Skip to comments.Racial IQ Gap Narrows: Blacks Gain 4 To 7 Points On Whites
Posted on 08/06/2006 2:14:03 PM PDT by blam
Racial IQ Gap Narrows: Blacks gain 4 to 7 points on whites
A statistical analysis of four national intelligence tests indicates that the difference in scores between blacks and whites decreased by about a third between 1972 and 2002. The findings challenge a century-old argument that the racial gap in performance on IQ tests is primarily genetic and therefore invulnerable to social change, say the researchers who performed the new study.
They examined data that have only recently become available to researchers, says William Dickens of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Using test results from a random distribution of people in the United States, he and James R. Flynn of the University of Otago in New Zealand tallied the increases in IQ scores of blacks and whites over 3 decades. Each of the four tests analyzed included two or three groups of people that took the test at different times.
Previous measures of the intelligence gap, which had used localized populations tested only once, found blacks 15 to 18 IQ points lower than whites, Dickens says.
In the new analysis, all four tests reflected a similar gap in 1972 but indicated that blacks have since gained ground in IQ.
"The whole distribution of black cognitive ability is moving up relative to whites," says Dickens. "There's no reason to believe [the gap] isn't going to get more narrow as we move forward and as measures of social equality continue to improve."
Neither increased rates of mixed ancestry nor changes in test content explain the narrowing gap, Dickens and Flynn argue in the October Psychological Science.
Last year, a review by J. Philippe Rushton of the University of Western Ontario in Canada and Arthur Jensen of the University of California, Berkeley concluded that intelligence is determined predominantly by genetics. The researchers argued that the IQ gap had held steady for a century, despite social-equality efforts, and noted that studies of adopted children and twins have attributed 80 percent of the gap to genetics.
The new data, by contrast, instead indicate that environmental factors contribute greatly to IQ scores, says Flynn. "It's exciting to show that the gap isn't written in the stars," he says.
But the new findings contain many holes, Rushton and Jensen maintain in a rebuttal published with the study. For example, Dickens and Flynn "cherry-picked" their results by leaving out four tests that don't support their conclusions, Rushton says.
Dickens answers that the tests that he and Flynn omitted were less reliable than the ones that they included.
A 4-to-7-point closure in the gap would be "truly astounding," says Linda Gottfredson of the DelawareJohns Hopkins Project for the Study of Intelligence and Society.
However, the conclusion "just doesn't fit" with data showing that in the past 30 years, U.S. black children between the ages of 9 and 17 have approached white children in reading scores but not in science and math, she says. If general intelligence, as measured by IQ tests, were really rising, scores would have increased in all subjects.
A fundamental problem with studies of IQ-test results is that "nobody really knows what intelligence is," says psychometrician Peter H. Schönemann of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
The new findings "won't change that many minds," says Doug Detterman of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, who is editor of the journal Intelligence. More important than measuring a gap, he says, is identifying the specific environmental factors or genes that contribute to intelligence.
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The usual egalitarian stupidities...
Stupidity crosses all racial boundaries and is an equal opportunity inhibitor. Look at how many supposedly educated whites are members of the Democratic Party.
I wonder what the correlation between IQ and political affiliation tells us.
Wait a second-- aren't these the same folks who insist there was never any racial differences in IQ to begin with?
The statistical analysis is interesting, but one can't use it to predict the relative IQ's of any two people in any particular circumstance, so I wonder what value this is, whether true or not. I am white. There are blacks with higher and lower IQ's than mine (I am fortunate that I do have a fairly high IQ, not that you can it, the way I act sometimes). Assuming IQ is relevant to a comparison of people in a particular setting, this statistical information is of no value.
Eugenics rears its ugly head again.
WHITES are getting dumber?I think the whole country is getting dumber.
Just listen to the tenor of everyday conversations.Trivial fluff about celebrities,TV shows,gossip about"fags", talk of things I have and you don't and who will win how much at the Indian Casino this weekend.
Blacks,whites,Filipinos,Latinos-not one of them very bright as a group from my experiences.
You can say that again... Oh wait, I can do that too!
BTTT 'cause it deserves saying AND is not PC!
Correlation between IQ and political affiliation?
Well,polls have shown that the two highest groups who vote Dem in the greatest percentages are high school dropouts and people with Post-Grad degrees.
Now what does THAT say?
You are soooooo right! Well said.
And the same ones that say that race doesn't exist, or that there's no way to tell who's black and who's white.
LOL! In your case that is certainly true! I think you were going for 'dumber' right? But that means one who cannot speak, one who is so amazed they are 'Struck dumb' and unable to speak. That is not what you meant, I take it? Congrats on the HTML though.
I once worked at a University. In my experience, people working on their undergrad degree tended to be reasonably polite, and reasonably bright. People working on Masters were arrogant and kind of dumb. People working on doctorates were very easy to spot: the guy pushing on the door marked "pull" and screaming obscenities at the staff was nearly done with his PhD.
"Contrary to the party line denying that such a thing as IQ existed, the book methodically demonstrated that IQ exists, it is easily measured, it is heritable, and it is extremely important. Among many other things, IQ is a better predictor than socioeconomic status of poverty, unemployment, criminality, divorce, single motherhood, workplace injuries, and high school dropout rates. Although other factors influence IQ, such as a good environment and nutrition, The Bell Curve authors estimated that IQ was about 40 to 80 percent genetic."
Ya beat me to the punch.
The real question is this. Are blacks doing better on these tests or are whites doing worse.
Are blacks IQ getting stronger or are white IQ's gtting weaker.
Why would intermarriage have anything to do with this finding?
No, everybody knows there are racial differences in IQ scores. The issue is whether there are racial difference in innate intelligence which is an alltogether different question (I don't believe that there are). I think the evidence -- and you can count this article in with that -- indicates that IQ scores are largely dependent on education, and it's no secret that blacks tend to get poorer educations than whites in the United States.