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Psychometrics

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Just came back from a workshop on "Intelligence and Culture as Factors of National Competitiveness" organized by the Institute of Psychology RAS. The most interesting presentation was by Konstantin Sugonyev, which may be published in a forthcoming paper. It concerned the following test: https://recrut.mil.ru/career/soldiering/test.htm This is a test on the Russian Defense Ministry's website, where... Read More
Kulivets & Ushakov – 2016 – Modeling Relationship between Cognitive Abilities and Economic Abstract: It's well established that there is a very close correlation between average national IQ and GDP per capita, especially when corrected for resource windfalls and Communism.
* The legendary Major General Issam Zahreddine was blown up by a land mine in Deir ez-Zor. What damn bad luck. Surviving an ISIS siege for three years, only to go like that. * Iraq takes back Kirkuk. Seemingly prearranged return to the status quo of 2014. * Haaretz: White Nationalist Richard Spencer Gives Israel... Read More
What the commenter Cicerone wrote in response to the study about dysgenic decline in Germany. The findings come rather surprizing to me and I am always sceptical of using these low N studies to make out trends. Using fertility by education data from the Wittgenstein database, my estimate for the intrinsic IQ loss over the... Read More
I posted about German regional academic performance back in 2016. The evidence seemed to indicate that German IQ was fairly uniform across Germany, once you took the immigrants out. However, soon afterwards I got the following curious email from one Carolin: You can read the report here (I can't read German so you'll have to... Read More
Will be going off to my dacha this week so probably not much poasting. This week's events have been dominated by the Charlotteville clashes, and the resulting cyberpurge of the Alt Right and mass felling of Confederate monuments. Now comes news of the resignation of Steve Bannon. It will certainly be fun to see the... Read More
The population of the world's major regions according to the UN's World Population Prospects 2017 report. World Population Prospects (2017) 2015 2050 2100 WORLD 7,383,008,820 9,771,822,753 11,184,367,721 Sub-Saharan Africa 969,234,251 2,167,651,879 4,001,755,801 East Asia 1,635,150,365 1,586,491,284 1,198,264,520 South Asia 1,823,308,471 2,381,796,561 2,230,668,781 South-East Asia 634,609,846 797,648,622 771,527,666 MENA & C. Asia 551,964,576 850,895,914 1,045,856,658 Europe... Read More
Richard Lynn, Helen Cheng and Andrei Grigoriev - 2017 - Differences in the Intelligence of 15 Year Olds in 42 Provinces and Cities of the Russian Federation and Their Economic, Social and Geographical Correlates I don't know how, but Lynn, Cheng, and Russian psychometricist Grigoriev have managed to find Russian regional results for PISA 2015.... Read More
Grigoriev, Andrey & Lynn 2009 Studies of Socioeconomic and Ethnic Differences in Intelligence in the Former Soviet Union in the Early Twentieth Century Abstract: This is essentially a short history of psychometrics in the USSR/Russia. (1) The first measurement of Russian IQ was performed in 1909 by A.M. Schubert, who used the French Binet test... Read More
Ritchie, Stuart - 2017 - Review of The Rationality Quotient by Stanovich et al. From Stuart Ritchie's review of "The Rationality Quotient" by Keith Stanovich et al.: That's the extent to which actual IQ tests typically load on the g factor and each other. One might even go so far as to propose that rationality... Read More
Whitley, Elise et al. - 2016 - Variations in cognitive abilities across the life course New paper by Elise Whitley et al. on age and sex differences in IQ for n=~40,000 British sample. Five tests: Word recall, verbal fluency, and subtraction (loading ~0.5 on g), and number sequence and numerical problem solving (loading ~0.7 on... Read More
There is a new expert survey out which, amongst other things, queries the world's top psychometrics experts on the future of the FLynn effect (Flynn + Lynn - clever). James Thompson has a summary at his column. The two most important reasons for the end of the FLynn effect in the West are regarded to... Read More
Now that we have established that immigration is not much good, let's take a look at another component undergirding our transition to Idiocracy - the differential fertility rates of different IQ groups. This is a highly contentious topic, and not just on account of the usual political kurfuffles, but also on real disagreements as to... Read More
The commenter "m" did some calculations to work out the relative performance of different countries in PISA vs. TIMSS, and in Math vs. Science. m writes: Overperformance in TIMSS relative to PISA can arguably be used as a proxy for schooling quality, since it's more dependent on academic/curricular skills than on raw intelligence. I am... Read More
Source: https://www.oecd.org/pisa/data/ Report: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/pisa-2015-results-volume-i_9789264266490-en There were problems with data collection in Argentina, Kazakhstan, and Malaysia, so their results must be treated with caution. Furthermore: "Because the results of Kazakhstan in 2015 are based only on multiple-choice items, they cannot be reliably compared to the results of other countries, nor to Kazakhstan’s results in previous assessments"... Read More
Here is the download link: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/pisa-2015-results-volume-i_9789264266490-en (1) China B-S-J-G (Beijing-Shanghai-Jiangsu-Guangdong) has a PISA-equivalent national IQ of 102. This is actually worse than the IQ=103 leaked 2009 results based on 12 provinces, which I posted about a few years ago. Even more curiously, Beijing, Shanghai, and Jiangsu all constitute three of the top five Chinese provinces... Read More
This year half of the top 10 best performing universities in the global ACM-International Collegiate Programming Competition were Russian. Place Name Solved Time Last solved 1 St. Petersburg State University 11 1560 290 2 Shanghai Jiao Tong University 11 1567 272 3 Harvard University 10 1358 269 4 Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology 10... Read More
Commentator jimmyriddle finds statistics about the ethnic composition of scientific cadres in the Soviet Union in 1973 via Cassad (the original comes via the blogger Burkino Faso).   Drawing on earlier statistical data, although on a more limited sample of different ethnicities, we have the following sets of correlations: 1926 Census, literacy amongst 50 years... Read More
I came across this map of German performance in math, biology, physics, and chemistry in the IQB-Ländervergleich 2012, a test they hold once every few years in conjunction with PISA. With the sole exception of Berlin, which is close to rock bottom, the former GDR states along with Bavaria were consistently at the top of... Read More
Prolific IQ researcher Richard Lynn together with two Russian collaborators have recently published arguing that multiple aspects of socio-economic development - infant mortality, fertility, stature, and literacy-as-a-proxy for intelligence were significantly intercorrelated in late Tsarist Russia. Here is the link to the paper - Regional differences in intelligence, infant mortality, stature and fertility in European... Read More
Leonid Bershidsky is a democratic journalist who immigrated to Germany from Russia when Putin triggered him one too many times in 2014. Most of his articles deal with Eastern Europe in general and the Eternal Collapse of Russia under Putin in specific (though to be fair he is far from the worst Russia journalist out... Read More
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HBD, Hive Minds, and H+
Today is the publication date of Hive Mind, a book by economist Garett Jones on the intimate relationship between average national IQs and national success, first and foremost in the field of economics. I do intend to read and review it ASAP, but first some preliminary comments. This is a topic I have been writing... Read More
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Chanda Chisala's article on black/white IQ differences has been making quite the stir in the HBDsphere. It is well worth reading in its entirety, as some of the points he makes - e.g., the evidence for high IQ amongst certain African ethnic groups such as the Igbo - are quite compelling and novel even to... Read More
Why is the HBDsphere so damn interested in IQ, anyway? While I can't speak for the "movement" at large, in my own case the interest stems from the fact that it explains so much about our world. (In fact, I was interested in this topic long before I discovered HBD, Charles Murray, Jensen, Lynn, Rushton,... Read More
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In a new paper at the (conveniently open) journal The Winnower (h/t @whyvert), building on his earlier work, geneticist Davide Piffer has tried to calculate the genotypic IQs of various world populations, and how they compare to measured phenotypic IQ: Piffer, David - Estimating the genotypic intelligence of populations and assessing the impact of socioeconomic... Read More
Further to my post on the remarkable failure of Scandinavian education systems to develop their students to anywhere near the levels indicated by their IQ potentials, a professor of mathematics at a Wisconsin university sent me data on the percentage of respondents in the TIMSS who gave the correct answer to the following question: Below... Read More
I had been meaning to post about this for a long time. Better late than never, I suppose.The TIMSS and PIRLS are international assessments of academic ability in math, science and literacy that are conducted once every four years. They are similar to the PISA tests, although the latter are less purely academically focused and... Read More
Regular readers of this blog may remember my comments regarding Ron Unz's theory that East Asians have high IQ's independent of time/nutrition/urbanization whatever it is that causes the Flynn Effect. Here is his original article on his theory of the "East Asian Exception" and my two responses are here and here. Anyway a new paper... Read More
One of the books I've been reading lately is Steven Pinker's massive door-stopper The Better Angels of Our Nature. Incidentally, I found it a very interesting read with tons of cool factoids, although it could have done with a third of its text and a tiny fraction of its liberal sanctimonious. But that's for the... Read More
India backs out of global education test for 15-year-olds. Which of these Soviet leaders does this remind you of? Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev are all travelling together in a railway carriage. Unexpectedly the train stops. Lenin suggests: "Perhaps, we should call a subbotnik, so that workers and peasants fix the problem." Stalin puts his... Read More
Here is data from the Cognitive Abilities Test for UK students in 2009/10 via Ambiguous. Some interesting things to take away here: (1) The sample is very large. Verbal IQ has the highest correlation with academic performance in most subjects, followed by Quantitative IQ, and then Non-Verbal Reasoning (recognizing patterns and such, I imagine). (2)... Read More
A few months ago I posted a table and map of Russian IQ's as derived from regional PISA performance. Those figures are based on Jarkko Hautamäki’s slideshow comparing regional PISA performance in Finland and Russia. That material is a bit inadequate because, as had been my custom up that point, I was only making IQ... Read More
My post on Indian IQ (max potential is low to mid 90's) spawned an interesting analysis by commentator rec1man. It is not very well organized but he does have a ton of useful information that deserves to be highlighted. It's reprinted in full below interspersed with occasional commentary by myself: 75% of the Indian population... Read More
In a 2010 paper on time preferences*, the authors Mei Wang et al. conducted an experiment in which participants could choose either $3400 now or $3800 a month later. Now I would choose the latter option but maybe it's just because I'm intelligent and have been living in the West for quite a while. In... Read More
The question of Indian IQ is a big puzzle. Far trickier than China's IQ which I think I've basically figured out (101-102 today; 106-108 genetic ceiling). The PISA-adjusted IQ of India - as extrapolated from the states of Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, which are relatively rich and are reputed to have good school systems... Read More
As human capital is so important for prosperity, it behoves us to know China's in detail to assess whether it will continue converging on developed countries. Until recently the best data we had were disparate IQ tests (on the basis of which Richard Lynn's latest estimate is an IQ of 105.8 in his 2012 book... Read More
Via The Audacious Epigone: IQ scores by US ethnic groups. It is not very useful I think in theoretical or practical applications but it is interesting as a showcase of why IQ is more than just genetic inheritance, incorporating also Flynn, sampling issues, sense of popular identity, selection bias, etc. Wordsum is basically a vocab... Read More
In recent days Ron Unz's article Race, IQ, and Wealth (The American Conservative) has been making the rounds in the HBDsphere. Broadly speaking it argues for the predominance of cultural and environmental factors as opposed to genetic in forming IQ. It is fairly long but it's also one of the best statements of that position... Read More
The Economist lies about Russia, it has beef with France, and in general it is far more useful as a barometer of Anglo-Saxon elite opinion than as a good source of objective information on the real world. Nonetheless, it does have the occasional gold nugget, and even one gold vein - its Daily Charts blog.... Read More
There are several ways to influence national mean IQ levels. One is to improve nutrition and education, but vitally important though they are, they suffer from diminishing returns as populations bump up against their genetic ceilings. Another is to promote eugenic policies, or at least policies to mitigate the dysgenic trends that are typical of... Read More
Now that I'm done with the Necessary Caveats, it's time we had a look at why exactly HBD/IQ theories are both valid, and relevant to the real world. As I see it, their main import (as interpreted by me) can be distilled into a few logically consecutive, falsifiable statements: IQ tests are a valid, culturally... Read More
This may be the article I've hesitated longest over publishing. Its subject matter has always hovered as a specter over my writings on the close relation between human capital and economic growth; an obvious but studiously ignored presence*. I am talking, of course, about race and IQ. Of racial differences in IQ, to be precise.... Read More
Today I discovered this really nifty tool, Target Map. It allows you to generate color-coded global and national maps just by uploading an Excel database. In what will probably surprise no-one who follows my interests, my first map illustrates average PISA scores for Math, Reading, and Science for the 65 regions in the original 2009... Read More
Human capital (primarily education) is the single most important factor behind long-term productivity gains, and hence economic growth. The relatively high human capital of Russia and China, which is comparable to developed country levels, is the most important reason why I rate their future prospects much higher than those of the other two BRIC's, Brazil... Read More
One of the key criticisms of my last post on the tight connections between (educational) human capital and economic performance is that correlation need not imply causation. An alternate (and PC-compliant) explanation is that "you get the education system you could afford, and the level of human capital in the kids is mostly determined by... Read More
Just in case you thought the correlation between human capital and economic development was an artifice of the post-socialist world, here is a similar graph (R2=0.4273) for all the world's countries that have participated in the Math and Science portions of the PISA or TIMMS (8th grade) international standardized student assessments. The methodology is the... Read More
That title sure caught you attention? Good. Now for the 1000-words-in-a-picture evidence. Human capital refers to educational attainment, as measured by the results of the PISA and TIMMS standardized tests*. As you can see, there is a very close correlation between human capital and GDP (PPP) per capita. The exceptions all confirm the rule. For... Read More
It is not a secret to longtime readers of this blog that I rate India's prospects far more pessimistically than I do China's. My main reason is I do not share the delusion that democracy is a panacea and that whatever advantage in this sphere India has is more than outweighed by China's lead in... Read More
My recent post on demographic myths unleashed a lively discussion on the issue of race and IQ in the comments section. I'm not too interested in wading into it: not out of any misplaced respect for political correctness, of course, but simply because though I think there are good arguments for both sides, it misses... Read More
A while ago I wrote Education as the Elixir of Growth on DR, in which I noted that in most countries the educational profile is closely correlated to their level of productivity. The major exceptions are nations with resource windfalls (inflated productivity) and socialist legacies (deflated productivity). Furthermore, the greater the gap between the 'potential... Read More
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Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.