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The Trinidadian Origin of the Marshmallow Test
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The Marshmallow Test is a famous psychological study in which children are offered a choice between a small sweet now or a big sweet later. Kids who can’t resist the former tend to be have more trouble in life.

Interestingly, this famous experiment started in Trinidad to look into why Asian Indians had more money than blacks: because the Indians were better at resisting immediate temptation for long term benefits. Fortunately, the academic Walter Mischel came up with a rather transparent rationale for why the big race gap on his test wasn’t really, when you stop and think about it, about race, it was about whether the child’s father lived with him (which seems to correlate closely with race, but hey look a squirrel!)

Walter Mischel wrote:

“The marshmallow experiment allowed us to see how children managed to delay and resist temptation, and how differences in this ability play out over a lifetime. But what about the choice itself? I started to ask that question while I was a graduate student at Ohio State University, well before I joined the Stanford faculty. I spent one summer living near a small village in the southern tip of Trinidad.

The inhabitants in this part of the island were of either African or East Indian descent, their ancestors having arrived as either slaves or indentured servants. Each group lived peacefully in its own enclave, on different sides of the same long dirt road that divided their homes.… I discovered a recurrent theme in how they characterized each other. According to the East Indians, the Africans were just pleasure-bent, impulsive, and eager to have a good time and live in the moment, while never planning or thinking ahead about the future. The Africans saw their East Indian neighbors as always working and slaving for the future, stuffing their money under the mattress without ever enjoying life”

“To check if the perceptions about the differences between the ethnic groups were accurate, I walked down the long dirt road to the local school, which was attended by children from both groups.” “I tested boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 14. I asked the children who lived in their home, gauged their trust that promises made would be promises kept, and assessed their achievement motivation, social responsibility, and intelligence. At the end of each of these sessions, I gave them choices between little treats: either one tiny chocolate that they could have immediately or a much bigger one that they could get the following week”

“The young adolescents in Trinidad who most frequently chose the immediate smaller rewards, in contrast to those who chose the delayed larger ones, were more often in trouble and, in the language of the time, judged to be “juvenile delinquents.” Consistently, they were seen as less socially responsible, and they had often already had serious issues with authorities and the police. They also scored much lower on a standard test of achievement motivation and showed less ambition in the goals they had for themselves for the future.

Consistent with the stereotypes I heard from their parents, the African Trinidadian kids generally preferred the immediate rewards, and those from East Indian families chose the delayed ones much more often. But surely there was more to the story. Perhaps those who came from homes with absent fathers—a common occurrence at that time in the African families in Trinidad, while very rare for the East Indians—had fewer experiences with men who kept their promises. If so, they would have less trust that the stranger—me—would ever really show up later with the promised delayed reward. There’s no good reason for anyone to forgo the “now” unless there is trust that the “later” will materialize. In fact, when I compared the two ethnic groups by looking only at children who had a man living in the household, the differences between the groups disappeared.”

So there.

In Chicago, a black guy from Trinidad lived upstairs in my condo building. He was a CPA. He said that Nobel Literature laureate V.S. Naipaul was a substitute teacher at his school, and, as you might expect, was a tough grader. I never asked him if he came from a two parent home in Trinidad. I would bet he was.

 
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  1. Anonymous[338] • Disclaimer says:

    The explanation may be more straightforward: the African children were hungrier at the time or overall more expectant of privation in the coming days.

    • LOL: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @AnotherDad
    , @Arclight
  2. Bruce says:

    This tests how much you trust authority figures. Kids who have had good experiences will last longer. IQ and giving your kid a good childhood no doubt correlate, and so does being a smart kid and having a good childhood. But ‘trust me’ isn’t ‘here’s the Wonderlic’.

    • Replies: @Anon000
  3. SND says:

    When the African origin children saw the larger treats being given out the next week, they said “Hey, that’s no fair!”

    • Replies: @bomag
    , @fish
    , @Anonymous
  4. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    I doubt this. Trinidad is a relatively high income by 3rd world standards (they have oil wells). The place is a tropical paradise where rice, sweet potatoes, cassava, breadfruit and bananas grow in abundance. Google “Trinidad carnival” and you will see that the people look far from undernourished.

  5. @Anonymous

    The explanation may be more straightforward: the African children were hungrier at the time or overall more expectant of privation in the coming days.

    Except you can run the same experiment anywhere there are blacks and get the same results.

    This isn’t hard to understand at the highest level. Delayed gratification is an absolutely critical trait for temperate zone agriculture–there’s this thing call “winter” that you absolutely must prepare for diligently or you’ll be dead–and much less so in the tropics.

    But the interesting thing is that people in much more tropical/sub-tropical places like India or Southeast Asia also beat the pants off of sub-Saharans. I suspect that has to do with the high Malthusian pressure in hydraulic despotisms and other fairly organized states. But much less Malthusian pressure in tropical Africa, where–as Steve has often noted–the disease burden reduced the population pressure.

  6. The marshmallow test, by itself, is just a measure of the kids’ personal trade-off between present and future consumption. You might say it was their internal rate of return for a currrent investment, or their implicit “interest rate.”

    However, by itself, the test doesn’t say whether the kids’ assessment was rational or not. Or why they judged the tradeoffs that way. It’s also a bit of a stretch to assume that they would necessarily judge adult investment/delayed gratification decisions with the same short-term bias.

    But it is still really interesting that the results perfectly matched the stereotypes held by both cultures. It’s almost like people are good at noticing social facts and making accurate generalizations.

    • Replies: @Jesse
  7. I compared the two ethnic groups by looking only at children who had a man living in the household, the differences between the groups disappeared

    Lack of a father is often given as a contributing factor for failure, but surely the parents would be more impulsive and therefore the kids would inherit that trait. I’m sure there is an ethnic element too – Iceland has the highest rate of kids born outside of marriage, and the country is not a hellhole. https://articles.aplus.com/a/iceland-most-unwed-parents

  8. Dougla is a Caribbean name for black-Indian mixed people. Kamala Harris is currently the best known one.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dougla

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Coemgen
  9. In fact, when I compared the two ethnic groups by looking only at children who had a man living in the household, the differences between the groups disappeared.”

    And when you look only at families who make incomes of $100,000 (plus or minus $1000) income levels across all racial groups are remarkably similar.

  10. Life is unfair. It’s a marshmallow world. As Billy Martin found out, the hard way.

    • Replies: @Ganderson
  11. Anonymous[921] • Disclaimer says:

    Isn’t Trinidad and Tobago known for being one of the world’s most functional and well-off (substantially) black countries? Any theories on why? Marshmallow-deferring South Asians running things? Oil/tourism money?

    The blacks there do seem to have a certain enthusiasm for productive self-organization–at least when it comes to merrymaking:

  12. Jesse says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    That’s one of the reasons the marshmallow type tests bother me. What’s the context? Who am I dealing with? It might be perfectly rational to take the (X) now.

    I know very intelligent, self employed people. The ones who last regard it as axiomatic that money now is better than the promise of a little extra money later.

  13. @Anonymous

    It’s usually ranked as perhaps second to Barbados in well-behaved blacks.

    I think it may have a mulatto class structure where people try to move up the color continuum.

    • Replies: @Gordo
  14. Bruno says:

    Probably the two traits are genetically correlated. It’s very unlikely that the environnemental fact that the father was not’present caused the present-time orientation.

    More likely the present time orientation of the father is caused by the present time orientation of the father, that causes him (or increase his propensity) both to abandon home for other immediate rewards available and choose un unfit woman as wife.

    I imagine your chronicle is just sarcasm against the Stanford scientist who should read Plomin.

  15. @AnotherDad

    Much of Southern China is subtropical. The Southern Chinese (Canton, Fujian, Zhejiang) dominate the national economy. They’ve also historically been quite strong in the imperial exams.

    K-selection wasn’t related to weather. It was related to whether there was an intense agricultural economy. Being a farm owner or laborer selects for foresight, discipline, and industriousness. Not everybody can get up early every morning and plant crops for 12 hours straight, while saving the surplus harvest for winter. On the other hand, being a hunter-gatherer or herder probably selects mostly for aggression, while leaving you with a lot of spare time for goofing around, socializing, and breeding.

    India has always been agriculturally intensive and grimly malthusian, just like China. So you’d expect both populations to do well on the Marshmallow Test.

    However, unlike China, India’s population was fragmented along the lines of caste/jati. Unlike the more egalitarian Chinese, India forced the low-caste/untouchable majority to become a permanent underclass and blocked their upward mobility. A lucky few Indian castes monopolized lucrative niches (like being priests or moneylenders), leaving the masses to be hereditary laborers forever. In China, even an impoverished laborer could become successful if he was talented and hardworking.

    India is a country that’s attempting a moon landing (something only America, Russia, and China have attained), but has failed abysmally at eliminating hunger, illiteracy, and extreme poverty. India’s elites are forging ahead, while the masses languish. On the other hand, both Chinese elites and commoner Chinese are prospering. I’d bet that is related, in some way, to the affect of the caste system. Both Chinese and Indians are malthusian-selected populations, but the caste system seems to have stunted the potential lower-caste masses.

    If you read the works of early 20th century intellectuals, you’ll find they believed the following.

    -Europeans were the best race, but not neccesarily suited to intensive labor under difficult conditions. More suited to be innovators and drivers of progress. The aristocrats of humanity.
    -The Japanese were capable of mastering Euro technology and becoming equal to Euros.
    -The Chinese were the ultimate worker/peasant class, being highly selected for industriousness, hardiness, and frugality. If they could ever get competent govt, they’d take over the world.
    -Indians were decent quality peasants, but definitely a major step down from the Chinese.
    -Middle Easterners were quarrelsome and highly destructive, incapable of creating anything of value.
    -Africans were jungle primitives and probably should have been driven to extinction.
    -New World Indios were better than Africans, but still inferior and often quite savage.

    Euro&Japanese>Chinese>>>Indian>>>Other races

    Interesting when you consider all the stereotypes of different races in our modern age.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @AnotherDad
  16. They’re not particularly well known in America, but the British West Indies produced good writers out of proportion to its population. CLR James, a black Trinidadian wrote the book Beyond a Boundary, which many Brits seem to regard as the best book ever written about a sport. V.S. Naipaul thought very highly of it, apparently.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @MBlanc46
  17. @Anonymous

    The economy is highly reliant on natural resource extraction to fuel spending. East Indians run a lot of the lower-level private sector economy. However, it’s the Whites and Chinese who constitute the true economic elites of Trinidad.

    Trinidad has a major problem with Black gangs. Many of them kidnap rich businessmen or politicians for ransom. Also, there’s a Black radical movement too.

    Mulattos exist and constitute an urban middle-class, with a strong representation in govt jobs. Affluent East Indians are more likely to own businesses and often live outside the cities.

    Trinidad’s homicide rate is not much lower than Detroit.

    It’s a country that succeeds due to natural resources and due to other races (Indian, Chinese, White). While the Mulatto govt worker class are respectable enough, they’re parasitic. Like Washington DC Blacks.

    • Replies: @Ed
  18. I taught a course at the university in Trinidad a long time ago. The crime rate was high and all windows and doors had bars. Often there were noisy parties until late at night. On the other hand, the blacks who risen through the rigorous education system were shockingly intelligent, much more so than I was used to in the USA.

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    , @Spangel
  19. It’s like the exact opposite of chubby bunny game.

  20. Steve, Naipul and Bouton are the two authors who I’ve read on your recommendation. I’ve had no complaints.

    I can’t imagine Naipul going after an essay with a big red marker. Wonder what level of schooling he was working in.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  21. RobUK says:

    Impregnating a woman and then disappearing is a pretty good example of favouring gratification now over longer term consequences.

  22. @Anonymous

    Dunno about Trinidad and Tobago, but Jackson, Mississippi fields reliably organized blacks.

  23. @TelfoedJohn

    Who wants to be an Ice Person, honky?

  24. @AnotherDad

    That’s environmental determinationism of the kind that’s not allowed.

  25. @Foreign Expert

    Perhaps you are easily shocked?

  26. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Southern China was settled relatively recently by Chinese further north in the Yellow River valley. William McNeil talks about how this process took centuries due to the greater disease burden in the south in his book Plagues and Peoples. Eventually it was settled and the warmer weather meant an additional growing season every year and more food, so the population increased significantly in southern China over the past thousand years or so. Traditionally, China’s population was mostly in the Yellow River valley area near Beijing.

    India’s major population components, the Dravidians and Aryans, both have their origins in areas north of India.

  27. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    The ancestors of South Asians would have experienced the Ice Age and wintery conditions. And both the Dravidians and Aryans who compose the Indian population have their origins in areas north of India.

    Also South Asia has monsoon seasons every year that can destroy the food supply and cause deadly floods if adequate precautions aren’t taken.

    • LOL: trelane
  28. Anon[294] • Disclaimer says:

    The research in general didn’t really replicate a couple of years ago when replication was the rage:

    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661?journalCode=pssa

    It’s turned out that psychology research in general, outside of psychometrics, doesn’t replicate. Almost nothing has passed muster. So good riddance to stereotype threat, implicit bias, and so on.

    • Replies: @Spangel
  29. I hate those substitutes. I once had the guy who was Michael Milken’s prof from Wharton as a guest lecturer in a finance class, and after he spent ten minutes beating our class into submission over the theory of setting bond interest rates, I spoke up and told him why the conventional theory was incomplete. He asked if I was a mathemetician, and I said “No, former engineer,” to which he replied, “So you’re a clear thinker!”

  30. Ed says:
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Here’s a VICE video on the violence in Trinidad.

  31. The reason why there are so few Black geniuses is because they score lower on standardized tests. If we could just get them to raise their test scores somehow, there would be more Black geniuses.

    QED!

    😀 😀 😀

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  32. David says:

    Basically off topic, except for Blacks and Indians, here is the first paragraph of the first volume of Yale’s Chronicles of America set, 1919:

    Across the twilight lawn at Hampton Institute straggles a group of sturdy young men with copper-hued complexions. Their day has been devoted to farming, carpentry, blacksmithing, or some other trade. Their evening will be given to study. Those silent dignified Indians with straight black hair and broad, strong features are training their hands and minds in the hope that some day they may stand beside the white man as equals. Behind them, laughing gayly and chattering as if without a care in the world, comes a larger group of kinky-haired, thick-lipped youths with black skins and African features. They, too, have been working with the hands to train the mind. Those two diverse races, red and black, sit down together in a classroom, and to them comes another race. The faces that were expressionless or merely mirthful a minute ago light up with serious interest as the teacher comes into the room. She stands there a slender, golden-haired, blue-eyed Anglo-Saxon girl just out of college—a mere child compared with the score of swarthy, stalwart men as old as herself who sit before her. Her mobile features seem to mirror a hundred thoughts while their impassive faces are moved by only one. Her quick speech almost trips in its eagerness not to waste the short, precious hour. Only a strong effort holds her back while she waits for the slow answers of the young men whom she drills over and over again in simple problems of arithmetic. The class and the teacher are an epitome of American history. They are more than that. They are an epitome of all history.

    • Replies: @HunInTheSun
  33. Coemgen says:
    @Henry's Cat

    Another Caribbean ethnicity, and one we should be well aware of, is the Redleg?

  34. bomag says:
    @SND

    I suppose it is a somewhat rational strategy to think, “I’ll take the small treat today and figure out an angle for the larger treat next week.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @L Woods
  35. @TelfoedJohn

    Iceland has the highest rate of kids born outside of marriage, and the country is not a hellhole.

    Just to clarify: having two parents living together “outside of marriage” and having only one parent in your life is not exactly the same thing, so we have to be sure we know what the situation in Iceland is before we go making unwarranted comparisons to Negroes. Marriage, in the final assessment, is just a ring and a piece of paper.

    • Replies: @Jake
  36. TheJester says:
    @Bruno

    “Probably the two traits are genetically correlated.”

    I agree. It seems that having a father present and resisting immediate gratification for long-term gain are related. The father is present because he can resist the immediate sexual gratification of abandoning his family in the face of transient sexual temptation. Then, these cultural and/or genetically linked traits are passed on to future generations.

    The above theory of evolution met all of the standards for Occam’s Razor in explaining cultural, racial, and gender differences. To me, evolution was as unquestionable as fact and as certain as the expectation that the sun will rise tomorrow morning. Then, intersectionalism, emotionalism, relativism, and Black Magic intervened to culturally depreciate the concept and possibility of fact and science in understanding the natural world.

    According to this New World Order, I accidentally believe in evolution and sun rising because my identity is that of a white male with northern European ancestry and culture. AOC believes in Black Magic and the power of intersectional incantations because her identity is that of a WOC with the mixed Indian and African ancestry/culture found in Puerto Rico.

    Everything is relative. There is no such thing as truth. Therefore, language devolves into nothing but crass invective and guttural utterances without meaning or purpose. Attempts at rational discourse devolve into shouting matches.

    AOC and her kind are listening; they are at least consistent in their new world view that there are no such things as world views as they rage against evolution and other competing intersectional identities. She got the Black Magic, the shouting, and the relativism parts right!

    • Agree: Bruno
  37. @Bruno

    This is another example of where a longitudinal study of identical twins separated at birth would come in handy.

    • Replies: @Bruno
  38. Gordo says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Bermuda has well behaved blacks, apart from the ones who live ‘over the hill’ who are Jamaicans.

    • Replies: @Jake
  39. bomag says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    Iceland has the highest rate of kids born outside of marriage

    I wonder what is the relative fatherly input.

    • Replies: @black sea
  40. Anon000 says:
    @Bruce

    This tests how much you trust authority figures. Kids who have had good experiences will last longer. IQ and giving your kid a good childhood no doubt correlate, and so does being a smart kid and having a good childhood. But ‘trust me’ isn’t ‘here’s the Wonderlic’.

    It would seem to test a kid’s level of introversion/extroversion and/or pickiness in eating.

    As an impulsive introvert with a life-long sweet tooth and yet an almost Gödel-esque level of concern about the custodial history of what I eat, my desire for something sweet would be totally overridden by other factors. Chances are I would opt for the larger treat later with no intention or interest in eating it. I would be totally freaked out and leary of sweets/food presented to me in this way.

    It’s not that I’m not a moron but just an introverted kid with hang ups about eating food from strangers, especially when pushed in front of me. I’d be like, “Um, a marshmallows ain’t exactly a Baby Ruth or Snickers, but even if it were your focusing on it, and me eating it, makes me very suspicious and now I wouldn’t eat it on a dare.”

  41. @Jesse

    There are several mitigating factors I wonder how the results would change if the child was told a small chocolate now or a 50 percent chance of a larger piece next week. A bird in the hand is better than 2 in the bush.Maybe call it the Monty Hall test.

    • Replies: @Drmanchild
  42. Gordo says:

    “…In fact, when I compared the two ethnic groups by looking only at children who had a man living in the household, the differences between the groups disappeared.”

    So compare the talented tenth of one ethnic group with 90% of another ethnic group, science eh?

  43. Jake says:

    “But surely there was more to the story.”

    That is the universal Liberal idea that prevents accepting any and all real world proof, including proof that is overwhelming, that any cherished Liberal faith article of general faith is wrong. When the facts and logic indicate that the Liberal belief is not based on sound foundation, the Liberal does not change his/her/its/their/zes, etc mind; the Liberal assumes there is more to the story and works hard to create that which Liberal faith must exist.

    And that is the reason it is a waste of time at best to think you can be patient with a Liberal and show him facts and logic that will lead him to back away from some of his crazier precepts.

  44. Marshmallows are albino. Everyone knows that eating albinos cures AIDS and stuff. Would you wait to cure yourself of AIDS?????

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  45. Jake says:
    @Gordo

    Compared directly to Hutus, Tutsis seem like a very well behaved people with a decent work ethic who are fairly honest. Compared to Ethiopian Coptics, Tutsis seem more than a bit crude and undisciplined, uninterested in studies, violent, even criminally violent, and wildly happy to litter illegitimate children everywhere, as well as being every bit as corrupt as Hutus in terms of running governments and businesses.

  46. @Drmanchild

    There are several mitigating factors I wonder how the results would change if the child was told a small chocolate now or a 50 percent chance of a larger piece next week. A bird in the hand is better than 2 in the bush. Maybe call it the Monty Hall test.

  47. Jake says:
    @Digital Samizdat

    Exactly.

    The sexual revolution did not turn Swedes into a nation of whites with huge numbers of children who had absentee dads. Swedes also embraced not marrying, but usually Swedes not marrying while having a child remained a couple, often for life (with spurts of going another way).

    But, it should be stressed, even that produces eventual monstrous fruit that can destroy everything. The loss of Swedish family in a formal sense, a legal sense, over time permeated into the hearts and minds of Swedes a sense that formal matter may not really matter, which means that they as a member of a family do not matter.

    People who get to that point have more depression and will turn more and more to ‘exotic’ cults and beliefs and peoples to try to get a sense of being grounded. And then you get hordes of immigrant brown Mohammedans and Numinous Negroes running loose and raping and robbing and murdering.

    • Replies: @Jesse
    , @TelfoedJohn
  48. Ganderson says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Dave Boswell could not be reached for comment…

  49. Arclight says:
    @Anonymous

    Pretty sure there was an article in The Atlantic a couple of years ago that said the same thing when it came to poor people in America and the likelihood of spending money as soon as they have it…which doesn’t totally hold up when it’s used to buy stuff like Playstations or sports jerseys rather than more practical items, but does make some sense in that if anyone knows you have money they’ll be after you to lend it to them or use it for something they want in a lot of situations.

  50. Anonymous[378] • Disclaimer says:
    @bomag

    I suppose it is a somewhat rational strategy to think, “I’ll take the small treat today and figure out an angle for the larger treat next week.”

    The African kids may have outsmarted the Indian kids in this game. They are presumably better endowed physically than the Indians, and when the bigger marshmallows next week they can rob them of the treats or steal them. That failing, they can cajole them and play to their human sympathies, perhaps citing Africans’ history of being enslaved and oppresssed.

  51. black sea says:
    @bomag

    In Iceland, 74% of children born to unwed mothers re born to mothers living in “registered cohabitation.”

    It should be noted that families with non-cohabiting parents face higher rates of poverty and apply for government assistance more frequently than do cohabiting parents. Of course, it is possible that lower income, lower IQ, and more impulsive/difficult Icelandic parents are less able to cohabit over the long haul with the other parent of their child, so maybe their general instability is contributing to their higher poverty rate as well..

    • Replies: @Jesse
  52. Alden says:
    @PiltdownMan

    Naipaul’s pretty good.

  53. Jesse says:
    @Jake

    Oh, you started out so well…

    Swedes have, semi deliberately, been selecting for a docile, community minded, intelligent, extremely hard working group of people who tend to stick to the community’s myths.

    It’s what you need to survive and even thrive in such an unforgiving climate. It’s also why Ye Vikings of Old were so different, and why it’s like comparing different species.

    But it makes them like the dodos. They need external protection, like endangered species on nature reserves. Let them run their internal affairs as they see fit, because let’s face it they’re not going to start pillaging. Let wider Europe take control of their borders and immigration policy. Protect something beautiful.

    I know Sweden is a blow to most conservative myths. But deciding that a group of calm, rational, intelligent people don’t need a piece of paper like the less smart do isn’t going to magically degrade *their* culture. If they had kept everything else, bar the moronic Invite The World policy, they’d still be one of the world’s best places to live.

    • Replies: @peterike
  54. But that is an important distinction.

    Implying that race is the true cause (which means it’s fundamentally hardwired in someone’s genetic code), vs home environment being the causal factor, means that if conditions change, then behaviors are likely to change.

    If genetics or race is behind why, say, Asians respond differently to medication than caucasians do, no amount of changing diet, exercise or other Behavorial parameters is going to change how their underlying biology responds (by and large).

    The other reason it’s important, is that genetic make up is probably way slower to change (if at all in any perceptible manner within a few generations) than socia-economic parameters. Today more African American households may be single-mother households, but if that’s more a by-product of say, poverty and education levels, than race, if hypothetically in a few generations the average African-Americans were to move higher up their social / economic status compared to other races, it follows that those children will then behave quite differently in the marshmallow test, exhibiting more appetite (haha) for delayed gratification.

    Feels like a pretty significant distinction to me.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  55. Jesse says:
    @black sea

    Well, duh. One of the reasons it’s hard to take the right seriously is just this topic. Either you’re actively lying or you have no concept of things like causation and correlation. Neither, to put it mildly, make you look good.

    • Replies: @Jesse
  56. Jesse says:
    @Jesse

    And, of course, losing one earner or potential/backup earner is going to increase poverty. It’s obvious. But if you say it you get outraged, often borderline tearful conservatives accusing you of reducing men to their wallets. In which case we’re entitled to ask what y’all think fathers are *for*.

  57. @Jake

    The sexual revolution did not turn Swedes into a nation of whites with huge numbers of children who had absentee dads.

    I’m certain it increased the amount of kids with absentee fathers. I know several Swedes from single parent families. To emphasise how much this was a change for Sweden, up until the mid-70s sterilization of single mothers was the policy of the ruling Social Democrats: https://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/david-quinn/single-mothers-were-forcibly-sterilised-in-sweden-we-dont-hear-much-about-that–30351488.html

    • Replies: @Jack D
  58. @TelfoedJohn

    There is a big difference between illegitimacy in Iceland and illegitimacy in the ghetto.

  59. fish says:
    @SND

    When the African origin children saw the larger treats being given out the next week, they said “Hey, that’s no fair dat be racist!”

  60. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @SND

    No, they ended up robbin the guy.

    Called a hood win win.

  61. Kyle says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    “Iceland has the highest rate of kids born outside of marriage.”

    Iceland has diverse and beautiful women. Blondes, brunettes, red heads, and women with jet black hair. Tall, short, skinny and plump. Button nosed and hatchet faced. They’re all gorgeous. That might factor in.

  62. @Jesse

    I know very intelligent, self employed people. The ones who last regard it as axiomatic that money now is better than the promise of a little extra money later.

    Well, that’s just the cash flow game. The little extra money later may come too late for you to pay your bills, at which point you’re out of business.

    A better analogy would be to having a good week/month/year and then failing to line up future business because you’re too busy spending the money you’ve just made, or perhaps spending all of the profit now and depleting your cash so you can’t start new work.

  63. Spangel says:
    @Anon

    I don’t know if running the marshmallow test today makes much sense because the responsible kids are told not to eat too much sugar and they face such an abundance of it that candy doesn’t hold the same value it probably would have held decades ago in a developing country.

    They should run it again and promise some kind of game console or other thing with definite value to kids.

  64. Spangel says:
    @AnotherDad

    I think some people get too caught up in iq and forget that iq is only a partial explanation for the gulf between black culture and others. Adjusted for iq, blacks will still do the worst on these kids of delayed gratification tests.

    Blacks are really nowhere close to being able to self sustain an advanced economy because they have a constellation of negative traits from violence impulses to low intelligence that are all only partially correlated with each other. Meaning being more intelligent reduces the rate of criminality, illegitimacy, low impulse control etc in blacks, but each of these tendencies is always independently higher in blacks and doesn’t all decrease evenly with greater iq.

  65. Spangel says:
    @Foreign Expert

    Is it possible that your friend was less black than you assumed? One of the advantages of being part black part south Asian is that such people remain dark skinned and look blacker than they are. I say it’s an advantage because it gives them more minority Pokémon points. I once met a Guyanese man who was at least at dark as idris Elba. I had assumed him to be about entirely black but he was actually half south Asian. He retained kinky hair and such dark skin that it wasn’t obvious though I could see it once he told me.

  66. Jack D says:
    @ConfirmationBias

    Everyone (with any brains) seems to understand that humans are a product of BOTH nature and nurture. The races each seem to have their natural tendencies which are most expressed when they are at home in their native lands, where Japanese act all Japanesey and Congolese act all Congolesey, etc. but when they move to other cultures their behavior ends up being sort of halfway between their native tendencies and the culture of the new land.

    And even that culture is not static over time. Take for example black illegitimacy. The natural mode of black men is to sow their seed and move on. Monogamy was never the norm. But in the US, from the end of the Civil War until the 1960s blacks were under pressure to adopt white norms and to marry one woman and have children inside of wedlock. Once that pressure abated as a result of changes in the culture, blacks regressed toward their natural behavior. If the majority culture is willing to make a constant effort to assimilate minorities to white norms, it’s possible to make some progress in that direction but absent that (as seen in Trinidad) Indians are going to act more Indiany and blacks are going to act more blackish. The white man has put down the white man’s burden so minorities are on their own now.

    • Replies: @Spangel
    , @Jesse
  67. Jack D says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    Absolutely – we see this in the US, where white illegitimacy (once rare) is now approaching former black levels (and black illegitimacy has become the norm rather than the exception).

    And of course, were it not for birth control and abortion, it would be even higher. Before the sexual revolution, it was expected that middle class and above white girls would not have sex until (or maybe shortly before) they were married – they could do various forms of “necking” but not go “all the way” which would cause them to fall pregnant and create a scandal. While this did happen now and then, it was not the expected behavior. Of course, women were getting married in their early 20s and not at age 30+ so they were not spending that many years being abstinent. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were having MORE sex at equivalent ages, it was just that in the past that sex was with their one and only husband rather than with Tinder hookups.

    • Replies: @Ed
    , @Jesse
    , @Jesse
  68. @AnotherDad

    ‘This isn’t hard to understand at the highest level. Delayed gratification is an absolutely critical trait for temperate zone agriculture–there’s this thing call “winter” that you absolutely must prepare for diligently or you’ll be dead–and much less so in the tropics.

    ‘But the interesting thing is that people in much more tropical/sub-tropical places like India or Southeast Asia also beat the pants off of sub-Saharans. I suspect that has to do with the high Malthusian pressure in hydraulic despotisms and other fairly organized states. But much less Malthusian pressure in tropical Africa, where–as Steve has often noted–the disease burden reduced the population pressure.’

    You’re overthinking this. Black people are stupid; really, really stupid.

    If you could structure one for him, your Labrador Retriever would fail the delayed gratification test as well.

  69. Ed says:
    @Coemgen

    Interesting, never heard of them. Reminds me of the descendants of Polish troops sent by Napoleon to regain Haiti. A few remained, married blacks whose children ended up marrying each other. So there’s this little community of mixed race people in the even more impoverished Haiti countryside.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Haitians

  70. I am not clear as to what the conclusion is of this blog post.

    Is Steve’s point that the researcher’s explanation is wrong or willfully obtuse?

    Or is his message that the researcher is bringing up a good point and that absent fatherhood is a good metric to be mindful of when examining social behavior choices?

    He seems to be implying both that the researcher is ignoring the obvious and that the researcher has a point.

    I would love some clarity on this, by Steve or anybody.

    Also, my electrician, carpenter and plumber are all from Trinidad and the quality of their work is outstanding—Really top notch craftsmanship and skill level. However, they’re not good at staying within budget, showing up on time, or staying within the project parameters. They all also are incredibly strong, despite having average sized muscles and builds for black men.

    For instance, the carpenter built us a deck that was beautiful— unlike any other deck I’ve ever seen before. It was beautiful, multi level, and connected with stairs that criss cross in a very unconventional, yet aesthetically pleasing way. The only issue was we had never discussed this prior to him doing it and the project ended up costing $10,000 more than originally planned. I did pay him and we have a beautiful deck now, but don’t know how I can recommend someone like that to others when he goes over budget and doesn’t deliver on time.

    • Replies: @RobRich
    , @Anonymous
  71. Spangel says:
    @Jack D

    In a free society, no one can constrain the behaviors of other groups of people for long. Eventually natural tendancies will come out.

    Fatherless homes skyrocketed in the late 20th century among blacks because that is in line with their reproductive instincts and reproductive instincts are powerful. Low paternal investment is also the norm in much of Africa.

    Cannibalism is common in Africa but close to non existent among blacks anywhere in this hemisphere. Probably because blacks don’t really have any native instincts to eat other people. That is actual cultural artifice that doesn’t re-emerge in a free society.

    • Replies: @Anonymouser
  72. Ed says:
    @Jack D

    Actually there’s an argument that the illegitimacy rate would be lower if abortion was illegal and birth control pills were not widely available. The argument goes that women would be more cautious with who they slept with avoiding the chance they get pregnant by a scad. Also that men would be more compelled to take responsibility (i.e. shotgun weddings) if a woman has limited options to get rid of the baby.

    Now it’s truly the woman’s choice and many men respect that by not doing anything for their kids.

  73. Element59 says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    Children born “outside of marriage” in places like Scandinavia and Iceland has more to do with the parents bucking the traditions of marriage and its associated religious significance. There are still almost always two committed parents in the home.

  74. @TelfoedJohn

    As I understand it, Scandinavia’s high rate of out-of-wedlock births makes a misleading comparison with, for example, the US.

    Scandinavian out-of wedlock births (“OOWBs”) are usually to a man and woman who are living together and who behave as if married, but who have decided that they don’t need a piece of paper from the government to prove their affection and commitment. You might say they are “unwed in name only”.

    In the US, OOWBs are usually concentrated in certain marshmallow-oriented demographics where the father flees the locus of his fatherhood as soon as the prospect of increased responsibility raises its head, if not before.

    So Scandinavian kids, though “born outside of marriage”, are not fatherless. Children of “hellholes”, on the other hand …

    • Agree: GermanReader2
    • Replies: @William Badwhite
  75. Jesse says:
    @Jack D

    Not one word of that is true. People may change the manifestation (hard not to, if you’re going from somewhere that’s essentially Stone Age to the modern West) but the underlying tendencies remain the same.

    To take a less emotional route, look at the white population of the US. After several centuries, they’re still visible and culturally distinct. The fact that people generally no longer use horses and carts, or give whiskey to babies, doesn’t change that.

  76. Element59 says:

    The absent father hypothesis may be just another line of evidence of the impulsiveness or short time horizon trait; the inability to delay gratification now by having impulsive intercourse without taking precautions vs. delaying intercourse, taking precautions, and planning ahead for potential consequences. The children of absent fathers may be inheriting exactly the traits that led to the father’s absence.

    What would also be interesting to find out is whether there are consistent differences in the Marshmallow Test between boys and girls, independent of race.

  77. Jesse says:
    @Jack D

    This is such horse shit. The main reason stopping people in those days weren’t rutting like bunnies* was a terror of STDs. Antibiotics, not contraception, was what broke that down.

    (*To the extent they weren’t. You have *no clue* how many of them caught doses from sleeping around.)

    Hey, that’s an idea! Next time a guy gets the clap, we should refuse to treat it! Publicly shame him so that men will think twice before screwing around!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Jack D
  78. Jesse says:
    @Jack D

    And yet – and yet! – you don’t see anywhere near the same social pathologies in the white kids of white single mothers as with their black counterparts. Kind of destroys the conservative line, don’t it?

    At some point, y’all are going to have to (1) stop treating the profoundly odd 1950s as a representative era and (2) admit how dysgenic it all was.

  79. peterike says:
    @Jesse

    Swedes have, semi deliberately, been selecting for a docile, community minded, intelligent, extremely hard working group of people who tend to stick to the community’s myths.

    Indeed. This is very characteristic of Nordics, Germanics and the more Puritan-minded WASPs. And then what happened was that across the West, Jews largely took over the business of creating “community myths,” and the high-trust whites got duped by one false myth after another. Which is why SJW whites used to push for things like prohibition (internally created myth of a world without drunkards), and now they push for multi-culturalism and invite-the-world (externally created myth deliberately designed to destroy them).

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  80. @David

    Nothing is more topical than the superiority of Anglo-Saxons and the civilizations they built, from which all others draw every element of modernity and progress.

  81. @Jack Hanson

    I can’t imagine Naipul going after an essay with a big red marker. Wonder what level of schooling he was working in.

    I think he may have worked as an assistant teacher in his late teens, just before he embarked on his voyage to England to take up a place at Oxford University on a Trinidad goverment scholarship. Either that or soon after he graduated, because he moved to London in 1954 and did not live in Trinidad after that point.

    His father, who was a journalist, died in 1953. His brother Shiva was also an excellent writer and many Sailer blog enthusiasts would probably enjoy his book North Of South: An African Journey. The title refers to those nations found to the North of (apartheid) South Africa in the 1970s.

    • Replies: @Anonymouser
  82. @Coemgen

    This is a good video to illustrate:

  83. @JohnnyWalker123

    K-selection wasn’t related to weather. It was related to whether there was an intense agricultural economy. Being a farm owner or laborer selects for foresight, discipline, and industriousness. Not everybody can get up early every morning and plant crops for 12 hours straight, while saving the surplus harvest for winter. On the other hand, being a hunter-gatherer or herder probably selects mostly for aggression, while leaving you with a lot of spare time for goofing around, socializing, and breeding.

    JW, overall a good comment. And good paragraph above.

    However, don’t agree on “not related to the weather”. Anonymous points out that the Han in Southern China actually come from up north. Selection for what we’d call “advanced” or “civilized” traits seems to me to be multi-faceted:

    1) Latitude.
    Even before ag, it was simply tougher and required more foresight (IQ?) and conscientiousness to be a hunger gatherer at high latitude. The smartest hunter gatherers even today–the eskimos–are up north.

    2) Ag.
    With the neolithic revolution a whole new paradigm requiring much more forward thinking. This creates malthusian pressure, which is super-charged in hydraulic despotisms.

    But it’s still super-charged by environments at high latitude with winter. The Scandinavians do not have a great time depth of advanced civilization but still create very orderly societies with far superior people to long settled agricultural lands in the middle east. Their people just had to be smarter and more conscientious to make it there, even if they were barely scraping by farming or herding or out raiding. Likewise the Scottish herder may be more aggressive and less conscientious than say a German farmer, but he’s still way way smarter and more conscientious than a Kenyan herder.

    3) Civilization + trade.
    As soon as there are settled peoples then we pretty much immediately have parasites–the men with swords, rulers–who can live high on the hog by taxing the labor of others. But in turn, having a ruler monopolizing violence and creating some kind of order opens up more avenues–bureaucracy (tax collection) and trade. These super charge selection for other sorts of traits–intelligence for literacy, numeracy, etc. As we’ve seen with the selection in the Ashkenazi.

    Selection is for whatever fits the enviroment. And the package of traits we think of as “civilized”–high intelligence, conscientiousness, ability to cooperate–have been selected for in various ways at different places and times.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Spangel
  84. Marty says:

    In ‘00, I was shooting around by myself at the Marin “Y” when the Director came over and asked if I’d like to play a member of the Trinidad Olympic basketball team 1-on-1. Whaaa? So he introduces me to this coal black 6’4” stringbean who seems to about 19. Being under 5’10”, I was leery. No problem, beat him 11-2.

  85. L Woods says:
    @bomag

    This is actually a strangely good point. Their reasoning (or lack thereof) may not be rational, but their actions may actually be in current year America.

  86. Jack D says:
    @AnotherDad

    It just so happens that conditions of modernity happen to suit some races that were never before noted either for their intelligence or wealth. The Jews, the Japanese, the Scandinavians, etc. In fact these nations were exporters of people until relatively recent times because they were so damn poor back home. People act as if these races have been super successful forever when what really happened was that their skill set just happened to be uniquely suited to modernity. Then there were other races that were once world beaters – the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Arabs, etc. whose skill set became obsolete. Not much call for Conquistadors in the modern world.

    This doesn’t make Finns smarter than Portuguese any more than programmers are “smarter” than Linotype operators – they are just more adapted to the current environment.

    Blacks were more adapted to Africa. Before modern medicine, white people were incapable of living in Subsaharan Africa (north of S. Africa) – they would just die of disease.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Spangel
  87. Jimi says:
    @AnotherDad

    “But the interesting thing is that people in much more tropical/sub-tropical places like India or Southeast Asia also beat the pants off of sub-Saharans.”

    The Malthusian ceiling on the Indian subcontinent is high because of intense farming. If you didn’t farm your land, you may not starve to death, but you would go hungry often and you would not get a wife.

  88. Spangel says:
    @Jack D

    Worldwide fertility rates indicate that blacks are best adapted to succeed in 2019.

  89. Anonymous[294] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jesse

    (*To the extent they weren’t. You have *no clue* how many of them caught doses from sleeping around.)

    What do you mean? “Doses”?

  90. Anonymous[294] • Disclaimer says:
    @peterike

    Jews largely took over the business of creating “community myths,” and the high-trust whites got duped by one false myth after another.

    Such as what? Why would they do this?

    • Replies: @Anonymouser
  91. Jack D says:
    @Jesse

    The difference was mainly in women. Men always slept around but mainly it was with professionals (prostitutes). Such women (a small % of the population) would have many partners while most women had one (or none before marriage). The sexual revolution was very bad for the prostitution business because they now had competition from amateurs. Whorehouses were once a feature of every big city and many not so big cities – now they are rare.

  92. RobRich says: • Website
    @Ginger bread man

    One of the things I’ve learned as a Libertarian is that doing on budget, capitalistically, etc. is an art in itself some have and others don’t, not necessarily combined with other arts like what your Michaelangelo craftsman does. All of which is why we have teams.

    Another thing is be prepared in life for this: You don’t tell Michaelangelo what to do.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
  93. Spangel says:
    @AnotherDad

    What’s the proof that the smartest hunter gatherers are up north? I once looked at Richard Lynne’s source for Inuit iq and it didn’t look like he used actual iq test results.

    Latitude seems to have a general impact on intelligence but there are a lot of caveats there. Within race, I’m not sure the correlation generally exists between relative warmer or cooler weather. Among native north Americans, it sure seems that Central American natives produced the more advanced pre Colombian civilization and even today are better at integrating into an advanced economy than the Inuit. Among Asians, it seems like the Chinese in the south east of the country are smarter than the Tibetans, Mongolians and central Asians. At least they act smarter in total. Among south Asians, they seemingly get smarter as you go from Pakistan and Nepal down to south India and then Sri Lanka.

    Between latitude and a complex agrarian economy with competitive population density, the latter seems to be the bigger driver of intelligence and the ability to pass the marshmallow test. Yes, Scandinavians are smart but they are not really the norm among very cold weather populations. The Inuit, Central Asians, Mongolians and northern american natives don’t seem all that able to produce an advanced society today.

    As for the Middle East, they sure seemed smarter before the proliferation of the Islamic slave trade which brought more and more African admixture into their genetics and eventually drove the collapse of their once great civilizations. Right now it doesn’t seem like Christian Arabs without African heritage have any intellectual deficiencies relative to average Europeans.

  94. @TelfoedJohn

    ‘Iceland has the highest rate of kids born outside of marriage, and the country is not a hellhole. ‘

    The parents cohabit.

  95. @Anonymous

    Marxism, Boasian anthropology, Freudianism, neoconservatism, globalism etc.

    Why do they do this? Because as a small group needing to control a much larger group they need to coopt and redirect myths, science and identity to suit their interests. See the proposition nation for starters.

    Ideas have consequences as the saying goes.

    For further information see Kevin Macdonald the culture of critique and also see Curt Doolittle at the propertarian institute regarding pseudoscience.

  96. @Jonathan Mason

    ‘His brother Shiva was also an excellent writer and many Sailer blog enthusiasts would probably enjoy his book North Of South: An African Journey. ‘

    Have read would reccomend. He tears shreds out of White liberals and black politicians and mainly favours his own tribe the asians.

  97. @Spangel

    Food is plentiful here.

    Liberia was settled along American lines and has plenty of cannibals. Ever seen the vice documentary?

  98. Prosa123 says:

    Just as an aside, I work with a very attractive young Trinidadian woman. If you took DNA from all human races and mixed it thoroughly in a blender you’d end up with her. By the way, she’s quite smart.

    • Replies: @Anonymouser
  99. I could have sworn that at one point I read somewhere that Blacks in Trinidad had a higher per capita income the Indians.

  100. @RobRich

    Being a businessman is very different from being an artist. They need to team up to deliver beauty on time and within budget.

  101. MBlanc46 says:
    @PiltdownMan

    I’ve read a lot of cricket literature. I suspect that much of the enthusiasm for James is merely Negrolatry. James was a serious Leftist (Trotskyist, if memory serves), who also wrote a book on the Toussaint L’Ouverture rebellion (The Black Jacobins).

  102. @Prosa123

    There is a future for humanity after all.

  103. I’ve read a lot of cricket literature. I suspect that much of the enthusiasm for James is merely Negrolatry.

    So, what did you think of Beyond a Boundary? Naipaul wasn’t exactly susceptible to Negrolatory. If anything, quite the opposite.

  104. Anonymous[255] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ginger bread man

    A good product delivered late is a bad product.

  105. @MikeatMikedotMike

    Marshmallows are albino. Everyone knows that eating albinos cures AIDS and stuff. Would you wait to cure yourself of AIDS?????

    FINALLY! I thought we’d have to wait for Truth or Elite to give us the woke African logic that lies in the dark heart of this cruel racist experiment. Plus them was Tuskegee Marshmallows they be giving them kids. Wasn’t Emmitt Till found with soggy marshmallows in his pockets? There’s a Pulitzer in this story for an enterprising NYT writer.

  106. @Almost Missouri

    certain marshmallow-oriented demographics

    was hilarious. In these fast-moving times where one is compelled to constantly change what one calls these people (negro –> colored –> black –> Afro-American –> African-American –> POC –> and so on) I would very much like “marshmallow-oriented American” or some variation to be next in line.

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