Thursday, January 17, 2019

Data: Moderately religious whites are the most ethnocentric

We saw in the last post that religious blacks, compared to their irreligious counterparts, say their racial identity is more important to them.  Does this pattern apply to whites?

I suspect the General Social Survey question is not interpreted the same by whites as blacks. It asks about ethnic identity, and I would guess whites are more likely to respond with something like, "Sure my Irishness is important."  Only a certain percentage probably interpret the question racially.

Anyway, here's what we get when we calculate mean ethnocentricity scores by church attendance (N = 2,167):

Being ethnocentric peaks for whites who attend 2-3 times per month.  By contrast, it bottoms out among those who never go to church AND those who go more than weekly.

Racially-minded whites often say that Christianity is a problem since it encourages color-blindism, but that only seems to be the case for the small share of highly religious people.  And the complete absence of religious activity is correlated with less ethnocentrism.  Moderate religiosity seems to go hand-in-hand with ethnic loyalty. 

By the way, the difference between the top and bottom group is roughly 40% of standard deviation, so it's a moderate-size gap.

NOTE: Notice how I tend to handle these topics as a scholar should, while actual scholars do not.  I use fairly neutral terms like "ethnocentric" for both blacks and whites, while elite scholars use terms like "black pride" and "racial self-esteem" for blacks, and when the same question is analyzed for whites, terms like "hatred, "racism," "white supremacism," and "hate groups" are used. These "scholars" are frauds and should be ashamed of themselves.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Data: Black conservatives are MORE ethnocentric

If you didn't know better, you might assume that blacks who are conservative or religious might be less race conscious than their black counterparts.  You might assume that religion and conservatism might nudge blacks toward the ideal of color blindness, or that loyalty to one group might reduce loyalty to another.  Wrong.

The General Social Survey asked blacks on a scale from 1 to 4 how important their ethnicity was to their sense of who they are.  Here is a graph showing means scores of this question by political orientation:

While ethnocentrism does not rise smoothly with conservatism, blacks who describe themselves as extremely conservative are the most black-centric group.  So don't think that a black right-winger wants to forget about race.

Let's look a ethnocentrism by church attendance:

The effect is not strong, but there is a tendency for more religious blacks to focus more on race identity, rather than the fact we are all children of God.

How do we explain this (admittedly weak) pattern?  (Keep in mind that mean ethnocentrism is so high for blacks of any category, there isn't much variation to explain.) Perhaps it's due to a liberal tendency to see oneself as a citizen of the world, while conservatives might be more comfortable with local loyalties. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Data: What predicts skepticism about God best--scientific knowledge, IQ, or education?

Many 19th century thinkers believed that religion would gradually wither away as industrialization and scientific knowledge spread.  Religious belief has proven to be more stubborn than they thought, perhaps because they didn't realize that it has a genetic component, but how much of an antagonism do we see nowadays between science and belief?

The General Social Survey (GSS) asks people how much confidence they have in the existence of God with answers ranging from "don't believe" to "know there is a God."  The survey also asked ten questions that tap scientific knowledge.  I added up the correct answers and estimated the relationship between the this and belief with OLS regression (N = 4,542), and the unstandardied coefficient is -.195.  Standardized is -.265.  In plain English, scientific knowledge predicts skepticism with some accuracy.

Is this link due simply to IQ?  In other words, do smart people seek out scientific knowledge and at the same time come to look on the existence of God with skepticism?  The answer is, not really. When I add IQ to the model, it does significantly predict skepticism, but the effect is weak (beta = -.051) and the coefficient for scientific knowledge only drops a little from -.195 to -.187. 

How about education? People learn more science as they get educated, and perhaps school teaches skepticism about God. When I add years of education to the model, it is related to more skepticism only weakly (beta = -.052), and the science coefficient only drops from -.187 to -.178.  By the way, the effect of IQ on skepticism falls to non-significance with the addition of education to the model.  In other words, IQ is unrelated to skepticism when you take educational level into account. 

So, when you consider knowledge of science, IQ, and education, the factor that really seems to matter for belief is science.  (Of course, causal direction is not clear here. Religious people may tend to stay away from science since they sense it is antagonistic to their beliefs.)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Data: Educated immigrants ain't impressive

In a recent tweet, Ann Coulter claimed that H-1B visa holders are not highly skilled like President Trump says but are simply slave labor.

While I can't use GSS data to identify this group of workers, let's look at the vocabulary test scores of immigrants with at least 16 years of total education. I won't call it IQ scores since English is a second language for most immigrants, but I will argue that an immigrant's English vocabulary says something meaningful about him.

Here are the mean vocabulary scores by decade (N = 725):

Mean vocabulary (using an IQ scale)

1970s  109.5
1980s    98.7
1990s  100.9
2000s    97.6
2010s  100.7

We can see that while educated immigrants in the 1970s had good vocabularies, they dropped to the average white score by the 80s, and it has remained in that area since.

This pattern is similar to what we have seen with immigrants in general, and Americans admitted to college or graduate school: mean scores were quite good in the 1970s, but the US then got more egalitarian and lowered standards. Now we take anyone into the country or into the university.  This shows that our elites no longer put a premium on quality, but really care about giving goodies (American citizenship, access to universities) to any schmuck who shows up. 

UPDATE: If we divide the educated immigrants from this past decade by race, the mean scores are: white 104.5, black 99.5, other 96.6.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Data: Nonwhite IQ is falling

If you believe that people basically can't be changed and children are like their parents, you should be concerned with the kinds of people who are coming into the US with plans to stay here for good.

The picture does not look good when we focus on IQ.  I typically use a vocabulary test given to participants of the bi-annual General Social Survey.  One problem with this measure is that it is biased against people who weren't raised speaking English.  For this blog post, let's focus on non-whites who also not black as a rough way to capture people born in this country whose family came to the U.S. in recent decades. It's crude (for example, American Indians get included), but we do what we can. Here is the mean IQ for this group listed by decade:

Mean IQ for nonwhites (blacks excluded, N = 764)

1980s  88.4
1990s  93.0
2000s  94.0
2010s  92.4

(If you're familiar with the GSS, you know surveys were conducted in the 70s, but not enough native-born non-whites were surveyed to be included.)  Mean IQ improved for this group for 30 years (80s, 90s, 00s) but that has reversed in this decade.

This is consistent with most of the IQ trends I've looked at recently. This past decade has seen a downturn for every group I've looked at (all whites, English/Welsh, German, Italian, Mexican, East Asian) except for blacks and the Irish.

The cause of the fall in IQ is, I imagine, different for different groups, and I assume that the drop for non-whites (excluding blacks) is due to changes in the mix of immigrants.  Whatever the reasons, most trends do not look good for America. 

Despite what Nassim Taleb thinks, average IQ predicts quite well how a country performs, and the US seems headed for mediocrity.  This, of course, could be reversed if we were picky about who gets to come to America, and if intelligent citizens had more babies, while dull ones had fewer.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Data: A big drop in IQs for East Asians in the US

As I sit in this McDonald's being served coffee by a middle-aged Filipino man, I'm wondering how East Asian IQ is doing in the US.  Here is a graph showing trends since the 1970s (GSS data, US born, N = 107):

Wow, that's a significant drop. In the 1970s, the mean was 108.6.  By the 1990s, it fell to 99.3.  After an increase to 101.7 in the 2000s, it fell again to a low of 99.0 in this decade. 

I assume this drop is due to the increase of southeast Asians (e.g., Filipinos, Vietnamese) -- groups that have lower average IQs than NE Asians (i.e., Japanese, Chinese, Koreans).

Monday, January 07, 2019

Data: The four point Flynn Effect among US blacks (but pay no attention because Taleb says IQ is crap)

According to General Social Survey (GSS) data, both whites and Mexican Americans born in the US have experienced mean IQ drops in the past decade.  Is this also true of blacks?  Here are the means by decade (N = 3,865):

Mean IQ

1970s  88.0
1980s  89.0
1990s  90.8
2000s  92.1
2010s  92.4

The 70s/80s increase was 1 point; the 80s/90s was up 1.8 points; and it was up 1.3 points for the 90s/00s.  The past decade witnessed the smallest increase of 0.3 IQ points.  The 1970s-2000s gain is impressive, but lately things seem to be slowing down.

I don't how to explain the trend but suspect that American society might expose blacks and whites (via schools, mass media, etc.) to more similar words used to test vocabularies than in the past.

The typical IQ mean you read about for black Americans is 85, but the black/white verbal IQ gap appears to be smaller: GSS data indicates that in this decade the gap is six-tenths of a standard deviation.  Notice how the black mean is a point higher than the 91.5 mean for Mex-Ams reported in a recent post.       

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Data: Average IQ of whites fell one-half point over the past decade

In the last post, we saw saw that Mexican Americans born in the US had a mean IQ that rose from the 1980s to the 2000s, but reversed course since then.  It is currently 91.5. 

That made me curious about other American groups.  Let's start with all whites over the past four decades (GSS Wordsum measure, N = 20, 482):

Mean IQ for whites

1970s    99.2
1980s    99.3 
1990s  100.4
2000s  101.1
2010s  100.6

As we saw with Mex-Ams, whites peaked in the 2000s, but then IQ's dropped in the past decade -- one-half a point.

This is consistent with Greg Cochran's claim that the US is undergoing rapid change in genetic potential for IQ due to intelligent people having fewer offspring.  It might be decreasing one point per generation.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Data: A negative Flynn Effect among Mexican Americans

About a decade ago, I documented an impressive rise in the mean IQ of Mexican-Americans born in the US.  Using GSS data, what is the trend in this decade?  Look at the graph (N = 609):

The mean was only 85.0 in the 1970s and 84.7 in the 1980s, but it rose all the way to 94.7 by the 2000s.  From this trend, one might get the hope that Mex-Ams might someday converge with the white average of 100.

But it was not to be. The trend has reversed in this decade, and the mean has fallen back down to 91.5.

I don't know how we explain these trends. Dysgenic trends would manifest themselves slowly.  We have seen a recent downward turn among several European populations.

The samples sizes for each decade are not large (this decade included 217 people) so some of the trend might be noise.

Assuming the 91.5 average is more or less correct, this is a bad sign for America.  A person with an IQ in the low 90s will be unable to do many of the jobs that we need done.  Such a population will have more social problems and little high-level achievement.

UPDATE:  I looked at all Americans born in the US (N = 25,116) and found a seven-tenths of a point drop in IQ from the last decade to this one.

Data: Moderately religious whites are the most ethnocentric

We saw in the last post that religious blacks, compared to their irreligious counterparts, say their racial identity is more important to t...