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From the new paper by Chetty and Hendren: There's a lot of sleight of hand going on here that has successfully confused many people, such as the four reporters who wrote this up in the New York Times. In the
I don't know for sure that Palo Alto, CA, the home of the venture capital industry and next door to Stanford U., is really the highest IQ town in America. The highest test score public schools in America are in Lexington, MA, a suburb preferred by Boston area college professors. And I imagine tiny, rich... Read More
I finally got around to watching a couple of movies by the great French comedian / director Jacques Tati, 1959's Mon Oncle and 1967's Play Time. Tati, a successor to Chaplin and Keaton, made post-silent comedies without much plot or dialogue but with a lot of sound effects and visual gags. Tati liked the eccentric,... Read More
From ESPN: By the way, I've always been interested in the flip side of this question: how much does athletic talent help youths stay out of career-disastrous entanglements with the
The Flynn Effect of rising raw scores on IQ tests is one of the most interesting phenomena in all the human sciences. It was first noticed in the 1940s, but for a long time little attention was paid to the fact that IQ test publishers had to renorm their tests periodically because people kept doing... Read More
My 2012 MacBook Air recently gave up the ghost and so I replaced it with a 2015 MacBook Air. In the past, a new laptop was a fun thing because it was so obviously better than the previous one. But this time, even though I paid for doubling the RAM from 4 gig to 8... Read More
There has been much discussion lately of the "Replication Crisis" in psychology, especially since the publication of a recent study attempting to replicate 100 well-known psychology experiments. From The Guardian: For more analysis, see Scott Alexander at SlateStarCodex: "If you can't make predictions, you're still in a crisis." (By the way, some fields in psychology,... Read More
A cornerstone of the conventional wisdom is that All We Have to Do is to spend a lot more money cognitively stimulating poor black children pre-K and that will close The Gap. But down through history, it's been assumed that better teachers should work with higher, not lower potential students: Socrates taught Plato, Plato taught... Read More
Charles Murray writes in the Wall Street Journal: Why the SAT Isn’t a ‘Student Affluence Test’ A lot of the apparent income effect on standardized tests is owed to parental IQ—a fact that needs addressing. By CHARLES MURRAY March 24, 2015 7:11 p.m. ET ... The results are always the same: The richer the parents,... Read More
Audacious Epigone has posted his table of white IQ estimates by state, using NAEP scores for 8th graders (public and private), ranging from 108.0 in Washington D.C. (which isn't a state) and 104.4 in Massachusetts and 103.5 in New Jersey to 97.7 in Oklahoma, 97.5 in Alabama and a hurting 95.1 in West Virginia. Thus,... Read More
Here's a graph from an interesting article comparing IQ scores (although the dread letters "IQ" don't appear in the article) to school achievement test scores, especially in five in-demand Boston charter schools: What Effective Schools Do: Stretching the cognitive limits on achievement By Martin R. West, Christopher F. O. Gabrieli, Amy S. Finn, Matthew A.... Read More
Last month, psychologist James Thompson hosted a scientific conference for researchers interested in IQ and human biodiversity topics at an undisclosed location in Europe. I advised him last year to keep arrangements non-public because a somewhat similar conference a decade-and-a-half ago was broken up by a mob of anti-science fanatics.I would have liked to have... Read More
Psychologist James Thompson has graphed one bit of the new survey of psychometricians by Rindermann, Coyle and Becker:Now, obviously, iSteve is #1 relative only to a rather short list of mostly well-known outlets. In my blogroll, I link to specialist sites that are significantly better than mine at covering this difficult field, some of which even publish... Read More
Jennifer Rubin, who scribes the pro-immigration "Right Turn" column in the Washington Post, denounces Jason Richwine for the high crime of Noticing Things: Jennifer Korn, executive director of the pro-immigration-reform conservative Hispanic Leadership Network, responds: “If you start with the off-base premise that Hispanic immigrants have a lower IQ, it’s no surprise how they came... Read More
The mathematician and thermonuclear bomb designer Stanislaw Ulam famously challenged economist Paul Samuelson to come with up a social science theory that was both true and nontrivial. After a few years, Samuelson replied with Ricardo's 1817 theory of comparative advantage in foreign trade: if Portugal is worse than Britain at making both steam engines and... Read More
Speaking of Arthur Jensen, Occidentalist has a table listing all 40 academic studies he could find of the white-black gap in average IQ in the U.S. They range from 1918, when it was measured at 17 points, to 2008, when it was found to be 16 points. So, don't let anybody tell you The Gap... Read More
From the NYT:“Rather than concede to the unmalleable forces of heredity, we decided that we would undertake research that would allow us to understand the disparate developmental trajectories we saw,” she and her former graduate supervis
Richard Posner is probably the most prominent judge in the U.S. not on the Supreme Court. He has to be the hardest working, as a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and a senior lecturer at the U. of Chicago Law School. The author of approaching 40 books, by one measure he's the... Read More
Felix Salmon writes about planning for retirement in "Who is speaking for the poor?:"Most impressively, check out this paper from 2007. It asked just three “simple mathematical questions” of couples to judge the numeracy of each one. If neither got any questions right, the total wealth of the couple, on average, was $202,000. If they... Read More
I've been writing since 2004 about how the most cost-effective way to help poor countries is through micronutrient supplementation: the U.S. used to have, for example, problems with cretinism in inland states caused by a lack of iodine in the diet. (Saltwater fish tend to be a good source of iodine, but not freshwater fish).... Read More
Ron Unz has a big article in The American Conservative on a perennially interesting and important subject:Kenny claimed that such IQ t
Over at West Hunter, Greg Cochran has been introducing a a fairly new and potentially important theory of the genetic origins of race differences in IQ.  It's less a theory of evolution than of devolution. The mechanism causing effective differences, he argues, is less selection for higher IQ due to differences in the environment (e.g., winter... Read More
The World's Most Interesting Newspaper*, the Daily Mail, reports:One theory is women's ability to multitask as they juggle raising a family and going to work, while another explanation is that they are finally realising they have a slightly higher potentia
My new column in Taki's Magazine:Isn't the name "Terman" familiar for something else?Read the whole thing there. My old articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
I admire Satoshi Kanazawa's lively intelligence, although I'm not totally persuaded to trust every idea he comes up with. From The Economist:I look out my window and see mourning doves and crows. The doves seem pretty stupid and the crows appear smarter. Presumably, they both have their evolutionary advantages and disadvantages. Still, it took a... Read More
From my column in Taki's Magazine:Read the whole thing there. My old articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
Anatoly Karlin, who is making himself the go-to guy on analyzing the investment implications of international school test scores (a potentially lucrative niche), has a long, fascinating write-up of PISA scores adjusted by immigration status:This might not seem like much, but it is highly significant when bearing in mind the extremely close correlation between national... Read More
The Urge to Purge appears to be superseding the Urge to Ignore.From Foreign Policy:Off to a good start there! Invoking the supreme authority of the late Stephen Jay Gould is a surefire way to persuade anybody familiar with the field of psychometrics that you know what you are talking about.Sadly, Derbyshire-like prattishness on the intellectual inferiority of dark-skinned... Read More
From the New York Times Magazine:Even if the sample was small, the results were provocative (three years later Klingberg replicated most of the results in a group of 50 children), because matrices are considered the gold standard of fluid-intelligence tests. Anyone who has taken an intelligence test has
In the U.S., people who are strongly liberal or strongly conservative tend to be better educated and better informed than moderates. Sure, some moderates are moderate because they understand each sides' arguments perfectly, but many are moderate because they aren't very interested in politics.But, what happens when you disentangle the effects of IQ and education... Read More
Probably. Chuck at Occidentalist assembles a bunch of test reports, here and here. It's not as well-studied of a subject as it is in the U.S., so it's hard to make sense of all the data, but most point toward the white-black gap in the U.K. being well under a standard deviation.I haven't seen a good meta-analyses... Read More
In Taki's Magazine, I write about a major new paper by leading lights in the left-of-center Ameliorist school of IQ experts, including Robert Nisbett, James Flynn, and Eric Turkheimer:Read the whole thing there.My old articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
From The New Republic:Nelson had traveled to Romania to take part in a cutting-edge experiment. It was ten years after the fall of the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceau?escu, whose scheme for increasing the country’s population through bans on birth control and abortion had filled state-run institutions with children their parents couldn’t support. Images from the... Read More
From the NYT:Because Asians do so badly on the SAT.My old articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
A few follow-ups to my earlier posting about James Q. Wilson's review of Steven Pinker's upcoming The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.The "intelligent" v. "intellectual" distinction regarding Bush that some have accused Wilson of ignoring is a red herring because Pinker repeatedly explicitly refers to Presidents' IQs, as guesstimated by Dean... Read More
Reporter Ron Suskind on Jon Stewart's show (in an excessively accurate transcript of extemporaneous speech):And here's a quote about economists in general:Most economists, it seems, believe strongly in their own superior intelligence and take themselves far too seriously. In his open letter of 22 July 2001 to Joseph Stiglitz, Kenneth Rogoff identified this problem: “One... Read More
From my new VDARE column:Read the whole thing there.In the kingdom of the obtuse, the butterknife is the sharpest tool in the drawer.My old articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
The oldest SAT score report on the College Board website is from 1996, right after the "recentering" in 1995 that raised scores about 100 points on a 400 to 1600 scale. Over the last 15 years, the average overall score on the original two-part Verbal + Math SAT (i.e., ignoring the new-fangled Writing section of... Read More
From FairTest: 2011 College-Bound Seniors Avg SAT Scores W/score changes from 2006 READING MATH WRITING TOTAL ALL 497 (-6) 514 (-4) 489 (-8) 1500 (-18) Female 495 (-7) 500 (-2) 496 (-6) 1491 (-15) Male 500 (-5) 531 (-5) 482 (-9) 1513 (-19) Asian 517 (+7) 595 (+17)
Christopher Eppig is back, this time in Scientific American, with his study showing a high correlation between average national IQs around the world and infectious disease burden. I would hardly be surprised if this were partly true (for example, in some Third World regions, various public health measures undertaken in the U.S. in the 20th... Read More
From the Washington Post:Overall, African American men have a particularly hard time clinging to middle-class status. Thirty-eight percent of black men who grew up middle-class are downwardly mobile, nearly double the rate of white men, the report says. Hispanic men are slightly mor
Steve Hsu writes:We are currently seeking volunteers for a study of high cognitive ability. Partici
From The Guardian:Here's the abstract:General intelligence is an important human quantitative trait that accounts for much of the variation in diverse cognitive abilities. Individual differences in intelligence are strongly associated with many important life outcomes, including educational and occupational attainments, income, health and lifespan. Data from twin and family studies are consistent with a high... Read More
Keep an eye out on Tuesday for a new study of IQ genetics from Ian Deary and others.My old articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
A recurrent topic at iSteve is trying to estimate the long term average IQs of the two most populous countries, China and India. If you want to know what the world will be like in a generation, a question that is interesting to investors, strategists, and anyone with a general interest in the human race,... Read More
David Brooks writes in the NYT in another one of his columns with the subtext: Why Steve Sailer Is Wrong, Part LXXVI:Uh, most people don't live in places like NYC and DC where taking cabs is routine. Am I upper middle class or am I struggling or both? In any case, I don't know because... Read More
Bryan Caplan writes:I made Duckworth's point in my 2007 FAQ on IQ:Q. So, you're saying that IQ testing can tell us more about group differences than about individual differences? 
Steve Hsu has a fascinating post on a new paper by Nobel laureate economist/statistician James Heckman on the historic 1921 Terman Project tracking more than 600 California white males with 135+ IQs over seven decades.  You often hear about how this project shows that IQ doesn't matter because, say, none of Terman's Termites ever won the Nobel Prize.Heckman writes:Heckman explains:4.1... Read More
In the Washington Post, sportswriter Sally Jenkins * writes: [Indianopolis Colt's executive Bill] Polian made one of the great all time decisions in 1998 when he drafted Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf. It's a no brainer now but it was an agonizing choice back then. Leaf was bigger and more overtly athletic, but to Polian,... Read More
Matt Hinton writes about the upcoming NFL draft: Usually, leaked Wonderlic scores are embarrassingly low. Not so, however, for Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, who nearly aced the test, scoring a 48 out of a possible 50 according to his hometown Fort Worth Star-Telegram. That score puts him on the high, high end of potential employees... Read More
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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