Saturday, December 27, 2003

The East Asian IQ Myth

I've just come across a paper that argues that claims of higher East Asian IQ are entirely unfounded, at least when we're talking about East Asians in their own home countries. Following is a reference to said paper:

Harold Stevenson et al., "Cognitive performance of Japanese, Chinese, and American Children," Child Development 56, 1985, pages 718-734.

I don't find this at all surprising. Those who use the high academic and professional achievement of East Asian immigrants to the US as "evidence" of their innate intellectual superiority routinely ignore the fact that as voluntary immigrants, these populations are largely self-selected, a mistake they never make when it comes to downplaying the achievements of black African immigrants. There is simply no good evidence to be found that the average Japanese or Chinese individual is any smarter than his European or American counterparts, and those who claim to have such evidence, like the notorious Richard Lynn, can invariably be shown to have made fundamental errors in their data-gathering and interpretation. See

Charles Lane, "Tainted Sources," pages 133-135, in Russell Jacoby and Noami Glauberman, eds., The Bell Curve Debate (New York: Random House, 1995).

for a critique of Richard Lynn's sampling methodology.