Tuesday, March 20, 2012

IQ is more important than social class

This is a structural equation model of a cohort of Swedish men. It shows that IQ is an important determinant of income and especially occupational position.  Much of its influence is indirect: it is a strong predictor of educational level which, in turn, is a powerful determinant of both income and especially occupational position. Parent's social class, by contrast, is comparatively less important. It has little to no direct influence on income or job position, and predicts educational level only moderately.

A whole academic field--sociology--developed on the view that social class is of critical importance. If disciplines emerged as a result of empirical support, students could major in IQiology.


  1. IQology and the next thing you know, hobnail boots stomping on the bellies of pregnant Jewesses.

    Best just give ourselves a lobotomy.

  2. And if you added-in personality evaluations (these are usually self-rated, but could be based on parents, teachers and employers evaluations) - and then took account of the effects of sheer luck, good or bad - then there would not be much left-over for social class to explain.

    The 'irony' is that sociology emerged to dominance at almost precisely the time when social class ceased to be important - from about 1950 onwards and especially in the mid-1960s.

    The net effect of sociology (and The New Left) is to dismantle actually existing meritocracy (equalty of opportunity as it used to be called) in the name of equality.

    Gregory Clark's work suggests that the importance of social class has always been overstated - but in the pre-industrial times it could take a few generations for intelligence and personality to 'reach their own level' against the drag of birth class; whereas in modern times the effects of birth class are almost invisible in the population as a whole.

    (Naturally, there will be specific instances where class factors are of relevance - positively or negatively.)

    But of course - in a world of politically correctness - birth factors are of increasing importance; and intelligence and personality are of diminishing importance - until modernity collapses.

  3. Speaking of personality, the study shows that emotional control has a direct influence on income and job position.

  4. Correlates aren't the same as causes.

  5. Anonymous9:48 AM

    A whole academic field--sociology--developed on the view that social class is of critical importance.

    In many times and places social class has been of critical importance. If it is not currently of critical importance in Sweden, that is a result of deliberate choices which people in Sweden have made, and not because IQ innately and automatically trumps social class.

  6. Anonymous12:51 PM


    Correlation does not imply causation.

  7. Easy, guys. There's no need to be so skeptical of the parental class/income link.

  8. "Correlation does not imply causation" is such a low-effort comment.

    1. IQ was measured in 1969/1970, and income was measured in 1990 so income didn't cause IQ.

    2. The sophisticated modeling of multiple controls reduces the possibility of spuriousness.

    3. That significance tests show that the observed relationships are not flukes and apply to the population.

    4. Even measurement error is modeled.

    People have impossible standards when it's convenient.

  9. Nanonymous9:30 PM

    From the Abstract: The model shows close fit with data

    LOL. With over 20 parameters, there isn't a data in the world that cannot be fit well.

  10. Anonymous1:57 AM

    Hmm. Social class isn't unimportant just because it has little heritability independent of IQ and personality (as mediated through education and life).


Are never-married, childless women happier than married moms?

A piece in the Guardian reported that women are happiest if they stay single and childless, according to research done by London School of ...