Saturday, February 27, 2010

NAM underachievement due, in part, to less studying

This is an interesting research study (Wei-Cheng Mau, Richard Lynn. 1999. Racial and ethnic differences in motivation for educational achievement in the United States. Personality and Individual Differences, 27, 1091-1096):

Data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study show that on standardised scores in mathematics, reading and science, the highest mean scores are obtained by Asians and whites and lower scores are obtained by Hispanics and blacks. The same differences are present for the number of hours per week devoted to homework. It is suggested that motivational differences expressed in the amount of homework undertaken contribute to the group differences in educational achievement. Statistically significant correlations between the amount of homework and educational achievement support this hypothesis. There are also group differences in intelligence parallel to those in educational achievement, suggesting both intelligence and motivation are involved in racial and ethnic differences in educational achievement.


Anonymous said...


I believe that negative reinforcement is a strong motivator of human beings. People will flee something they fear, and will get up on their own two feet and run from a situation they find scary.

Living in or near "da hood" may not be the end of the world for a street-smart NAM. He will have social contacts there and will blend in. But for a Asian or White kid, it would be like a perpetual state of fear (of being singled out for abuse). Whites and Asians are astute enough to know that dropping out of school in the 9th and 10th grades probably means a ghetto life for them, and fearing that, surely study enough to at least get a high-school diploma so that they dont face that. The rural white poor dont see this so much, and doubtlessly know they can exist in their trailers w/out a K-12 education by applying at whatever local corrugated-metal-sweatshop-processing-assembly factory that pays $7.50-an-hour, but if were faced with the choices that urban/suburban whites/asians teens were faced with, probably would graduate K-12 in much higher numbers.

The fear of modern prisons probably keeps many more whites/asians on the straight and narrow than their otherwise would be.

If liberals would like to see white crime go up, I'd suggest you have seperate prisons for seperate races, and then you might see more whites/asians get into professional criminality because their fear of life behind bars might not be so acute. After watching a few documenturaries on life in prison, I dont see how any rational person would purposely want to risk doing anything that would put them in such a dreadful place, surrounded by profoundly violent people.

Phoenixism said...

I agree with anonymous in one respect: fear is a deterrent to poor school performance among Asian students. But it is fear of parents, not the ghetto.

The strict and unforgiving Asian parent presents a much more immediate threat to the failing Asian student than the vague possibility of living in Compton (which will never happen as most Asian families are much too closely knit and nurturing to allow one of their own to be cast out in such a manner).

As a NAM who attended a high school with a student body composed of roughly 90% Hispanic & Asians, I was in a very good position to witness the differing ethnic educational ethics of both groups.

The typical Asian parent is a fearsome motivator for the average Asian student.

I studied the hardest (and did my best) in classes I shared with Asian friends. They made me study whereas I might not have done so otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Time spent studying is correlated with race, and with academic achievement. I guess there's no big surprise there.

But as always with correlations, don't be too quick to ascribe causation. Is academic under-achievement caused by a lack of studying? Could be. It's also possible that a person lacking intelligence would become frustrated by his inability to achieve positive results, and this frustration would cause him to study less.

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