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From Intelligence:

Survey of expert opinion on intelligence: Intelligence research, experts’ background, controversial issues, and the media

Heiner Rindermann, David Becker, Thomas R. Coyle

Volume 78, January–February 2020, 101406

• The survey reports answers for up to 102 intelligence experts on 38 questions.

• Questions examined background factors, IQ testing, and perceptions of the media.

• Most respondents supported g factor theory.

• Experts were skeptical of the accuracy and trustworthiness of the media.

• Political perspective and gender correlated with experts’ answers.

Experts (Nmax = 102 answering) on intelligence completed a survey about IQ research, controversies, and the media. The survey was conducted in 2013 and 2014 using the Internet-based Expert Questionnaire on Cognitive Ability (EQCA). In the current study, we examined the background of the experts (e.g., nationality, gender, religion, and political orientation) and their positions on intelligence research, controversial issues, and the media. Most experts were male (83%) and from Western countries (90%). Political affiliations ranged from the left (liberal, 54%) to the right (conservative, 24%), with more extreme responses within the left-liberal spectrum. Experts rated the media and public debates as far below adequate. Experts with a left (liberal, progressive) political orientation were more likely to have positive views of the media (around r = |.30|). In contrast, compared to female and left (liberal) experts, male and right (conservative) experts were more likely to endorse the validity of IQ testing (correlations with gender, politics: r = .55, .41), the g factor theory of intelligence (r = .18, .34), and the impact of genes on US Black-White differences (r = .50, .48). The paper compares the results to those of prior expert surveys and discusses the role of experts’ backgrounds, with a focus on political orientation and gender. An underrepresentation of viewpoints associated with experts’ background characteristics (i.e., political views, gender) may distort research findings and should be addressed in higher education policy.

Experts were skeptical of the quality of media reports on intelligence research (Table 4). In general, mean expert ratings of media accuracy were around 3–4, on a scale of 1 (very inaccurate) to 9 (very accurate). Only two media outlets received positive ratings, the blogs of Steve Sailer (M = 7.38, N = 26 ratings) and Anatoly Karlin (6.10, N = 10 ratings). Unfortunately, the survey did not consider James Thompson’s blog Psychological Comments, which was just beginning when the survey was administered. All three blogs are currently hosted by The Unz Review. Among traditional publications (newspapers, radio, television), only the German newspaper Die Zeit received a positive rating (M = 5.10, N = 20 ratings). (It should be noted that different experts rated newspapers from different countries, written in English, Spanish, French, or German.) Experts were generally critical of state-owned or private television networks and radio networks (means around 2.5–3.5, N = 60–70 ratings), with low variability for the ratings (around SD = 1.5–2.0). The results suggest broad agreement among experts that television and radio do not provide accurate information about intelligence research. …

Table 4:

Table 4. Expert opinions on intelligence in the media and public debates.

Item M or % SD N
Accuracy of media, scale 1 (inaccurate) to 9 (accurate) (19)
a State-owned television networks 3.31 1.80 61
b Commercial television networks 2.67 1.49 70
c National Public Radio 3.53 2.03 62
d New York Times 3.81 2.19 58
e Newsweek 3.50 1.92 44
f Time 3.55 1.90 44
g Wall Street Journal 4.20 1.90 49
h Washington Post 3.54 1.98 41
i Economist 4.21 1.91 43
j Guardian 3.57 2.04 37
k Times 4.30 2.23 30
l Daily Telegraph 3.70 2.04 27
m Steve Sailer blog 7.38 2.25 26
n Anatoly Karlin blog 6.10 2.75 10
o El Pais (Spanish) 3.83 2.37 12
p El Mundo (Spanish) 3.46 1.98 13
q Le Monde (Spanish) 3.88 2.70 8
r Le Figaro (French) 3.63 2.45 8
s Süddeutsche Zeitung (German) 4.42 2.43 19
t Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (German) 4.89 2.63 18
u Die Welt (German) 4.67 2.16 15
v Tageszeitung (taz) (German) 3.60 2.32 15
w Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) (German) 4.54 2.50 13
x Der Spiegel (German) 3.84 2.04 19
y Die Zeit (German) 5.10 2.57 20
z Focus (German) 3.71 2.26 17

I appreciate the regard from psychometric experts six years ago, but I must warn readers I’m no longer as up to date on the field as in the past.

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  1. Only two media outlets received positive ratings, the blogs of Steve Sailer (M = 7.38, N = 26 ratings) and Anatoly Karlin (6.10, N = 10 ratings).

    Sanity goes mainstream!

  2. Steve2 [AKA "StillSteve2Still"] says:

    Don’t brains have both specialized structures (sight hearing speech etc.) and generalized capabilities of the G type? Calling actual experts here please.

  3. iSteve, your expert-approved source for Matters Of Intelligence (and Golf Course Architecture).

    • Replies: @Blarg
  4. Not Raul says:

    Congratulations, Steve!

    Isn’t “Le Monde” French?

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    , @Bruno
  5. OT: Steve, what’s your take on all the Latinos in Terminator:Dark Fate ?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  6. Kronos says:

    *Breaking News!*

    IQ (which doesn’t exist) is 100% determined by environment, school funding, and magic dirt.

    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
  7. Congrats to you and Unz Review!!

    • Agree: Hail
  8. anon[205] • Disclaimer says:

    LOL @ NPR’s rating. Have some Fresh Aire and a smile!

  9. OT:

    The new Houellebecq novel Serotonin has dropped:

    In his new novel, Serotonin, we encounter another snapshot of France’s plummet into oblivion. Not that there aren’t pleasures and diversions to be had as the tragedy of Europe is cast as a grotesque comedy. As usual, Houellebecq’s protagonist is his alter ego, in this instance a character called Florent-Claude Labrouste.

    The unblinking acceptance of perversity – in the most general social sense – within the art world is presented as a prerequisite for entry into the cultural elite, distinguishing its members from the common people. Morality is detached from the consumption of cultural artefacts. This is almost a textbook definition of decadence.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  10. AKAHorace says:

    Congratulations Steve, you and Karlin are the two sites I always read and will always read (I am trying to cut down on loosing time on the internet with other alt-right sites).

    Why do you think Die Zeit is the only newspaper that is any good at reporting on intelligence ?

    • Replies: @Aufklærer108
  11. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:

    but I must warn readers I’m no longer as up to date on the field as in the past.

    Why aren’t you?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  12. @Anonymous

    It’s a tough subject and I’m not getting smarter as I get older?

    • Replies: @miss marple
  13. SFG says:

    Congratulations! I knew there was a reason I kept reading you after two decades 😉

  14. An interesting, somewhat related topic would be an explication of what happens when stupid people with poor judgment somehow gain power uber alles.

  15. Lot says:

    So modest!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  16. Steve and Tolya aside, The Times get the best score outside of Germany.

    Did this august broadsheet really print a sentence that read as follows?

    Highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector.

    Comma comma comma comma comma chameleon, you come and go, you come and go…

  17. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    They remind me of the men in Stan Rogers’ band:

    See about one minute in.

  18. Only two media outlets received positive ratings, the blogs of Steve Sailer (M = 7.38, N = 26 ratings) and Anatoly Karlin (6.10, N = 10 ratings).

    Well, that’s a nice feather in your cap.

    • Agree: Charon
  19. @AKAHorace

    Why do you think Die Zeit is the only newspaper that is any good at reporting on intelligence ?

    It is not a daily newspaper, but Germany’s most high-brow weekly publication. It is considered elite and read almost excusively by academics, which may give them some leeway (nobody understands or cares about their obscure interests)

  20. @Steve Sailer

    Isn’t it more that you have a split personality, one smart, one dumb or that you are twins and the dumber one ended up dominating the smart one?

    • Replies: @Kronos
    , @Charon
  21. @Paul Mendez

    One of the early (good) movies ends with Linda Hamilton south of the border. Did she go to Central America to get guerilla war training?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  22. Kronos says:
    @miss marple

    Oh come on, that’s one of the stupidest plots ever. I haven’t seen the dumb/smart twins plot idea since the “Venture Bros.”

    • Replies: @miss marple
  23. @Kronos

    What’s the argument for biological determination for IQ tests?

    • Replies: @Kronos
  24. Being branded an expert in something is the new way to discredit someone.

  25. @Kronos

    Yeah, well, real life often is dumber than fiction. It’s why we go to the movies.

  26. MEH 0910 says:

    • Replies: @SFG
  27. El Dato says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    Houellebecq is really like William Gibson with casual violence replaced by casual sex, no cyberspace and any plot device background (especially the metaphysical ones) clinically removed with 20% bleach.

  28. Kronos says:

    The real question is what’s the argument for environmental determinism for IQ tests.

    • Agree: res
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
  29. Charon says:
    @miss marple

    I’d recommend that he spend less time watching Hollywood movies, but he’s an L.A. boy, whaddya gonna do.

  30. SFG says:
    @MEH 0910

    My thought was all these researchers are going to get canceled now.

  31. Bruno says:
    @Not Raul

    Yes it is. It’s the center left référence mainstream media (like NYT or WaPo). It has lost its objectivity since 30 years …

  32. When can we order our “iSteve Research Subject” t-shirts?

  33. 115 years of research is clear: it’s “g” all the way down.

  34. Mike1 says:

    ” I must warn readers I’m no longer as up to date on the field as in the past.” Your blog, your choice but I do wish you would do more IQ stuff. The “all race, all the time” modern ISteve gets a little boring.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  35. This Sailer reminds me of the Hollywood and Celebrity types I’ve had run-ins with.

    In other words, MeMeMeMeMeMeMe Look at me look, look, look at me MeMeMeMe.

  36. Cortes says:

    The diet is fairly varied I think.

    Some topics appeal. Others not so much.

    Which is good.

  37. Sean says:

    Eysenck claimed the media had given a misleading impression that his views were outside the mainstream scientific consensus. Eysenck cited The IQ Controversy, the Media and Public Policy as showing that there was majority support for all of the main contentions he had put forward, and further claimed that there was no real debate about the matter among relevant scientists.[

    No change since 1988.

  38. J.Ross says:
    @Steve Sailer

    It’s implied, but criminally never dealt with (unless they do in the -$120M one) that she “joined the underground,” and lived as a mercenary and “invisible.” Hollywood generally has this crazy idea of “the underground” (cf the opening narration to the A-Team), which is a triumph of convenience and confection, but which really did exist in California in the late sixties and early seventies. Both [Dirty Harry 3:] The Enforcer and Dragnet dwell on recently returned Vietnam vets, gear, and dogs showing up among the drug-bathed counterculture. Had Natalie Herschlag not gone to Harvard, it is frequently lamented on the chans, we could have had a sequel to Leon with the young (but too old for Luc) assassin hunting drug dealers, and it’s hard to see how they’d screw that up. The Crying Game has a painfully bad alternate ending, which Neil Jordan thankfully succeeded in rejecting but which the studio originally wanted, where the IRA terrorist protagonist has gotten inexplicably rich and safe in that same convenient “underground,” and is now walking around in public because of, I don’t know, the statute of limitations on murder.

  39. The paper includes an extremely interesting graphical tubulation of expert opinion on the source of the US black-white IQ gap. In a survey of 86 psychometricians, their average opinion is that the gap is 50/50 due to environment/genetic causes.

  40. Blarg says:
    @Redneck farmer

    Technically it’s all general. The cortical structures responsible for broken sensory functions can can be “rewired” for other senses.

  41. @Kronos

    P1 A test is biased against a group if a group is not exposed to the items on the test.
    P2 If a group is not exposed to the items on the test, then they will, necessarily, score lower than groups exposed to the items on the test.
    P3 A group is not exposed to the items on the test.
    C Therefore, a test is biased since a group is not exposed to the items on the test (Modus Ponens, P1, P2, P3).

    What’s your response? Can you now produce the argument for biological determination of IQ tests?

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