Lu, J. G., Nisbett, R. E., & Morris, M. W. (2020). Why East Asians but not South Asians are underrepresented in leadership positions in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(9), 4590–4600.
(h/t Razib Khan)
Article makes the case that EAs are underrepresented (“bamboo ceiling”) because they “communicate less assertively” relative to both Whites and South Asians.
We provide evidence that the leadership attainment gap between EAs and SAs is not due to differences in motivation or prejudice: EAs were neither less hardworking norless motivated to take on leadership roles than SAs, and SAs actually faced greater prejudice than EAs. Similarly, this leadership attainment gap could not be explained by demographics such as birth country, English fluency, education level, and SES.Instead, cultural differences in assertiveness consistently explained the leadership attainment gap, suggesting that EAs are less likely to attain leadership positions partly because their low assertiveness is incongruent with how leaders are expected to communicate in the United States.
Basically, it’s a mirror of “Coffee House” demographics patterns.
The authors do express some befuddlement in “Future Directions” as to why SAs do better than Whites. The reason is that non-conformism isn’t everything and that high IQ is also important. Indian-American IQ is higher than White IQ and even higher than East Asian IQ.
You need both high IQ and non-conformism to both be interesting and to “make it.” (Ultimate example of this is women, their IQ is basically similar to male, but they are much more “normie”).
I like both of them and they are fun Twitter follows. But in both cases, their leadership/”assertiveness” comes off more as a penchant for whimsical trolling. But it is instructive, as the article itself points out, that Andrew Yang practiced debate – a methodical/systemic approach to closing “gift of gab” gaps with his competitors. In the event, despite the studious practice, Yang’s performance in the Dem debates was substandard. He was unable to interject and the other candidates talked all over him.
In contrast, one thing that Indians definitely don’t suffer from is a dislike for the sound of their own voice:
By contrast, SA cultures encourage assertiveness in interpersonal communication. For example, as explained in Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen’s book The Argumentative Indian, there is a long tradition of argumentation and debate in India, where people “encounter masses of arguments and counterarguments spread over incessant debates and disputations”(p. 3).
The traditional way to explain this East Asian peculiarity is “Confucianism.” But considering the crispness of this differentiation by race and various pieces of data from way before Confucius even appeared (e.g. the earliest Chinese shaman-kings have Caucasian features) it’s very likely more of a Caucasian/Mongoloid difference.