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September 12, 2015 / JayMan

Key Recent Papers and Postings

(This was also posted on the Unz Review, 9/11/15)

Some really interesting and quite significant publications have appeared in recent days. Each adds key pieces of evidence to the topic of HBD, and I wanted to talk about each here. I may do review columns like this periodically, somewhat akin to HBD Chick’s (get well soon!) linkfests.

1. Those Who Can See: Why Re-Colonization? Commonweal Orientation

This is nothing short of a brilliant and comprehensive summary and description of distinction between clannishness and its polar opposite, WEIRDO traits. M.G., the author there, vividly illustrates the distinction with examples, telling anecdotes, as well as statistics and graphs. As she put it (M.G.’s emphasis):

For those of us born in high-trust societies, it may come as a surprise that low commonweal orientation, also known as low trust, clannishness, or amoral familism, is anything but rare–globally, it is not the exception but the rule.

1) Low-trust: Don’t be a sucker

Let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth:

A freier, in Israeli eyes, is a shopper who waits in line to pay retail. It is a driver who searches for legal parking rather than pulling onto the sidewalk with the other cars. … The fear of being a sucker turns driving into a bumper-car competition and makes grocery shopping as trying as arm wrestling.

If you are stronger, why should you give way to someone weaker? In a debate, the British will say, ‘You have a point.’ In a debate here, no Israeli will admit he has been persuaded to change his mind. That shows weakness.’

Americans often find the Israeli attitude intolerably rude. Israelis, meanwhile, find Americans to be the biggest freiers of all. They are naive idealists. … Americans are perceived as innocents who follow the rules and who believe a person will actually do what he promises to do. ‘An American is willing to trust until someone proves to be untrustworthy,’ Shahar said. ‘Israel is much more like the rest of the world, where the basic assumption is that people . . . should not be trusted until proven trustworthy.’

Most, if not all the time in Iranian culture and society, a zerang person is seen in a positive light … a person who is able to wittingly cheat people, companies, businesses, governments of money is zerang and an idol for many Iranians. …We Iranians, although outwardly criticize corruption, internally glorify it and wish to master it.

2) High-trust: Living among the suckers

In stark contrast to the above, NW Europeans–and first and foremost the English–are famous for their notion of ‘fair-play’. Salvador de Madariaga, in his Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards (1929):

the English sensitiveness to the ‘laws of things’–the law of the road, the law of the sea, the law of the hunting field. … the English are the teachers of the world, not merely in their quickness to perceive these natural laws, but in their cordial and sincere obedience to the restrictions which they impose upon each individual for the good of the whole.

Each Englishman is his own regulator. … The need of outside safeguards or guarantees of any kind is therefore less urgently felt than in other countries. The average level of honesty in English civil life is singularly high, as is shown in the usual disregard for detailed precautions against fraud or deceit.

… No bureaucracy in the world can vie with the English Civil Service in its devotion to the interests of the country. … it owes much also to that instinct for co-operation, that objectivity, that absence of self-seeking, of vanity and of personal passion which are typical of the whole race.

Building a better life for my family’ often means fleeing the corruption and fraud which flower among the low-trust.

In nepotistic countries, political fraud is not so much a mark of shame as a national sport.

Perhaps most helpful are the scatterplots she provides:

1) General trust level

As a tentative proxy for general trust, we took two questions.

  • “Do you think most people would try to take advantage of you if they got a chance, or would they try to be fair?” (WVS) (1-10 where 1 = “people would take advantage,” 10 = “people would try to be fair” –>; Respondents who said “1” only)
  • “How much do you trust people you meet for the first time?” (WVS) (1-4 where 1 = completely, 4 = not at all –>; Respondents who said “4” only)


2) Trust vs. Familism

Does familism correlate with trust? As a proxy for the former, we used the statement

  • “One of my main goals in life has been to make my parents proud.” (WVS) (1-4 where 1 = agree strongly, 4 = disagree strongly –>; Respondents who said “1” only)
  • “Do you think most people would try to take advantage of you if they got a chance, or would they try to be fair?” (WVS) (1-10 where 1 = “people would take advantage,” 10 = “people would try to be fair” –>; Respondents who said “1” only)


The great depth of this global pattern (appearing across many different societal variables) speaks to the basic reality of this human division. This runs square contrary to the recent paper by Aleman and Woods which claims that the two dimensions of the World Values Survey aren’t real.

Whatever the true latent factors are, and whatever the correct way to measure them is, it is clear that they are capturing real phenomena, because they have significant predictive validity, as seen so plainly in M.G.’s post.

See also my early postings:

Predictions on the Worldwide Distribution of Personality

The Rise of Universalism

National Prosperity

Also this by Staffan:

Honor, Dignity, and Face: Culture as Personality Writ Large | Staffan’s Personality Blog

2. Psychological comments: Migrant competence

James Thompson reports on a new paper he co-authored with Heiner Rindermann. They deliver a brutally thorough dissection immigrant ability in Europe. Thompson and Rindermann look not only the performance of first generation immigrants, but their progeny as well. As Thompson put it:

Europe is experiencing enormous inflows of people from Africa and the Middle East, and in the midst of conflicting rhetoric, of strong emotions and of a European leadership broadly in favour of taking more migrants (and sometimes competing to do so) one meme keeps surfacing: that European Jews are the appropriate exemplars of migrant competence and achievements.

One major ingredient of the leadership’s welcome to migrants is the belief that they will quickly adapt to the host country, and become long term net contributors to society. Is this true?

However, there is now data on first and second generation immigrant scholastic achievements, and these serve as a cautionary tale. Acculturation requires plenty of high quality educational input, and substantial gaps remain into the second generation.

Rindermann created a composite score based on PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS data so as to provide one overall competence score for both the native born population and the immigrants which had settled in each particular country. For each country you can seen the natives versus immigrant gap. By working out what proportion of the national population are immigrants you can recalculate the national competence (IQ) for that country

The analysis of scholastic attainments in first and second generation immigrants shows that the Gulf has gained from immigrants and Europe has lost. This is because those emigrating to the Gulf have higher abilities than the locals, those emigrating to Europe have lower ability than the locals.

European leaders assume that acculturation is assured: it is merely a matter of additional investment in education and training.

Differences between immigrants of second and first generation. Generally, students of the second generation show better results, in the order of 1.84 IQ points (or 12 scholastic competence points). The gains are tending to become smaller, a hint that acculturation becomes weaker, e.g. due to creating own milieus leading to social and cultural separation, facilitated by increasing immigrant groups and world views such as Islamic religion.

However, there are countries in which second-generation migrants do worse: Qatar -57, Emirates -38, Chile -34, Latvia -25, Czech -24, Azerbaijan -22, New Zealand -19, Costa Rica -16, Trinidad -14, Ireland -3 and Jordan -2. These negative results show that acculturation is not the whole story in second- vs first-generation differences, but probably also that there are differences in origin among immigrant groups.

(Of course, I would add that differences between first and second generation immigrants can’t be taken at face value, as there are a myriad of factors that could lead the apparent shifts: testing errors, admixture with locals, selective emigration, etc.)

This paper is a huge blow to the general assumption of acculturation and “assimilation” that is believed to occur with immigrants. As we’ve seen before, immigrants don’t assimilate, except perhaps in the most superficial ways (language, dress, perhaps cuisine – things that depend heavily on content).

See also:

More Maps of the American Nations

Genes, Climate, and Even More Maps of the American Nations

3. Piffer, Davide (2015), A review of intelligence GWAS hits: Their relationship to country IQ and the issue of spatial autocorrelation, Intelligence 53

Davide Piffer’s paper on polygenic IQ score has now been published in the journal Intelligence. Here’s the abstract:

Published Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS), reporting the presence of alleles exhibiting significant and replicable associations with IQ, are reviewed. The average between-population frequency (polygenic score) of nine alleles positively and significantly associated with intelligence is strongly correlated to country-level IQ (r = .91). Factor analysis of allele frequencies furthermore identified a metagene with a similar correlation to country IQ (r = .86). The majority of the alleles (seven out of nine) loaded positively on this metagene. Allele frequencies varied by continent in a way that corresponds with observed population differences in average phenotypic intelligence. Average allele frequencies for intelligence GWAS hits exhibited higher inter-population variability than random SNPs matched to the GWAS hits or GWAS hits for height. This indicates stronger directional polygenic selection for intelligence relative to height. Random sets of SNPs and Fst distances were employed to deal with the issue of autocorrelation due to population structure. GWAS hits were much stronger predictors of IQ than random SNPs. Regressing IQ on Fst distances did not significantly alter the results nonetheless it demonstrated that, whilst population structure due to genetic drift and migrations is indeed related to IQ differences between populations, the GWAS hit frequencies are independent predictors of aggregate IQ differences.

As Piffer explains (quote of Piffer from a discussion on his paper):

My hypothesis is that these hits represent signals of polygenic selection. They are not directly predictors of differences between countries, rather they stand for something else, which is millions more SNPs that have the same intelligence-increasing effect. Since these show a strong correlation, as can be seen via factor analysis and ANOVA, their frequencies are not randomly distributed across populations, it is reasonable expectation that were targets of selection, hence selection pressure differences cause different frequencies at thousands more SNPs that we have not observed yet.

Here is a scatter plot from the paper:

Piffer polygene plot

4. These 25 schools are responsible for the greatest advances in science – Quartz

Steve Hsu and Jonathan Wai discuss the results of a study on the rate that the alumni of various colleges and universities go on to win top prizes, such as the Nobel (emphasis mine):

We examined six groups of exceptional achievers divided into two tiers, looking only at winners who attended college in the US. Our goal is to create a ranking among US colleges, but of course one could broaden the analysis if desired. The first level included all winners of the Nobel Prize (physics, chemistry, medicine, economics, literature, and peace), Fields Medal (mathematics) and the Turing Award (computer science). The second level included individuals elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Academy of Engineering (NAE) or Institute of Medicine (IOM). The National Academies are representative of the top few thousand individuals in all of STEM.

We then traced each of these individuals back to their undergraduate days, creating two lists to examine whether the same or different schools rose to the top. We wanted to compare results across these two lists to see if findings in the first tier of achievement replicated in the second tier of achievement and to increase sample size to avoid the problem of statistical flukes.

Simply counting up the number of awards likely favors larger schools and alumni populations. We corrected for this by computing a per capita rate of production, dividing the number of winners from a given university by an estimate of the relative size of the alumni population. Specifically, we used the total number of graduates over the period 1966-2013 (an alternative method of estimating base population over 100 to 150 years led to very similar lists). This allowed us to objectively compare newer and smaller schools with older and larger schools.

In order to reduce statistical noise, we eliminated schools with only one or two winners of the Nobel, Fields or Turing prize. This resulted in only 25 schools remaining, which are shown below:

Rank Nobel, Fields or Turing prize Frequency Per capita ratio below top school
1 California Institute of Technology 11 1
2 Harvard University 34 2.82
3 University of Chicago 15 2.92
4 Swarthmore College 5 3.72
5 Columbia University 20 4.06
6 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 14 4.45
7 Yale University 13 5.44
8 Amherst College 4 5.51
9 CUNY – City College of New York 13 7.52
10 Carnegie Mellon University 7 7.66
11 Case Western Reserve University 4 11.02
12 Princeton University 5 11.92
13 University of California at Berkeley 19 17.04
14 Stanford University 5 18.75
15 US Naval Academy 3 18.83
16 Dartmouth College 3 18.88
17 Cornell University 6 29.63
18 University of Michigan at Ann Arbor 7 39.76
19 University of California at Los Angeles 7 43.9
20 University of Pennsylvania 3 45.63
21 Oregon State University 3 52.32
22 University of Wisconsin at Madison 5 62.87
23 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 5 68.49
24 University of Minnesota at Twin Cities 3 107.67
25 University of Washington 3 118.72

As a replication check with a larger sample, we move to the second category of achievement: National Academy of Science, Engineering or Medicine membership. The National Academies originated in an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Lifetime membership is conferred through a rigorous election process and is considered one of the highest honors a researcher can receive.

Rank NAS, NAE, or IOM membership Frequency Per capita ratio below top school
1 California Institute of Technology 78 1
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 255 1.73
3 Harvard University 326 2.09
4 Swarthmore College 49 2.69
5 Princeton University 109 3.88
6 Amherst College 35 4.46
7 Yale University 112 4.48
8 University of Chicago 56 5.54
9 Stanford University 117 5.68
10 Haverford College 15 6.51
11 Oberlin College 38 6.91
12 Columbia University 78 7.38
13 Cooper Union 10 7.86
14 Rice University 31 8.7
15 Johns Hopkins University 42 9.27
16 Dartmouth College 43 9.34
17 CUNY – City College of New York 74 9.37
18 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 41 9.83
19 Cornell University 128 9.85
20 Case Western Reserve University 28 11.17
21 Bryn Mawr College 9 11.65
22 Brown University 45 11.89
23 Pomona College 11 12.47
24 Carleton College 13 12.58
25 Wellesley College 17 12.73

Sports fans are unlikely to be surprised by our results. Among all college athletes only a few will win professional or world championships. Some collegiate programs undoubtedly produce champions at a rate far in excess of others. It would be uncontroversial to attribute this differential rate of production both to differences in ability of recruited athletes as well as the impact of coaching and preparation during college. Just as Harvard has a far higher percentage of students scoring 1600 on the SAT than most schools and provides advanced courses suited to those individuals, Alabama may have more freshman defensive ends who can run the forty yard dash in under 4.6 seconds, and the coaches who can prepare them for the NFL.

One intriguing result is the strong correlation (r ~ 0.5) between our ranking (over all universities) and the average SAT score of each student population, which suggests that cognitive ability, as measured by standardized tests, likely has something to do with great contributions later in life. By selecting heavily on measurable characteristics such as cognitive ability, an institution obtains a student body with a much higher likelihood of achievement. The identification of ability here is probably not primarily due to “holistic review” by admissions committees: Caltech is famously numbers-driven in its selection (it has the highest SAT/ACT scores), and outperforms the other top schools by a sizeable margin.

This shows the clear importance of raw ability in producing great achievement. The schools with the strongest pool of students end up having those students go on to have the greatest real-world achievement.

We cannot say whether outstanding achievement should be attributed to the personal traits of the individual which unlocked the door to admission, the education and experiences obtained at the school, or benefits from alumni networks and reputation.

Yeah well, I can tell you that the evidence isn’t pointing of the direction of education mattering much beyond student ability (and I’ll have more on that in a future posting). See:

The Son Becomes The Father

But maybe the particular institution matters when it comes to breakthrough achievement? Who knows? That’s not where I’m inclined to put my money, though. See also Greg Cochran on that (get well soon my good man!).

5. Marine Corps gender integration research executive summary

The Marine Corp wanted to test the effectiveness of female marines in combat situations. So they “carried out … a nine-month long experiment at both Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Twentynine Palms, Calif. About 400 Marines, including 100 women, volunteered to join the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, the unit the Marine Corps created to compare how men and women do in a combat environment.” (Quote source)

Here’s what they found:

Summary of Research Findings

  • Combat Effectiveness
    • Overall: All-male squads, teams and crews demonstrated higher performance levels on 69% of tasks evaluated (93 of 134) as compared to gender-integrated squads, teams and crews. Gender-integrated teams performed better than their all-male counterparts on (2) events.
    • Speed: All-male squads, regardless of infantry MOS, were faster than the gender-integrated squads in each tactical movement. The differences were more pronounced in infantry crew-served weapons specialties that carried the assault load plus the additional weight of crew-served weapons and ammunition.
    • Lethality: All-male 0311 (rifleman) infantry squads had better accuracy compared to gender-integrated squads. There was a notable difference between genders for every individual weapons system (i.e. M4, M27, and M203) within the 0311 squads, except for the probability of hit & near miss with the M4.
    • Male provisional infantry (those with no formal 03xx school training) had higher hit percentages than the 0311 (school trained) females: M4: 44% vs 28%, M27: 38% vs 25%, M16A4w/M203: 26% vs 15%.
    • All-male infantry crew-served weapons teams engaged targets quicker and registered more hits on target as compared to gender-integrated infantry crew-served weapons teams, with the exception of M2 accuracy.
    • All-male squads, teams and crews and gender-integrated squads, teams, and crews had a noticeable difference in their performance of the basic combat tasks of negotiating obstacles and evacuating casualties. For example, when negotiating the wall obstacle, male Marines threw their packs to the top of the wall, whereas female Marines required regular assistance in getting their packs to the top. During casualty evacuation assessments, there were notable differences in execution times between all-male and gender-integrated groups, except in the case where teams conducted a casualty evacuation as a one-Marine fireman’s carry of another (in which case it was most often a male Marine who “evacuated” the casualty).

Yet certain voices insist on allowing women in combat situations. I’m just sayin’.

6. Easterly, Comin, & Gong (2007) Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?

This is certainly not new, but I recently saw it again and it is definitely worth taking another look at. Here’s the abstract:

We assemble a dataset on technology adoption in 1000 B.C., 0 A.D., and 1500 A.D. for the predecessors of today’s nation states. We find that this very old history of technology adoption is surprisingly significant for today’s national development outcomes. Although our strongest results are for 1500 A.D., we find that even technology as old as 1000 B.C. is associated with today’s outcomes in some plausible specifications.

And here is a scatterplot:

1500-Now Scatterplot

Obviously, countries which have had their populations replaced by Northwestern Europeans stand as outliers. When they controlled for that, this is what they got:

Europe Scatterplot 1500-present

Needless to say, this is exactly as expected given that the development of society depends on the characteristics of the people who comprise it – average IQ being a major one of those characteristics.

The pattern is visible further back, from 1000 B.C.:

Euro Scatterplot 1000BC-presentHere we primarily see the effect of the early agricultural adopters. However, my readers will know that there has been a lot of evolution since then. As to be expected, we see a somewhat stronger relationship when we look more recently, roughly 2000 years ago:

Euro plot 0AD-presentThere has been quite a bit of evolution since that time as well, but the relationship strengthens a bit. Cold-weather farmers start to standout more.

See also:

“Racial Reality” Provides My 150th Post

So there you have it. The reality of HBD is clear and evident. Yet, the politically correct crazy has been only getting more crazy. With the ongoing “refugee” crisis in Europe, the paramount importance this information is all too plain. In the end, it is the people that make the society. More and more I’m starting to feel like I and the other HBD researchers are Galileo facing the Vatican. When will the official doctrine collapse?


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