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map-russia-iq-2017

Konstantin Sugonyaev, Andrei Grigoriev and Richard Lynn (2018): A New Study of Differences in Intelligence in the Provinces and Regions of the Russian Federation and Their Demographic and Geographical Correlates [PDF]

This is by far the largest survey of Russian IQ ever undertaken (n=238,619). The test was designed by the Ministry of Defense and is aimed at aspiring contract soldiers, consisting of 30 questions testing verbal, numerical, and logical skills. The data used in the paper (and in my map) was based on results from September 2012-December 2017.

If you understand Russian, you can try the test yourself here: https://recrut.mil.ru/career/soldiering/test.htm

There are excellent correlations with my data on regional Russian PISA-equivalent IQs.

I blogged about Sugonyev’s work about a year ago, when he presented the preliminary results at the Institute of Psychology Russian Academy of Sciences.

A recap of some highlights:

1. Geography of Russian IQ: Despite individually small samples, even Russia’s regional PISA results showed a recognizable gradient of increasing IQ as you go north.

map-russia-iq

In Sugonyev’s data, it becomes even more distinct, with IQ rising in the areas of Finno-Ugric admixture, and falling as one goes south and east.

There is perfect and unsurprising agreement on the brightest regions (the two capitals), the dullest ethnic Russian regions (Zabaikalye, Stavropol), and the dullest ones overall (DICh, Tyva).

There is excellent agreement between these results and both statistical assessments and stereotypes about individual regions (e.g. recent story about a criminal band of alcoholics attacking a military formation in Zabaikalye).

While absent from PISA, Yaroslavl oblast performed as well as the two capitals. As I have pointed out, this has “deep historical” antecedents: Yaroslavl gubernia was the most developed ethnic Russian region in the late Russian Empire outside Moscow and Saint-Petersburg.

russia-pisa-performance 2. Flynn Effect: While people born between 1973 and 1987 performed at a stable 19.5-20/30, the post-1988 period saw a steady improvement towards an average score of 21/30. This is equivalent to a 4-5 IQ points increase. This is very substantial, being equivalent to the difference between the duller ethnic Russian regions (e.g. Orenburg = 98.6, 66th/85) and the brightest Russian regions (e.g. Saint Petersburg = 103.5, 1st/85).

This is plausible, because Russia’s performance on PISA – in which 15 year olds are tested on math, science, and reading – likewise started going up from 2009, with PISA-equivalent IQ increasing from 95 during 2000-2009 to 99 by 2015 (see right).

3. “Patriotism“: Since we have n’s for individual regions, we can calculate what percentage of each region’s population took the test, which would presumably be positively correlated with interest in military service and a general “patriotism” factor. I will create a map of “patriotism” based on this data a bit later.

But TL:DR, for the curious: The second most “patriotic” region is Sevastopol (5.4/1,000 took the test), and Crimea as a whole (2.2/1,000) is well above the Russian (1.6/1000) – and this is bearing in mind that they only joined the “experiment” midway through. So much for muh Russian occupation. Some other patriotic regions include Altay, Murmansk, Buryatia, Amur, and Zabaikalye. Saint-Petersburg (1.8/1,000) is more patriotic than the Russian average, while Moscow (1.2/1,000) is less patriotic. The least patriotic regions include Dagestan (0.8/1,000), Tatarstan (0.7/1,000), Yakutia (0.7/1,000), Tyumen (0.5/1,000), Ingushetia (0.3/1,000), and Chechnya (0.2/1,000).

Prospects

This is a huge database that keeps growing every day, as more and more people take the test. So far we have only scraped the boundaries of what we can do with it.

While the data for regional IQs has finally been published, the finer details of demographic structure remain unanalyzed. Which regions saw the biggest Flynn effects? (Related question: Is the lagging Caucasus converging on the Russian average?).

The geographic data in the database is finer-grained than oblast level, which allows for the creation of much more detailed maps.

The IQ part of the test is followed by a couple of personality tests to assess the aspiring soldier’s suitability for military service. This can open up entirely new avenues of psychometric mapping and analysis.

 
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  1. I’ll probably catch shit for this, and possibly rightly so. But the old adage comes to mind.

    If they are so smart, why aren’t they rich?

    Seriously.

    When the Soviet Union imploded, I thought a lot of their technology was going to be commercialized. My friends and I from L5 Society (remember that?) thought a lot of space technology was going to be commercialized. I personally thought that the Russians, freed from the constraints of communism, would start to make cars and airliners. I expected the Russians to become a major manufacturer of industrial equipment (like Germany). I expected a manufacturing renaissance in Russia.

    None of this happened. Its been one of the larger geopolitical disappointments in my life.

    You see, we “northern” people (Russians, West, North East Asia, China) need to have our shit together and have successful manufacturing economies. Sure, we argue and bicker with each other. But at the end of the day, we’re all in the same boat. We need to do the “transhuman” thing and get ourselves out into space. We’re doing a piss-poor job of this right now.

  2. @Abelard Lindsey

    kinda hard to do this space thing while killing each other, and killing each other takes precedence

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
  3. Dan Hayes says:

    Anatoly:

    “and in my map”

    Now that is very, very impressive!

  4. @Daniel Chieh

    Precisely my point. Us “northern” people seem to want to fight each other rather than either work together or barring that, simply leaving each other alone to do our own thing. I suspect our “deep state” is a big part of the problem, especially in our relations with Russia.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  5. Dmitry says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    o smart, why aren’t they rich

    Well to be fair to Karlin’s point of view, your claim is support of his position.

    See Moscow with all the intelligent people.

    And Moscow also has the money, although partly a result of having been sucking a lot of money (as well as attractive women) from the rest of the country.

    But where’s a causal relationship? Does Moscow have high test scores because it’s rich, or is it rich as a result of its cleverer population (trait allegedly causing those high scores)?

    Obviously neither claim is very useful, and it’s just a typical thing where you are picking up lots of trivial and uninteresting noise.

    If you look at each on its own it’s interesting: e.g, economic data – Moscow is richer, academic data – Moscow is cleverer.

    The problem is when you try to infer relations between these things. All noise and messiness you will pick up. You can’t even conceptually separate these kinds of measurements. For example, IQ test is to a significant extent testing the economic status of a population, as opposed to any separate factor determining that status.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  6. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    Isn’t it because of the same reason the US industrial has been eroded over the past several decades? Too much economic power and influence in the hands of a small ethnic minority?

  7. @Abelard Lindsey

    Ah, but you see: however impressive our abilities, they falter in contrast to the magnificence of our egos.

  8. Does it have a category for Jews?

    AK: No, there’s no fields for religion or ethnicity in the test.

  9. Kimppis says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    Russia doesn’t differ that much from the Eastern European average. 1991 wasn’t that long time ago, especially when you realize that the living standards actually collapsed in the 90s. The Russians might not be “rich”, but neither are they poor.

  10. AlexBond says:

    Quite a number of tasks in that military test depend on good knowledge of the Russian language.

    No wonder the regions with least ethnic Russians and with stronger minor languages traditions have rather poor score.

    Of course, the test and the map still show how well those regions fit into the Russian military and into the Russian-language-based society.

    But if we want to determine pure, language-independent IQ, we either should have much less language-dependent tests, or make sure that people tested are good enough speakers.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  11. @Abelard Lindsey

    The Russian leadership appears to be content to feather its own nest and live off sales of natural resources instead of building a seriously competitive market economy. A real shame, Russian mathematicians are among the best in the world and talented Russian emigres flourish wherever they are in Europe and North America. Russia’s loss is the West’s gain.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
  12. @Abelard Lindsey

    If they are so smart, why aren’t they rich?

    I think I have written quite a bit about this, but in summary:

    1. 70 years worth of central planning was ruinous.

    2. The post-Soviet transition was always going to be extremely hard, due to the distortions of the Soviet economy (you can make fish into fish soup, but it’s much harder to make fish soup into fish, as the old quip went).

    Many of those Soviet enterprises may have looked impressive but they were not competitive in a market economy.

    Russia also had bad luck in having truly horrendous leadership in the 1990s, with Putinism only looking good in comparison. Though in the end this may have been due to the legacy of Communism too, with its privileging of political loyalty over competence.

    3. After 2000, in terms of overall socio-economic development, Russia has basically been like Visegrad, but t minus 10 years. In terms of living standards, it’s not far from Greece or Portugal.

    PS. Also Russia isn’t super-smart, and I never claimed it was. Most IQ assessments place it in the high 90s, which is similar to Mediterranean Europe but 5 IQ points below Germanic/Anglo Europe-without-immigrants. However, with the recent Flynn increases (which I predicted), its youngest cohorts may now be as smart as native Germans/Anglos.

    • Agree: Abelard Lindsey
    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
  13. @Dmitry

    Does Moscow have high test scores because it’s rich, or is it rich as a result of its cleverer population (trait allegedly causing those high scores)?

    Not this nonsense again.

    Money never translates into high test scores. High test scores (or rather the high intelligence that generates them) translates into money.

    PS. Well, obviously some exceptions to that, if we’re speaking of endemic worm infestations and subsistence livelihoods, but this has long ceased being relevant.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Dmitry
  14. Anonymous[812] • Disclaimer says:
    @AlexBond

    Volga-Vyatka and Western Urals are full of native minorities but they did better than regions at the Belarusian border (>95% ethnic Russian). Chuvashi republic in particular is one of the few regions where more than half the population speaks a minority language at home and they are 6th on the list.

    • Replies: @AlexBond
  15. utu says:

    The sample n=238,619 is large however it seems that the MOD test is not independently scaled to the scale of the ‘international IQ test’. It seems that authors postulated that the average should be 100 and SD should be 15 on the n=238,619 sample. These numbers are stated in the top legend of the map.

    This means that 102.5-103.5 for Moscow is not necessarily in the same scale as, say, 102 for Berlin from an ‘international IQ test’.

  16. @Anatoly Karlin

    Money never translates into high test scores.

    In entrance exams in Moscow universities children from affluent Moscow families do significantly better, than children from less-affluent provincial families. They also show much better command of English language. After one year in university provincial students tend to outperform their Muscovite counterparts. This goes to show how parents’ money can translate into higher test scores.

    I would go so far as to say that in Russia regional variations in IQ scores is primarily a product of regional wealth disparity.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  17. Anonymous[812] • Disclaimer says:
    @Felix Keverich

    I, too, remember reading about the famously affluent regions of Vologda and Kirov.

    Wealth disparity may have something to do with the difference between Moscow/Petersburg and the rest of the country but that’s just 2 cities.

  18. @Felix Keverich

    But we are not talking of entrance exams let alone English language ones, we are talking about a test focusing on Russian vocab, logical reasoning, and arithmetic 101.

    I mean seriously, just do the test. Here is the link again: https://recrut.mil.ru/career/soldiering/test.htm

  19. @Abelard Lindsey

    The answer is probably cultural. IQ is a necessary but still insufficient condition. China is high IQ and also extremely economically successful due to emulating Western ideals. When Nixon opened up trade with China, China welcomed it with open armed and it has been an upward trajectory ever since, but I cannot see Russia embracing the U.S. in the same way China has. Russia ‘s exports are limited mostly to natural resources, which stunts economic development.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  20. @Ali Choudhury

    Yes, I agree this is a big part of the problem.

    Its sad, too. When the Soviet Union collapsed, I expected a period of adjustment followed by a manufacturing renaissance. My friends and I especially looked forward to a lot of space technology being commercialized. I thought the various design bureaus (Tupolev, etc.) would reform and become a serious competitor with Boeing and Airbus. None of this happened partly because, as you say, the oligarchs would rather mooch off of the natural resources and not do a damned thing to invest in and build up value added industry. Perhaps Russian society is simply too corrupt to allow for long term investment in value added endeavors such as precision manufacturing. I’m sure Anatoly can weight in here.

    In any case, having a high IQ population is not sufficient in and of itself for economic development. You need executive function and a culture of casual long-term trust.

  21. @Anatoly Karlin

    Russia might not have a super smart population. But the scores you show on your map are sufficient for having a successful manufacturing economy. Anything in the high 90′s and above ought to good enough for such.

    • Replies: @unpc downunder
  22. @Abelard Lindsey

    High IQ is essential, it serves as the foundation, without it, you won’t get anywhere. The other half is norm adherence. You can call it trust, but it more accurately it should be the established norms that the community is willing to universally accept that lowers transaction costs. Some people are naturally norm abiding. Some people are not. Some states set up social systems which norm transgression is ruthlessly and efficiently punished. Some states do not. A naturally rule abiding people like the Scandinavians, the Swiss, or the Japanese will sheepishly follow community norms no matter what irrespective of external stimuli. Other peoples, like the Russians, the Chinese, and to a degree even the Anglon Saxons are not norm abiding by default and defections are common. So the defect/defect equilibrium comes into play lowering overall welfare. The English got around this behavior with stringent enforcement of laws and low level social control via feudalism. Russian and Chinese institutions are more patchy in enforcement. Anarcho-Tyranny rather than actual tyranny, thus defections are more common. Shang Yang said it best 2500 years ago, we need brutal enforcement.

  23. Lo says:

    Perhaps creativity needs to be measured, and examined—not just IQs. That and a willingness to take risks both of which entrepreneurs possess. I’d add salesmanship abilities. The entrepreneur is the go between of smart technical people that takes the risks and has the know-how to bring products to market.

    You can’t just come up with a product but be able to market it too. Are Russians risk-takers?

    I’m an American female, self-employed creative professional in the advertising/marketing/communications fields where I made a good living based on “fresh creative ideas” based on client testimonials.

    • Replies: @Rattus Norwegius
  24. Lo says:

    Oh and I should add—that what entrepreneurs are good at tapping into is recognizing what products solve a problem, or serve a purpose for most people—knowing what they need and want, at a price most can afford, which will produce enough sales to sustain an enterprise.

    Afterall, you can hire the best or smartest personnel to make whatever, but if it doesn’t sell it’s NOT worth anything in the market. So you lose all the money you paid to those personnel as well as other costs.

    In America there are stories of mothers who had to drive all around to multiple stores to create a theme party for their young children, ( I was one) until one mother came along and created all-in-one party product covering multiple themes children would like. Solved a problem for mommies with just a click of a few buttons and delivered to their doorsteps. The woman made millions and millions of children and mommies were happy and satisfied. Solved a problem for them.

    I learned in a free-market course, Austrian Economics version not the crony capitalist mixed with Keynesian manipulated economy we have, that if you can solve a problem for people, with a product or service it will succeed.

  25. Sky Robin says: • Website
    @Abelard Lindsey

    Suppose you break USA into 15 states with the remaining “rump” hearthland state comprising about half of the whole economy, no California (roughly equal to Ukraine). Add low-key civil war between some states and you’ll have current Russian situation.

    It can turn around very quickly provided Russians will be allowed to re-unite with at least Ukraine Belarus and northern Kazakhstan

  26. melanf says:

    Despite individually small samples, even Russia’s regional PISA results showed a recognizable gradient of increasing IQ as you go north.
    In Sugonyev’s data, it becomes even more distinct, with IQ rising in the areas of Finno-Ugric admixture, and falling as one goes south and east.
    There is perfect and unsurprising agreement on the brightest regions (the two capitals), the dullest ethnic Russian regions (Zabaikalye, Stavropol), and the dullest ones overall (DICh, Tyva).

    The IQ gradient is clearly correlated with the share of urban population in the total population. Compare these maps (map of IQ and map of share of urban population) – these maps have a great similarity:
    .

    The most “stupid” regions have the maximum share of the rural population. This probably explains the higher results of the Northern regions – they have fewer rural population due to climatic reasons.

  27. @Abelard Lindsey

    I thought the various design bureaus (Tupolev, etc.) would reform and become a serious competitor with Boeing and Airbus. None of this happened partly because, as you say, the oligarchs would rather mooch off of the natural resources and not do a damned thing to invest in and build up value added industry.

    You are describing Russia from 15-20 years ago, not Russia of today. Russia of today is to a large degree self-sufficient in terms of manufacturing output, especially military, transportation, energy extraction, machine building, etc. All this has been amply documented over the last several years on RT, Russia Insider, and similar sites, even by Anatoly occasionally.

  28. @Abelard Lindsey

    It is important to take transportation costs into account.

    Moscow is located far from any warm, deep water ports.

    Export oriented manufacturing will never be as important in Moscow as in Tokyo or Shanghai.

    Of course, transportation costs are as much of a barrier to imports as to exports, so there will always be at least some manufacturing for the internal market in Russia.

  29. On Wednesday, I was speaking at a conference in London on the difficulties and costs of British-Russian relations. (Westminster Russian Forum for the interested). I happened to meet Elisabeth Schimpfossel, author of a new book, Rich Russians, reviewed, negatively, by John Helmer. I’m pleased to say I patched that misunderstanding up.

    The research for the book was impressive. Dr Schimpfossel managed to interview 75 of the top 80 oligarchs (Helmer’s count). It appears that Anatoly has a certain cultural outlook in common with the Russian high bourgeoisie aka oligarchs. In particular, they almost universally credit their success to genetic factors, not only IQ but other behavioural factors. They often claimed parents who were described as intelligentsia and seemed to think that they were unique in reading books. Another common claim was an aristocratic grandmother. It seems that young women from the former aristocracy were hypergamous and succeeded in marrying rising Bolsheviks, thus leaving poverty and discrimination behind them. Far fewer aristocratic grandfathers broke through. The oligarchs usually thought the grandmother carried over ‘cultural capital’ that put the family into the intelligentsia. So, perhaps 2nd and 3rd generation Bolsheviks and intelligentsia are clever because of grandma’s environment not genetics?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  30. @Abelard Lindsey

    Cost matters too. Engineering is doing for a penny what any scientist can do for a pound. Lots of scientists in the Soviet Union.

  31. AlexBond says:
    @Anonymous

    In Volga-Vyatka and Western Urals minorities are either bilingual from earliest childhood, or in fact speak more Russian (i.e. minority languages are either dying out, being mostly confined to elder generations and language fans, or have secondary importance and are characterized by limited usage, mostly in home).

    In Dagestan, Ingushetiya, Chechnya and Tuva the situation is different and their ethnic languages have much wider usage. That’s partly because these regions are economically underdeveloped and have less industry and more agriculture (Russian is needed for the first, ethnic languages are good enough for the second).

    Also the share of ethnic Russians in DICh and Tuva is very low (1-3% and 16% respectively; actually, those are the lowest figures in the list of Russian regions), while in Volga-Vyatka and Western Urals it is significantly higher (25%-61%, with Chuvashia being the lowest outlier in this respect).

    But of course, I concur to the idea that language factor alone cannot explain all differences in regional IQ test results. Maybe Chuvashia has less brain drain compared to regions surrounding Moscow an SPb.

    Still, the most obvious explanation to the map above is that it is a hard task to find Chuvash or Tatar in Russia who speak and understands Russian poorly (unless such person has general mental problems), while it is much easier to find Chechen or Dagestani with poor knowledge of Russian, especially finer literary language.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  32. Dmitry says:
    @Philip Owen

    Another common claim was an aristocratic

    In this demographics’ case especially, will often be much more self-mythology and invention.

    Maybe more interesting correlation, would be between the proportion of women with a habit of inventing strange and exotic mythologies about themselves or their heritage, especially entering family gossip, and the proportion of women who have ambitions for having relationships with important or powerful men. This is especially with the second wives who marry the man after he is rising (and leaves the first wife).

    I would say self-mythologizing women, correlating with ambition to marry important or rising men – is an archetype.

    Women which are climbing, and often have strange priorities, and not always the friendly relationship with unexaggerated truth.

    in marrying rising Bolsheviks, thus leaving poverty and discrimination behind them. Far fewer aristocratic grandfathers broke through.

    What someone needs to try to study, is the overall level of correlation people who are wealthy now, and people who had good positions (or whose relatives had good jobs) before 1991.

    This is where they might expect something more controversial as a topic – stronger correlation (relative to overall public) than is acknowledged to the public.

  33. @Abelard Lindsey

    In fairness, high IQ Great Britain doesn’t have a very strong manufacturing base either. Britain is focused on having a strong FIRE economy based around the city of London, and has sacrificed its manufacturing sector to benefit the financial sector. Russia has prioritized resource attraction at the expense of building its manufacturing base.

    Also, there may be other genetic factors which influence economic development. There may be some subtle issues with the temperament/personality of Russians which undermine their ability to develop a strong economy. For example, Russia has a more unstable political and economic history than most western countries, and has been more vulnerable to invasion by nomadic hordes, so the Russians may have more of a “live for today” attitude to life than say, Swedes or Danes.

  34. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Money never translates into high test scores. High test scores (or rather the high intelligence that generates them) translates into money.

    And where is the evidence of this direction of causation?

    We could find about the direction of relationship between the two, by isolating the two variables, manipulating one, and recording the effects on the other.

    There are two difficulties – isolating variables is not easy in society, and neither can an researcher, without some political influence or large resources, manipulate social variables.

    How would this experiment look in IQ test score research? Maybe something like a representative sample of normal people, promote them to high salary positions (which is manipulating independent variable), and then record the test scores of their children (dependent variable) relative to a control sample who were not promoted?

    • Replies: @E. Harding
    , @utu
  35. @Dmitry

    Look at the Gulf States. They are not known for their high test scores.

    Moscow’s status as Russia’s economic center does attract smart people to it. But it does not raise the test scores of its native population much, if at all.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Jim Bob Lassiter
  36. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    Good that somebody is challenging the dogmatic and unsupportable statement of A. Karlin that “Money never translates into high test scores.”

    The IQists themselves accept 50-70% heritability estimates from the twin studies. This means that 30-50% of variance must be explained by something else than nature. The socioeconomic status, that correlates with money is a big part of environment that will affect the unexplained by nature part of variance.

    But it gets worse for the IQists. GWAS results and Steve Hsu work could so far explain only up to 9% of variance using polygenic scores. The “Missing heritability problem” is still unresolved suggesting that twin studies results just as their critics always pointed out do not account properly for environment similarity of identical twins and environment dissimilarity for paternal twins meaning that twin studies overestimate the heritability.

    This serious issue should not overshadow the fact that data presented based on MoD tests for military recruits were artificially scaled to produce the average of 100 (exactly) and the standard deviation of 15 (exactly) for the whole sample to give the appearance of the IQ test. The IQists themselves estimate that Russia IQ is 97, so making it 100 by a decree is a manipulation. Furthermore there is a major sampling bias involved as the military recruits are not an unbiased random sample. So even if n is large the sample does not represent Russia.

    The issue of ‘money’ is even more significant when the data form the sample is used to measure ‘patriotism’ as A. Karlin does in his next article because it should be pretty obvious that volunteers for military are motivated by lack of job and career opportunities outside military in their regions.

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @Dmitry
  37. melanf says:
    @utu

    The IQists themselves estimate that Russia IQ is 97, so making it 100 by a decree is a manipulation.

    According to the results of PISA 2015, the average IQ of Russia is 98.8 . Although of course the objection is justified

    • Replies: @utu
  38. utu says:
    @melanf

    And do you know how the PISA scores were scaled and used as a proxy for IQ? Who did the scaling? I think that A. Karlin showed some test results for various countries and scaled them to make them appear like IQ and I remember I took his results and calculated correlation against country IQs from Lynn and got very low correlation (less than 0.25 iirc).

    Do not get me wrong. I do not argue for or against what is Russia’s IQ. I do not care. I do not believe in the stuff whether it comes from Lynn or Karlin. They are deluded maniacs who belong to the same cult. I am only pointing out to consistency problems within their own belief system which they think is science. That’s why I am using arguments form within their belief system because one can’t reach maniacs with arguments from without their psychosis.

  39. melanf says:

    And do you know how the PISA scores were scaled and used as a proxy for IQ?

    The mean Pisa results were divided by 5

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/world-map-of-pisa-2015-results/

    More accurate tests (allowing to compare different countries) as far as I know today does not exist. Because of this, 98.8 is the most accurate estimate of the average IQ in Russia today

    I do not believe in the stuff whether it comes from Lynn or Karlin

    Well, the Pisa test results and the results of the army tests do not depend on the Carlin and Lynn, and can be easily checked.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Dmitry
  40. @grey enlightenment2

    I cannot see Russia embracing the U.S. in the same way China has

    China has embraced the USA? Really? Well, maybe if you mean “embraced” the same way a tapeworm “embraces” a host…

    Russia ‘s exports are limited mostly to natural resources, which stunts economic development.

    Ancient Greece exported nothing at all, not even natural resources. They did alright for themselves.

    North Korea will be around long since South Korea disappears, and North Korea’s main export is slave labor.

    Just two points for you to think (try it once, BTW) about your “”exports”” canard.

  41. @Abelard Lindsey

    Perhaps Russian society is simply too corrupt to allow for long term investment in value added endeavors such as precision manufacturing.

    Endeavors such as precision manufacturing have huge upfront costs, tiny margins, massive competition and involve complex international politics.

    You’re nuts if you think that brains and a lack of corruption is all you need to succeed here.

  42. utu says:
    @melanf

    Well, the Pisa test results and the results of the army tests do not depend on the Carlin and Lynn, and can be easily checked.

    Thank god. Nevertheless the PISA tests or MOD tests are scaled to a pseudo IQ scale to make them look like IQ scores. You could do it with driving license test scores as well and claim they represent IQ.

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
  43. @utu

    Any intelligence-loaded test score is an IQ estimate. Converting the scores into the normalized form centered around the median of 100 is just a convention. You could indeed do it with driving license test scores but driving license tests are so easy that they’re only weakly intelligence-loaded and they will provide very unreliable IQ estimates. You have a whole load of misconceptions and you can’t make accurate criticisms at all if your knowledge is at a level where you think normalizing around 100 is somehow a “manipulation”.

    There’s nothing problematic at all about normalizing test scores around median Russian IQ so that Russian IQ is 100 by definition. If it does turn out to be true that Russian average is slightly lower than Western European then in a distribution normalized so that Russian median IQ is 100, Western European IQ will be slightly higher than 100, while in a distribution normalized so that Western European media IQ is 100, Russian IQ will be slightly lower than 100.

    Statements like “Russian IQ is 97″ or “Russian IQ is 100″ are meaningless without providing the normalization reference ie the definition of 100 that’s being used; there is no contradiction if another study shows that “Russian IQ is 100″ since the 98.8 of one study might be 100 in another study. It’s like claiming that “the temperature is zero” without providing the information on which temperature scale you’re using – the zero is completely different in the Celsius scale, the Fahrenheit scale and all the others.

    If all your data is from Russia, then you can’t normalize around white American IQ since they’re not represented in the data. You have to pick another normalization point and you might as well just decide to pick it such that median Russian IQ is by definition 100. This is one reason why it’s so difficult to compare IQ results between countries – there’s no fixed reference point for IQ since it’s a human phenomenon. Physicists can define a temperature scale using some physical phenomenon like the freezing point of water which labs around the world can use to calibrate their thermometers but there’s no non-human lab standard for intelligence.

    That’s why people are using PISA despite its flaws as it’s one of the few tests that are consistently +given to people in multiple countries at the same time, though there are of course problems like schools in different countries probably being different in rewarding students for taking the PISA test etc.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin, melanf
    • Replies: @utu
  44. utu says:
    @Jaakko Raipala

    We know that A. Karlin can subtract and divide. He may subtract and divide using any numbers he wants. Subtraction and division are not against the law yet. But why does he want to use the numbers that the outcome will be such that PISA or MOD data will mimic IQ data? Because he wants to make an impression that he produces IQ data. How much reality is in the impression? If not much that it is a misrepresentation that has an element of deception and/or manipulation. The legend of the produced map clearly states Regional IQ in Russia. But these numbers are not IQ of Russia. They are a surrogate of IQ. This particular surrogate has many problems.

    First of all we do not know whether the MOD test data are a good surrogate of of IQ test. Did anybody correlate IQ test scores and MOD test scores on an actual sample? Is the MOD test too simple? Does it saturate too soon? This might not be a problem because the recruit/volunteers are not the smartest bunch.

    But then there is a problem of bias sampling and the restricted range. The military recruits/volunteers/candidates are not uniformly sampled from society but come from a subpopulation of restricted range on the IQ curve distribution. Most likely high IQ candidates will be very underrepresented in this sample. Thus the sample’s median or mean are not equivalent to the median or mean of real IQ distribution in Russia. Because of the restricted range (cut off at higher IQ end) even if the MOD test was a good surrogate of the IQ test (high correlation) the scaling of the standard deviation of this sample to 15 will cause an artificial stretch that will amplify regional differences. The range 89.5-103.5 on the map is larger than the range in the sample. Does this range represent the range of IQ?

    You say that it does not matter whether on uses 100 as a mean or not because were are not comparing data to other countries. But people will after reading the legend of the map: Regional IQ in Russia. It does not say that it is wink wink IQ so you should not pay attention to the absolute values but only to the differences between regions.

    People who processed the data and generated the map are not stupid. They knew what they were doing yet they decided to not clarify the legend of the map and thus they are guilty of misleading the users of the map. Perhaps they explain it in the paper but who will read it but everybody will see the map?

    Some time ago A. Karlin processed PISA or some other educational test and scaled it to the IQ scale and wrote a note about it. I took his data and correlated with countries’ IQs according to Lynn and got a very low correlation (iirc, less than 0.25). Again it was all legit what he did. The question is why, what did he want to convey where clearly the test did not correlated well with Lynn data. Yet, in the paper A. Karlin talked about IQs. If he however, criticized Lynn that his IQs are bunch of crap I would be all for A. Karlin because personally I believe that PISA test actually measure something that we have some understanding of and most importantly PISA scores to not pretend that they measure some immutable brain property but are rather they measure the quality of the educational system. However Karlins and Lynns of this world are chiefly interested in this immutable brain property so they want to convert everything to IQ because IQ is alpha and omeg of their cult reality. And when their data do not agree they will ignore it and will continue beating their meat.

  45. Dmitry says:
    @E. Harding

    Where is the evidence of this claim?

    ow’s status as Russia’s economic center does attract smart people to it. But it does not raise the test scores of its native population much, if at all.

    It’s ok as literary or anecdotal statement, as the kind we commonly write here. It’s your personal opinion.

    But unless there is a test of this, it’s just that – a literary or personal impression of yours.

    Look at the Gulf States. They are not known for their high test scores.

    But how is this relevant. Those states’ economies developed, without investment or serious work in education. Moscow is an educational center that administrates a large country, provides schools with even better curriculums than average, and has a large population of bourgeoisie, with typical European educational aspirations for their children.

  46. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    PISA is not such a good example, when you read the sample tests.

    It’s testing assimilation to OECD ideology, without test of deep skills, or even age-appropriate skill. Some questions are also incorrect – a more intelligent child would mark a different answer to what OECD wants. In this case, it tests conformism to an incorrect standard.

    It is proxy for something like “globalisation” to OECD point of view.

    OECD releases large amounts of educational psychological literature to support their PISA project. It is not intended to test IQ, but rather some other concepts skills of OECD’s ideology (they use words like “critical thinking”).

    • Replies: @melanf
  47. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    hat twin studies results just as their critics always pointed out do not account properly for environment similarity of identical twins and environment dissimilarity for paternal twins

    There still issues for twin studies, in separating environment and genetics.

    They can separate twins at birth, and look at their pattern of life in different families. But there wiill also be many environment factors modified indirectly by genetics, but not being determined by genetics itself.

    For example, a person might be born with a certain appearance that will lead to universal expectations from their society that they are intelligent or not intelligent as a child, and they conform to this social role.

    In an identical twin study, even if children live in completely different environment, they will still universally import some of the same confounding environmental variables – e.g. physical appearance as a confounding variable.

    If people are going to laugh about the importance of factors like this – you can read the autobiography of Sartre, in which he claims his entire intellectual inclination from childhood was a result directly of interaction between his appearance and society (Sartre writes something like the key moment in his life, when his appearance is rejects, and says something like “without a beautiful body, only social option was to study a lot and create a beautiful mind to impress people”).

    • Replies: @utu
  48. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    PISA is not such a good example, when you read the sample tests.

    As far as I know there is no other better test to compare Russia with other countries

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  49. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    They do not have many cases of twins separated at birth. And when they do the environments the twins were placed in often are similar which means that correlation between IQ’s of twins will be higher than they could have been if environments would be more different which will lead to overestimated heritability.

    So they look at identical twins (MZ) and non identical twins (DZ) that were raised together and calculate heritability with the Falconer’s formula H^2=2*(r_mz – r_dz). where r_mz and r_dz are correlations for each set of twins. One objection made to this approach is that identical twins are treated in more similar way by parents and environment than the non-identical twins and thus the effects of environment do not cancel as the Formula which results in overestimated heritability.

    The looks obviously play a role as good looks invoke different responses than bad looks and lead to different environments. But still this is a genetic effect because presumably looks are determined by genes. This issue does not apply to identical twins as they look the same.

    I agree with what you wrote about PISA and OECD. I would even say that abstract allegedly culture independent IQ tests like Raven Matrices are actually affected by culture and socio-economic development. It was observed that Raven Matrices tests experienced the highest Flynn effect. My explanation for it is that with the development of society and schooling and then the increased exposure to abstract perceptions of icons and Venn diagrams people get a knack for solving these tests. In 1960′s in some countries they introduce ‘new math’ in school that IMO promoted better ability of solving Raven Matrices.

    The bottom line is that heritability of IQ is overestimated and IQ tests just like PISA tests contain much higher environmental factor than the hard line IQists would want us to believe.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  50. @Abelard Lindsey

    A read of Anthony C. Sutton’s National Suicide and his follow up book, The Best Enemy Money Can Buy might offer some additional insights.

  51. @E. Harding

    Doesn’t a population have to be somewhat smart to survive Russian winters?

  52. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    So they look at identical twins (MZ) and non identical twins (DZ) that were raised together and calculate heritability

    Well this would be idiotic, if what you write is true.

    The looks obviously play a role as good looks invoke different responses than bad looks and lead to different environments. But still this is a genetic effect because presumably looks are determined by genes.

    It’s a confounding variable from the environment, which is imported indirectly by them having the same genetics.

    If the children were raised in desert islands, or even different cultures (where aesthetic standards are different), then the effects could be removed or reduced.

    . This issue does not apply to identical twins as they look the same.

    This issue is the problem – if you use identical twins study, where children are living in separate families, even in different parts of a same country.

    The purpose of this would be to try to separate genetic from environmental variables. However, their appearance itself imports a similar social environment (as related to themselves) wherever they go.

    -

    If, on the other hand, they try to estimate heritability based on identical twins (raised together) vs non identical twins (raised together) – then it is complete nonsense, where they do not even begin to separate genetic from environment variables. It sounds like pseudoscience, or – total waste of time.

    tests just like PISA tests contain much higher environmental factor

    PISA test itself, is not measuring intelligence, but acculturation to a particular standard of understanding a question.

    (This standard can be objectively incorrect, as you can see when you look at certain questions in the test, where not any of the answers are true).

    It does not measure intellectual ability, as the skills tested in the questions themselves are insanely easy relative to the age group.

    Difficulty is only in translating the meaning of the question (which is only a test of acculturation to the test format).

    OECD itself understand this, and they write in their literature that they are measuring how much international classrooms are conforming with a particular common standard (that their educational psychologists have approved).

    You can look rapidly across their reports all available for PDF download, and (correctly) see no claims about intelligence in relation to the test,:

    https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/pisa_19963777

    • Replies: @utu
  53. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    PISA is testing acculturation to OECD test format. In other words, it’s a measure of how children are habituated to a particular standard. In recent years, the scores increase for Russia, most likely as the state exams have started including questions written in a similar format, and therefore teachers in general are acquainted with this question format, and introducing it in their classrooms earlier with younger students.

    OECD PISA itself has quite a lot of influence. In some countries’ curriculum, they have started to model questions on the PISA standard. In my view, this is quite a negative influence (it seems like a circular fashion, simply chasing views of a few centralizing psychologists)

    OECD themselves release a lot of literature on the test, and their underlying goal of their educational psychologists – to create a globally common teaching and exam style.

  54. DreadIlk says:

    Karlin what the shit. It made me take the test but would not tell me the results other then to show up at enlistment. This is some bs trickery.

  55. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    Well this would be idiotic, if what you write is true.

    Perhaps you misunderstood. Find wiki entry on Falconer’s formula for heritability. Then put some thought into what heritability really is. Its mathematical definition is fairly straightforward but implications to how it can be measured is more complicated. Furthermore realize that heritability is society dependent. It is not a universal constant defined by genetics. In some societies heritability could lower than in other societies even for genetically identical populations.

    And then remember they are not running tests in NAZI Germany of Soviet Russia. They can’t produce human clones or they can’t force separation of identical twins. The number of genetically identical humans raised in different environments (MZ twin separated at birth) is very small.

    Finally, human looks is not a confounding variable when determining heritability. It would be an interesting question to look at how looks affect some traits like intelligence and how to separated correlation of looks with intelligent via genes and via environment. But this is not a problem form the heritability point of view. You have ugly twins and you have pretty twins. Heritability depends on how the twins within the same pair are similar or dissimilar in IQ and not how ugly twins are dissimilar in IQ from the pretty twins.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Dmitry
  56. AP says:
    @utu

    It would be an interesting question to look at how looks affect some traits like intelligence and how to separated correlation of looks with intelligent via genes and via environment.

    In the West, longer legs are correlated with higher IQ scores, probably because successful men (who tend to have higher IQs) are more likely to have children with women who have longer legs.

    Jensen, A. & S. Sinha (1993). Physical correlates of human intelligence. In P. Vernon (Ed.), Biological approaches to the study of human intelligence, pp. 139-242.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  57. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    If we wish to treat “heritability” as blackbox, rather a mechanism to be understood, and in which where we find genetic basis of physical differences, leading to different intellectual traits (rather than ones mediated through society).

    Alternatively, let’s say we view it as a “blackbox”. Then imagine a world where blue eye children are only allowed to work in fields, while brown eye children are allowed to go to school.

    With this blackbox approach for “heritability”, it would result with genetics for eyecolour being counted as heritable causes of intelligence within this world.

    But here it defeats the raison d’etre for the project to separate heritability from environment – which is (presumably), to understand the physical (which will be based in neurological structures, determined by genetics) component of intelligence variation between individuals and (if it exists) groups.

    Science is working on assumption of bridge laws, and in this case the interesting aspect of heritability is finding a genetic basis of intelligence which results in a physical difference of neurological structure (which is an object which in theory should be reducible by bridge laws to biology, chemistry and physics – therefore part of the physical sciences, rather than social sciences).

  58. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    But there is no interesting causal relationship here (legs play no physical role in our cognition).

    The hypothesis presented for the correlation, is a hypothesis underdetermined by evidence (and also possibility unfalsifiable? – well, to be most generous, we could say these evolutionary stories are not open for easy testing).

    So we could present many different stories for these correlations, as we can for Fall of the Roman Empire, etc. (Methodology often seem more similar to historical sciences, than physical sciences, and relies on concept of “intuitive matching”).

    • Replies: @AP
  59. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Yes, the relationship is certainly not causal – leg length is not in any way directly related to intelligence.

    If for some reason intelligent people preferred to have children with red-heads, eventually red hair color would be correlated with higher IQ scores.

    The hypothesis presented for the correlation, is a hypothesis underdetermined by evidence

    Razib Khan mentioned the study. I didn’t link to his article because I wasn’t too keen on some of his other speculations. But this part, limite dot summairized Jensen & Sinha, is okay:

    http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2007/11/are-tall-women-like-porsches.php

    First, it’s worth reviewing a few key facts about tall women and successful men, which come from Jensen & Sinha’s (1993) excellent review of the physical correlates of intelligence. There is a positive correlation between height and IQ of roughly 0.2 — however, all of this is due to between-family differences, as there is no within-family differences.

    In other words, while members of tall families tend to be smart, within a given family, there is no relationship between height and IQ. Therefore, we can rule out some genetic causes such as pleiotropy, where a gene has effects on more than one trait; and genetic linkage, where genes for height may lie close to genes for IQ and be pulled along with them like teammates in a game of Red Rover. Common environmental causes like nutrition do not likely account for the pattern since most of the data comes from first-world populations not subject to much environmental stress, and also because the height-IQ correlation holds even among those with gifted IQs, who do no inhabit slums or want for basic nutrients.

    Interestingly, the height-IQ correlation is entirely due to differences in leg length, since the correlation vanishes when sitting height is used instead of standing height. The simplest explanation that Jensen & Sinha propose is that there is cross-assortative mating between female leg length and male IQ. They summarize several studies which show that tall women, no matter what economic class they are born into, tend to climb the economic ladder more easily and marry higher-status husbands. That pools tall and smart genes into the same family, but any given kid of theirs doesn’t get to pick and choose which parent he gets his height or IQ genes from, which explains why height and IQ are uncorrelated within families. Moreover, this is not a pattern only among the rich and bright: at every level of IQ, the pattern holds.

  60. johnm33 says:

    Can the data tell at what age women in the various areas had their first child, and does that show a corelation with IQ?

  61. David JW says:

    The Russian military IQ test is interesting – but I don’t think you can get a result from that online test. I went through it, but there was no IQ figure at the end, just a link to a personality test, this time with 74 questions. I think this is for statistical research only.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  62. @David JW

    Well yes. Sugonyev has access to that data. He just published a paper on it (hopefully the first of many).

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