Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How well do people rate their IQ?

Add Health participants were asked to rate their intelligence. They were also given a vocabulary test--a decent measure of IQ.

Here are the Pearson correlations between the two variables listed by race:

Correlation (sample size = 6,504)

Asians .44
Whites .36
American Indians .35
Hispanics .28
Blacks .18

Overall, the correlations are low. People are not good at evaluating how smart they are. But the ability varies by race. Asians are the most accurate; blacks the least. Objectively smart groups (i.e., Asians, whites) assess their IQs with greater accuracy than low-IQ groups (Hispanics, blacks).   

Monday, March 28, 2011

Religiosity and weight

In the comments section of a recent post on religiosity, a reader linked to a study which found that young adults who attended church weekly were 50 percent more likely to be obese when measured again 18 years later.

GSS interviewers assessed the weight of respondents (below average = 1, average = 2, above average = 3, considerably above average = 4) and asked about frequency of church attendance. Here are standardized OLS regression coefficients:

DV = respondent's weight (sample size = 2,256)

Age .04*
Sex .02
Race .06*
South -.01
Education -.08*
Church attendence .02

* statistically significant

First of all, the bivariate relationship between church attendance and weight is zero. It remains zero with all the controls. Older and less educated people and blacks tend to be heavier.  Gender, living in the South, and church attendance are unrelated to weight.

I would still side with the AHA study since weight is measured more precisely in that study, and the data are longitudinal.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Education, religion, and Mex-Am assimilation

Ethnic and racial diversification is hurting the long-term interests of the United States, and it needs to stop. But we now have 50 million Hispanics in the country, and many of those folks need to be assimilated (if it can be done). What might help bring them into the mainstream? An obvious answer is to return to the model used for immigrants a century ago: unyielding pressure on people to shed the folkways of the Old Country, to embrace an American identity, and to become self-reliant; or to return home. The push by multiculturalists to Balkanize the country must be discredited and abandoned.

Let's look at four markers of assimilation from a conservative perspective: income, job prestige, law abidingness, and a conservative political orientation. I regressed measures of each of these onto three predictors: IQ, education, and church attendance. My interest is to see if religion and/or education help in the process of assmiliation.  All slopes are standardized OLS coefficients except for the model of ever being arrest which employs logistic regression. All the samples are people of Mexican descent except for the arrest model where all Hispanics are included (in order to maximize sample size). I limited the analysis to those born in the U.S. since the vocabulary-based measure of IQ is not valid for Mexcian immigrants.

Income (sample size = 335)
IQ .11*
Education .32*
Church attendance .07

Job prestige (sample = 292)
IQ .09*
Education .47*
Church attendance .00

Ever arrested (sample = 163)
IQ -.03
Education .04
Church attendance -.18*

Conservatism (sample size = 326)
IQ -.01
Education -.01
Church attendance .18*

I included IQ to control its influence. Education strongly predicts greater income and job prestige, net of IQ's effect. By contrast, it is unrelated to being arrested or conservative (or liberal, for that matter). Church attendance exerts no influence on income or job prestige, but it does predict a lower risk of arrest and greater conservatism for Mexican Americans.

Education and religion (especially conservative Protestantism, I suspect) might help America with the assimilation challenges it faces. Elites who advocate multiculturalism and irreligion are working against the long-term interests of the country.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The monster ethnic group

According to the 2010 Census, Hispanics in America have now surpassed 50 million. That is 16.1 percent of the total population. I've listed the 2000-2008 GSS percentages for large ethnic groups (sample size = 11,840) :

Percent of total U.S. population

Hispanic 16.1 (2010 Census)
German 15.1
Black 14.3
Irish 12.3
English/Welsh 11.4
Italian 5.5
American only 3.0

Hispanics are now the largest group. Demographically speaking, America is more Hispanic than it is German, black, Irish, English, etc. On the other hand, "Hispanic" is a contrived category. If we focus on Mexican Americans only-- a real ethnic group--they are two-thirds of Hispanics which would put them currently at 10.6 percent of the U.S. population. That is larger than any other ethnic group except for Germans. And as big as they are, Germans do not stick out in American society; Mexicans do.

Demographers project that Hispanics will be one-third of the population by 2050. (That will only happen if we let it.) Considered as an ethnic group, they will dwarf every other ethnicity. They might become the monster ethnic group, but then again, their growing presence, along with that of other non-white immigrant groups, might forge whites into a real, monster ethnic group.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Opposition to racial preferences as a measure of racism

Liberal researchers sometimes use opposition to racial preferences as a measure of anti-black racism. Is it a valid proxy?

The GSS asked respondents how close they feel to blacks on a scale from 1 to 9 and the extent to which the respondent supports racial preferences for blacks in hiring and promotions (1=strongly oppose, 4= strongly support). The correlation is a whopping .10--a trivial relationship (sample size = 3,577, whites only). Attitudes toward racial preferences among whites is a completely invalid proxy measure of racism.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Does religiosity reduce female ambition?

It's my impression that religious women are more oriented toward family than irreligious women. Traditional religion focuses on the importance of motherhood over worldly ambition.

How do we measure occupational ambition? Let's look at occupational prestige and number of hours worked per week. I'll throw in IQ as a control:

Standardized OLS Coefficients, DV = Job prestige (sample size = 7,841)

Church attendance .08*
IQ .32*

Standardized OLS Coefficients, DV = Hours worked last week (sample size = 7,208)

Church attendance -.07*
IQ .00

* statistically significant

Interesting. Religious women work more prestigious jobs, but they tend to work fewer hours. They work smarter, not harder.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Elite attitudes on immigration

I showed in a recent post that citizens of the United States are more conservative on immigration than most other developed countries. Here is the table again:

Now I want to look at the attitudes of elites. Here are the views of World Values Survey respondents who have university degrees:

Comparing the first table with the second, you can see that educated Americans are much more liberal than  Americans overall. More than three times as many educated Americans favor open borders (21.8% versus 6.8% say we should let anyone in). Average Americans are almost twice as likely to want strict limits imposed.

While the first table shows how conservative Americans are, the second reveals that educated Americans are more liberal than their counterparts in other developed countries. Only Sweden and Switzerland look to be more liberal.

This analysis suggests that the divide between the more and less educated in the United States is larger than in many other countries. While regular Americans focus on the costs of immigration, educated Americans buy into the America-is-a-nation-of-immigrants propaganda.  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Religious people are (a little) less angry

I don't know how I got so lucky, but I've managed to find a small group of conservative professors to have lunch with every week--three of them are even socially conservative. What are the odds of four of those in the same room?  One fellow is retired and gets angry all the time because greedy, selfish, short-sighted businessmen are ruining the country with mass immigration. He thinks the Southwest is finished.

I worry about his health (he's 79 and has a various health problems), so I told him that this is where religion comes in (he converted to Roman Catholicism a few years back). Thinking about your country will only make you mad, but rest assured that, in the end, everything will be alright. Life is only a moment; focus on eternity.

After, I wondered if it is true that religious people are less angry than the irreligious. I regressed a GSS question on the frequency of feeling angry onto a list of demographic variables and church attendance. Here are the results (sample size = 1,181)

Standardized OLS Regression Coefficients

Age -.18*
Male -.02
Black .02
Education -.03
Income .05
Church attendance -.06*

*statistically significant effect

Older people and those who attend church frequently are significantly less angry than their counterparts. The other characteristics don't matter. (I'm surprised blacks are not angrier than whites. Anger cannot explain their higher rates of violence).

In addition to giving a person "the big picture," religion--most religions, at least--frowns on anger. My priest patiently hears my confessions of anger far too often. Angry white dude--I'm such a stereotype.   

Thursday, March 17, 2011

White Americans like Chinese Americans more than the reverse

There has been a lot of Internet buzz about the white UCLA student who complained about Asian student behavior on campus.  She has been trashed as a hater, and OneSTDV wrote about it on his blog.

Whites get called haters for anything and everything, but how do they actually stack up against Asians?

The GSS asked a sample of Americans how warmly they feel towards: 1) whites, and 2) Asians. Answers ranged from "not at all close" (1) to "very close" (9).  The mean for whites towards Asians is 6.25. The mean of Chinese Americans towards whites is 5.58, and it's 6.52 for Japanese people. The white and Japanese means are not significantly different, but whites like the Chinese significantly more than the reverse.

Fearful women love tough men

A new research article in Evolution and Human Behavior found that women who are fearful of crime are more likely to prefer men who are aggressively dominant and physically formidable for long-term partners. They argue that aggressiveness is not an unalloyed good in a partner since these types of men are more likely to be abusive, unreliable, and unfaithful. Perceived payoff is greater if the woman inhabits a dangerous environment and lacks the resources to protect herself.

Using a sample of mostly white female Internet respondents, the authors reported that greater fear of crime, higher levels of neighborhood violent crime during childhood, and lower levels of education predicted preference for a "manlier" man. The childhood effect suggests that some of the preference becomes established perhaps during the sociosexually important teen years. 

The authors should have considered individual differences (e.g., neuroticism) as well as differences in circumstances. (Their approach seems typical for cowardly evolutionary psychologists. Race, of course, is smoothed over in the study.)

To all you betas out there looking for a partner: the lesson is to associate with more educated women; to live in places where women are safe; and to advocate for the type of society where social order is a top priority.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Augustine on God

One of my favorite arguments for the existence of God was developed by St. Augustine. It goes like this: Mathematical and geometric truths, like the Pythagorean Theorem for example, exist even if no human mind ever thought them. So they are not reducible to human mind or brain. Using another example, the interior angles of different triangles always add up to the same number of degrees even if there had never been a single human to discover or know that. But they are abstractions and are immaterial and mind-like phenomena, so it is difficult to conceive of them existing independently of minds as in Plato's world of Forms. Their nature requires they reside in an eternal mind, and that is God.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japanese vs. blacks

Larry Auster shows here how the New York Times wants everyone to think that Japanese people are just as badly behaved as blacks in a disaster.

To look at the question of antisocial behavior more objectively and quantitatively, let's use GSS data to see how often Japanese Americans are arrested by police. Of a sample of 17 respondents, ZERO have ever been arrested. But perhaps that's just the accident of a small sample. Let's throw in the 21 Chinese Americans who were asked the same question. How many arrested now? Still ZERO.

Monday, March 14, 2011

You can't get rid of these people

I'd like to lodge a complaint. In the media coverage of the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster, all the science experts interviewed have been old white men. It's truly disgusting. These wrinkly old farts need to go. If I don't see a fresh young black women's face in about the next five seconds, I'm going to blow a major gasket. Just when you think we're making social progress, the pale old fogeys somehow slip back on-stage.

Americans are more restrictionist than South Koreans

A reader asserted that Europeans and especially East Asians are more skeptical about immigration than Americans. Using World Values Survey data, I put together a table of percentages (they total 100 across the rows). Each country has at least 1,000 cases.

The percent wanting strict limits is a good column to focus on. The only countries with a higher share in this column are New Zealand and Japan. Finland is about the same as the U.S. America is more conservative than eight out of nine European countries and one out of two Asian countries. Believe it or not, the U.S. is more restrictionist than South Korea. No country in the list has a higher percentage of prohibitionists than the United States.

Next, I'll limit the analysis to elites.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Bastardization of the American Family

Wow, I didn't know the numbers were this high for Millenials. The more I read about this generation, the less I like them (not that I like X-ers or Boomers). The difference between the ghetto and the suburbs is shrinking. I could have used "The Blackification of the American Family" as an alternative title. The kids don't deserve the title of bastards though; the parents do.

If current trends continue, we will soon see the day when the only people who get married are homosexuals.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More on the immigration attitudes of Americans

In the recent post on attitudes toward immigration, a reader suggested that I compare the U.S. with developed countries only. Once again, here are the attitudes of Americans:

Immigration policy--percent

Let anyone come 6.8
As long as jobs are available 36.6
Strict limits 48.9
Prohibit people from coming 7.6

Here is the distribution for eleven developed countries:

Let anyone come 6.9
As long as jobs are available 49.7 
Strict limits 40.5
Prohibit people from coming 2.9

Basically one-half of people from the developed world favor immigration as long as jobs are available, while almost half of Americans want strict limits. It doesn't matter whether we include poor countries or not: the American people are more conservative than the rest of the world on the immigration issue.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Catholic and Orthodox

While I have a lot of respect for both Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, they are not sociologically conservative--at least not as I measure it. I figure a denomination is conservative in this sense if its most involved members are its most conservative. You can gauge the soul of a church by its most active people. If I calculate the correlation between attendance and one's level of political conservatism for a sample of white Southern Baptists (GSS data), I get a decent .28--more religious people tend to be more conservative. By contrast, the correlation for white Catholics is a trivial .11, and Orthodox members are even worse: .07.  I know many liberals in both denominations who can be found in the pews every Sunday. It seems like the conservative parishioners are more outspoken (refreshing for someone who spends Monday-Friday listening to loudmouth, university-emboldened liberals). But if you want a church filled with conservatives, you will probably have to go elsewhere.     

Immigration: The U.S. vs. the rest of the world

Compared to the rest of the world, American citizens must be much more pro-immigrant, right, because our immigration policy is so liberal.

The World Values Survey asked thousands of respondents from all over the world about the right immigration policy for their country. Here is the distribution for the full sample (sample size = 68,171):

Immigration policy--percent

Let anyone come 13.1
As long as jobs are available 38.6
Strict limits 37.7
Prohibit people from coming 10.6

And here are the responses from Americans:

Let anyone come 6.8
As long as jobs are available 36.6
Strict limits 48.9
Prohibit people from coming 7.6

While the modal category for the world is "as long as jobs are available," it is "strict limits" for Americans. Americans are more conservative than the rest of the world on this issue, but our policies are much more permissive. It's a government of elites, by elites, for elites.   

Monday, March 07, 2011

American Muslim religiousness

Are American Muslims more or less religious than other Americans? Here is the distribution of the total population first and Muslims second (GSS, years 2000-2008, non-blacks):

Percent attending religious services (sample size = 12,652/53)

All Americans
Never 21.6
Rarely 31.4
Sometimes 14.5
Often 29.8

Never 22.6
Rarely 17.0
Sometimes 17.0
Often 43.4*

* significantly higher than for all Americans

Muslims differ from other Americans in the most religious category: 43 versus 30 percent attend often (almost every week or more).

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Confidence in the scientific community

GSS participants were asked about their confidence in the scientific community. Forty-three percent answered "a great deal," fifty percent said "only some," and 7 percent said "hardly any."

To identify predictors of confidence, I lumped the second and third answers into one low-confidence category, and conducted binary logistic regression analysis. Here is my list of predictors:

Logistic regression coefficients (sample size = 1,435)

Age .00
Female -.31*
Black -.57**
Hispanic .14
Education .09**
IQ .08*
Income .00
Church attendance -.05*
Conservatism -.09*

* statistically significant at the 95% confidence level, two tail test
**statistically signficant at the 99% confidence level, two-tail test

Keep in mind that these are net effects--the impact of each predictor after the influence of the other predictors has been removed.

Females, blacks, conservatives and religious people tend to have less faith in science than their counterparts.  By contrast, people who are smart and educated have more confidence.  Age, Hispanicity, and income do not matter. The strongest predictors are race and education. There is a large difference between blacks and whites. Adjusting for the other factors (e.g., IQ and education) blacks are still more skeptical of science. This might be due to their greater religious fundamentalism and fear of scientific abuse. Or the explanation might be as simple as greater suspicion of (white) institutions in general.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Religiosity and credulity

Among people, there runs a continuum with skepticism on one end and religiousness/credulity on the other, right?

A study is described in What Americans Really Believe by sociologist Rodney Stark that asked people if they agree with the following statements:

1. Dreams sometimes foretell the future or reveal hidden truths.
2. Ancient advanced civilizations, such as Atlantis, once existed.
3. Places can be haunted.
4. It is possible to influence the physical world through the mind alone.
5. Some UFOs are probably spaceships from other worlds.
6. It is possible to communicate with the dead.
7. Creatures such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster will one day be discovered by science.
8. Astrology impacts one's life and personality.
9. Astrologers, palm readers, tarot-card readers, fortune-tellers, and psychics can foresee the future.

An index was created from the answers. Thirty-one percent of people who never attend church scored high; only 8 percent who go to church more than once a week scored high on the index. The difference is statistically significant. So the continuum goes from a tendency to be skeptical about church to a tendency to be skeptical about the occult and the paranormal. The group that is skeptical across the board is a small minority.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

More on jail inmate fertility

Jim Bowery made a good suggestion in the last post that I display averages by race. Here is the mean number of offspring by race and lifetime number of arrests (inmates are between 45 and 54):

Mean number of children

White (n = 259)
One lifetime arrest 3.26
Two 2.87
Three 2.54
Four 2.72
Five 2.67
Ten 2.71

Black (n = 250)
One 2.74
Two 3.15
Three 3.08
Four 3.37
Five 2.55
Ten 3.71

Family size does not decrease with more arrests for either race. The correlation between number of offspring and number of arrests is -.02 for whites and .02 for blacks; in other words, there is no relationship. According to the MIDUS Study of non-criminal men aged 45 or over, the mean number of children is 2.62.  Criminals have just as many, if not more, kids. (I'll look for prison inmate data--jail inmates have a lower average level of criminality.)

Are gun owners mentally ill?

  Some anti-gun people think owning a gun is a sign of some kind of mental abnormality. According to General Social Survey data, gun owners ...