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:
This is a test on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website, where potential contract soldiers are offered to take an IQ test (30 questions, testing verbal, numerical, logical), and a couple of personality tests, to assess their suitability for military service (unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to give you your score, only a pass or a fail).
Over the years 2012-2017, almost 250,000 Russians have done this test, possibly making this the largest source of regional psychometric data on Russia apart from the Unified State Exams (regional data about them is carefully secreted away).
While people born between 1973 and 1987 performed at a stable 19.5-20/30, the post-1988 period saw a steady improvement towards an average score of 21/30.
S.D. is around 6 points.
Whether this is due to a Flynn effect or ageing isn’t clear.
Only the top/bottom 5 regions were displayed, but they were exactly as expected. The difference between the best performers and worst performers was almost 1 S.D.
- Kirov oblast
So nice when new investigations continue building on stereotypes, especially n=250,000 investigations.
Note that I have long thought Yaroslavl might have a high IQ.
It had the highest literacy rate of any non-capital Russian region in 1897:
Incidentally, I am not surprised to see Yaroslavl being the top non-Baltic/non-capital Russian region by literacy rate in 1897. It struck me as by far the cleanest and most civilized provincial Russian town on the Golden Ring when I visited it in 2002 (a time when Russia was still shaking off the hangover of the Soviet collapse). Curiously enough, it also hosted one of the most vigorous insurrections against the Bolshevik regime in central Russia. Although it was not one of the regions covered by PISA, I would not be surprised if Yaroslavl oblast was to get a 100-102 score on it should it be carried out there (and as would be implied by the correlation curve).
They also had the biggest percentage of Russian peasant families with passbooks (needed for savings accounts) in 1897 and 1913.
Yaroslavl struck me as a highly civic, developed city by provincial Russian standards. Probably has high average IQ. https://t.co/tKTi3nu5z7
— 🇷🇺 ANATꙮLY 🤔 KARLIN (@akarlin88) October 7, 2017
The major disadvantage of this test that it selects for some degree of Internet proficiency (so also a mild sort of IQ test). No easy way to correct for this.
The major advantage of it is that you can also get a good idea of the “patriotism” of different Russian regions by the percentage of their population who do these tests.
Most patriotic regions:
Least patriotic regions:
- Sakha (Yakutia)
Note that Sevastopol was first, even though Crimea only joined up with Russia in 2014, i.e. about 40% of the way through this “experiment.”
The patriotism of the Buryats and Tuvans is also noted. This is not all that surprising – recall that Buryats had the highest percentage rate of military deaths in WW2 alongside Russians.
In contrast, DICh – especially Chechnya and Ingushetia – are distinguished by their lack of patriotism.
Saint-Petersburg was more patriotic than Moscow, as well as being more intelligent.
Results were robust according to a variety of statistical checks.
Several other people, including myself, made presentations.
One, by Denis Davydov, was about a 19 region (n=4010) survey of 18-50 year old Russians with Raven’s tests carried out in 2005-2007. (For some reason, its detailed results remain unpublished – at the least, they don’t appear in Lynn’s or Becker’s database).
They found no correlation with income, though I suspect the problem there is low sample + no adjustment for oil income.
There was also a negative correlation with homicides, suicides, and alcohol consumption, which is of course unusual. My pet theory is that this is due to the Finno-Ugric admixture in northern Russia making them both more intelligent and more prone to alcohol abuse, with most homicides/suicides in Russia themselves being a function of alcohol abuse.