October 29, 2012

The Gap is closing!

Speaking of Arthur Jensen, Occidentalist has a table listing all 40 academic studies he could find of the white-black gap in average IQ in the U.S. They range from 1918, when it was measured at 17 points, to 2008, when it was found to be 16 points. So, don't let anybody tell you The Gap hasn't closed over the last 90 years.

Seriously, is there anything in the human sciences more stable than La Griffe's Fundamental Constant of American Sociology? It's really odd when you stop to think about how stable it has been. I suspect that differences in average height have changed significantly more over the generations. For example, when I was a kid, the Dutch weren't particularly tall, not the way they are now.

Things change.

Except this ...

Indeed, I'm wondering whether there isn't some kind of behavioral feedback at work regarding IQ that somehow keeps The Gap about the same. I don't have any candidates in mind for what that stabilizing mechanism might be, but it's worth considering.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Indeed, I'm wondering whether there isn't some kind of behavioral feedback at work regarding IQ that somehow keeps The Gap about the same."

Drinking malt liquor makes you dumb which makes you want to drink more malt liquor.

Anonymous said...

Steve, this is beneath your usual standards. Look at Occidentalist's table: the lowest-scoring recent study, and several other lower-scoring ones, are those that sample both young and old, while studies mainly sampling the young do better.

If conditions have improved, as in education, removal of lead from the environment, and better nutrition, then that will affect generations growing up in the new conditions more than the old.

And there has been much more of a closing of the gap in the area of school performance and childhood testing. These gains may fade in adulthood, but this is a slanted presentation.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Milius

eah said...

It's really odd when you stop to think about how stable it has been.

No it isn't. Especially when you consider 1) that it is significantly more genetic than "fifty-fifty", and 2) 'reversion to the mean' (over a large population), among other phenomena.

pat said...

I am trying to learn about the substrate for human intelligence. This would be like my theory of homosexuality. It may seem the height of hubris to presume to be able to say anything worthwhile without any academic credentials, but like homosexuality, intelligence is overburdened with politically correct obfuscations.

There is a great deal of nonsense promulgated by those with PC agendas.

Basically I think that the genetics of IQ is rather simple. This is not the prevailing opinion but it accounts for the evidence better than the kind of wishful thinking now popular. It may account for the persistence of the gap.

Most liberal theorists only allow themselves to think within a severe set of restraints lest they imply that race is important.

More later. Got to watch the hurricane on TV.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

You realize that all the PC meddling with IQ data over the last 100 years (gender norming, "Class norming", a general degradation of standards, etc), makes historical studies of IQ pretty much as un-scientific as so-call "climate science"?

Add to that the horrid degradation of educational standard and the whole matter becomes extremely difficult to speak about, particularly given the PC climate we live in.

I doubt our current society can face the conclusions of a honest and rational study of these matters, even if the data could be cleaned up, or even find such studies.

You speculations here really amount so so much psuedo science and Scientism.

Steve Sailer said...

"If conditions have improved, as in education, removal of lead from the environment, and better nutrition, then that will affect generations growing up in the new conditions more than the old."

Indeed. So, why don't we see it?

Perhaps there is a countervailing tendency that keeps the gap stable. Perhaps, when environmental conditions improve, dysgenic breeding becomes more popular? Or, something else, perhaps. It's worth thinking about why The Gap is so stable over 90 years.

Anonymous said...

It might be that whites and blacks in America have an unhealthy relationship in which the blacks always try to do worse at everything whites do no matter how badly the whites do it?

sunbeam said...

Steve Sailer said:

"Perhaps there is a countervailing tendency that keeps the gap stable. Perhaps, when environmental conditions improve, dysgenic breeding becomes more popular? Or, something else, perhaps. It's worth thinking about why The Gap is so stable over 90 years."

This is something I'd like to know more about. Whites have one "mean" as far as intelligence goes (surely it'd be able to define among whites a group with another mean, even a geographic or "racial" one). Jews have another, several depending on where their ancestors originated. High caste Indian versus low caste, South Asians versus North, etc.

How long does it take to shift a "mean?" Additionally now we define white pretty much by skin color and maybe the part of Europe where their ancestors originated. Maybe in the future it will be skin color and whether your ancestors all attended Stanford or Yale. Some people in fly-over country (if it hasn't been spun off as an under-performing subsidiary) might think differently, but that hardly matters does it?

Or maybe we get a whole new overclass which is composed of folks whose ancestors were a mix of Jews, Asians, some Whites, and a smattering of others including some Blacks.

Secondly I'd kind of like to know how long it takes an Eugenics program to get results, if it strongly selects for increased intelligence. We effectively come close now with the assortative mating and other issues that go along with it.

Thirdly, how long does the "Eugenics" program that the rest of America is undergoing take to make changes in the population? It's hard to put a finger on what is happening here, but I've noticed a change in how my particular society works in just my lifetime, along with "mating patterns."

Whatever exactly is being selected for here.

WMarkW said...

I'm surprised the Gap isn't closing faster. There's a very strong negative correlation for white between education (a strong proxy for intelligence in a large population) and reproductivity. I wouldn't expect the black correlation to be nearly as strong, so the black/white IQ gap should narrow as the former backs up.

International Jew said...

I can't think of a "stabilizing mechanism". What I do see is a steady downward pressure coming from various attempts to be nice--affirmative action, welfare, and tolerance for black misbehavior.

The Legendary Linda said...

I suspect that differences in average height have changed significantly more over the generations. For example, when I was a kid, the Dutch weren't particularly tall, not the way they are now.

That's true. I believe the Dutch used to be shorter than Americans and are now significantly taller. The Dutch have seen rapid height increases over the second half of the 20th century, which interestingly seem to be paralleled by some of the largest Flynn Effects ever reported.

Seriously, is there anything in the human sciences more stable than La Griffe's Fundamental Constant of American Sociology?

Perhaps the height gap between men and women? Like the black-white IQ gap in the United States, the gender gap might be 100% genetic, and if so, neither would be expected to change.


Indeed, I'm wondering whether there isn't some kind of behavioral feedback at work regarding IQ that somehow keeps The Gap about the same.


Well the Occam's razor explanation for why the IQ gap has stayed so constant is that it's entirely dictated by genes, however one could argue that the ENVIRONMENTAL gap between the races has also remained constant. However denying environments have improved is insulting to all the civil rights activists who sacrificed so much to make conditions better for minorities.

Chicago said...

It's surprising that the gap hasn't widened rather than narrowed. A large part of the black population has pretty much dropped any pretense of going along with white values and have counterposed themselves to white society by explicitly differentiating themselves in manners of behavior, dress, speech, music, entertainment interests, etc. Striving for things whites consider desirable, such as good grades and higher education, are just dismissed as irrelevant and maybe even subversive. With all the mindless gang wars and flash mobs of recent years one can see that these youths are dumber than their grandparents and getting dumber by the day. These are the ones who have larger numbers of children than other groups without a second thought about it. Yuppies don't think they'll be able to afford a child until 2020 because the stock market is down or some such concern while for others it's full speed ahead. That the gap has been stable is probably artificial and due to the extra support and resources allocated to blacks- but not to whites. The gap is probably wider than the official statistics indicate.

Simon in London said...

WMarkW:
"I'm surprised the Gap isn't closing faster. There's a very strong negative correlation for white between education (a strong proxy for intelligence in a large population) and reproductivity. I wouldn't expect the black correlation to be nearly as strong, so the black/white IQ gap should narrow as the former backs up."

Actually the strongest negative correlation between IQ and fertility is found in black women. The Bell Curve discusses this AIR. And in general the negative IQ/fertility correlation is far stronger in women than in men. High IQ white women don't have enough children, but with high IQ black women it's far worse.

MJM said...

This is not scientific, but more like philosophical speculation. Most
things genetic behave according to inexorable laws, at least over the
long term. Normally, you cannot "turn off" the "usually gets more fit,
at least for survival" stuff. But after humans reached the point where
day-to-day survival is more or less assured, it sort of changes the rules.
Now the things that matter are less related to innate (meaning wet-ware)
ability than effort and foresight. That being the case, any group that
lacks these two ingredients is now stuck forever... there is no genetic
switch that can turn them on.

The slam against some groups has been exactly that from the first times
Europeans interacted with them:
childlike, lazy, inability to see
consequences, etc.

Ergo, the gap may never close.

Cail Corishev said...

"There's a very strong negative correlation for white between education (a strong proxy for intelligence in a large population) and reproductivity."

There has to be something missing from the Idiocracy theory, though. We know that assortive mating by IQ is real, and that high-IQ people have more children than low-IQ people, at least when there's a decent level of comfort and stability in a society. But if that were the whole story, we should have been getting dumber and dumber over the centuries, and be blithering idiots by now.

Yet that doesn't seem to be the case. If the Flynn Effect is real, it shows the opposite: we're getting smarter as a group. So there has to be something that balances out the Idiocracy Effect. Maybe regression to the mean is stronger on the low end than the high end, or something like that.

JayMan said...

There's plenty of evidence for highly dysgenic breeding:

For Whites

And Blacks.

That said, I don't think the rate of decrease thanks to dysgenic breeding would have been enough to counteract the positive effects that improved environment should have had. But then, it doesn't: that's why we have the Flynn Effect.

Charlesz Martel said...

Most of the increasing height that we have seen in European peoples over the last 50 years is due to superior nutrition. The postwar years had severe deprivation. Audrey Hepburn had rickets as a child. Adequate food has allowed these people to reach their full height potential.
I think the female tendency towards dysgenics- at least in regards to IQ ( " I like them big and stupid" -a Julie Brown song) is a major factor. High IQ tends to go along with less physical dominance in a male, and that's a major turn-off for females.

Douglas Knight said...

I think you are mistaken about height.

Yes, the Dutch have gained an inch on the Germans and Swedes, but they were already the tallest in Europe before you were born. Discarding the Dutch, the gaps between all the other European countries are surprisingly stable, even as everyone gets taller.

My assessment is based on tables in wikipedia. Does you have better data?

Anonymous said...

So in 1630 years blacks will lead by 1 point.

Rob said...

We won't be around to see the two races converge, but, well...roll on 2808.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

You know, a lot of people understand that blacks have a group average IQ of 85.

But most people don't have a good feeling for what that means in real world terms, or, to be tactless, exactly how dumb is someone with an IQ of 85.

It might be instructive to have an IQ test/SAT test, etc, with the questions that a 100 IQ would get right and annotated with which of those a 85 would get wrong. I'll bet that would make a huge impression on people, to quantify something like this.

Bostonian said...

Steve, it is not easy to figure out where the links are to click on in your posts.

Thanks for your work as always.

XYZhu said...

"The Black-White IQ Gap: Is It Closing? Will It Ever Go Away?"

http://www.aei.org/events/2006/11/28/the-black-white-iq-gap-is-it-closing-will-it-ever-go-away-event/

Here's one of Murray's Powerpoint slides, which says that WMarkW has it backwards.

The dysgenic pattern of fertility
among black women.
�� The NLSY-79 women (born 1957–1964)
have completed their fertility.
�� 58 percent of black children were born to
women with IQs below the black mean.
�� 50 percent of white children were born to
women with IQs below the white mean.

Svigor said...

Cognition is next to adaptation.

Height, not as much.

Anonymous said...

Environment and heat dissipation perhaps. The environment that we choose to live in is different from theirs, and temperature imposes an upper level on how high a mean can go. Blacks would stop being black if they lived in an environment that wasn't severely taxing on large brains, and vice versa. Climate controlled infrastructure likewise throws this in both the north and the south.

ralph ellison said...

Yeah, the behavioral feedback is called Uncle Tom syndrome.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps there is a countervailing tendency that keeps the gap stable. Perhaps, when environmental conditions improve, dysgenic breeding becomes more popular? Or, something else, perhaps. It's worth thinking about why The Gap is so stable over 90 years."

William Shockley wrote that there was much more dysgenic fertility among blacks than whites.

Anonymous said...

Black culture and lifestyle are huge contributors. This lowers the environmental side of IQ

Anonymous said...

“It might be instructive to have an IQ test/SAT test, etc, with the questions that a 100 IQ would get right and annotated with which of those a 85 would get wrong. I'll bet that would make a huge impression on people, to quantify something like this.”

Charles Murray does something similar to this with NAEP questions in “Real Education.”

“That the gap has been stable is probably artificial and due to the extra support and resources allocated to blacks- but not to whites. The gap is probably wider than the official statistics indicate.”

Jensen and Rushton wrote in their review of Nisbett’s “Intelligence and How to Get It” that the black-white IQ gap is probably understated due to sample selection methods and that the true black average IQ for the US may be around 78. (http://psychology.uwo.ca/faculty/rushtonpdfs/Intelligence%20and%20How%20to%20Get%20It%20%28Working%20Paper%29.pdf see pg. 8)

Anonymous said...

Re: Dutch height.

The Dutch have always been pretty tall. Skeletons from late Roman times indicate an average male height of 173 cm or greater. The study commonly cited to show that 19th century Dutchmen were very short was of 18 year old military recruits. One has to realize that the study of height and nutrition throughout history (called auxology), as surprising as it may seem for such a field, actually has a very political agenda. Like the mainstream study of intelligence, the consideration of genetic differences between populations is verboten and the main aim of the researchers seems to be to show that we need more socialism and national healthcare. When looking at data from the past, note that unlike today, where most men are done growing by age 18 (with a few late maturers continuing to grow into their early 20s), poor nutrition in the past not only depressed adult height, but delayed maturation and prolonged the growth period. In the 19th century most men didn’t reach their full height until their mid-20s. 18 year olds in the 19th century were generally only around 96 or 97% of their adult height, whereas 18 year olds today average at least 99% of their final height. Thus the 164cm average for Dutch military recruits indicates an average adult height for the Dutch of 169-171cm, which was quite tall for the period and in agreement with other studies from the period which generally showed the Dutch to be among the taller peoples of Europe. Note that the main change in the 20th century has been a convergence of European and N. American heights. From the colonial era onwards, better living conditions in N. America caused its inhabitants to be taller Europeans (18th and 19th C. Americans averaged around 173cm). Since WWII young adult American whites have increased from about 174 to 179cm (the average for all American young adult males is about 177cm). In Europe since WWII, heights have increased from a range of about 163-173cm (with the tallest being from N. Europe and the Balkans and the shortest being from SW Europe) to 174-184cm (with the same regions being the tallest and shortest).

kaganovitch said...

I guess it falls to me to nominate our old friend "stereotype threat". A dirty job, but somebody has to do it

jody said...

most data i've seen says it's about 18 points.

it has been rounded down to 15 points for years during layman discussion of the topic, because that's a standard deviation in statistics and a standard deviation is a neat and elegant unit, but it's not 15 points.

and the 18 point measurement already does not account for the degree to which africans in the US are part european. the 2 large genetic studies which examined this subject both found africans in the US are about 17% to 18% european on average.

i'm not sure if anybody has done an investigation into the pencil and paper intelligence test scores of africans in the US who are almost completely african, that is to say only 1% or 2% part european or american indian. but they would probably show an even larger difference than 18 points, perhaps going beyond 20 points.

to what degree is the "gap closing" due to the africans in the US slowly but steadily becoming more and more genetically mulatto and less and less african, is the question. today, with very few social pressures against interracial sex, more half european half african kids are being born than ever, but as most observers have noted, they grow up to date and have sex mostly with other mulattos and africans. so there is a generation to generation transformation going on here.

in crude terms, fat white women are the linchpin whereby european genetic mutations are steadily transfered to the african, and increasingly mulatto, population in the US. it can already be shown, i think, that african men in the US prefer mulatto women over african women.

europeasant said...

Even in this day and age our elites don't understand or pretend not to know that IQ like everything else about us is at least 80% inheritable.

"More than 98 percent of Illinois’ high schools fell short of a federal benchmark in 2012, so many that state officials on Tuesday called the No Child Left Behind law governing education “severely deficient.”

But until the state is granted a waiver from the federal requirements — a request that is still under review — many high-performing schools will continue to be labeled as failures, said Gery Chico, chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education.

Only 11 of Illinois’ 671 eligible high schools achieved the standard known as Adequate Yearly Progress on standardized Prairie State Achievement Examinations, he said. Among the 11 are six Chicago powerhouse high schools: Walter Payton College Prep, Lane Tech, Northside College Prep, Lindblom Math & Science Academy, Jones College Prep and Whitney Young Magnet.

Among those high schools failing to make the federal standard are several renowned for their academic prowess: New Trier, the Lincoln-Way high schools, the Hinsdale schools and Stevenson.

Under No Child Left Behind, all public schools must have 100 percent of tested students meet state standards in reading and math by 2014. In the interim, states must set gradually increasing targets. If even one subgroup of students does not meet a target, the school does not fails to make the federal standard.

“I don’t think the law works, I think the law is severely deficient because those are fine schools and they deserve the proper recognition,” Chico said."

http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/16046562-418/state-officials-bash-federal-education-standard-98-of-high-schools-dont-meet.html