Wednesday, July 14, 2010

GSS respondents were asked to rate the intelligence of various groups, giving them a score somewhere between untelligent (1) and intelligent (7). The mean ratings given by blacks and whites are shown above (sample size = 1,230). 

Blacks and whites agree that Jews are the smartest.  It's reassuring to see that people aren't completely clueless about reality. Blacks think Asians are smarter than whites, but whites think that they are a bit smarter. Blacks view themselves as being almost as smart of whites; whites disagree. Whites consider Hispanics to be less intelligent than blacks--that surprises me--it's possible that the fear of looking anti-black is being reflected here. The fact that whites don't give southern whites a score much higher than blacks might reveal the ease with which so many whites look down on their brothers in the South. Blacks also think they are smarter than southern whites.  

So, whites overestimate their IQs relative to Asians, while blacks do so basically with everyone. They do think whites are smarter, but by only a trivial amount.


  1. I think the socially extroverted aspect of intelligence (verbal intelligence if you will) is overrated by such surveys, compared to more inward-looking intelligence.
    Hispanics probably seem "duller" and less outgoing than blacks, even though they can actually crunch numbers a bit better.

  2. Anonymous6:07 PM

    Yeah, black have got the classic "winning personality" that hides their lack of abstract reasoning/problem solving ability. Hispanics are far more introverted. Immigrants more so, giving blank stares to questions, etc.

    This explanation also explains whites underestimating Asian IQ, since Asians have the opposite personality profile relative to blacks. They're a humble and reserved people with low-self esteem and high introversion.

    Vs. the classic "urban" profile: "I be the shit yo! How you doin!?"

  3. Anonymous9:17 PM

    "Whites consider Hispanics to be less intelligent than blacks--that surprises me--it's possible that the fear of looking anti-black is being reflected here."

    I think a big part of that is due to Latin immigrants not being able to speak or understand English. As lazy or incompetent as a black contractor might be, white people can at least communicate with them on a basic level. Many Latinos can't offer anything more than "Que?" which feeds into perceptions of low intelligence.

  4. Anonymous11:21 AM

    Whites do a little better than Asians on verbal IQ, which is the relevant score for economic growth (says La Griffe du Lion's Smart Fraction Theory).

    Plus, whites have more testosterone, which leads to more independence and fair play, both variables conducive to economic growth.

    I think it's fair to say whites are smarter than East Asians, as long as the context isn't physics, math, or heavily visuospatial tasks.

  5. I made a graph on the same awhile back that helps visualize comparisons for those who might be interested.

  6. Anonymous8:03 PM

    Did you do a significance test on this data? Just eyeballing it and it looks like there would little no statistical significance between these scores


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