in high school was a word I learned from performing Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. =)


rbc (780 V, 750 M)

Horatio said...

Verbal scores may be relatively more important for admission to the top programs in technical fields; most of us are already bumping our heads against the ceiling of the quant portion. The average quant score among my cohort of physics Ph.D. students was a 796. 1/8 of our group was weeded out in the first year. I worked hard on the verbal section in order to stand out. I managed a 750 verbal and that was enough for the 99th percentile. A perfect 800 on quant will only get you to about the 93rd percentile.

Anonymous said...

You might be interested to know that physics is really divided into two distinct sub-areas: theory and experiment. Most of the famous physicists you can name were/are theoreticians (Hawking, Feynman, Einstein, etc.), who, nevertheless, are in the minority numerically.

Experimentalists have enormous practical intelligence -- they build the massive labs and design the clever experiments. However, the typical GRE scores of theoreticians are much higher than those of experimentalists. If I had to guess the gap is much more than one and perhaps two standard deviations.

It's also true that the GRE scores of PhD students (both experimenters and theorists) at elite graduate programs are much higher than the averages listed in your table.

Anonymous said...

One other comment on your methodology: you'll notice that the avg quant score for certain disciplines is pretty close to the max of 800 (e.g., 736 for physics). In elite physics programs (and certainly for theoreticians) the modal score is 800; the test is not at all a good differentiator of talent. So the IQ conversion is not giving additional credit for these much higher ability levels.

This is actually a problem for the SAT as well, exacerbated by the (1995?) re-norming that made scoring 800 even easier.

dearieme said...

I went to Secondary School in Scotland in the 60s. In my county we all took IQ tests in the last and penultimate years at Primary School, backed up by "attainment" tests, and were then put into different "streams" at 12 onwards. The "stream" that was expected to go on to Higher Education at 18 - i.e. to study for a bachelor's degree or something close - had a minimum IQ of 118 (on whatever scale was being used). We certainly benefited by having some genuinely clever teachers.

Anonymous said...

The supply of smart people is limited...only about 2.5% of the white population has IQs above 130. (Of course, those estimates are lower for Hispanics and blacks and higher for East Asians.

The global supply of smart people is not so limited. China is bursting with super high East Asian IQs. The thing to do here is to dramatically increase the flow of East Asian immigration to America. That is the solution to the backwardness of the United States and the Western world. If we are lucky, the West will eventually catch up to the East in all areas of endeavor.

Let's be frank. In a true meritocracy the enrollment of all of top tier schools in the country could (and should) be approximately 40% Jewish + 60% Asian with a smattering of "regular" whites.

I am unaware of any achievements of regular whites that aren't, unfortunately, grossly exaggerated by white ethnocentric cheerleading. The sheer numerical impact of regular whites on the culture (temporarily) amounts to an echo chamber media weighted in their favor, when in fact, they don't actually compete at the highest levels out in the real world.

Future inhabitants of earth will look back at a 1000-year performance chart of American Civilization and see that the early "White Period" of the United States was not very dynamic, but indeed backward, stagnant and unsustainable due to a lack of a sufficient number of high IQ East Asians and Jews.

The smart thing to do is to transition into the "Beige Period" of US history as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:38 AM,

This is very ignorant of you and makes me wonder if you're not a teenager...

Since post- World War II hatred of Dead White Males for being disproportionately responsible for much of human accomplishment since the Greek civilization has been the attitude of our elites. You did confine it to whites in America, but the dismissive attitude to whites in general is extremely obtuse.

Read up on history to understand why Europeans have accomplished so much; I highly recommend Charles Murray's, "Human Accomplishment", for starters. He's not cheer leading, he's far too sensible and a lover of the East as well (He has two children of Asian descent).

Anonymous said...

The large disparities between the quantitative and verbal sections for fields with a large number of non-native English speaking immigrants suggest that the data significantly underreports the innate verbal IQ of certain fields marked with a * due to transitory cultural barriers.

Although there are still a significant number of non-native English speaking foreign grad students in Physics & Astronomy they may be smarter. Canceling these two effects out, we’ll this group as a floor for what the disparity should roughly be between quantitative and verbal for all such grad students in Engineering and the Natural Sciences where unusually large disparate scores show up and large percentages of non-native English speakers concentrate. That is, Verbal should be at least 0.58/1.02=57% of the Quantitative score.

Rerunning the numbers and reordering the groups by Steve’s Avg SD criteria results in:

#1 (unchg) Physics & Astronomy 0.8
#2 (+1) Math* 0.66->0.79
#3 (+1) Material Eng* 0.60->0.75
#4 (+2) Chem Eng* 0.56->0.75
#4 (+8) Elec Eng* 0.45->0.75
#6 (+2) Mech Eng* 0.49->0.74
#7 (-5) Philosophy 0.72
#8 (+3) Engineering 0.47->0.71
#9 (-2) Other Eng* 0.56->0.68
#10 (+3) Banking/Fin* 0.43->0.67
#11 (+7) Indust Eng* 0.31->0.65
#12 (+3) CompSci/IS* 0.40->0.62
#13 (+3) Civil Eng* 0.36->0.61
#14 (-4) Physical Sci* 0.47->0.60
#15 (-10) Econ 0.57
#16 (-2) Chem* 0.41->0.53
#17 (-8) Other Hum 0.47
#18 (unchg) Religion 0.34

- JAN

Anonymous said...

Some impressions of China that are different from currrent CV:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/08/24/opinion/edpfaff.php
(...)
What does this globalization reveal about China itself? A remarkable series of articles by a correspondent of Le Figaro in Paris, Fran├žois Hauter, attempts to answer that question (among others). He writes about the two Chinas that coexist, the modern China displayed to foreigners and the hidden China where, he writes: "Nothing has changed in a quarter century."

This is true of air travel "(they have changed the planes but not the service), trains, domestic banks, and the hotels belonging to the Chinese themselves, where one finds arrogant or indifferent staff, gray sheets, infected food." No one is responsible for anything. "Where it lacks foreign partners, China seems fossilized. It remains Mao's China."

He argues that this "aggressive passivity" is a poor augury. Where, he asks, "is the China that gave mankind paper, printing, the compass, gunpowder?" How can China dream of rivaling the West without its lost creativity? "Is China's genius now imprisoned in its current role of copyist for the West? Or is that the role we have forced upon it? This clearly is the important question about its future."
(...)

Of course it is always wise to question the judgment of a Frenchman, but the recent flood of stories about deadly exports from China gives one reason to question the China hype.
http://www.petconnection.com/blog/2007/08/23/sure-its-deadly-but-at-least-its-cheap/

Steve Sailer said...

Thanks, interesting, can you explain your methodology more clearly?

Zach said...

Not only am I a Ph.D candidate in philosophy but I am also a GRE test prep instructor (and an SAT instructor). So, I was very interested in this little list. I can't say that I was terribly surprised. What interests me is that I think philosophy would have one of the larger gaps between undergraduate and graduate IQs. The reason is, of course, that the only, only reason that someone would be in graduate school for philosophy is to teach at a university level.
Social workers, educators, etc take the test to make more money at their current job or to qualify for higher paying positions. For philosophers, it is all or nothing and most know that coming in so they have to be smart to go into the field.
Also, you will see that the highest scoring fields are the most objectively verifiable. The most brilliant physicist or mathematician will soon come to the fore, whereas that is much less likely for the smartest literature Ph.D.
Philosophy is in some ways exceptional, but a large part of contemporary philosophy is logic, which requires a high level of abstraction and quantitative ability. A brilliant person (like Saul Kripke) can instantly distinguish himself in the field.
I wonder if you could do a correlation study to see if the top fields have an overabundance of men among them. I don't think I would be risking much by saying that I think the math/physics/engineering/philosophy fields are dominated by men, in teaching, publishing and in the classroom. For example, I go to one of the largest graduate schools of philosophy in the country. We had 30 students enter the masters/ph.d program. 29 were male. And this in an environment where women are outnumbering men at college graduations and graduate applications.
GRE: 800 v/ 800 m

Anonymous said...

We should also remember that perhaps the reason for philosophy's relatively strong showing is that it is the only major, (possibly excluding sociology) that requires something approaching equal facility in verbal comprehension and the math-like-activities of symbolic logic and complex deductive reasoning.

It is at least possible that the philosopher's premenince is due to the english major's being rusty from having to do no math in college, and the math majors being rusty from only doing the very minimal verbal work required to get through the relatively innocuous 'core courses'.

Ashton said...

I too am a philosophy grad student.

A couple points:

(1) (in re Zach) there is only one female grad student in my (small) department. Men (from what friends tell me about other departments across the country) greatly outnumber females.

(2) The math GRE section has a ceiling effect. A perfect score puts you (roughly) in the 92nd percentile. I believe you only need a 660 verbal score to place in the 92nd pecentile.

(3) By the way, perhaps this chart information from ETS will help: ftp://ftp.ets.org/pub/gre/994994.pdf

(4) I've noticed (and this is true for me) that many philosophy undergrads are double majors. I was a double in math, and personally I've found that those who doubled in math (or a math heavy field) also happened to be the best students (amongst phil grads) in logic. I've further noticed that the best (regardless of the sub-discipline) philosophers happened to be strong on logic as well.

(5) correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't verbal ability have the highest g-loading?

Zach said...

I think that that is an excellent point. The score is entirely explained by the incredibly high verbal average of philosophy students. If they got the same score as English majors (that is 30 points lower) then their combined score would put them below all the engineering majors.
1.07 is the highest positive SD of either math or verbal. It makes sense that math majors and physics majors would get one SD above average for math. But it is not so clear why philosophy majors would score so high in the verbal, especially compared to English majors and PolySci majors and Comparative lit majors.
interestingly, I think that philosophy majors would have been in the undisputed number one spot in the old GRE, when they had an analytical section, which was basically a logic test.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:38 AM,

This is very ignorant of you and makes me wonder if you're not a teenager...

I wrote the 8:38 AM post as complete sarcasm. The fact that you didn't pick up on that makes me wonder if you might not be the teenager.

I don't believe for a second that the Modern Ivy League is superior to the Old Ivy League. Not that the old version was so great. But notice that the level of intellectual discourse on Ivy League campuses is now approaching a Soviet style re-education camp. Harvard especially is now a Farm that every year produces a bumper crop of get-whitey Neo-Marxists. What a surprise.

The point of the post was to force all of the folks out there in White Guilt Land to take the demographic transformation that has occurred in the Ivy League to it's logical conclusion: If the Ivy League is indeed being improved by the changes, then what is the argument for preventing the same changes from occurring in every single high IQ niche in the country? The answer is that -- for deracinated, IQ-is-everything, competitive moralists -- there is no argument. Let us have "meritocracy" far and wide.

The Jewish/Asian Cognitive Elite meme has been bouncing around the internet for a while. It is another Big Lie. It was probably promoted by the geniuses at GNXP. But maybe stop and ask yourself why it is that, if the intellectual abilities of Jews are such a great match with the engineering abilities of Asians, such a blessing for mankind, why then do 98% of Jews vote with their feet and choose to live in the West rather than the East?

Consider instead please that everything in politics happens for a reason, and that both high IQ Asian and low IQ Hispanic immigration are effective ways of removing Whitey from positions of authority and disempowering him financially.

Don't believe it? Still can't get enough koolaid? Well, good for you and yours. After all, history shows that the best way to provide for the future of your children and grandchildren is to give over positions of power and authority in your society to religious and/or racial aliens.

(sarcasm in bold this time)

Anonymous said...

Steve,

I expected any accurate IQ test would find a high correlation between verbal and quantitative components. One unverified site shows a correlation of 96% between the SAT verbal and math section based on the averages of 50 state data points and an unstated but clear correlation using sampling sets within various races as well. Since ETS develops both the SAT and GRE which are similarly formatted general knowledge tests not particularly discriminating, the gap between the GRE verbal and math scores measured in SD from the overall mean was suspiciously large for all the high quant scoring engineers and computer scientist.

The latest NSF data show that 29% of graduate students and 59% of postdocs in Science & Engineering (S&E) are temporary visa holders and while the remaining are either US Citizens or permanent residents.

As expected, many of the non-native English speakers tend to concentrate in the more quantitative fields where foreign language is less of an obstacle and the GRE quant/verbal gap is largest. Figure 1 in the NSF report cited show engineering and computer science first-time, full-time graduate students are still mainly temporary visa holders dropping from about 62% and 70% in 2001 to about 52% and 55% in 2005 respectively. Conversely, they are only 23% and 31% in 2005 for the fields of biological sciences and all S&E fields collectively where the GRE quant/verbal gap narrows.

These are probably minimum estimates. My experiences tell me the actual percentage of non-native English speakers is higher than just the temporary visa holders given that many non-native English graduate students can be expected to have acquired citizenship or permanent resident compared to the number of native English-speakers on temporary visas. I have taken verbal and quantitative exams in a difficult non-European language and know first-hand how distorting the results can be.

Non-native English speakers in the sciences should have dramatically depressed GRE verbal scores that similarly artificially reduced their imputed IQ. To correct for this, I made the very crude assumption that all physics and astronomy graduate students were native-born English speakers whose GRE verbal score accurately reflect their verbal IQ. I think this underestimates what true verbal IQ would be if everyone were tested in their own native language given the NSF figures above and the fact that their GRE verbal scores are only 0.58 SD/1.02 SD=58% of their quantitative score measured in SDs from the overall GRE mean. This should more than compensate and nullify a possible intrinsic underlying higher group verbal IQ relative to their quantitative IQ of the physics and astronomy cohort.

Canceling out these two effects that operate in opposite directions, I made the simplifying assumption that grad students in other hard science fields should have a similar GRE quant/verbal gap as those in the physics and astronomy cohort, that is the ratio of verbal SD = 58% of quant SD from the overall GRE means. Since GRE verbal scores are dramatically skewed by all the non-native English speakers, I tried to estimate it as a percentage of the more accurate GRE quantitative scores using (Expected Verbal SD) = 58% of (Observed Quant SD). For example, take the group most affected by this recalculation, electrical engineers:

Expected Verbal SD
= 0.58 * (Observed Quant SD)
= 0.58 * (0.95 SD)
= 0.55 SD from overall GRE Verbal mean

Expected Average SD
= (Expected Verbal SD
+ Observed Quant SD)/2
= (0.55 + 0.95)/2
= 0.75 Average SD

This resulted in the electrical engineers jumping from #12 (0.45 SD) on Steve’s average SD-based ordering to #4 (0.75 SD) in an SD-based ordering that replaces observed verbal with expected verbal SD to compensate for clearly huge cultural bias. Note that even the GRE quant section contains some questions that rely on accurately interpreting carefully worded problems and thus may further depress observed scores relative to expected scores based on IQ for non-native English speakers.

It’s not pretty, but without more details this was the only way I could see to make a first attempt at correcting the obvious errors introduced by otherwise very bright non-native English speakers looking anomalously below average on the GRE verbal section.

- JAN

Steve Sailer said...

My guess would be that Jan is part right and the large fraction of foreigners drives down the verbal score somewhat, but I suspect that the GRE has just become a lot like the old SAT was before the "recentering" of scores in 1995. Back then, lots of people scored 800 on Math, but very few got 800 on Verbal. That SAT gap had been around for decades and didn't have all that much to do with non-English speakers. I might believe that foreigners accounted for all of the lower Verbal score if the Verbal standard deviation was larger than the Quantitative standard deviation, but the opposite is true. So, I figure that the Verbal GRE is just harder than the Quantitative GRE.

Markku said...

My IQ:
208 Visuospatial
95 Verbal


That must be very unusual.

My Verbal IQ is 2 to 3 SD's above the mean (measured by English language tests, although my native tongue is Finnish and I've never lived in an English speaking country). But by Visuospatial or Performance IQ is only 1 SD above the mean.

I've always known I'm sensitive to nuances in language and good at logic. But I'm also a competitive go player in the national and European top 5 percent. It would seem to me that go skill relies heavily on visuospatial intelligence (incidentally invented in China about 3000 years ago) but clearly logic has to do with it, too.

Mathematics is done using verbal intelligence but it involves quite a bit of visiospatial thinking. I was never good enough at math to consider a career in it. I have an M.Sc in computer science but graduated with mediocre grades. I work as a programmer. I don't think could ever have become a researcher on any rigorous mathematical topic in computer science.

Believe me, the 95 really shows and the 208 hasn't helped me much at all. I've been around high-IQ people with a more balanced profile and I would consider them to be smarter than me. In fact, they usually outperform me even in math.

I'm sure there are fields where high-level Visuospatial IQ is a requirement or a huge advantage. What is your line of work?

I think that verbal IQ is definitely the more important of the two types in today's modern world, and perhaps has been for all of time. It may help explain why East Asians are not leaving the West far behind despite their much higher IQ's: most of their advantage if not all is concentrated in the visuospatial aspects.


Have you read La Griffe du Lion's Smart Fraction Theory II: Why Asians Lag? He has quantified the effect that you mention in the above paragraph.

Anonymous said...

Anon said, "Future inhabitants of earth will look back at a 1000-year performance chart of American Civilization and see that the early "White Period" of the United States was not very dynamic, but indeed backward, stagnant and unsustainable due to a lack of a sufficient number of high IQ East Asians and Jews."
This comment is probably too silly to take seriously, but just in case it is an adolescent writing: to echo an earlier response--you show some serious ignorance. I recall watching historian Kenneth Clark, I think, on a discussion of the history of art. He explained the whole concept and execution of perspective in art had been done nowhere else before the Europeans, such as Da Vinci, but others also, less famous--it was one of those Renassiance discoveries that one forgets about because it is tangental to science. Certain art forms attempted perspective in earlier eras, but never succeeded until the 15th-16th century artists experimented using the geometric rules and perfected it. While I would not claim this indicates superiority to all other cultures, it certainly and manifestly indicates that Europe was spinning forward in a controlled fashion, to unprecedented discovery and accomplishment. The modern world is made of that. You can no more disentangled Europe and white America from it than you can remove the warp from the woof of a fabric.
As for the early Americans, Ford, Eli Whitney, Edison? To name just a few. You need to get a gag at the numbers of patents submitted
Yes, between a billion plus Indians and a billion plus Chinese, taking over the white-invented, modern world/university system, might just might find enough minds to equal the innovation of a few thousand Europeans, but you'd think if they are so competent they will be using their own universities and stay in their own countries (not that there's anything wrong with some of them being here of course)Jews? I would never attempt to diminish their importance, but the German scientists the Americans hijacked from Germany after WWII, though not believing Nazis necessarily, were definitely not Jewish. Believe it or not, there is intellectual life without Jews. Still, it is much better to have them--they do tend to be very "alive" mentally, on the average. But 40% of our universities? Nonsense. btw, are you Jewish?
But the closer question is: when will these brilliant browns and yellows be staying in their own brilliant countries and innovating their own brilliant technological systems.

Fred said...

"The math GRE section has a ceiling effect. A perfect score puts you (roughly) in the 92nd percentile. I believe you only need a 660 verbal score to place in the 92nd pecentile."

There is a similar effect on the GMAT. I don't have the score tables in front of me, but I think my raw score of 41 (out of a maximum of 60) on the quant part put me in something like the 60% percentile there, while my 46 (again, out of 60) on the verbal section put me in the 99th percentile. There's also a writing section on the test (the max score puts you in the 96% percentile), but anyone who has seen samples of business writing might question why they test for this.

By the way, there is a test prep company I looked into but was too cheap to use called Manhattan GMAT that focuses exclusively on the GMAT and only hires instructors who score in the 99th percentile of both the verbal and quant sections. Check out some of the bios on these instructors. As a cohort, their intelligence and academic ability appears to vary inversely with their zeal for working in the corporate world, though a few have some entrepreneurial gigs on the side.

"Saul Kripke"

I vaguely remembered that name being discussed in a philosophy of science seminar I took in college, so I looked him up on Wikipedia to refresh my memory. Zach wasn't kidding about him "instantly" establishing himself in the field -- he did that while he was still in high school.

Ashton said...

Perhaps someone could shed some light on the following data from ETS, the GRE test makers (the data can be found here: ftp://ftp.ets.org/pub/gre/994994.pdf):

The correlation between verbal and quantitative scores is .36. (p. 10)

The test data was taken from Oct. 2001 to June 2004. From Oct. 2001 to June 2002, the testing population was made up of 57% U.S. citizens with English as their primary language. From Oct. 2002 to June 2004, 67% of the testing population was primarily english speaking U.S. citizens. (p. 14)

To pick two disciplines (with the new scoring data):

Physics (mean) - 534(v) + 738(m) = 1272.
Philosophy (mean) - 589(v) + 636(m) = 1225. (pp. 18-19)


How well do the scores correlate with GPA in grad school?

For the natural sciences, the verbal correlation is .28, the quant. correlation is .27.

For the humanities, the verbal correlation is .30, the quant. correlation is .33.

Physics in particular: the verbal correlation is .19, the quant. correlation is .13.

English Lit. in particular (since there isn't a breakdown for philosophy): the verbal correlation is .23, the quant. correlation is .29.

Note: I'm surprised that the math scores correlate less than verbal scores with GPA in the sciences, but the opposite is true for the humanities. Anyone know why?

Anonymous said...

Are these scores for the people who got admitted or are they the scores for the people who did not get admitted and did get admitted?

Steve Sailer said...

I believe they are for whoever showed up and took the test, organized by what they said their intended field of graduate study was.

Anonymous said...

I started to blog this, but I just don't trust the data. (a) "sent by a reader; (b) the discrepancy between verbal and quant scores; (c) no entries for psychology or sociology. Graduate school programs in psychology are highly competitive. I assume they require GRE's. I know sociology requires it.

Arnold Kling
Econlog

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Not to beat a dead horse, but I think both effects are at work.

I’m not sure that we can interpret what Verbal(SD) (less than) Quantitative(SD) means without knowing more about the underlying populations. In absence of any other info this would be more convincing, but Occam’s razor says the bigger effect is due to the large percentage of non-native English speakers in CS&Eng being significantly handicapped on the GRE Verbal test no matter what their underlying verbal IQ distribution looks like. If many CS/Eng grad schools don’t consider GRE verbal scores, this would further disconnect reported GRE Verbal scores from underlying Verbal IQ.

Markku,

Several comments in a previous post and others have addressed the oft-repeated claim that Asians have a lower verbal IQ. Someone here cited a chart by La Griffe that was actually demonstrated the counterpoint.

“The data supporting a lower East Asian verbal IQ is pretty weak, if not nonexistent. If you look at SAT verbal scores by ethnic group, the Asian average is not much below the non-hispanic white average, even though a sizeable number of Asian test-takers don't come from English speaking homes (many are even recent immigrants). If you correct for that environmental handicap, the verbal average may well be higher for Asians. (It's also true that the Asian category that ETS uses includes some south-east asian groups like Hmong or Filipino that drag down the NE Asian averages -- it's been remarked before that the variance of the collective "Asian" group is extremely large.)”

I suspect that the “Asians have high visio-spatial but low verbal IQ” meme may be more a result of anecdote, perception and cultural bias. Forget the high percentage of immigrant Asians, even native-English American-born Asians I know who ace verbal IQ-like exams would pale next to an Al Sharpton or Mohammed Ali in a typical public exchange in the minds of the masses. Was it the movie “American Pimp” where a black guy said he never saw no white pimp because they lack the charisma? Same thing at work but even stronger.

Aston,

ETS has made the GRE quantitative section far too easy. It’s easy enough so non-math/science/engineers can feel some mastery it but far too easy to provide good discrimination among the math/science/engineers. As a result, it probably has less predictive power among those where it is a given that everyone clusters around the very top.

As someone else mentioned here, the GRE Quantitative section is little more difficult than the SAT Math section. Trying to use the GRE Quant section to predict performance in a PhD physics program is like giving a 4th grade math test to H.S. seniors and expecting the results to predict college GPA.

- JAN

Anonymous said...

More interesting 2004 data from the NSF that clarifies and supports and earlier post:

Field BS Awarded MS Awarded PhD Awarded

TOTAL 1,407,009 555,537 42,155
Non S&E 952,031 (68%) 437,158 (79%) 15,880 (38%)
S&E Total 454,978 (32%) 118,379 (21%) 26,275 (62%)

Bio & Ag 80,933 (5.8%) 11,777 (2.1%) 6,983 (17%)
Earth Sci 3,903 (0.28%) 1,570 (0.28%) 672 (1.6%)
Math & CS 71,160 (5.1%) 24,150 (4.3%) 2,024 (4.8%)
Physical Sci 14,240 (1.0%) 4,030 (0.73%) 3,353 (8.0%)
Psychology 82,510 (5.9%) 15,298 (2.8%) 3,336 (7.9%)
Social Sci 137,557 (9.8%) 27,682 (5.0%) 4,131 (9.8%)
Engineering 64,675 (4.6%) 33,872 (6.1%) 5,776 (14%)

Physics 4,156 (0.30%) (39%) 1,637 (0.29%) (29%) 1,186 (2.8%)
Math 13,755 (0.98%) (31%) 4,297 ( 0.77%) (7.8%) 1,075 (2.6%)
Econ 24,933 (1.8%) (13%) 3,201 ( 0.58%) (4.3%) 1,066 (2.5%)
Mech Eng 14,368 (1.0%) (32%) 4,555 (0.82%) (5.9%) 853 (2.0%)
Elec Eng 21,342 (1.5%) (57%) 12,173 (2.2%) (7.7%) 1,649 (3.9%)
CS 57,405 (4.1%) (35%) 19,853 (3.6%) (1.7%) 949 (2.3%)
Psychology 82,510 (5.9%) (19%) 15,298 (2.8%) (4.0%) 3,336 (7.9%)

* prefix (%) show percentage of undergrads completing MS or PhD
* postfix (%) show group as percentage of all grad students completing MS or PhD

This confirms the assumption that far more Math/Science/Engineering undergrads take the GRE and eventually earn graduate degrees, usually at the M.S. level, than undergrads in fields like economics and presumably philosophy as well. Nearly 65% of electrical engineering undergrads eventually earn an advanced degree in the field compared to only 17.3% of economics undergrads. Ignoring top econ undergrads who may continue grad work outside their field (e.g. MBA) probably exist in greater proportions than engineering undergrads who do so (e.g. CS, Biomed, Fin Eng) should not erase this huge difference.

This selectivity bias that underlying the original data shows the corollary many will draw from the original data is false (e.g. econ undergrads are smarter than engineering undergrads). Assuming the GRE is taken by the best students bound for graduate school in all fields, one is comparing only the top 17.3% of econ undergrads over nearly 1 SD above their mean against the 65% majority of electrical engineering undergrads whose equivalent cutoff is over 1 SD below the their mean. Given the non-linearity of the Gaussian tails, this is a grossly unfair comparison assuming similar curves.

Trying to correct for the bias in the GRE Verbal tends to erase and even reverse any advantage econ grad students have over math/science/engineering grad students based upon the original GRE ordering. If this correction is somewhat accurate the main argument is undermined, and a more accurate description would be: the top M/S/E grad students are smarter than the top econ students, but that the bottom M/S/E students are not.

- JAN

Anonymous said...

JAN,

I hope you don't try to manipulate the data off of this chart of median GRE scores. You have no idea how many East Asians took each type of test and you are making far too big a deal out of what you perceive to be a low median score. You also fail to realize that some East Asians, particularly women, are going to pursue advanced degrees in the liberal arts. Those humanities and liberal arts median verbal scores are far too low to reflect the ability of the typical North American who has the grades to pursue an MA or PHD. The lower ability students who are native English speakers will have opted for MBAs or teaching certificates.

What you also fail to realize is that not every East Asian is a genius, nor even necessarily smarter than the average North American graduate student. You are coming across as some kind of Asian Nazi refusing to believe that your preferred race can be anything but superior in all ways. I don't really care what happens to you but I've known some East Asians who were of average intelligence. While being an average white guy is no great sin, being an average Asian can make life a living hell (unless you cultivate relationships with white people). For those people who are very decent and talented despite not being "superior", I want you to think seriously about what you are implying. Asians don't all exist at the high intelligence end of the bell curve.

Another issue. I have lots of experience with Asians at all levels of integration into North American culture. Those who are verbal don't have to wait two generations for their verbal ability to kick in. Think of it this way. Those who are highly skilled in math are also highly focused on math to the exclusion of most other interests. In order to develop a superior vocabulary, you have to read books that just don't appeal to the majority of people. The chances of someone who loves numbers also loving poetry and Chaucer are next to nil. You have to have a thirst for reading the obscure tomes of a bygone era in order to develop the kind of vocabulary that would earn an 800 on the GRE.

One personal example, I had a Korean American friend who took Latin in high school. Her father insisted she compete in spelling bees from an early age as well. She is an excellent speller and can outperform me on any test of math or science, probably out spell me too but her verbal scores were never outstanding despite the advantage that knowing Latin is supposed to provide on standardized tests.

Please get off your high horse, Jan. Like I said it's not bad being an average white guy. Make it ok for average Asians to walk tall and look people in the eye. Accept that not every Asian is a genius nor do they have to be in order to matter.

Anonymous said...

"I find it interesting that Accounting PhD's are low on the scale."

The smartest accountant undergrads don't do PhDs, there is really little point, when with a high IQ and good work ethic you can get an designation and become a partner at an auditing firm in 10 years.

Getting a PhD in accounting doesn't really open that many doors.

Contrast this with Philosophy where private sector opportunities for undergrads are unattractive and job prospects are uncertain. Whereas staying in the academia offers a prestige, and familiar environment to study an interesting subject.

It makes sense that the smartest philosophy majors would choose to stay in the academia and prusue grad school.

Fred said...

"I suspect that the “Asians have high visio-spatial but low verbal IQ” meme may be more a result of anecdote, perception and cultural bias."

I think the meme may start to change as a non-trivial number of Asian-Americans become published novelists, become English or creative writing professors, etc. This process seems to have begun.

"Getting a PhD in accounting doesn't really open that many doors."

It opens the doors to a professorship. Business professors in general are in high demand. An accounting professor could make some serious side money consulting on complex issues for large corporations.

peaches n cream said...

"I think the meme may start to change as a non-trivial number of Asian-Americans become published novelists, become English or creative writing professors, etc. This process seems to have begun. "

Always good to see conservatives pandering to multiculturalism. Wasn't Brokeback Mountain one of your favorite movies of all time, so culturally authentic? Then there's Amy Tan's meanderings about Asian women, white men and their frumpy ex white girlfriends. Ah, Asian Supremacy. Will the English language or culture ever be the same?

Fred said...

"Always good to see conservatives pandering to multiculturalism."

The novel is a uniquely Western art form. An Asian (or other non-Westerner) who writes one is, to some extent, assimilating into the dominant culture, no?

"Wasn't Brokeback Mountain one of your favorite movies of all time, so culturally authentic?"

I've never seen it.

"Then there's Amy Tan's meanderings about Asian women, white men and their frumpy ex white girlfriends."

Never read her stuff, and I didn't have her in mind when I wrote my previous comment. The two writers I was thinking of when I wrote that were Chang-Rae Lee, a novelist who also heads up the creative writing program at Princeton and Hua Hsu, a writer for Slate whose byline mentioned he is joining the English faculty at Vasser this fall. I'm sure there are other examples, but those were the two that popped into my head when I wrote the earlier comment.

The point is that, when I (and probably a lot of us) went to school, our exposure to Asians was mainly to immigrant math and science teaching assistants for whom English was challenge (I remember one who called Newton "a great physician"). More students in the future will be exposed to Asian-American English and writing professors as well. This is bound to change perceptions of Asian verbal abilities.

Anonymous said...

As already mentioned, SAT verbal scores show very little evidence of a low Asian verbal IQ. The difference between the Asian and non-Hispanic white averages is a small fraction of a standard deviation. When you consider that many if not most of the Asian test-takers don't come from households where English is the primary language, it suggests that the Asian verbal IQ might be a little *higher* than the white average.

Judging the verbal IQs of a group of people (e.g., Asian math or engineering TAs) based on how they speak a radically foreign (to them) language like English is just stupid. Imagine Parisians judging American verbal IQs based on tourist French.

I think this meme got started by people who *misunderstood* something stated by La Griffe du Lion.

Anonymous said...

"The point is that, when I (and probably a lot of us) went to school, our exposure to Asians was mainly to immigrant math and science teaching assistants for whom English was challenge (I remember one who called Newton "a great physician"). More students in the future will be exposed to Asian-American English and writing professors as well. This is bound to change perceptions of Asian verbal abilities."

I'm obviously younger than you, Fred. My junior high and high schools had a large population of Koreans and Vietnamese. I also dated a Chinese-American for two years during high school - he was my high school sweetheart. I have seen that Asians exhibit the full range of IQs and ability sets, often within the same family. I'm tired of people treating Asians as if they are some super race. They aren't. I had a hard time getting out of the relationship with an Asian partly because his family took what I considered to be a transitory relationship much to seriously and partly because other whites thought I must be stupid to turn down the opportunity to improve my gene pool. Other Asians also gave me a hard time assuming that my father must be the reason I backed out of the relationship. One even spread a few rumors about me never bothering to get my side of the story. The Asian is always right!

I'm past my prime, not married, without children and still glad I didn't get trapped in an Asian family because you don't just marry the son. For an example of the culture clash that would have ensued had I, an only child, married into a close knit largely Asian family, one of the aunts often told me I should be a writer because I talked about things I shouldn't. Trust me whatever she found offensive at the time it would have been pretty tame, I was a devout Baptist school girl innocent in all ways. I did have a tendency to debate issues though which was very much encouraged by my father and uncle.

Franky, I have dated smarter white guys. (The guy I was really stupid not to marry was of German descent and grew up on a farm.) I've seen Asians who grew up here flunk classes or even flunk out of grad school. I've known handicapped Asians, depressed Asians, happy Asians and successful Asians. It just isn't true that all Asians are smarter, healthier and happier than all whites. I'm sick of the stereotype.

You can't look at the handful of people who are even smart enough to get into Ivy League schools and generalize to the rest of the population. Since you supposedly have some background in math, I won't accept such sloppy thinker from a math brain. I am not a genius but I'm in the very bright range of IQ and have a definite pattern of strengths and weaknesses that define me as an individual. I suspect there are plenty of Asians who share my IQ but not my same set of abilities.

As for the statement I made about foreign students getting advanced liberal arts degrees thereby driving down the median verbal score for English and humanities grad students, you don't have to go far to get the evidence backing me up. What's happening is that women from third world countries who can't compete with their brothers in math and science are opting for liberal arts degrees. I guess the gender difference in math/verbal ability is cross-cultural not always the case but generally so. The irony is that these women who are not completely fluent in English are more employable than their American counterparts in popular fields of study because they can go home to teach English, American History, etc to students at universities in their home countries. Foreigners can get a degree from a university that has a grad program but no real admission standard other than an undergraduate degree in a similar subject and get a job back home. The same degree for Americans is almost meaningless unless they can use it to upgrade their pay scale as a public school teacher.

(Excuse the digression)
Instinctively, I don't like this but it's difficult to say what will result. Most universities focus on the political aspects (deconstruction, queer theory, colonialism) of literature. Foreigners aren't getting a good education about the structure and linguistic elements of poetry, plays or novels. They probably aren't even getting good Creative Writing instruction. So, while our national treasures of literature aren't being pilfered off to Saudi Arabia or China, knowledge of and respect for our literary tradition isn't being passed on to anyone foreign or American. And I fear that the tendency of feminist/marxist professors to denigrate Western culture will end up being a tool in the hands of foreign born liberal arts majors.

I'm tired of the constant brainwashing by liberals and globalists alike. I think we can safely assume that you are the latter, Fred. Why don't you leave a little room for a tiny population of ethnic European Americans to exist along with the knowledge of our literature, music, history and art that is fast being pushed into the oblivion of multi-culturalism combined with a fanatical preference for math and science? Would it kill you? Is any Asian population or culture on the verge of extinction?

I think if you could compare the cultural knowledge of the average high school English teacher of 40 years ago with that of the average English PhD from any university today, you would be sickened at what has already been lost.

Anonymous said...

corrected
"Forget the high percentage of immigrant Asians, even native-English American-born Asians I know who ace verbal IQ-like exams would pale next to an Al Sharpton or Muhammed Ali"

Excuse me while I wipe away tears of laughter. Ali and Sharpton are two blowhard clowns, often [unintentionally] funny, but their "charisma" is strictly for entertainment. Though I will admit the sexual harrassment that has come out of black mouths does deserve superlatives for lowest, sickest and most repulsive--but that brings us back to their supreme pimp status I guess.
Verbal bullies, and emotional motor-babble does not constitute "rhetoric". But then to me, if you want to use a black man as an example of a charismatic rhetorician, use Frederick Douglas.
You're really scraping the gutter using Sharpton. At least Ali was intentionally funny sometimes (IQ 78, he said "I am the greatest but I never said i was the smartest.)

Anonymous said...

SAT verbal scores show...

All discussions of SAT scores should note the fact that Sen. Chuck Schumer scored a perfect 1600. Yet demonstrably he is philosophically shallow, rhetorically lame, and strategically challenged. The man is solid proof that the SAT is a flawed proxy for intelligence.

Perhaps future historians will identify the SAT test (functioning as a gateway to positions in the power-elite) as a significant contributing factor in the American decline.

Fred said...

"All discussions of SAT scores should note the fact that Sen. Chuck Schumer scored a perfect 1600. Yet demonstrably he is philosophically shallow, rhetorically lame, and strategically challenged."

Chuck Schumer may be a douchebag, but don't assume he isn't intelligent. He sounds "shallow" and "rhetorically lame" because, like most politicians, he is aiming his rhetoric at the lowest common denominator. So far, the strategy helped him win back control of the Senate for the Dems (though with the declining popularity of the Iraq War, Republican scandals, and Bush's first attempt at amnesty, he had the wind at his back).

BTW, CSPAN had debate between Schumer and Gingrich a few months ago. Interesting. A little scary how well the two of them seemed to get along.

Fred said...

Anonymous 6:30pm:

I was going to unpack and address every wrong assumption you made about me in your long post, but I think I will go to sleep instead. Suffice it to say, you have read a lot into my simple point that, as more Americans study under Asian-American English and creative writing professors, Americans will stop assuming that Asians have less-than-average verbal intelligence.

It is possible that you are confusing me with someone else, and perhaps responding to something that person wrote previously. Your comment about me having a math background suggests that. As I mentioned earlier in this comment thread, my math score on the GMAT was only in about the 60% percentile -- not the mark of a math specialist, by any means.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:57

I am not an “Asian Nazi” riding high in the saddle. I used to believe the original data and the popular inferences drawn from them. With more experience, information and reflection I began to doubt this “common wisdom”. As an aside, I still weakly believe NE Asians have a smaller IQ SD than Europeans based on my experience and trends among the intellectuals but have seen no convincing hard data.

In challenging “common wisdom”, I felt obliged to flesh out data and reasoning in more detail than usual. You defensively misinterpreted this effort as some sort of “chow mein kampf”. Witness:

*The large gap between what can be divined as NE Asians GRE Quant vs Verbal scores may be an accurate reflection of differing abilities like smaller typical N. American’s GRE Quant vs Verbal gap in the liberal arts as you suggest. However, native-born American-Asian SAT math/verbal scores clearly dispel this (including many lower-IQ non-NE Asians). More significantly, a huge percentage of NE Asians in Science & Engineering grad school can be reasoned to be non-native English speakers and will necessarily bomb the GRE Verbal (which apparently often is not even considered for grad school admission). Many turn of the century Ashkenazi immigrants from E. Europe were considered mentally inferior ethnics because they did so poorly on English-based exams given when they came off the boat. This is not something that we haven’t seen before.

* I have a very good idea that non-native English speaking NE Asians concentrate in fields like Computer Science (CS) and Engineering (Eng) as the data suggest and a visit to most any such grad school can confirm.

* I do not fail to realize that some NE Asians go to grad school in the liberal arts, it’s just they are a very small percentage compared to the number in fields like CS and Eng and have little effect on the averages. My limited experience also tells me that these are the more affluent NE Asians who are generally native-born or at least relatively fluent - not the hardscrabble immigrants. You fell into the “overlap fallacy”: Any Exception Disproves the Tendency.

* What data, errors, or logic can you offer that leads you to the conclusion that humanities and liberal arts median verbal scores are far too low to reflect the innate ability of the typical N. American? Combined with your earlier paragraphs, you imply the GRE Verbal section more biased against native-speaking American-born citizens than against non-native English speaking NE Asians which makes absolutely no sense.

* As verbal and quantitative intelligences are somewhat correlated, it would not be surprising to find the higher scoring (factoring out GRE Verbal where artificial barriers would create large distortions) physics, math, engineering, CS grad students would generally-out score the rest of the remaining lower scoring humanities/art grad students. This does allow for some variations like philosophy and economics to perform well (both of which are unusually logic- and quantitative-based than other humanities).

* I do not “fail to realize that not every East Asian is a genius, nor even necessarily smarter than the average North American graduate student”. Nor do I claim NE Asians are “superior in all ways”. I don’t even doubt that you’ve known “some East Asians who were of average intelligence”. (See “overlap fallacy” above)

* I know a number of people who got high scores on the SAT or GRE Verbal (more than 2SD above the mean which was only 709 in 2006) and did so without reading arcane renaissance literature. They were primarily science and technology people who were just very bright, rounded and did everything well academically. Obsessions over Comparative Literature to the exclusion would probably help GRE Verbal, but is not necessary to get a relatively high score.

* How do you translate the facts-based argument I present as attacking NE Asians who are not exceptional? This is analogous to calling someone a racist for pointing out that West African sprinters are the world’s fastest only because it slights those who are not exceptional sprinters. I think one of the ideas of this blog is that there is biodiversity across different groups and it’s not a priori evil to notice, understand or quantify this.

Anon 6:51

Agreed, Ali and Sharpton were/are two blowhard clowns among the many that the African-American culture has produced (Jessie Jackson, Michael Irving, Spike Lee, Johnny Cochran, Ray Nagin, angry Black Studies academics, Rappers, etc) that our society has embraced to varying degrees. Their “charisma” is not just for entertainment. Ali was the best known American ambassador of goodwill worldwide. Sharpton is busy on the media circuit judging perceived race crimes (Imus), performing political smell tests at the highest levels (Obama’s blackness) and providing a guiding lights to our well–educated elites (John Stewart on national TV). Sure it’s all entertainment but it also is much more affecting all aspects of our public and private lives.

This type of egotistical and emotional verbal fluidity that decouples and abuses logic and facts from rhetoric plays well with both the elites and various demographics of your man on the street. You and I may not find it intelligible rhetoric, but it sways lot of people often in the face of reality and the facts:

* “Affirmative” Action fairness
* Head Start effectiveness
* NCLB & insidious racism of low expectations
* “Don’t Snitch”
* OJ Simpson innocence
* Duke LAX rape hoax guilt
* Black Egyptians inventing everything only to be stolen by White Greeks
* US Gov’t creating AIDS to target blacks)

Asians error is the opposite direction being too restrained, unemotional and logical in speech to leave much of an emotional impact on listeners. Along with a conformist Confucian obedience to authority and conventional middle class values (education, work, save, family, etc) this brands Asians with the opposite of the larger than life images that we associate with big men who are great speakers (with high Verbal IQs).

- JAN

Lover of Wisdom said...

In case anyone is interested, I found from the Prometheus HiQ website that the SAT verbal section correlates with traditional IQ tests at .8; only legitimate IQ tests correlate with each other at .8 or higher, which simply makes the verbal section to be a pure crystalized intelligence test. The GRE verbal section is harder that the SAT verbal section—no doubt about that—so we can safely say that it should correlate at, at least, .8 with traditional IQ tests too.

The SAT math section correlates with traditional IQ tests at .7; that is a good correlation, but the GRE math section is easier than the SAT math section—again, no doubt about that—so we can safely say that the GRE math section correlates with other IQ tests at less than .7.

You will have to scroll down the website for the SAT information: Prometheus Report.

Anonymous said...

The reason why Science/Engineering doesn't have a higher average verbal score is obvious to anyone who's taken a graduate course at a top ranked engineering school -- nearly half of the students are foreign born and speak with accents.

Beth said...

Steve, you said: "The best hope for improving teaching quality is a permanent recession. If enough smart people from other professions become desperate, they'll take up this thankless profession, which is currently dominated by academic dregs. GRE scores for educators back up my assertion:"

You talk a big game, sir. However, I challenge you to come teach my ninth grade English class for a month. Being a teacher not only requires intelligence, of which you seem to think mine is mediocre at best, but also the ability to juggle several tasks at once, infinite patience, mothering, counseling teenagers who are crying in the middle of class because the boy they like doesn't like them, keeping your cool when a kid swears at you in front of the class because you ask him to take out a pencil, completing hours of paperwork for students with disibilities, behavior problems, or who need recommendation forms, laughing instead of beating your head against the wall when a student asks you a question you've already answered three times, and ultimately, keeping a sense of humor about the whole thing when you continue to work hours into the night and a person who has never taught in his life accuses you of being inadequate. It is easy to judge from your high horse, I suppose, if you've never actually taught. But we do the job because we like it, and because, quite frankly, we are good at it. You, I would venture to guess, wouldn't last two weeks. Perhaps think twice before you make uninformed judgements based on a bit of research you completed.

Beth said...

Steve, you said: "The best hope for improving teaching quality is a permanent recession. If enough smart people from other professions become desperate, they'll take up this thankless profession, which is currently dominated by academic dregs. GRE scores for educators back up my assertion:"

You talk a big game, sir. However, I challenge you to come teach my ninth grade English class for a month. Being a teacher not only requires intelligence, of which you seem to think mine is mediocre at best, but also the ability to juggle several tasks at once, infinite patience, mothering, counseling teenagers who are crying in the middle of class because the boy they like doesn't like them, keeping your cool when a kid swears at you in front of the class because you ask him to take out a pencil, completing hours of paperwork for students with disibilities, behavior problems, or who need recommendation forms, laughing instead of beating your head against the wall when a student asks you a question you've already answered three times, and ultimately, keeping a sense of humor about the whole thing when you continue to work hours into the night and a person who has never taught in his life accuses you of being inadequate. It is easy to judge from your high horse, I suppose, if you've never actually taught. But we do the job because we like it, and because, quite frankly, we are good at it. You, I would venture to guess, wouldn't last two weeks. Perhaps think twice before you make uninformed judgements based on a bit of research you completed.

GRE Stoner said...

Jesus Christ! Everyone sucks at the verbal section. I just got my results back, and I scored a 167/170 on the verbal section, which correlates to about a 710 on the old exam.

Since the profiles of admitted students at at least two state universities do not include many individuals with my results, maybe this means no one actually cares about the verbal section. And my having such a great score on verbal does not matter.

I scored a 710 on the math section, but I'm attempting to pursue a masters program at a nice tech school. Their standards are either very high, or they are lying about them. But I figure there are billions of Indian people all fucking and making children, and some of those children are geniuses with whom I must compete.

So it would not surprise me if

A) The math section is the only one people care about (math is probably less valid for Indian people.)

B) There really are a whole lot of super-performing people, and many of them come from India or China.

C) I'm not racist.

P.S. I did not study for the test at all.