## September 3, 2008

### UPDATED: "IQ and the Wealth of States"

Let's play find the fallacy!

An academic at the London School of Economics has published an article called "IQ and the Wealth of States" claiming that the average IQ in, for example, New Jersey is 108.6 and in Iowa is 76.6. He writes:

In order to use the incomplete, truncated data on SAT scores to compute state IQ, however, I make two simplifying assumptions.

1. Students who complete high school are uniformly more intelligent than those who do not.
2. High school seniors who take the SAT are uniformly more intelligent than those who do not.

What idiosyncrasy about American college entrance testing is this Londoner not aware of that led him to come up with such implausible state IQ scores?

(Hint: I didn't choose the states in the examples above randomly.)

UPDATE: The American testing idiosyncrasy is that there are two competing college entrance exams: the SAT, which is devised in Princeton, New Jersey is dominant on the East and West Coasts, while the ACT, which is devised in Iowa City, Iowa (I believe), is dominant in the center of the country. If you are a kid in New Jersey whose dream school is Columbia and whose safety school is Rutgers, you'll take the SAT. If you are a kid in Iowa whose dream school is Northwestern and whose safety school is U. of Iowa, you'll take the ACT.

Thus, the average score for high school students who take the SAT in Iowa is much higher than in New Jersey, but that's because the percentage of high school students who take the SAT in Iowa is much lower than in New Jersey.

Kanazawa attempts to correct for the excessively high average SAT scores in Iowa by assuming that everybody who takes the SAT is "uniformly more intelligent than those who do not." That wouldn't be a terrible assumption if there were only one college entrance exam, but because there are two, and they are regionally based, it's disastrous.

Here's a good faith attempt from 2003 to get around this problem, which comes up with not implausible estimates (both Iowa and NJ do pretty good), although I think somebody could do a better job of combining SAT and ACT scores.

Kevin K said...

ACT versus SAT?

Mark Hughes said...

Garbage in, garbage out.

Anonymous said...

I see the article was written by one Satoshi Kanazawa.
He may live in London, but I doubt he is a Londoner ... if you know what I mean.

Stopped Clock said...

Wow. What a moron. The fallacy is that he assumes that anyone not taking the SAT chose not to do so because they weren't smart enough, and therefore assumes their potential SAT scores to be lower than even the lowest scores of the students who did take it. A good half of the USA simply doesn't use the SAT because they have other tests such as the ACT which are traditionally more important there.

Also, about halfway through the paper he starts misspelling NAEP as NEAP.

I can't believe Elsevier (one of the best names in academic publishing) actually let this through.

Black Sea said...

Agreed, it's SAT vs. ACT. ETS is located in New Jersey; the ACT is headquarted in Iowa.

He assumes that those who don't take the SAT are dumber than those that do. His assumption depresses the IQ scores in states where SAT participation is below average, without taking into account the possibility that students are choosing to take the ACT instead. In 2008, 60% of Iowa students took the ACT. Some of them undoubtedly also took the SAT, but probably not that many.

You'd think that, just by looking at the state-by-state table, the guy would have realized that something was up. You've got ridiculously huge variations between states, sometimes between neighboring states with similar demographic profiles.

J. and C. Matthews said...

ACT is based in Iowa. All Iowans going to college have to take the ACT, whereas very few take the SAT. The opposite is true in NJ.

An average IQ of 62 in Mississippi?!?

Stopped Clock said...

This guy obviously doesn't know very much about the United States. I suspect he didn't properly question his data since it seemed to show just what he wanted to see ... I've noticed a lot of left-wing British academics seem to revel in the belief that the British are smarter than Americans ... by which of course they mean white Americans, and above all, conservative white Americans. I'm sure I can't be the only one here who's heard a grown-up, educated white leftist make a statement which reveals the infantile caricature of America they believe in: nothing but gun-toting, Bible-quoting gay-bashing white Baptists from shore to shore. Even American liberals can do this. "Hey, some counties in Mississippi and Alabama actually voted Democratic! Kerry is starting to turn the tide!"

Richard h said...

From the article

"Recall, three variables go into the calculation of state IQ:...the porportion of seniors that take the SATs"

There you go.

Obviously, with the African American population having the lowest IQ in the country at 85,obviously no American state is in the 70s.

Steve, could you send this guy an e-mail and set him straight? It's great to see anybody taking IQ/Wealth correlation seriously and writing about it in journals. We need to make sure they get it right. The problem is when people exagaratte the differences between whites they lose sight of the fact that the difference between races is bigger than the difference between classes.

rob said...

White high school dropouts are likely more intelligent on average than black high school graduates.

Horatio said...

Going through the paper quickly and looking at his methods, I can't believe this made it beyond the peer review process. This paper is garbage.

Rain And said...

There's no reason to get all worked up over Kanazawa's estimates. He gets an E for Effort, and they are predictive.

The same journal issue has two response papers with critique and improved estimates.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2006.07.005

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2006.08.007

Audacious Epigone has some older posts about the latter paper.

Lucius Vorenus said...

This would be 108.6 in Camden, NJ, and 76.6 in Dubuque, IA?

BTW, he's also got "District of Columbia" listed with an IQ of "103.1".

I guess no one bothered to tell him about Marion Barry's comeback tour.

Or that D.C. was ranked #7 in murder rate in 2006.

Or maybe he doesn't understand the concept of commuting from Northern Virginia and Maryland.

Richard h said...

Never mind, Steve. I took the initiative and sent the guy a message through his website.

""Good day, my friend. I've been studying IQ and its connection to race and standard of living for a while now. I learned about one of your recent studies through this blog entry

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2008/09/iq-and-wealth-of-states.html

If you read through some of the comments you'll see where you went wrong. Not all states take the SAT, a test called the ACT is what is primarily taken in the Midwest and South for college admission. With the American black population's IQ at 85, there's no way that any American state is in the 70s!

Thank you, Richard.""

Dennis Mangan said...

Everyone one in Iowa takes the test, while only the smart kids in Jersey do? Or more kids in Iowa graduate high school, while only the smart kids in Jersey do? There's lead in Iowa's water?

Richard h said...

Opps, turned out I sent the message to a composer by the same name!

http://www.satoshikanazawa.com/

Don't worry, I found the real guy.

Here's the guy we're looking for.

http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/MES/people/kanazawa.htm

::Commenting on the criticism directed against some evolutionary psychology theories, Kanazawa has stated that "The only responsibility that scientists have is to the truth, nothing else. Scientists are not responsible for the potential or actual consequences of the knowledge they create."[6] This position, in turn, was criticized as "irresponsible"[7]::

On the other hand, he seems to have neo-con sympathies.

::Commenting on the War on Terror, Kanazawa claimed that "there is one resource that our enemies have in abundance but we don’t: hate. Hatred of enemies has always been a proximate emotional motive for war throughout human evolutionary history." He then offers the following thought experiment: "Imagine that, on September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers came down, the President of the United States was not George W. Bush, but Ann Coulter. What would have happened then? On September 12, President Coulter would have ordered the US military forces to drop 35 nuclear bombs throughout the Middle East, killing all of our actual and potential enemy combatants, and their wives and children. On September 13, the war would have been over and won, without a single American life lost. Yes, we need a woman in the White House, but not the one who’s running [ Hillary Clinton]".[8]::

Usually Lurking said...

ACTs

Anonymous said...

People with "learning disabilities" get more time to take sections of the test where time is the most important factor.

ben tillman said...

What a howler!

Anonymous said...

Table 1 in the study shows Washington DC with upto nearly 2SD higher IQ (103.1) compared to states that traditionally rank near the top of overall state academic performance:

ND (74.5)
UT (75.1)
SD (75.5)
IA (76.6)
WI (78.4)
MN (88.5)

Also, other states that generally perform average to poorly on national academic rankings come out near the top in this study:

ME (107.0)
GA (105.8)
FL (103.8)
SC (103.0)

The study makes sense if it means to simply compare how the wealthy (generally white) compare across state lines.

NH (110.3)
MA (109.9)
CT (109.4)
NY (108.9)
NJ (108.6)
VA (107.1)
ME (107.0)

The only surprise here is ME which is no academic superstar state.

Anonymous said...

High school seniors who take the SAT are uniformly more intelligent than those who do not.

Seniors who take the test are the ones not yet admitted to college?

There's some rule (funding??) in NJ that requires ALL SENIORS to take it?

c23 said...

Midwestern students take the ACT, not the SAT, unless they are intending to apply to schools outside of the Midwest, which most of aren't.

What makes this extra funny is that if you look at the actual data on page 3, Iowa has the highest SAT scores in the country. It's probably only the elite students who take the SAT in Iowa, but there are several other midwestern states in the same position.

Anonymous said...

They have Utah at 75.1. What a fiasco.

Jacob said...

He assumed smart students are always interested in going to college straight out of high school - as opposed to farming or a trade or the military.

Anonymous said...

It's another example of the fatal flaw of Ecomomics reasoning that you've mentioned before..."assume you have a can opener."

Jonathan said...

Using SAT scores as a proxy for IQ ignores the fact that SAT scores can be improved through practice and preparation. States like New Jersey have a high proportion of white, English-speaking, upper middle class families who do everything in their power to prepare kids to take the SAT. The result: higher average SAT scores than those achieved by kids in the Midwest.

Eric Falkenstein said...

You may not know as much formal econometrics as these guys, but you blow them away here.

However, the answer is not obvious. Does NJ have a much higher rate of students taking the SAT?

rightsaidfred said...

>>>>ACT versus SAT?

I'm guessing he did not account for the cohort taking the ACT instead of the SAT, so the Iowa population percentage taking the SAT is much lower than the 'Jersey percentage, hence our London friend assumed a bunch of Iowa youth are barely dragging themselves through high school and not taking the SAT, when in fact they are taking the ACT (which I assume is much more popular in Iowa than 'Jersey.)

This seems too obvious.

Brett said...

Oh, for fuck's sake. Does he not realize that there's another college admission test for U.S. colleges? Maybe he should choose an IQ metric that doesn't "[largely determine] state IQs... by the proportion of high school seniors that take the SAT."

That's right. Iowa, you're full of idiots because your high school kids take the less prestigious (but just as much of an aptitude test) ACT instead of the SAT.

Brett said...

Here's a nice scholarly takedown of the article:

Martin said...

"An academic at the London School of Economics has published an article called "IQ and the Wealth of States" claiming that the average IQ in, for example, New Jersey is 108.6 and in Iowa is 76.6."

This guy sounds like he could write for "The Economist". He's just they're sort of material.

tom said...

Is it that schools in some states actively manage who takes the SATs in order to increase their ratings (maybe within their state), while others do not? Does it predate NCLB?

In any case, Mississippi at 62 (62!) should have been a good indicator to the author or the journal that he'd gone off the rails.

That would put the state above only Equatorial Guinea on the "Wealth of Nations" chart, out of 81 countries. (Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the_wealth_of_nations)

An entire US state would be smack in the middle of the "mildly mentally retarded" category!! (wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_reference_chart_)

gf said...

Iowa: 2.5% black (9% non-white, total)

New Jersey: 15.2% black (22.3% non-white, total)

Affirmative Action in academia, encouraging low-IQ minority-group members to write the SAT in the hope of getting an acceptance letter that should have gone to a higher-IQ non-minority person: Priceless

Anonymous said...

Satoshi Kanazawa gives a bad name to evolutionary psychology. Just about every single one of his papers is methodologically slapdash.

Get a load of Table 1.

Iowa unadjusted mean SAT: 1204 (highest in the table)
(near the bottom/middle)

Yet his ostensible correction for censoring puts NJ 30 points over Iowa!! What a moron.

Anonymous said...

All the states with lots of ACT schools are have IQ's in the 70's. What an idiot.

Chief Seattle said...

The phrase "simplifying assumptions" with regard to who takes the SAT is pretty funny here since it's not at all guaranteed, and if it's not true it throws the entire calculation off. Simplifying assumptions are usually reserved for things like "gravity is constant at sea level", not mass sociological generalizations.

W Baker said...

Steve,

I think you should have chosen Alabama or Arkansas as your second example. Speaking as an Alabamian, this cat, Kanazawa, has never been down South, and, if he ever did, would probably be on the next flight out, if he ever entered an inner-city or a Black Belt school. (Black Belt used to be a geographical term used to describe soils rather than race, btw. But now it refers to race.)

One thing's for sure, Kanazawa would definitely second-guess his numbers if he ever made it out of those schools unscathed.

Let me hazard a guess at your fallacy. Could it be race down South and/or farming families/low populations out West/upper Midwest?

Word verification today is "fwunnyv" How apropos!

Anonymous said...

Even so, how do you look at any kind of sample of SAT scores and get a 78 IQ?

David said...

Well, he's accurate. It is true that the average person in those states would probably have those scores.

The fallacy is "average person." The population of New Jersey has many whites and Jews, who tend to have higher IQ scores; while Iowa has fewer Jews by percentage and, I would guess, as many blacks by percentage.

Meaning he is averaging signficantly disparate populations. There probably is no "average person," as he reads it, in either state. It's like one of those deals where the average thing happens not to physically exist - like "2.4 children." (There are cases where the average does exist, and in great numbers, of course.)

Reg CÃ¦sar said...

Did they include livestock in their figures? I mean, 76.6 is retardate level. In the state that gave us the Iowa Basic Skills Test. I think he confused Iowa with Malawi.

No one who's ever been to a Mensa gathering would "uniformly" assume what he does. That organization tends to attract the non-academic type, often blue-collar. (I shared the Mensa booth at a recent fair with an auto mechanic who always knew how smart he was, but simply wasn't interested in going to school forever.)

Iowans are a bright lot, left, right, and center.

Guts Strongman said...

No, SENIORS DON'T USUALLY TAKE THE SAT, LULZ

Give that dude an Andrew Sullivan award for culture Brit trying to understand American culture.

Derek said...

He lists Mississippi's IQ as 62. I thought I had a low opinion of Southerners but this guy takes the cake.

Derek said...

He lists Mississippi's IQ as 62. I'm pretty sure the Piraha have an IQ higher than that.

Danindc said...

Steve, I don't come to this site for you to ask me questions. I want answers so I can take what you said and pass it off as my own to my friends.

Mark said...

Ivy League schools tend to prefer the SAT, while plenty of other schools accept and/or prefer the ACT. I believe Colorado, in fact, requires all prospective high school grads to take the ACT.

Anonymous said...

ACT versus SAT?

Yes, that has to be it. Iowa and North Dakota both have high average SAT scores (1204 and 1195 respectively) but he calculates their average IQs as absurdly low (76.6 and 74.5 respectively). Clearly he's discounting because only a few kids take the SAT in those states.

Native of New Hampshire said...

How are these scores implausible? His article claims that New Hampshire has the highest average IQ of any state in the Union. That is clearly correct.

Anonymous said...

The ACT is a better test of IQ than the SAT since the SAT got dumbed down. One wonders if the study author has ever taken the ACT.

Anonymous said...

One error he makes would be setting the standard deviation too high. That is obvious from the wide range of state IQs.

Eric Falkenstein said...

Fewer people in Iowa take the test?

beowulf said...

Hmm, I see District of Columbia has an average IQ of 103.1 and Minnesota has average IQ of 88.5, yes that makes perfect sense.

Its interesting that despite having similar demographics, people in South Carolina (103 IQ) are so much smarter than folks in Mississippi (62 IQ). SC must have smaller classroom sizes and pay their teachers more.

Anonymous said...

I think kevin nailed it.

I know my home state of Oklahoma was always toward the high end of SAT scores, because the SAT was usually taken by kids who wanted to go to school out of state.

I would think this would skew the scores high, though, not low.

I don't see how any state would wind up with retardation-level averages.

J said...

Amazing that this thing gets published. Is Utah populated by morons? I didnt notice.

albertosaurus said...

This is a truly bizarre paper. It is incredibly wrongheaded.

The standard individual IQ tests (Stanford-Binet and the WAIS) have means of 100 and SDs or 16 and 15 (respectively). The SAT is designed to have a mean of 1000 and an SD of 100. As the authors correctly argue the group test SAT is roughly comparable to the group or individual IQ tests.

This means that a person who gets 1000 on the SAT can be roughly considered to be average - that is he would have an IQ of 100.

The paper shows a table of the state SAT averages and they are not very surprising. All of the states have scores from about 950 to 1100. For example Mississippi has a state SAT average of 1118 and New York has an SAT average of 1008. These scores indicate that US citizens are fairly uniform around the country in terms of intellect.

However the authors don't use the actual scores they use "adjusted" scores which show a much different picture. According to their adjustment procedure the avrage IQ in New York is 108.9 but the IQ in Mississippi is 62.7.

Their adjustment procedure reverses the trend of the observed scores. Iowa has a raw score average of over 1200 - comparable to an IQ of 130+ - enough for Mensa. The authors translate that score through their adjustment procedure to a state IQ score of 75 - mental retardation.

incognomen said...

Kevin k wins the prize. Utah, another state where the ACT is preffered, has an improbably low estimated IQ of 75.1 in this study.

albertosaurus said...

Without getting too lost in the algebraic tommyrot in this paper let me just point out that the authors in their Section A.3 Estimation of State IQ calculate that the US average SAT scores (verbal and quantitative) are 319.8 and 328.5.

This would mean that the US average IQ would be something like 70. Somehow they failed to notice this absurd result.

They adjust for truncation of distribution and reach a prima facie nonsense result. They then use these results to draw a whole series of momentous conclusions.

Did they think no one would look at the methology? Maybe they really believe that Americans are mentally retarded?

Humbug!

SamSam said...

Kanazawa has been publishing nonsense for a longtime now. The guy's knowledge of statistics is horrendous for someone with a PhD in a social science (thank god, his PhD is not in economics). He basically runs regressions and has no idea as to how to think about identification and inference issues even in the simplest of cases.

Here is a critique of some of his papers by Andrew Gelman (a statistician at Columbia University) that was sent to the Journal of Theoretical Biology:
http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/research/published/kanazawa.pdf
Unfortunately, the press loves to summarize some of his "research" because many of them fit into existing stereotypes.

Vernunft said...

Those numbers are remarkably bad. Look at this: "The proportion of high school seniors who take the SAT in 2005 varies widely, from the low of 4% in Mississippi and North Dakota to the high of 92% in New York..."

How can you run with numbers you know are going to be bogus?

Look at the state IQs for Mississippi and North Dakota. What a buffoon!

Leonard said...

With the spread of early admissions programs, I'd guess that many of the best students are now taking SATs late in their junior year, and only retaking in their senior year if their initial score was not satisfactory.

One other factor skewing results would likely be SAT test prep services, which I suspect are much more popular and accessible in urban states than in flyover country.

Native of New Hampshire said...

Kanazawa's methodology may be a mess, but he's not simply reinforcing stereotypes. At least on the East Coast most people would assume that Iowans would on average have HIGHER IQs than your average mouth breathing Rhode Islander or New Jerseyite.

Anonymous said...

The paper also impacts the credibility of Michael McDaniel because the author thanks him for "useful discussions". If I were Michael McDaniel, I would beg NOT to be thanked in the paper.

steve wood said...

Kanazawa makes allowance for the fact that the absolute numbers are probably inaccurate but argues that they are useful as relative measures in comparing one state to another.

From this I conclude that he must be an idiot whose only knowledge of the USA comes from TV shows. Who else would believe that Mainers are 20% smarter than Minnesotans or that the average IQ in South Carolina is above the national average and 38% higher than in North Dakota? (Yeah, I know ... people from Maine and South Carolina will believe it!)

I don't understand how something so transparently wrong could be published in what appears to be a peer-reviewed journal.

agnostic said...

The irony is that Kanazawa was really high-and-mighty about blogging -- "Oh, I'm an academic, blogging is for morons."

Between you, me, Audacious Epigone, and Inductivist, who do our work largely in free time -- for fun, as a productive way of goofing off -- we know more than he does!

There's a study of his I usually refer to, but maybe I'll have to look seriously into it; it's probably BS too.

Anonymous said...

Nobody has really explained this yet. I think this is a full explanation.

The key is his assumption that “whatever proportion of an age cohort which takes the SAT is its brightest segment.” (Let’s ignore the improper use of the word “which.”) What he is doing is assuming that, if only 10% of high school seniors take the SAT in a given state, then every single one of those seniors is smarter than every single senior that did not take the SAT. This is obviously wrong in every state. There will always be some highly intelligent seniors that do not take the SAT for some reason, and there will be some not-so-intelligent seniors that do take the SAT for some reason. Therefore, he will systematically under-estimate the intelligence of the top 10% of the distribution because he has some not-so-intelligent seniors mixed in.

Then, you have to understand his truncation “correction.” (This is the technical part.) Using just the SAT scores he has, he draws in the rest of the normal distribution assuming that the average SAT score is the average for the smartest seniors, i.e., the very top end of the distribution. From this implied distribution, he calculates what the average SAT score would be if all seniors took the SAT. But, since he has underestimated the average SAT score of the most intelligent seniors, he underestimates the average intelligence of the entire distribution.

Note that this is true for every state, so we haven’t yet explained why it biases his results against Iowa and in favor of New Jersey. To understand this, you have to ask when the bias will be most severe. It will be most severe when only a small fraction of seniors take the SAT. When few seniors take the SAT, the bias will be worse because a lot of the seniors taking the SAT will be below the assumed intelligence and some will be very far below the assumed intelligence. (Think of an extreme case where only .01% take the SAT. Then, most of the SAT takers will actually be well below the top .01% in intelligence.) When most seniors take the SAT, the bias will not be very bad because only a few less-intelligent seniors are included, and so it won’t drag the average down very much.

This is why states such as Iowa (home of the ACT?) where only a few seniors take the SAT have absurdly low IQ estimates, and states like New Jersey (home of the SAT I think) where most students take the SAT have higher IQ estimates.

What a maroon.

Dan Kurt said...

re: [S]teve wood said "...I conclude that [Kanazawa] must be an idiot whose only knowledge of the USA comes from TV shows."

Not so.

Dr Kanazawa received his MA in sociology from the University of Washington (1987) and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Arizona (1994). He has previously taught at Cornell University and the University of Illinois - Urbana.

Dan Kurt

Anonymous said...

agnostic said...
The irony is that Kanazawa was really high-and-mighty about blogging -- "Oh, I'm an academic, blogging is for morons."

Really? He runs a blog on the Psychology Today website.

B.B.

Svigor said...

Steve, I don't come to this site for you to ask me questions. I want answers so I can take what you said and pass it off as my own to my friends.

Mu'Min M. Bey said...

OK fellas, let's cut right to the chase: the big difference between Iowa and New Jersey is that the former has fewer dumb folks (read, Black) and the latter has more dumber folks (read, Black), but the guy who did the study is either ignorant of this fact about America, is ignorant about the differences between the ACT and SAT tests, and/or is hopelessly biased to the Left.

Do I have that right?

And if I DO have that right, then we have to move to the next issue, which is, that yet *again*, those dumb-assed Black folks are taking all our rightful places in schools, no thanks to that al-dreaded Affirmative Action. Right, fellas?

So, here's my thing: why isn't there a serious study done as to exactly WHO are THEE BIGGEST BENEFICIARIES OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, and let's not limited it to Race, OK? Let's really blow the doors off, afterall, we're after the truth, remember? Maybe if we really tried hard, we'd find, that AA has most benefitted WHITE WOMEN. And, since we all know that men outscore women in terms of IQ anyway, they don't really belong there. So, as soon as we wipe the slate clean of those dumb-assed Darkies, Amy and Heather'll be next....

Right?

*Mu wonders out loud of there is a correlation between supposedly high IQ and yellow stripes running down the backs of said obstensible high IQ types...*

Holla back

Salaam
Mu

Anonymous said...

Kanazawa isn't a Londoner. I've heard him speak. I don't know where he was born, but he got his MA at University of Washington and PhD at Arizona, and speaks English with an American accent.

Of course, most of London's population are hardly Londoners these days.

Back to Kanazawa, this was a stupid mistake, but he's a good guy who has taken some hits for stuff he's written - both academic articles and non-academic articles. I understand he was specifically hired by LSE to bolster their sociobiology/ evolutionary psychology cred.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed a lot of left-wing British academics seem to revel in the belief that the British are smarter than Americans

Not just "left-wing", not just "British", not just "academics": a lot of Europeans, period, revel in the belief that they are smarter than Americans.

by which of course they mean white Americans, and above all, conservative white Americans.

Bingo. They're not anti-American so much as anti-white American.

Most Europeans also seem to believe that white Americans are homogenous group descended from the Brits. The news of the huge European migrations to America starting in the mid to late 19th century hasn't gotten to them yet.

I'm sure I can't be the only one here who's heard a grown-up, educated white leftist make a statement which reveals the infantile caricature of America they believe in: nothing but gun-toting, Bible-quoting gay-bashing white Baptists from shore to shore.

This stereotype is promulagted every day in the European media.

Once a Brtish acquaitance of mine said in my presence to his German girlfriend, after she had expressed an interest in going to America, "The Americans are just dumb - they have no depth!" Apparently, he wasn't aware that what was a self-evident truth to him might be offensive to me.

Anonymous said...

You've got ridiculously huge variations between states, sometimes between neighboring states with similar demographic profiles.

To a true liberal/left believer that would be irrelevant. The only thing that counts is environment, in this case the teaching and educational administrations of Iowa vs NJ.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Stopped Clock: I can't believe Elsevier (one of the best names in academic publishing) actually let this through.

J: Amazing that this thing gets published. Is Utah populated by morons? I didnt notice.

albertosaurus: Maybe they really believe that Americans are mentally retarded?

I think the fact that this paper passed "peer review", with data which purports to show that the Blue States have IQs higher than Japan or South Korea [frankly up into the Hong Kong stratum], and which also has the Red States solidly down in mildly retarded territory, gives you a pretty good idea what the globe-trotting intelligentsia think of traditional American values [in particular, Christianity].

Anonymous said...

Uh, don't we already have IQ figures by state? Why argue about Kanazawa's bogus estimates?

Anonymous said...

"I suspect he didn't properly question his data since it seemed to show just what he wanted to see ... I've noticed a lot of left-wing British academics..."

Kanawaza is not left-wing by a long shot, he loves to posture as anti-PC, and in a Psychology Today article he described a thought experiment (personal fantasy?) of a President Ann Coulter's nuking the entire middle east. See his wiki for the link.

Really hard to construe this as left-wing bias and not just methodological blundering.

Anonymous said...

Considering how few Iowan high schoolers take the SAT, I would imagine that Iowa has one of the highest SAT averages in the nation. I would think that only those applying to out-of-state colleges would bother taking the test.

Half Sigma said...

Based on a hunch, Iowa, compared to NJ, has fewer really stupid people, but also fewer really smart people.

Anonymous said...

Half of all New Jersey college freshmen this year are non-white, according to the NJ Star Ledger. White families are leaving the state and we have had a huge amount of Asian immigration this decade: Indians, Koreans and Chinese. The huge Hispanic wave hasn't hit college-age yet so expect an IQ bump for 10 years or so and then a regression.

Martin said...

"Anonymous said...

Kanazawa isn't a Londoner. I've heard him speak. I don't know where he was born, but he got his MA at University of Washington and PhD at Arizona, and speaks English with an American accent."

That is truly amazing. If he had never been in the United States ever, which was possible given his name and present affiliation, you could almost imagine him being oblivious to the error he had made (i.e., when Iowa or Minnesota's mean IQ comes out lower than D.C.'s or Jerseys).

But this guy went to school in America, at reputable universities. He must be more than passingly familiar with the American scene. How could he have seen the numbers he came up with and not instantly realized that there was something hinky about them?

"Anonymous said...

Uh, don't we already have IQ figures by state? Why argue about Kanazawa's bogus estimates?"

It is the fact he, a professor at the LSE, produced such obviously incorrect numbers is the whole point of Steve's post. But you raise a good point: This data must be tabulated somewhere. Why didn't he just look it up?

Anonymous said...

This guy was a friend of Richard Lynn, I once saw them hugging and all on a picture.

Some of Kanazawa's essays are quite interesting, I guess. Too bad, he's being bashed all over the place.

eh said...

...but that's because the percentage of high school students who take the SAT in Iowa is much lower in New Jersey.

Shouldn't this be "...is much lower than in New Jersey."?

J said...

Kanazawa´s methodology is reasonable, and he made one wrong assumption that can be corrected. He made the wrong assumption that all high IQ individuals took the SAT and the rest didnt because they couldnt. It is like saying that the proportion of people asking for admission to Mathematics is related to the average IQ of the population. It may be true. You can test it. Regarding SAT it is wrong and the absurd results he got should have alerted him and his collegues.

J said...

P.S.: What is more interesting is that Kanazawa achieved significant correlation between his ridiculous State IQ figures and poverty and so on. If someone can do that with statistics, then can get any result with statistics. Conclusion: Believe only to your eyes. Utah is not the Central African Republic.

Mu'Min M. Bey said...

Again: let's get right to the point, gentlemen! Let's go right to the obvious: Iowa has far fewer Black people than does New Jersey, and we all know that Black folk on the whole ain't too bright, right? OK then, so simple logic would have to mean that Affirmative Action, etc., would have to come to an end, as it only shoves out and passes over more qualified and deserving White Males.

OK, I'm completely cool w/that.

But FIRST, I need to see same White Males go after the Number One Beneficiary of Affirmative Action: WHITE WOMEN. Summers was right, we all know that, men are smarter than women on average. So, therefore, Affirmative Action must come to an end on that front, too. Right?

And since there have been so many more White Women to get over like a fat rat on AA, we have to address this situation real quick, as they pose a clear and present danger not only to said aggrieved White Males, but to the whole of Western Civ. We have to immediately stop funding Women's Studies Departments at colleges and universities, etc. And all that hiring and business contract setaside stuff? That has to cease, immediately.

Not to worry; we'll get to the Darkies soon enough. But as we all know they ain't no real threat to most White guy's jobs (unless they work for the Post Office), clearly the Number One Target has to be the real threat delivered upon us via Affirmative Action: the WHITE WOMAN.

Besides, we now can proudly point to Palin as an example of just how stupid and ridiculous and pernicious myths and out and out lies like "the glass ceiling" does nothing to advance women, right? She's the perfect ammo to use against Affirmative Action for WHITE WOMEN.

Then, once we've cleansed our civ of undeserving Darkies and wommins, we can then move on to those haughty Bluebloods, gettin' over on Legacy Affirmative Action. We all know they ain't really so smart. So out they go, too.

According to all the authorities on the subject, the only ones, on average, who belong at the world's elite universities, and who belong in the top employment slots, are Asians and Jews. Which I'm completely, wholly, cool with. Because I'm truly for a strict merit-based system. No hook me ups, no sports scholarships, no set asides for color, or gender, and no old boys' network. You either sink or swim on your own raw brainpower.

So-who's with me? I say we start a Ward Connerly style Proposition to be put on the ballet out in CA in the next election, targeting White Women. And then we can go from there, expanding the program countrywide.

Who's down?

Now, don't everyone step up at once...

Salaam
Mu

PS: in case Steve's reading this, I'm serious; can he find a study correlating high IQ w/Cowardice?

gf said...

...yet *again*, those dumb-assed Black folks are taking all our rightful places in schools, no thanks to that al-dreaded [sic] Affirmative Action. Right, fellas?.... Maybe if we really tried hard, we'd find, that AA has most benefitted [sic] WHITE WOMEN....

*Mu wonders out loud of [sic] there is a correlation between supposedly high IQ and yellow stripes running down the backs of said obstensible [sic] high IQ types...*

From The Death of Meritocracy:

"Because of quotas for underrepresented minorities, approximately 50 Asians and whites [in a class of 191] were denied admission to the UCLA Medical School. Their places were taken by 50 less-qualified blacks and Hispanics."

Plus, manipulating entrance requirements for women would obviously benefit not just white gals but also the valued "twofer" minority chicks.

Check the color and pattern of your own back, Mu. You might be surprised. Either way, meritocracy's a good thing. Affirmative Action, not so much.

James Kabala said...

I'm not sure that anti-Southern, anti-red-state, or anti-conservative bias is behind this study. East Coast red states like South Carolina and Georgia come out quite well, which only exacerbates the absurdity - why would culturally and ethnically similar states like Georgia and Mississippi have scores 40 points apart?

I think sheer stupidity disconnect from the real world are the explanations. He was unaware of the ACT, and once having made that mistake, he followed his bad data blindly instead of checking it against common sense.

MQ said...

I think Kanazawa is the same guy who published all those ridiculous evolutionary psychology articles in Psychology Today, about the origins of blond hair and so forth. If so, this just provides more proof that he's a fool.

Mu'Min M. Bey said...

GF,
You heard what I said, I didn't stutter. Everytime conversations like these come up they invariably turn to Black/Brown folks taking our rightful spots, Affirmative Action is no good, etc. Well, I think you and your ilk are Cowards, you deserve the White Feather because if you were really serious about Meritocracy you'd start at the top of the Affirmative Action foodchain, which are WHITE WOMEN.

As Sailer so often notes w/you White folks, its all about duking it out for Supremacy; we Darkies are but props in that grand cage/grudge match. Affirmative Action ain't nothing more than a way to vent some displaced anger you White boys have against WHITE WOMEN, for taking your choicest spots, putting a Women's Studies Dept on every campus, etc, et al. You wanna quote some study that I'm already familiar with, why don't you quote ALL the Affirmative Action stats sine its inception to present, GF? Lets see who really benefits. You make the call, "big man". LOL!

And as for Affirmative Action itself, I'm full out against it, and do you know why, GF? Its because of people like you. Nobody wants to really be honest about AA.

Whie guys don't want to really say that they don't want WHITE WOMEN getting those spots at places like MIT, but, you see, they gotta actually live w/and among them...and we all know how you high IQ White boys have such a hard time getting some pussy...so, saying something like that to the White Ladies could make your lives that much more difficult. On the other hand, the relatively few Darkies on campus, on the job, getting those contracts, they the low hangin fruit.

And you know it. No muss, no fuss, since you'll NEVER say such things to a Black man's face (and actually live to tell about it), its perfect.

The only thing is, everyone knows the deal. Its all about scapegoating, but you know what, because I actually believe that I can get even the most diehard Cracker to hire me if I show em I'm the best at what I do, I'm all for bringing a full on Meritocracy, GF. And I mean MERITOCRACY-NO ONE ADMITTED if they don't meet the strictest standards.

See, if it were me, I'd start right at the top, w/White women. Get rid of the Women's Studies Departments, the fake and phony PC hires and promotions among women, rollback junk like maternity leave, etc. If you can't hack it, get out, period.

Then we'd get the atheletic scholarships-this is your favorate part, GF. Strictly academically based, and if the Alumni don't like it, fine, take your money elsewhere. I'm sure we can find replacements. Strict meritocracy based on nothing but raw brainpower and excellence in standards. Nothing but. I don't give a damn if your momma built the university w/her bare hands. You either make the academic cut, or you're out.

So as you can see, I've already addressed the so-called Legacy students. Just because your momma and daddy gave up millions don't mean shit. You still gotta cut the academic mustard.

Now, because we all know that Asians and Jews are the smartest of the lot we can pretty much predict who'll be at the forefront of all classes, right? Don't worry GF, I'm sure they'll be a few White boys who can hang. Can't say the same for White women though, because, as we all know, they just ain't as bright as the fellas.

And I'm serious about the Connerly proposal, only this time, include gender in there, so we can thin the feminist herd. Most of em don't belong there anyway.

I am down for a complete and total meritocracy, GF. Are you?

If so, you know where to start first, that is, if you man enough...

Holla back

Salaam
Mu

Anonymous said...

It seems even the smartest people in social-political sciences know NOTHING about IQ.

Remember when the Economist was fooled by a stateIQ-voter affiliation hoax?
This is what they published:
So Democrats really are smarter

Presidential vote 2000 and states' average IQ
(B)=Bush, (G)=Gore

1 Connecticut (G) 113
2 Massachusetts (G) 111
New Jersey (G) 111
4 New York (G) 109
5 Rhode Island (G) 107
6 Hawaii (G) 106
7 Maryland (G) 105
New Hampshire (B)105
9 Illinois (G) 104
10 Delaware (G) 103
...
40 Alabama (B) 90
Louisiana (B) 90
Montana (B) 90
Oklahoma (B) 90
S. Dakota (B) 90
46 S. Carolina (B) 89
Wyoming (B) 89
48 Idaho (B) 87
Utah (B) 87
50 Mississippi (B) 85

____
Question. How many editors do you suppose saw the item before it was published? If a lot of people at the Economist scanned over and allowed it, then even the Economist is clueless about IQ. Sorry to deflate your ego Steve, but the prestige media doesn't secretly read your blog.

Truth said...

""Because of quotas for underrepresented minorities, approximately 50 Asians and whites [in a class of 191] were denied admission to the UCLA Medical School. Their places were taken by 50 less-qualified blacks and Hispanics."

Correction:

"Because of quotas for underrepresented minorities, approximately 50 Asians were denied admission to UCLA medical school. Their places were taken by 50 less qualified whites, blacks, and Hispanics.

Martin said...

"Anonymous said...

If a lot of people at the Economist scanned over and allowed it, then even the Economist is clueless about IQ."

There is little about which "The Economist" is not clueless.

some chick said...

"So as you can see, I've already addressed the so-called Legacy students. Just because your momma and daddy gave up millions don't mean shit. You still gotta cut the academic mustard."

I hate to burst your bubble, Mu, but admission to the original Ivy League was by legacy only.

Anonymous said...

Steve, saw at half sigma's (a comment) a link to your McCain IQ posting; have you posted Obama's? Any numbers on the Clintons' IQs?

Kent Gatewood

Tripp said...

Man, that last assertion by Truth was as well-supported by factual citations as ANY of his posts.

Estimate the average IQs of those ethnic groups for us, Truth.

Truth said...

"Estimate the average IQs of those ethnic groups for us, Truth."

I'm not qualified to estimate the IQs of millions of people I don't know. I'll leave that one up to geniuses like you, sport.

Mark said...

a lot of Europeans, period, revel in the belief that they are smarter than Americans.

Over half the kids being born in the USA aren't white. The belief that Europeans are smarter than Americans is true, and is getting more true by the minute. A century hence the USA will look like South Africa of old, with a small group of whites and a smaller group of Asians managing a very large group of sub-90 IQ Hispanics and blacks.

Anonymous said...

Over here, in Britain, the MSM have always been happy to trumpet surveys in the US showing the x% of Americans can't find the US on a map. Or Y% of US school children can't name the President etc etc

Before I woke up I used to chuckle at these stories too, not realising just who many of these 'Americans' actually were.

At best its misrepresentation. At worst its a deliberate denigration of white Americans - because thats who we think of when we think of generic Americans.

Sport said...

Unfortunately, you earn a big Fail on this one, Truth. If you have no estimates of different ethnic groups' average cognitive abilities, you certainly can't claim affirmative action helps white people.

Knowing someone personally has nothing to do with estimating their IQ. Dozens of IQ surveys have been done on the various racial groups. American blacks are about a standard deviation below average. Asians are above average.

I've never quite gotten a sense of your overall feelings about affirmative action. From you I mainly read ad hominems (which are apparently supposed to be clever?) Tell us how you feel about affirmative action, and how its alleged tendency to help white people figures into your opinion. Do you think Asians should continue to step aside for white people?

How do you feel about other Nixon-era programs?

Anonymous said...

White women don't get AA to college now, unless you count ridiculous Title IX and its sports mandates. Men even get AA at some colleges now.

Truth said...

I feel that affirmative action is, at this point in time, a bad idea. I think that 40 years ago when it started, it was a necessity as the average white person felt that blacks had tails (we don't in case you were wondering). Now that whites blacks and others are accustomed to seeing each other in all sorts of situations there is no need for it as it is unfair to whites and even more unfair to blacks.

This is what is misunderstood by many whites now. A-A is akin to having a 17 year old who has been fed nothing but breast milk his whole life, and wondering why he has never developed muscles. People never appreciate that which is given to them without effort, and as a matter of fact become defensive and touchy when you constantly put it back in their faces.

I do not believe in reparations either, the past is the past, let it die. Of course, however I empathize with those who do as they cite examples such as the Jews after WWII and the Japanese who suffered internment, etc. The difference is that this compensation went to the direct people affected, not their descendants. Had the slaves been give 40 acres and a mule this country would have been much different than it is today. Andrew Johnson was the worst president until Boy George.

There are articles on the web that illustrate that Asians are discriminated against in favor of whites (and blacks and Hispanics) for college admissions, especially in the Ivy league. Ivy league schools discriminated against Jews in the post war era as they did not want to encourage a reputation as a haven for nerds. The same thing is now happening with Asians. You can do your own research on that, there are many citations.

People on both sides of these issue must realize the way laws work. On day one of law school, students are told that the essence of law is to restore the plaintiff to a level of perceived eveness or 'wholeness' for the wrong he has suffered.

Affirmative action was simply created as a counterweight to 'negative action'. In other words, blacks are given preferential treatment in schools their parents were not allowed to attend, and given preference for jobs their parents would not have been considered for. Is this so unfair, especially in light of the fact that said parents still had to pay taxes which benefited such businesses.

I could go on about this for hours my good man but I hope this sheds some light for you. Thanks for asking.

Simon Oliver Lockwood said...

Has there been work done on figuring out the correct relationship between ACT and SAT scores? I would think that enough people take both tests so that you could figure that a 90th percentile on the ACT = whatever percentile on the SAT if you could get the data.