Tuesday, December 13, 2011

IQ and spanking

GSS respondents were asked: "Do you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree that it is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with a good, hard spanking?" I assigned the following scores to answers: strongly agree (4), agree (3), disagree (2), and strongly disagree (1):

Mean spanking scores (sample size = 13,506)

Smart group 2.71
Mediocre group 2.98*
Dull group 3.05*

*significantly higher than smart group

There is a four-tenths of a standard deviation between the smart and dull group--a medium-size gap.  It is not clear to me that the view that spanking is never necessary is the rational one. Smart people do seem to be leading the charge against strict discipline.

31 comments:

  1. Anecdotally speaking, smart people need to be spanked less because they develop an understanding of external consequences earlier than normal. I suspect they're projecting.

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  2. Er...anecdotally speaking, then analytically speaking.

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  3. The system is optimized to indoctrinate "smart people" by putting them through seminaries known as "higher education".

    What you need to look at are people who have high IQ but low educational attainment, if you want to find rational intelligence. Admittedly, this is confounded somewhat by the factors that derail people from the normal course of "career development" but it has to be less of a confounding influence than the highly optimized mind control that people sacrifice family fortunes to afford.

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  4. Anonymous8:44 AM

    The smarts averaged a fairly high agreement 2.71. While the difference is significant, it is not large. Basically all groups generally agree that spanking kids is sometimes necessary.

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  5. Some kids need spanking a lot more than others. My guess is that the larger the number of kids the interviewee has, the more they'll agree with spanking.

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  6. "What you need to look at are people who have high IQ but low educational attainment, if you want to find rational intelligence. Admittedly, this is confounded somewhat by the factors that derail people from the normal course of "career development" but it has to be less of a confounding influence than the highly optimized mind control that people sacrifice family fortunes to afford."

    Disagree. Only the most iconoclastic smart person is going to give up the job opportunities higher education affords in order to resist indoctrination. A lot of people simply ignore the Cathedral's lies. I'm not saying it has *no* effect, but a lot of people just tell the profs what they want to hear and go on with their lives.

    In many cases, views like gay marriage and permissive childrearing are *already held* by the upper and upper middle classes. I'm not saying middle class kids don't get brainwashed, but college isn't as important as conservatives think. A lot of people just go there to drink and party anyway. Intellectual conservatives overestimate the importance of the content of college classes, because they actually pay attention in class. ;) Non-intellectual (*not* stupid!) conservatives, the majority, drink, party, and build a future network for their businesses. College isn't really about learning, for most people.

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  7. And, yes, simply because a view is held by smart people doesn't make it more likely to be true. Smart people may have smart kids who don't need to be spanked as much. Dumb people following smart people's childrearing methods will have worse results. This may be the story of much of America after 1960.

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  8. Agree with SFG. Likely selection biased involved here. Low IQ parents have low IQ kids, who require more spanking than high IQ kids. Or is it not safe to assume that low IQ kids act out more?

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  9. "It is not clear to me that the view that spanking is never necessary is the rational one"

    As I've noted before, lower IQ people probably acquire enhanced cultural resources that compensate for lower cognitive resources (spanking would be operant conditioning filling in for self-restraint).

    That said, I don't think parenting has long-term effects on children, positive or negative, but I do think support for violence in all forms plausibly has downstream cultural effects that lead to increases in violent crime and self-defeating militarism.

    Conversely, any cultural norm that increases our collective wussification decreases the number of young men who decide that they need to escalate a conflict to save face.

    It's hard to avoid this viewpoint after reading Better Angels of Our Nature, anyway. Support for spanking is going to be predictably higher in higher crime times and populations.

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  10. Anonymous12:20 PM

    This paradox shows up with respect to all sorts of different topics - "smart" people frequently believe stupid things, things which the less smart reject.

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  11. Was this post inspired by the Slate article?

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  12. Anonymous1:55 PM

    "Anecdotally speaking, smart people need to be spanked less because they develop an understanding of external consequences earlier than normal. I suspect they're projecting."

    I agree.

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  13. SFG writes: "Only the most iconoclastic smart person is going to give up the job opportunities higher education affords in order to resist indoctrination."... followed by some other such hypotheses that need testing against the data.

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  14. Anonymous6:47 PM

    @ Jim Bowery

    Your Blogger user profile states under the "About me", "Introduction" section, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

    What do you mean by that? Are you famous or something?

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  15. "followed by some other such hypotheses that need testing against the data."

    Probably. Design an experiment to falsify my hypothesis. Certainly Ron can show that people with more education tend to have higher Wordsum scores.

    For that matter, Half Sigma showed that, given a high school degree, a higher WORDSUM score past 7 or so showed *NO ADVANTAGE* for earnings.

    You're a man of science. Prove me wrong. ;)

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  16. "What do you mean by that? Are you famous or something?"

    He was responsible for some important engineering work, from what I remember from an older version of his page. I remember being genuinely impressed but, as with things technical out of my field, couldn't quite remember exactly what it was.

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  17. Incidentally, Ron, if you want to get naughty, see if it asks about spanking during sex. I bet you the correlation goes the other way. ;)

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  18. SFG wrote: "Design an experiment to falsify my hypothesis."

    First, controlled experiments in human ecology can be conducted only by grabbing control of the existing political institutions. Any experiment I design could be ethically carried out only under a scientific polity.

    Second, WORDSUM and educational attainment are available to Ron via GSS. What's the big deal?

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  19. Anonymous1:36 PM

    smart people need to be spanked less because they develop an understanding of external consequences earlier than normal.


    That's unlikely. A lot of smart people strike me as being in need of a spanking, even as adults. If the people in DC and on Wall St were spanked a little more as children I suspect we'd all be better off today.

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  20. I think the comments focus too much on the spankee and too little on the spanker.

    It is perfectly possible to train dogs, children, and other mammals without physical punishment. But the techniques have to be learned and generally require that the trainee be outsmarted and that the trainer have planned beforehand what they are going to do.

    This is way harder for stupid people than it is for smart people. So, stupid people should spank more (dogs and children). The current fetish against spanking (which I share) is part of the high IQ elite's war on the stupid.

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  21. "Second, WORDSUM and educational attainment are available to Ron via GSS. What's the big deal?"

    C'mon, Ron...this should be interesting. Correlate WORDSUM and educational attainment with some race-realist item. ;)

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  22. Anonymous8:03 PM

    The "current fetish against spanking" seems largely driven by the elite's desire to prevent parental indoctrination of children and to intermediate indoctrination as much as possible.

    The most susceptible don't seem to be the stupid but the mediocre and those most slavish to moral authorities. Their compensation is feeling "smart" and good about themselves while their children become subject to the dominant moral and other authorities.

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  23. The question asked about "good, hard spanking" That is really different from using physical discipline to get a child's attention.
    Also, the difference between intelligence groups, while significant, is barely more than 1/3 of a "score." That's not actually that big.

    Of course many of your readers probably want to imagine themselves as bold underdogs fighting against an elitist anti-physical discipline establishment and at the same time support setting clear rules and authority for children who must not be bold underdogs against the establishment of their parents. That's fine I guess.

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  24. The "current fetish against spanking" seems largely driven by the elite's desire to prevent parental indoctrination of children and to intermediate indoctrination as much as possible.

    The most susceptible don't seem to be the stupid but the mediocre and those most slavish to moral authorities. Their compensation is feeling "smart" and good about themselves while their children become subject to the dominant moral and other authorities.


    Awesome. I love your use of evidence. Highly inductive. Even if the elite moral authorities are driven by an interest in intermediating parental indoctrination of their children, that does not mean that once those children are not subject to their parents that they become subject to the dominant moral and other authorities.

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  25. Ugh, forget my trolling about anonymous' comment. It is unproductive. Anonymous, whoever you are, I apologize.

    I just want to say that despite the "sometimes" in the question, people may focus on the of answers of both "disagree" and "strongly disagree." They then interpret this to mean that an answer of "disagree" actually means "rarely, as opposed to sometimes" instead of "never, as oposed to sometimes." This is a perfectly intelligent interpretation, even if the most literal interpretation is that "disagree" means "never" and "strongly disagree" "of course never."

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  26. What you need to look at are people who have high IQ but low educational attainment, if you want to find rational intelligence. Admittedly, this is confounded somewhat by the factors that derail people from the normal course of "career development" but it has to be less of a confounding influence than the highly optimized mind control that people sacrifice family fortunes to afford.



    I know that trolling is a bad habit, but even if higher education is highly-optimized mind-control, that does not mean that smart people who have gone through that highly-optimized mind control have less rational intelligence. I know that the comment does not actually make that claim but it is still helpful to point out. "You think something because somebody (other than your parents who should be able to beat you to tell you what to think) told you to think it. Therefore what you think is wrong." That does not make sense.

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  27. ... or that smart people who believe something because somebody told them to believe it do not ALSO believe it because of their intelligence.

    Anyway, I AM SORRY for being difficult. I do not like how people both support their own authority over others while still angrily resenting the authority of a system over them as being unfair. Of course, this post and thread are about more than that.

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  28. "That's unlikely. A lot of smart people strike me as being in need of a spanking, even as adults. If the people in DC and on Wall St were spanked a little more as children I suspect we'd all be better off today."

    I don't see any external consequences in that case. To debunk my assertion this way one would have to show that an understanding of external consequences leads to internal self-control.

    Then again, I may have just convinced myself *googly eyes*.

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  29. "C'mon, Ron...this should be interesting. Correlate WORDSUM and educational attainment with some race-realist item. ;)"

    I'm not being sarcastic. It's a rare person who rejects higher education despite a high IQ. What can we find out about them?

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  30. Smart people are more highly educated, therefore have longer exposure to progressive propaganda. Smart people also know they had better pretend to believe progressive propaganda.

    If you took a survey in the Middle East, you would find that smart people are more likely to favor cutting the hands of thieves and killing the Jews, because the more highly educated they are, the longer their exposure to Islamist propaganda. Smart people also know they had better pretend to believe Islamist propaganda.

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  31. Wido Incognitus said...
    I do not like how people both support their own authority over others while still angrily resenting the authority of a system over them

    More accurately, you think your juvenile gotcha games make you look smart.

    Just imagine for a moment a person who is capable of thinking "Authority A is legitimate while authority B is not" or even "Authority is legitimate while mere power is not." How might such a person solve your little paradox?

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