Monday, May 09, 2011

Thinking that whites are smarter than blacks

The Detroit Area Study asked a sample of 384 blacks and whites whether the word "intelligent" better described blacks or whites. Respondents could also answer "equally descriptive" or "not descriptive of either."

Here are the responses in percentages:

Whites
More descriptive of blacks 0.6
Equally descriptive 54.5
More descriptive of whites 33.4
Descriptive of neither 11.4

Blacks
More descriptive of blacks 19.7
Equally descriptive 68.4
More descriptive of whites 11.8
Descriptive of neither 0.0

It is not surprising that "equally descriptive" is the most popular answer given by both races. Not only is America's culture egalitarian, there is also a tendency to interact with people similar to yourself.  Smart people often find themselves among smart people, and slower folks with people like themselves. Until I lived in Newark, I had only met middle-class blacks, and was stunned by the "differentness" of inner-city African Americans. Whites with little exposure to poor blacks might sincerely believe that IQ averages are the same.

Blacks spend more time with whites than the reverse, so they are more familiar with the other race, which might help explain that there are actually a few (11.8%) who admit that whites are more intelligent.

Of course, it's taboo to publicly claim that whites are smarter, but one-third of whites manage to say this to the interviewer.

99 comments:

Saint Louis said...

"Whites with little exposure to poor blacks might sincerely believe that IQ averages are the same."

That was personally true for me. I grew up in VT and had almost no contact with blacks outside of television and movies. Then I moved to DC and Saint Louis (and started reading in the Steve-o-sphere) and was disabused of my previous naivete.

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

So, you must be assuming that IQ scores are EQUAL to actual intelligence? If that is the case, why can people retake the IQ test and get a different score? It is true that African-Americans score lower on IQ tests; but, could that not be due to psychological factors stemming from slavery, Jim Crow and racism, rather than actual intelligence? Schools, during standardized testing week encourage children to eat and sleep well during the test week to improve scores. Imagine how a lifetime of negative self image, NO intellectual stimulation, and poverty might effect IQ test scores. A look at the "facts" without looking at the FACTORS is a recipe for validity issues.

Anonymous said...

VocMusTcrMaloy,


IQ tests measure intelligence. A person tested with different tests, or different versions of the same test etc, will always score in a certain range, say like within about 10 points.

Here is a reputable site run by and for psychologists.

http://www.assessmentpsychology.com/iq.htm

I was a total slacker in high school. My mother was divorced multiple times and dumped me on relatives intermittently. I attended 10 different lower schools and 3 different high schools, changing schools each year in high school. I took no honors classes and graduated in the 3rd quarter of my high school class with a pretty low GPA. I got into some trouble in school, nothing major, just suspended a couple of times. In 9th grade, I failed English, Algebra, PE, and Typing because of acting like a jerk and skipping school constantly. I worked jobs about 20-30 hrs a week pretty much all through high school except my junior year.

I scored a 29 on the ACT with a perfect score on two subsections and later got a 78 on Miller Analogies.

The tests measure what they say they measure. Family problems, circumstances and poor school performance cannot make smart people dumb.

Read up on the life stories and experiences of famous smart people. Plenty of them went through hell. Going through dysfunction or even hell, seems not to dull the mind.

Also, note that poor whites (and I mean poor) outscore rich blacks on average. So, unfortunate as the accident of birth may be to some. It is indeed a fact.

If you take an honest look at the data, you will find all of it points to this fact and none in the opposite direction.

Something I learned early in life, no matter how bad the truth may seem sometimes, it is always better to face it.

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

@Anonymous
Actually, there are many factors that can effect IQ test results. One study showed that motivation effects the outcome of IQ tests:(http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/04/what-does-iq-really-measure.html?ref=hp)
In part of the research, money was used as a motivator. Another part of the study used video tapes of boys taking an IQ test to record when they became listless, etc. The study showed that motivation made a significant difference in IQ scores. Years of slavery, Jim Crow, and racism with low self esteem in the area of intelligence being instilled by society and family, then passed down from one generation to the next can certainly be a demotivator. The mind is similar to muscles in that if it is not used, it becomes weak. Your personal story involved one generation of problems. How you were taught from birth until you entered school would probably be different from that of some inner city Black children; even with all your family problems. I imagine that your mother and the relatives you were "dumped on" spoke good English and challenged you to use your mind to some degree. That has nothing to do with ethnicity, it has to do with what was passed down to you.

Now concerning "facing the truth," one must have the WHOLE truth to draw conclusions. For example: Johnny is murdered on the west side of town at about 9:00pm. Billy was at a party on the east side of town from 7:00pm until 11:00pm. Conclusion: Billy is innocent. But wait, there are some details left out: Billy left the party at 8:30 to get a case of beer, then returned at 10:00pm. What does that bit of information do for his alibi? As I stated in my first post, presenting the facts without presenting the FACTORS is a recipe for validity issues. Comparing IQ scores between races to conclude differences of intelligence is an idea full of holes. 150 years ago, Black people were slaves in America. 50 years ago, Jim Crow laws kept Black people from having access to public facilities and public education (beside all the lynchings and White on Black rape that was done without consequence). If Black people are less intelligent how did they go from slavery to the White House in 150 years? This reminds me of the Andy Griffith show: In one scene Barney Fife is walking around barking at the prisoner. In the next scene, Barney is locked in the prison and the prisoner has escaped. Racists in America have been outsmarted by African-Americans. MLK exploited racism in the South to launch himself to a position to have an audience with high government officials, including the President; so that he could persuade the passage of Civil Rights laws and the overturning of Jim Crow. IQ tests say one thing, history says another!

Anonymous said...

"MLK exploited racism in the South to launch himself to a position to have an audience with high government officials, including the President; so that he could persuade the passage of Civil Rights laws and the overturning of Jim Crow."


Key word here is "persuade".

Would he have been able to persuade the NAZI's?

Hell no.

In the 60's, the US was like 90% white. They didn't have to listen or give a minority anything. It was a matter of conscience.

Do you think that a tiny white majority in an African county would have a snowball's chance in hell of appealing to a black majority's conscience?

Hell no.

In order to appeal to someone's conscience, they have to have a conscience. While not all white folks have a decent conscience, a fair percentage of Americans do. Nothing in history indicates the same in Africa.

If tiny anecdotal studies persuade you, but the overwhelming hard data and thousands of years of history don't. Well, there isn't much else to say.

If, you actually are honest enough to look at the data and history impartially, you will discover the truth, if indeed you want to. I didn't want the truth I found, but it is what it is.

Anonymous said...

@VocMusTcrMaloy

Poor performance on iq tests by blacks are unlikely to be the result of low self-esteem or stereotypes about intelligence.

Race and self-esteem
http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2011/04/race-and-self-esteem.html

Blacks think they are the smartest
http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2009/03/blacks-think-they-are-smartest.html

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

@anonymous
"In order to appeal to someone's conscience, they have to have a conscience. While not all white folks have a decent conscience, a fair percentage of Americans do. Nothing in history indicates the same in Africa."

I'm not really sure what this has to do with the topic of intelligence..?? Is this a concession that MLK's intelligence was superior to that of the members of the KKK that controlled the South during the Jim Crow era?

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

@Annonymous
If being Black indicates a lack of intelligence, explain how Saheela Ibraheem, a 15 year old Black girl who is graduating high school this year because she skipped two grades; has a 2,340 SAT score (a perfect 800 on the math section, a 790 in writing and a 750 in reading); and is being accepted to Harvard? (http://m.blackvoices.com/blog/bvblackspin/2011/05/04/15-year-old-picks-harvard-after-being-accepted-to-13-colleges/?evar1=midrail)

Anonymous said...

"If being Black indicates a lack of intelligence, explain how Saheela Ibraheem, a 15 year old Black girl who is graduating high school this year because she skipped two grades;"

Ahh, cause we are dealing with averages not absolutes.

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

@Annonymous
Ahh.... So this is worthless information. There are dumb Asians, brilliant African-Americans, and a very small minority of white people who own patents to inventions. Averages are irrelevant when it comes to individual people. It is NEVER safe to assume that someone is dumb- that is a good way to make a fool of yourself!

Anonymous said...

"There are dumb Asians, brilliant African-Americans, and a very small minority of white people who own patents to inventions. Averages are irrelevant when it comes to individual people."

Sure!

If Saleeha were Asian, this wouldn't be a story at all. The only way an Asian makes the news is when he aces every test there is and still can't make it to his dream school. Someone like Jian Li. Too bad he wasn't black and born into privilege like Saleeha.

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

@Annonymous:
YOU: "If Saleeha were Asian, this wouldn't be a story at all. The only way an Asian makes the news is when he aces every test there is and still can't make it to his dream school. Someone like Jian Li. Too bad he wasn't black and born into privilege like Saleeha."

ME: Again, what does this have to do with the topic of intelligence?

TH said...

"One study showed that motivation effects the outcome of IQ tests:(http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/04/what-does-iq-really-measure.html?ref=hp)"

I wouldn't put much stock in that study: http://statsquatch.blogspot.com/2011/05/bad-apple-in-duckworths-iq-motivation.html

Anyway, the black-white racial IQ gap corresponds to similar gaps in school achievement, job performance, career success, and other outcomes. IQ tests do not underpredict black achievement; if anything, they overpredict it, i.e. are biased against whites. The IQ gap reflects a genuine gap in ability and skills between races. As pointed out above, blacks have if anything better self-esteem than whites, so that doesn't explain the black deficiency, nor does any "stereotype threat", which is a small effect present only in some experimental studies. One of the best pieces of evidence for the b-w gap being substantially genetic is the fact that the children of dirt-poor whites outscore the children of rich blacks: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/TBC-BW-IQ-SES-withDiff.png

Averages are irrelevant when it comes to individual people.

The post was about group differences in (average) intelligence. They are very important, because the level of civilization depends on the number of smart people: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/34/Two_Curve_Bell_with_Jobs.jpg

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

@Annonymous
"First and foremost, Li never wanted to go [to Princrton]. He told a reporter from The Times of Trenton, 'I was actually hoping to be rejected by Princeton University so I could file a civil rights suit.'"

http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2006/11/29/16754/

Anonymous said...

"If being Black indicates a lack of intelligence, explain how Saheela Ibraheem, a 15 year old Black girl who is graduating high school this year because she skipped two grades;"

DNA test her.

I'll bet she isn't even half black.

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

@TH
YOU: "One study showed that motivation effects the outcome of IQ tests:(http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/04/what-does-iq-really-measure.html?ref=hp)"

I wouldn't put much stock in that study: http://statsquatch.blogspot.com/2011/05/bad-apple-in-duckworths-iq-motivation.html"

ME: You wouldn't put much stock in that study? Why? Are you a Ph.D. in psychology and have conducted the research yourself, or do you not take stock in it because you DISAGREE with it?

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

Book review for "Intelligence and How to Get It" by Richard Nesbit, Ph.D.

A bold refutation of the belief that genes determine intelligence. Who are smarter, Asians or Westerners? Are there genetic explanations for racial differences in test scores? What makes some nationalities excel in engineering and others in music? Will math and science remain a largely male preserve. From the damning research of The Bell Curve to the more recent controversy surrounding geneticist James Watson's statements, one factor has been consistently left out of the equation: culture. In the tradition of The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould, world-class social psychologist Richard E. Nisbett takes on the idea of intelligence as something that is biologically determined and impervious to culture--with vast implications for the role of education as it relates to social and economic development. Intelligence and How to Get It asserts that intellect is not primarily genetic but is principally determined by societal influences. Nisbett's commanding argument, superb marshaling of evidence, and fearless discussions of the controversial carve out new and exciting terrain in this hotly debated field.

About the Author
Richard E. Nisbett is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has written numerous books on intelligence and cultural psychology and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

@Annonymous:
YOU:
DNA test her.

I'll bet she isn't even half black.

ME: Ibraheem and her family migrated to the U.S. from Nigeria. Look up pics of her, she is a very dark Black young lady. Her family coming here from Nigeria which doesn't have a history of slavery and racism is a better explanation for her high intelligence!

TH said...

Ron, could you release my last comment from the spam purgatory.

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

@TH:
YOU: "As to Nisbett's dishonest book, I suggest reading this review: http://www.charlesdarwinresearch.org/2010%20Review%20of%20Nisbett.pdf. Check out also James Lee's equally damning review in Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 48, Issue 2, January 2010, Pages 247-255."

ME: I looked at the review in the link. I checked out the author with the psychology Ph.D., Rushton (the other author is Ed. Psych.) Rushton has devoted much of his life's work to comparing races; which shows a distinct bias. This bias destroys any validity to his work. A bias makes him an activist, not a scientist!

al fin said...

Interesting trend on controversial blogs: An antagonist compelled to cover every single posting by other authors with one of his own.

You see that phenomenon frequently where bloggers challenge particularly cherished leftist beliefs. One commenter -- often with the assistance of multiple sock puppets -- makes sure to respond to every single posting even slightly critical of the leftist dogma.

Whether such persons have nothing important to do, or are being paid to saturate the blogosphere with orthodoxy, it tends to reflect a sense of inadequacy, inferiority, or insecurity on the part of the hypervigilant commenter.

As to the main posting, I suspect that whites are torn between political correctness and stating their honest observations.

Blacks, on the other hand, generally do not allow themselves to be torn over questions of race. The cognitive dissonance blacks may experience in the outside world can be readily quenched within the insular echo chamber of the entitlement culture.

VocMusTcrMaloy said...

@al fin
LOL! Thanks for the laugh! From the suggestion that this discussion is political to the conspiracy theory that I might be getting paid for my part in this blog! ROFL!!

Stives said...

I grew up in VT and had almost no contact with blacks outside of television and movies. Viagra
Then I moved to DC and Saint Louis (and started reading in the Steve-o-sphere) and was disabused of my previous naivete.

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