Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dumb people watch a lot of TV: I was pretty sure that brainiacs don't watch much TV, but it is blog policy to verify with hard data. The General Social Survey asked 14,233 Americans how many hours per day do they watch television. I calculated means for three levels of IQ by race:

Mean hours of TV per day by IQ

High IQ (126) 2.08
Medium IQ (98) 2.87
Low IQ (77) 3.24

High IQ (126) 2.89
Medium IQ (98) 3.77
Low IQ (77) 4.06

It is true that IQ varies inversely with watching TV for both blacks and whites, but it interesting that blacks watch roughly an hour more than whites at the same IQ level. TV is a low-energy way to pass one's free time; whites might prefer more active pursuits. There aren't enough Mexican Americans to do the same analysis, but their overall mean is high at 3.48 hours per day.


  1. Well, above any given IQ cutoff, blacks above that level will have a lower average IQ than whites, so maybe the analysis could be restricted to comparing whites and blacks at exactly the same IQ, not above a threshold.

    Also, if your family and neighbors watch tv all the time, that's fewer people for you to spend time doing non-tv activities.

  2. rob: Blacks and whites are being compared at the same specific IQ levels: 126, 98, and 77. They are not thresholds.

  3. Oh, sorry then.

  4. Blacks are more urban. Try a traditionally high-IQ mostly urban group like Jews.

  5. No, really. I want to see the results!


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