Thursday, January 21, 2021

GSS data: Do Jews have prestigious jobs because they are smart, or are there other factors?

 Another IQ issue arose on Twitter today: Does IQ explain the disproportionate number of Jews in high positions in the new Biden administration? Or is there some other factor? The General Social Survey can't answer this specific question, but we can look at job prestige in general. The table below shows that at the same IQ level, Jews tend to have noticeably higher average prestige scores than non-Jews. 

So, according to GSS data, Jews tend to have characteristics beyond IQ that boost their job prestige. What would those be? I'd be guessing, but in the case of Biden, it might not be a coincidence that most Jews are Democrats and are a key presence in the Democrat Party. My impression is that Jews are very achievement-oriented and are drawn to centers of power. In addition to that, I suspect that a Jew is also likely to enjoy the benefit of being born into a social network of high-achieving people. Connections matter.  

Does education increase IQ? The General Social Survey says no

The question was raised on Twitter the other day about whether more education causes increases in IQ. The General Social Survey can help a little with this. Below we have a chart of the mean years of schooling completed since 1977. The mean starts out at 11.71 and ends in 2018 at 13.89 years of education. Over the period, that is an increase of 19%. 

By contrast, here is the trend in IQ. In 1978, it was 97.45, and in 2018 it was 97.80--an increase of 0.3%. Basically, no change. US trends are consistent with the view that keeping people in school longer does not make them smarter. 

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 ...