Thursday, August 30, 2007

Are smart people clean or dirty? Haven't you seen both images, right? The squeaky clean George Will on the one hand, and the professor who looks like he slept in those clothes on the other. General Social Survey interviewers rated the cleanliness of houses along with asking a zillion questions, and here is the mean IQ for each rating:


Mean IQ

Whites
Very clean 101.6
Clean 99.5
So-so 96.9
Not very clean 92.5
Dirty 97.0

Blacks
Very clean 91.7
Clean 92.2
So-so 89.7
Not very clean 82.2
Dirty 82.6

For both races, smarter people tend to be cleaner. This is a bit of support that virtues tend to run together. Notice, however, that the mean IQ for whites jumps up a bit among the "dirty" so the stereotype of the brainy white slob is probably true for a minority of smart people.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do they(interviewers) announce themselves before they come? Because I know many women with young children that are very bright but the houses are unkept unless they know ahead of time that visitors are coming. So could this also be describing the type of person who would not clean up despite knowing that someone is coming over?

Rob said...

The fairly low of IQ of the highest IQ group of whites the very clean implies that the vast majority of whites were in that category, doesn't it?

SFG said...

Yeah, it does. Ron is quite right in that there's a tendency called the 'positive manifold' for positive traits to run together which breaks down at very high levels.

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