The General Mental Ability (GMA) of Black British

I’ve been going through the literature to double-check Lynn’s Global Bell Curve data. While there is some debate concerning the various magnitudes, the data is robust when it comes to African/White differences, at least, within or between the following countries/regions:

1. US
2. Caribbean
3. SS. Africa
4. Netherlands

I was unsure of the British data. Based on Lynn’s data there is a .9 SD UK B/W IQ gap [2].

I double-checked the IOP literature. According to Evers et al (2005) there is a 1.69 standardized GMA gap. (The predictive validity of GMA in the UK is comparable to that in the US [3]).

A parallel, though much smaller gap — about .28 SD [6] to .5 SD [4, 5] as compared to .7 SD in the US — exists in education [4]. According to Stevens (2007):

“Finally, the largest differences in achievement between various categories of social class or social deprivation can be observed among the highest achieving racial/ethnic groups (White British, Irish, and Indian pupils) and less among Bangladeshi, Pakistani, or Black pupils (Demack et al., 2000; Department for Education and Skills, 2005a). The only exception appears to be the group of Chinese pupils, for which even those from deprived backgrounds outperform almost any other racial/ethnic group, irrespective of their social backgrounds (Department for Education and Skills, 2005a).

5. Britain
(I’ll have to look into the education versus GMA gap some more.)

[1] Lynn, 2008. The Global Bell Curve. pg. 88
[2] Evers, te Nijenhuis, van der Flier, 2005. Ethnic Bias and Fairness in Personal Selection: Evidence and Consequences pg. 309. Source: Scott and Anderson, 2003. Ethnic and gender differences in GMA test scores: Findings from the UK
[3] Bertua et al., 2005. The predictive validity of cognitive ability tests a meta analysis
[4] Stevens, 2007. Researching Race/Ethnicity and Educational Inequality in English Secondary Schools: A Critical Review of the Research Literature Between 1980 and 2005
[5] Strand, (in press). The White British-Black Caribbean achievement gap: Tests, tiers and teacher expectations * Use normsinv(%)-normsinv(%) to change % into SD
[6] Strand, 2010. Do some schools narrow the gap? Differential school effectiveness by ethnicity, gender, poverty and prior achievement. ** I averaged the Black differences

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2 Responses to The General Mental Ability (GMA) of Black British

  1. Kiwiguy says:

    This is interesting in light of David Cameron’s recent complaints about the lack of afro-caribbean students at Oxford. The university released figures showing that ethnic minorities made up 22% of the intake in 2009. Chinese were particularly overrepresented as you’d expect from that Department for Education and Skills comment.

  2. Kiwiguy says:

    OT. Harpending & Cochran have ventured onto the straightdope debate forum to discuss their book. Cochran refers to a paper I wasn’t aware of:

    “What you really want to do is measure brain volume in healthy subjects, rather than skull capacity. And we can do that now: we use MRI. The results are much the same as before: there is a black-white difference in overall cerebral volume of just under 1 standard deviation. Here’s a nice free reference: Variability in Frontotemporal Brain Structure, PLOS One, Oct 26 2010.”

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