…feed the beast

He’s so comically self-aggrandizing, that I can’t help but to [feed his ego] … just to see his smug follow up.

…Consider, for example, the results from Germany obtained prior to its 1991 reunification…

To be released in the November-December issue of Intelligence:

Roivainen, 2012. Economic, educational, and IQ gains in eastern Germany 1990–2006

Lynn and Vanhanen (2012) have convincingly established that national IQs correlate positively with GDP, education, and many other social and economic factors. The direction of causality remains debatable. The present study re-examines data from military psychological assessments of the German federal army that show …

Read the full paper here.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to …feed the beast

  1. Ambiguous says:

    So, educational quality actually matters? Who’d have thunk it! This is surely revolutionary knowledge!

    But seriously if someone believed the likes of Lynn, Rushton and their followers (worshippers) in the hbd blogosphere you’d get the impression that practising cognitive tasks doesn’t improve cognitive ability. In a book by Mackintosh, “IQ and Human Intelligence” it shows that children who go to school gain an IQ advantage each year both verbal and non-verbal compared to children who don’t go to school, an extreme example but it illustrates the point. It also describes the results of Indian children brought to the UK, in India they scored 82, after a few years in the UK they scored low 90s and after a few more years they scored about 100. I suppose that had nothing to do with education either.

    • statsquatch says:

      Why do you assume it is education? It could be the benefits of cleaner food or drinking stool free water or a better diet? Maybe lower viral burden. I could think of others but I have to go and light a candle to st rushton.

    • Chuck says:

      (1) The situation is more complex than it looks. For example, the author points to PISA 2000+ result to buttress his case, but he fails to note the 1990/1991 IEA reading results in which East Germany was on parity with West: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs/96258-2.pdf Taken together Achievement tests shown no narrowing, because they show no initial gap.

      (2) The relation between education and latent intelligence is not clear to me. I’m not aware of any study which shows that education can actually cause latent differences at least in the first factor. There are studies which show that education is associated with latent differences and studies that show that education causes SCORE differences but none, that I am aware of at any rate, that actually show what is needed. The situation is rather queer. Every time hereditarians or cognitive realists point to a score gap, environmentalists demand proof that it is a true intelligence gap, and not due to psychometric bias. But then these same environmentalists (e.g., Flynn and Ceci) point to mere score differences as evidence of latent ability malleability.

      (3) Most studies in fact show that “practicing cognitive tasks doesn’t improve” general cognitive ability. Here was the largest study on this that I’m aware of:


      Sure practice results in lower order ability increases — no one disagrees on this point — but it apparently does not lead to — at least in the near term — general intelligence increases. .
      (4) re: “Mackintosh, “IQ and Human Intelligence” it shows that children who go to school gain an IQ advantage …”

      Are you aware of anyone who has shown that measure invariance holds for differences between T1 and T2?

      . .

      • Ambiguous says:

        I can’t open your second link.

        1) Well as I said before I don’t regard achievement tests as IQ tests. The IQ gain on Raven’s still stands but who knows if it represents a real gain in intelligence? If it DOESN’T indicate a real gain in intelligence then what does that say about IQ differences between countries?

        • Chuck says:

          (a) Look up: “Score Gains on “g”-Loaded Tests: No “g””

          (b) That’s a problem for national IQs not psychometric intelligence.

          • Amibiguous says:

            (a) Wasn’t that just based on retest performance and teaching how to do IQ tests rather than actual education?

            (b) I couldn’t agree more regarding national IQs.

          • Chuck says:

            (a) You originally said:

            “you’d get the impression that practicing cognitive tasks doesn’t improve cognitive ability.”

            In response, I noted that test training, learning potential, and tests-retest practice, which involves short term cognitive task practice, doesn’t lead to an increase in g and I also noted that the literature on education, which is a form of long term cognitive task practice is ambiguous. The cited paper has a nice discussion of this general issue. Read the section: “Generalizability of findings” on the last page, which concludes:

            “Ceci (1991) showed that increased schooling leads to higher IQ scores, but are these gains highly specific or predominantly generalizable? It would be interesting to apply the techniques we used in this study to the findings from previous intervention studies. It may be that biological interventions (such as diet, vitamin supplements, vaccination against infectious disease) rather than psychological or educational interventions, are the most cost-effective method of producing true changes in g and broad abilities. It may be that there is a biological barrier between the first stratum and the second stratum that restricts the effects of behavioral interventions to narrow abilities and test specificities.”

            The situation in psychometrics is rather perverse these days, with environmentalists now the radical IQists. Seeing any IQ score change as evidence of a latent ability change, they have become the inverse of the HBD type.

          • 猛虎 says:

            Amibiguous, I recommend you this paper “Working memory training does not improve intelligence in healthy young adults
            See pages 533, and 540. And also Melby-Lervåg and Hulme (2012) or Redick et al. (2012)

            But in fact, Jaeggi (2008, 2010, 2011) has been debunked long before she has made her experiments. In 1994, Herrnstein & Murray reviewed, in chapter 17, several educational programs aimed to improve IQ (for whites, and blacks). Here’s what they have to say about … the famous Milwaukee, pages 408-409 :

            THE MILWAUKEE PROJECT. … The famous Milwaukee Project started in 1966 … Healthy babies of poor black mothers with IQs below 75 were almost, but not quite, randomly assigned to no day care at all or day care starting at 3 months and continuing until they went to school. … The families of the babies selected for day care received a variety of additional services and health care. The mothers were paid for participation, received training in parenting and job skills, and their other young children received free child care.

            Soon after the Milwaukee project began, reports of enormous net gains in IQ (more than 25 points) started appearing in the popular media and in psychology textbooks.

            By the age of 12 to 14 years, the children who had been in the program were scoring about ten points higher in IQ than the controls. … But this increase was not accompanied by increases in school performance compared to the control group. Experimental and control groups were both one to two years retarded in reading and math skills by the time they reached fourth grade; their academic averages and their achievement scores were similar, and they were similarly rated by their teachers for academic competence. From such findings, psychologists Charles Locurto and Arthur Jensen have concluded that the program’s substantial and enduring gain in IQ has been produced by coaching the children so well on taking intelligence tests that their scores no longer measure intelligence or g very well.

            Indeed. Even if such cognitive training could improve your IQ in a permanent way, we have yet to investigate whether these gains will be accompanied by an increase in achievement scores.

            Jaeggi is one of most laughable environmentalists I have ever seen. This finding is even more ridiculous : “How to Gain Eleven IQ Points in Ten Minutes: Thinking Aloud Improves Raven’s Matrices Performance in Older Adults” (see also page 202 of the doc).

            An initial study with 30 younger and 31 older adults revealed that thinking aloud improves older adult performance on a short form of the Raven’s Matrices (Bors & Stokes, 1998, Educational and Psychological Measurement, 58, p. 382) but did not affect other tasks. In the replication experiment, 30 older adults (mean age = 73.0) performed the Raven’s Matrices and three other tasks to replicate and extend the findings of the initial study. Once again older adults performed significantly better only on the Raven’s Matrices while thinking aloud.

            Splendid. 11 IQ points in just 10 minutes. Seriously, how could you believe that “g” would be improved in this way while educational interventions failed to produce lasting effects ? Nonsense could hardly be carried further.

          • 猛虎 says:

            This paper is worth reading too :
            Score gains on g-loaded tests : No g

            (pages 284-285, 294-295)

  2. Ambiguous says:

    I didn’t say it was exclusively due to education, but from the above paper’s abstract: “The short time frame excludes significant effects of biological or genetic factors on IQ gains. These observations suggest a causal direction from GDP and education to IQ.”

    Also worth considering is Flynn’s recent work showing a slight advantage in IQ for women in some countries. Flynn thinks it’s due to women concentrating more on the test, but it could also be due to women practising their cognitive abilities more causing an IQ gain, which in turn shows itself in superior academic achievement.

    I predict that in the UK, girls at age 16 have a slight advantage in IQ in the region of 2-3 points which doesn’t show up at age 11.

  3. statsquatch says:

    I obviously disagree on “biological” but if they can not show the test is MI over that duration then the results are bound to be contentious. Maybe they did though, I did not read the paper. Speaking of MI…”lynn thinks it’s due to women concentrating more on the test..” Lynn can actually test that but did he? I doubt it.

    Your prediction may be right but will the increase be in latent intelligence not just test scores? Maybe it will be true, but will you be able to prove it is due to schooling or even solely to environmental ? I doubt it. Some one like Greg Cochran can, with out any data, just say that it is due to an increase in rare mutations on the X chromosome caused by old dad sperm. These are known cause MR in boys at a higher rate than girls and so may effect normal range intelligence.

    The only solution to this problem is to understand the genetic architecture of intelligence.

  4. Ambiguous says:

    “Speaking of MI…”lynn thinks it’s due to women concentrating more on the test..” Lynn can actually test that but did he? I doubt it. ”

    You mean Flynn not Lynn, and I don’t know. As I said I find his explanation doubtful: “I suspect that is a characterological trait. They are also more focused in the testing room just as they are more focused in the classroom. So my conclusion is the sexes on the Raven’s is probably dead equal for cognitive factors and there is a very slight female advantage for characterological traits. This is mere extrapolation from what happens at secondary school. You would expect a little female advantage because of temperamental differences.”

    The question is why has the advantage only just appeared now? That’s especially problematic for a biological or genetic explanation.

    “Maybe it will be true, but will you be able to prove it is due to schooling or even solely to environmental ?”

    Fair point. I would be really sceptical of a biological explanation though, especially a genetic one.

    • Kiwiguy says:

      Interesting will look forward to reading Flynn’s new book. I note he has also acknowledged dysgenic trends are making the NZ population (and probably other Western populations) dumber.

      “”Everyone knows if we only allowed short people to reproduce there would be a tendency in terms of genes for height to diminish. Intelligence is no different from other human traits,” he told the Sunday Star-Times.

      “A persistent genetic trend which lowered the genetic quality for brain physiology would have some effect eventually.”

      Statistics show women without tertiary qualifications who had reached their early 40s had produced 2.57 babies each.

      In contrast, women with a higher education were producing just 1.85 babies each.”


  5. statsquatch says:

    OK, so Ron bit on your german data. Didn’t you post something earlier that there was not really that much of a difference earlier?


    • Chuck says:

      (Ignore the typos, etc.)

      Refer to my comment above.

      I’ve been a bit under the weather — hence by discombobulated reply here — and don’t feel like wasting the time/energy crafting a retort.

      More generally, until I can account for the anomalous (European) immigrant performances I’m not going to post further on race and IQ. Which might mean that the above will be my last post.

      I took a cursory glance at the multi-year PISA results and found them rather troubling from a hereditarian perspective. It’s always possible to concoct an ad hoc super duper immigrant selection explanation — but at present I don’t find one particularly convincing. (I looked at the US internal migrant results in the NLSY and GSS and found that state to state migrants were less selected, for IQ, than I had imagined that they would be — that makes me question the selectedness of international immigrants)

      Anyways, engaging ron is akin to engaging the typical dishonest anti-IQer or race deniaist. Doing so is important. Otherwise they win the meta-debate. But it’s pointless unless one get’s one’s position in order. The latter is the priority. Why waste one’s time defending an indefensible position — even if one’s interlocutor fails to see (or comment on) it’s true weakness?

      You know I find the near complete lack of interest by “HBDers” in the empirical particulars (e.g., the performance of biracials, the correlation between phenotype and IQ, the performance of immigrants by generation, better estimates of national IQ, and on and on) rather bothersome. For example Sailer and JL have been following this debate for over 20 years. Neither seem to have the slightest inclination in accounting for the various inconsistencies.

      They’re just waiting for their deus ex machina of allele counting.

      I consider that to be a multi-level mistake, but maybe not.

      Anyways, I’m going to spend this coming weekend at the beach. While there I’ll try to come up with a workable model of immigrant selection. After, I’ll see if I can fit it to the data.


      • JL says:

        I haven’t been following the debate for anywhere close to 20 years. As for the PISA immigrant data, my very cursory look at the 2nd generation results suggested that they’re consistent with the hereditarian thesis. I agree with Statsquatch that the 3rd generation data are so spotty that little information can be gleaned from them.

        Moreover, I think that many third-generation non-white immigrants are rather white in most of Western Europe. For example, a typical 3rd generation “black” European most likely is predominantly white genetically. Anecdotally, I know two “3rd generation” blacks from Northern Europe, and both have three white grandparents.

        Before we get those allele counting studies, a published meta-analysis of the sorts of admixture analyses you’ve done with biracials and skin color variables would move the debate forward more than anything else, at least in the US context.

  6. statsquatchs says:

    Ok…I have yet to find much in PISA immigrant data. Using properly estimated SEs we have some fairly wide confidence intervals for the first and second generation data. Even with the wide intervals, in most Northern EU countries and some others (Spain) the CIs between first and second generations to not overlap, not withstanding the general improvement of the second generation. A formal tests on the difference would probably show a significant one. England seems to be the exception. I apologize for the format. I can send you the output in an email if you like.

    Country Immigration Status Nobs Pv1MATH SE CI Limit low CI Limit upp
    BEL Native 7656 534.57 2.71 529 540
    BEL Second-Generation 518 450.54 10.25 430 471
    BEL First-Generation 569 421.77 8.34 405 438
    DEU Native 3946 517.97 3.41 511 525
    DEU Second-Generation 355 440.90 8.26 425 457
    DEU First-Generation 302 450.99 7.93 435 467
    DNK Native 4145 519.25 2.42 514 524
    DNK Second-Generation 190 454.59 8.74 437 472
    DNK First-Generation 158 442.58 6.86 429 456
    ESP Native 18456 484.57 2.05 481 489
    ESP Second-Generation 101 452.63 10.78 431 474
    ESP First-Generation 810 425.76 6.87 412 439
    FRA Native 3988 504.67 3.26 498 511
    FRA Second-Generation 436 459.07 9.65 440 478
    FRA First-Generation 151 445.51 11.45 423 468
    GBR Native 12131 499.55 1.91 496 503
    GBR Second-Generation 341 473.69 8.09 458 490
    GBR First-Generation 279 476.10 11.17 454 498
    ITA Native 20381 465.09 2.20 461 469
    ITA Second-Generation 141 431.02 19.45 393 469
    ITA First-Generation 738 421.47 7.42 407 436
    NOR Native 4296 495.07 2.25 491 499
    NOR Second-Generation 144 447.54 11.86 424 471
    NOR First-Generation 145 437.90 9.67 419 457
    PRT Native 4791 469.10 2.75 464 474
    PRT Second-Generation 107 435.11 16.63 402 468
    PRT First-Generation 155 411.17 9.95 392 431

  7. statsquatch says:

    I read them. I just do not understand why you are hung up on data from <1000 EU students. The sample sizes will not just be super-duper small the SEs will be extra-large because of the two stage sampling procedures. Give me some time. I think I can convince you of this.

  8. statsquatch says:

    I looked into more detail at the Belgium and Portuguese data in detail since it seemed odd that someone would think of themselves as a native and have at least one parent who was from Sub-Saharan Africa or the Caribbean. Also, there are none of these people in the Netherlands, Germany, France or Denmark so there may be something special about these countries. In both Belgium and Portugal it turns out that exactly one parent (roughly equally divided between dads and moms) is from SS Africa. So the kids are either biracial or perhaps all white. I think the latter is possible since both Belgium and Portugal had large African colonies with many white colonist, especially Portugal. These colonist returned home after independence and probably melted into the general population and their children may have noted their parents’ birthplace on PISA tests. I think you have ignore the native/SS African data to support your thesis.

    • Chuck says:

      Thanks for looking into this. The situation does seem complex:

      What percent of the student sample do the “African Portuguese” represent? According to the wiki page there are 150,000 (legal) Black African Portuguese and 500,000-1,000,000 retornados. The total Port population, in comparison, is 10 million.

      • statsquatch says:

        All of the “natives” with an African born parent are from Portuguese Africa. I think about 10% of the students in the sample has either a father or mother from Portuguese speaking Africa. I do not think there are a lot of Africans in the European samples.

        • Anonymous says:

          The English sample is weird too. Only one child has a Caribbean parent and less than 40 have at least one African parent. Either PISA missed the 3% Africans you have shown in other studies or the respondents are listing their parent from other countries.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Populations with similar or even identical IQs are never, ever interchangeable. (Ethnic) Germans, Dutch, and Swiss do as well as Korea, China, and Japan on psychometric tests, but these two groups are still nothing alike. And which of these produce more livable societies? Which of these groups would be NOWHERE without the other?

    To ask is to answer. And what ethnicity is Ron Unz?

  10. x says:

    he’s a finn, i think.

  11. Chi says:

    ***The bigger picture: Boas was right about the separability of race, language, and culture.
    The bullshit conflation of these of the last three decades is falling apart spectacularly.

    The ‘anatomically modern but cognitively archaic’ model of Klein and colleagues was just bad genetic-technological determinism.

    And the archaics themselves were not cognitively archaic, at least not in the way posited at the time. Mithen, Binford and many others were wrong about the abilities of neandertals.
    We can look forward to Clark, Haidt et al’s speculations on the genetic basis of cultural differences in values joining phrenology and eugenics on the intellectual garbage heap.

    Ron Unz’s demolition of Lynn’s nonsense on the Irish is a model to be emulated.***

    Sigh, oh well he has convinced “Colugo” 🙂 Although Colugo has a history of similarly nutty comments.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s