Richard Lynn – RACE DIFFERENCES IN PSYCHOPATHIC PERSONALITY (2019)
TLDR: Global survey of racial differences in psychopathic personality confirms the standard Rushtonian pattern of Negroids < Caucasoids < Mongoloids on the r/K life history scale.
Richard Lynn, the doyen of research on national differences in intelligence, once published a book called The Global Bell Curve, in which he extended Murray and Herrnstein’s classic analysis in The Bell Curve beyond the United States to demonstrate that the Negroid < Caucasoid < Mongoloid hierarchy in intelligence was a global, not just an American, pattern. However, in the course of that work, Lynn noted that while average IQ explained much of the difference in socioeconomic outcomes between racial groups in the US – crime, poverty, welfare, single motherhood – there was still a large differential even after adjusting for demographics and IQ. For example, an American Black of the same age and IQ as a White would be much more likely to commit a crime. Could this differential be explained by an additional factor of psychopathic personality?
This is the topic of Lynn’s new book, Race Differences in Psychopathic Personality, which was published last year.
Psychopathy is treated as a continuously distributed personality trait that can be clinically assessed, and proxied by a wide variety of measures, such as epidemiological studies of psychopathy; self-assessment on tests like the Psychopathic Deviate subscale of the MMPI; r/K life history proxies, such as sexual precocity, promiscuity, and prevalence of STDs and teenage childbearing; Minkov’s K factor (the importance that parents attach to thrift, obedience, and responsibility in their children, as measured by opinion polls); and other covariates of psychopathic personality, such as crime rates (esp. homicide rates), corruption, conduct disorder in children, cheating in sport, pathological gambling, inability to delay gratification, drug abuse, child neglect, low anxiety, and lack of altruism (as assessed by rates of organ donation and charitable giving). Unsurprisingly, men are considerably more psychopathic than women (~0.5 S.D.).
Over the next twelve chapters, Lynn carries out an exhaustive survey of racial differences in psychopathic personality around the world. The regions/groups covered include: The US; Canada; Europe; Sub-Saharan Africa; South Asia; The Caribbean; Australia; New Zealand; Pacific Islanders; the Inuit; Latin America. There is also one chapter that analyzes international differences. On this basis, a hierarchy of racial differences that matches J. Philippe Rushton’s classic r/K schema is revealed: Northeast Asians < Europeans < Hispanics & South Asians < Native Americans < Maori < Sub-Saharan Africans < Aborigines. Accounting for psychopathic personality in addition to intelligence provides a much closer explanation of racial differences in crime rates than IQ just by itself.
Lynn makes the point that psychopathic personality is significantly heritable (~0.5 according to various studies), as is propensity towards crime and psychopathic personality sub-characteristics such as impulsivity, age at first intercourse, drug use, and hyperactivity conduct disorder. He also mentions the MAOA gene (popularized by Nicholas Wade in Our Troublesome Inheritance); people with the 2-repeat allele have 13x the likelihood of having stabbed or shot someone in the past year. In interracial comparisons between men, it was present in 0.00067% of Mongoloids, 0.1% of Caucasoids, and 5.5% of Negroids.
The global nature of this racial hierarchy in psychopathic personality, its significant heritability, and emerging findings of racial differences in the incidence of alleles that correlate to psychopathic personality all suggest a major genetic component to racial differences in psychopathic personality.
In the last chapter, Richard Lynn extends Cold Winters Theory to explain the racial hierarchy in in psychopathic personality. First, colder climes necessitated stronger male-female pair bonding, to ensure that children remained cared for. Second, they encouraged selection for gratification delayal, due to the necessity of storing food over the cold winter months (whereas in the tropics, plant and insect food sources are available year round, which diminishes the utility of long-term planning). Third, they selected for the ability to maintain cooperative social relations due to the greater emphasis on big game hunting. Fourth, they selected for a reduction of sexual promiscuity, since hunters who are gone for days at a time need some reassurance that the guys who stayed behind aren’t banging their partners back at the base camp. These selective forces acted to different extents on the various races of Man, with Negroids in the tropics less affected than Caucasoids in the temperate regions, who were in turn less affected than Mongoloids in the taiga.
This is not a “popular” book, so on purely that account, I cannot recommend it for the casual reader. However, it is a worthy addition to the library of any evolutionary psychologist, criminologist, HBD enthusiast, and people working in adjacent fields.