Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Clever sillies indeed, at least when it comes to HBD

++Addition++Steve Sailer makes note, calling out the inclusion of the question on astronomy out (and rightly so, as in reviewing the items chosen, it appears the least obviously commonsensical of the entire field) and waxing on the relationship between vocabulary and intelligence more generally.

---

Bruce G. Charlton, academic and editor in chief of the journal Medical Hypotheses, has previously described the perceived tendency for people of high intelligence to lack common sense, a consequence of ignoring instinctive reactions ("gut feelings" in the vernacular):
My suggested explanation for this association between intelligence and personality is that an increasing relative level of IQ brings with it a tendency differentially to over-use general intelligence in problem-solving, and to over-ride those instinctive and spontaneous forms of evolved behaviour which could be termed common sense.
Bruce suggested I take a look at the GSS to see to what extent it confirms or repudiates his assessment. To avoid the problem of cherry-picking, he thought it prudent to have someone other than himself peruse the data.

I scoured the entire library (in the process propitiously stumbling on some other interesting variables I had previously been ignorant of!) to assemble what is laid out below. Naturally, there is some level of arbitrariness in what is included and what is not. To minimize this, I cast a wide net to include those for which 'common sense' provides an obvious answer. Also, I did not break out responses by wordsum scores until after I'd settled on the questions to be included to avoid subconsciously favoring one item or another.

Items that solicit opinions without inquiring about consequences were passed over in favor of those dealing with predictable outcomes. That is, I'm less interested in whether or not a person favors governmentally enforced affirmative action, for which plausibly commensensical arguments can be made on both sides (the benefit to upper-echelon NAMs outweighs the harm done to middling and lower-end ice people or it doesn't), than I am in whether or not whites, specifically, are hurt by affirmative action. Obviously giving preferential treatment to a black job applicant hurts a more qualified white applicant who is passed over because of his ancestry.

Several potentially informative items are dead because they are not cross-referenced with wordsum scores. To avoid confounding factors, only white responses are included.

The items are separated into three categories; those for which the high IQ (smarties) people show more common sense than everybody else (the masses) does, those for which smarties and the masses demonstrate equal levels of common sense, and those for which the masses are more commonsensical than the smarties are. The percentages show in what proportions members of each group answered in affirmation of the question or agreed with the statement being made.

Smarties include only the sliver of the respondent pool scoring a perfect 10 of 10 on the wordsum test, equivalent to an IQ floor approaching 130 if the average white score is assumed to represent an IQ of 100 with a standard deviation of 15. They comprise about 5% of the population. The masses (wordsum scores of 0-9) includes everybody else.

Items for which smarties display more common
sense than the masses do

SmartiesMasses
People must live for today and let tomorrow take care of
itself.
27.9%44.7%
Favor allowing women who are poor and cannot afford
any children to have abortions if they want to do so.
64.7%47.0%
Homosexual attraction is a conscious choice.16.9%49.2%
Are there situations in which it is okay for a man to punch
another man?
82.9%67.2%
Is it ever okay for a policeman to strike a citizen?89.7%77.1%
It is a civic obligation to report a crime if you witness it.96.0%91.8%
Scientists often pry into things they ought to leave alone*.5.1%29.3%
Morality is a personal matter and society should not try
to force everyone to maintain the same moral standards.
66.7%74.9%
Genes are important in determining whether or not a
person's life turns out poorly or turns out well.
49.4%36.2%
There is no sense in planning for the future. If things are
to happen, they will happen.
11.7%40.6%
Astrology is not scientific.84.6%71.3%
Refuse to eat genetically modified food.19.6%31.2%
It should be illegal to carry a firearm while intoxicated.98.9%91.6%
A single parent is able to raise a child as well as a couple
can.

29.0%

34.8%
Modern science does more good than harm.70.9%62.9%
Animal testing is okay if it might result in human lives
being saved.
70.0%62.4%
Items for which smarties and the masses dispaly
equal levels of common sense
SmartiesMasses
Favor busing black and white children from one district
to another**.
24.0%22.8%
Allow incurable patients to die if the patient and family
support doing so.
70.1%71.4%
It's okay for a man to hit someone who has broken into
his house.
84.9%85.1%
Political organizations based on race and/or ethnicity
make it more difficult for everyone to get along with
one another.
70.6%72.6%
Items for which the masses display more common
sense than the smarties do
SmartiesMasses
Average difference between the intelligence of whites and
of blacks, measured in standard deviations.
0.200.53
Genes play a major role in determining personality.20.7%24.8%
Things for blacks in the US have improved over time.51.1%64.5%
It is better for a man to work and a woman to take care
of home.
24.0%36.9%
Blacks do worse in life because of their innate inability to
learn as much as whites.
4.2%12.9%
There should be more women in the US military than
there currently are.
56.2%33.6%
Women should be assigned to military roles where
hand-to-hand combat is likely.
39.3%34.8%
Poor schools are an important reason why there are poor
people in the US.
81.8%72.5%
Whites are hurt by affirmative action policies that favor
blacks.
52.7%71.6%
It is a shame that traditional American literature is
ignored while other literature is promoted because it is
written by women or minorities.
57.4%70.7%
Increased immigration makes it more difficult to keep
the US united.
45.6%74.4%
Biological differences between men and women are
important in explaining why women are more likely to
take care of children than men are.
42.4%57.4%
Because of science and technology, there will be more
opportunities for future generations.
86.5%92.0%

I don't gather from this that intelligence is a handicap when it comes to arriving at commonsensical conclusions about most things. The assertion that intelligence either lacks significant correlation with or correlates positively with nearly all desirable outcomes and behaviors seems to hold up here (though there are a couple of exceptions, including the question on genes and personality and also the question about future opportunities provided by advances in science and technology). With the glaring exception of HBD-related issues, smarties display more common sense in their thinking than the masses do.

However, when it comes to accurately assessing differences in human subgroups--or even acknowledging that they exist--society's brightest squelch common sense in the name of politically correct moral posturing. Virtually every question for which the masses are more grounded in reality than the smarties are involves race or gender. The epicycles constructed and maintained by smarties are demonstrably if one simply believes his own lying eyes.

The explanations for why this occurs are surely familiar to most readers. My favored working explanation is that smart whites compete primarily against other whites (and Asians). NAMs are abstract pawns used in a moral posturing game played against other whites. Ilkka puts a clever spin on it:
Liberalism is status signaling that demonstrates that you are immune to the
societal consequences of liberalism.
And Steve Sailer states it in no uncertain terms:

Political correctness makes people stupid.
To the extent, if any, that this challenges Bruce's assertion^, it strikes me as encouraging. Rather than being maladaptive in facing the mundania of life, ceteris paribus, intelligence improves one's quality of life and his ability to comprehend the world around him.

GSS variables used: RACE(1), WORDSUM(0-9)(10), GENEEXPS, BUSING, BLKSIMP, ANOMIA4, ABPOOR, HOMOCHNG, LETDIE1, HITOK, HITROBBR, POLHITOK, FEFAM, RACDIF2, FENUMOK, FIGHTLND, OB911, SCIPRY, PERMORAL, WHYPOOR1, INTLWHTS, INTLBLKS, DISCAFF, LFEGENES, PCLIT, ETHORGS, IMMUNITE, FEKIDS1, NOPLAN, NEXTGEN, ASTROSCI, EATGM, GUNSDRINK, SINGLPAR, HARMGOOD, ANTESTS

* (I hear Ned Flanders exclaiming, "Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins the movie by telling you how it ends. Well, I say there are some things we don't want to know!")

** Even though this solicits a personal opinion, it strikes me as being so disruptive to society to merit being deemed as an opinion lacking in common sense entirely.

^ Again, the criteria for selected GSS items, beyond adequate sample size and cross-referenced data on wordsum scores, was arbitrarily selected and is consequently open to crticism for not adequately finding proxies for common sense. Also, the reasonable responses to some of the questions seem as though they should be obvious to a thinking person of even modest intellect, but do not involve what would generally be deemed commonsensical in popular parlance, the question on astrology serving as an example.

34 comments:

RM said...

This post made me unsubscribe to your feed.

Anonymous said...

Good post.

The leadership of the smarties is crumbling on several of the issues you look at.

A lot of people are very angry at the elitist leadership's lack of common sense.

The longer the rampant joblessness (real rate near 22%) situation persists, the more angry these people will be. They are not represented by a political party, but grass roots groups are cropping up.

Welfare recipients and government employees are happy enough, still. And they can vote.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

The explanations for why this occurs are surely familiar to most readers. My favored working explanation is that smart whites compete primarily against other whites (and Asians).

I personally find the "status competition among whites" explanation weak and I have an alternative explanation for the smartie disapproval of HBD.

The smarties are in the "dogooder" class. Part of being a dogooder is that you believe people can be molded into better human beings if only wise social scientists construct social policies to improve everyone's well being.

"Molding a better citizen" was the intellectual justification for the progressive, New Deal, and Great Society social experiments where education and social policy would alleviate social dysfunction for everybody (not just blacks).

The smarties don't like HBD because social engineering requires that human nature be highly malleable if social policy like universal schooling and expansion of college education is to have maximum impact.

HBD teaches that human nature is only malleable up to a point and that utopian social engineering is doomed to fail because human nature is not as flexible as think tank researchers, Department of Education officials, and college administrators would hope.

Therefore, the "dogooder" class keeps hoping "If we just tweak public schools just enough with the right number of school councilors and therapists we can solve all social dysfunction" and keeps denying HBD which is telling them they have to drastically lower their expectations for how much social engineering can be expected to achieve.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

The "Dogooder" explanation could be tested by checking the GSS to see if the smarties are more altruistic and "civic conscious" on issues such as recycling, attending school board meetings, etc than the masses.

Audacious Epigone said...

RM,

If you'd be a little more specific, I'd be able to respond. If it's because you don't want an airing of BGC's ideas, fine, it's your loss.

Anon,

The question is, what grows faster going forward--the size of the parasitical class (net welfare recipients and government employees) or opposition groups, ie the tea party people?

TUJ,

That is the less cynical explanation. SWPLs aren't being disingenious in their stated beliefs, or even intentionally avoiding thinking about contradictions in their worldview, but genuinely feel that people are basically blank slates that can be molded by external inputs (like education and restrictions on the availability of junk food). It's probably some combination of both.

And thank you once again for prodding me into another post :)

Anonymous said...

"Therefore, the "dogooder" class keeps hoping "If we just tweak public schools just enough with the right number of school councilors and therapists we can solve all social dysfunction" and keeps denying HBD which is telling them they have to drastically lower their expectations for how much social engineering can be expected to achieve."

______


It seems to me that they don't even try to mold kids in school. For example, if you wanted the lower classes to behave better, you would have a total goodie goodie type of school where they were constantly reminded of virtue and rewarded for virtuous behaviors. They would constantly be reminded of how lucky they were to be in school and shown pictures of how in other countries kids are working in rock quarries and how important it is to be chaste, diligent and self reliant etc. I am talking old fashioned Puritan values where kids are shamed and excluded from fun for every minor infraction. If school were like that for the lower classes, you could argue that they were at least trying to teach kids to be successful and develop good habits. Instead they try to coddle poor kids like spoiled rich kids, all the while telling them that they are poor because they are "exploited". It almost guarantees failure for these kids.

Anonymous said...

Intelligence needs a little common sense to become wise.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

That is the less cynical explanation.

Not at all.

My Dogooder explanation is even more cynical than the "status competition" explanation for blank slatism.

While most social engineers cerainly do believe they are doing the Lord's work, Blank Slatism is their political justification for their paychecks.

The Dogooders are employed in huge, meddlesome, governmental, educational and other tax exempt bureaucracies which keep them employed via federal taxes.

If the Feds ever accepted HBD the unemployment roles would be saturated with social scientists, high school councilors, school board members, child therapists, motivational speakers, Department of Education bureaucrats, and countless other SWPL employment centers.

It's probably some combination of both.

I find the status comepition argument unsatisfactory because it is too broadly applicable to any human social environment.

All groups of human beings have always competed for status amongst their peers.

That SWPLs also compete for status amongst their peers doesn't tell us anything important.

And thank you once again for prodding me into another post :)

If not me, then who?

The Undiscovered Jew said...

It seems to me that they don't even try to mold kids in school.

They try, it just doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

I got on the right side of common sense on all but the most peculiar one. Don't scientists explore things they shouldn't all the time?

I think I'm lazy due to my overabundance of common sense.

Xenophon Hendrix said...

I have reservations about some of your choices.

>''It is a civic obligation to report a crime if you witness it.''

What crime? There are many crimes for which I find the law that makes the behavior criminal to be immoral. For example, I would never report someone for smoking marijuana. I find the law against it immoral interference in the private behavior of others. I suppose many persons would find my position on such matters to be lacking in common sense. All I can say is that I disagree with those persons and believe the lack of common sense goes the other way.

There are other crimes that are so common that reporting them would be nonsensical. Consider traffic crimes. If persons started reporting all the speeders that they saw, it would overwhelm police telephone personnel. So even appending a mental "in most cases" to this statement still makes it a bad survey item.

>''Morality is a personal matter and society should not try to force everyone to maintain the same moral standards.''

Whose morality? The moral standards of the Roman Catholic Church? For example, do you wish society to use force to limit sexual relations to reproduction only, including between married persons? I am honestly surprised that fewer of the so-called "smarties" endorse the statement as worded than do the "masses" and that you apparently agree with the smarties. There are many, many moral questions for which society is in sharp disagreement. Forcing persons to maintain the same moral standards seems like a recipe for hell on earth to me.

In fact, I am so surprised at this one that I suspect that I must be misinterpreting it. Yet I have read it over four times, now, and I still interpret it the same way. Has there been some mistake?

>''It is better for a man to work and a woman to take care of home.''

This one is so controversial that I'm surprised you used it as a measure for common sense. Are you sure your opinion is right about the common sense answer? Really?

>''It is a shame that traditional American literature is ignored while other literature is promoted because it is written by women or minorities.''

This seems more of a matter of personal taste than it does common sense. I agree with the answer, but I don't see where common sense is involved. For example, I believe Adrienne Rich is a bad poet whose work has been pushed for political reasons, but I can't make the intellectual leap to conclude that those who disagree with me are lacking common sense.

Jason Malloy said...

I think the equalitarian biases of the high IQ demonstrate the opposite of the Clever Sillies hypothesis. Bruce's essay says that politically correct ideas are the result of the high IQ elite having autistic personality traits, which prevent social scientists and other elites from true insight into human behavior.

But politically correct ideas about race and gender originate in social emotions about group solidarity and equality, not run-away, mind-blind abstraction. People with autistic traits are less likely to respond to emotional appeals, and this is one reason why women, who have heightened social emotions, are more likely to subscribe to PC beliefs than men.

Of course, regardless of their origin, equalist beliefs have also now established themselves as an elite status marker, which means that high IQ people with less PC beliefs are the real Clever Sillies.

If you say politically incorrect things among educated people, you are less sensitive to social incentives.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

But politically correct ideas about race and gender originate in social emotions about group solidarity and equality, not run-away, mind-blind abstraction.

Which is why PC whites make a big deal about how civic conscious they are by doing such things as recycling, putting "Save Darfur" stickers on their cars, and attending school board meetings.

Anonymous said...

O.K. I think I got it.

Clever sillies parrot those politically correct positions in order to get laid. Now it makes sense.

Anonymous said...


Bruce G. Charlton, academic and editor in chief of the journal Medical Hypotheses, has previously described the perceived tendency for people of high intelligence to lack common sense, a consequence of ignoring instinctive reactions ("gut feelings" in the vernacular):


In a homogeneous society (single race) where there are very few physical risks from the environment, one has to be very attuned to social risks and being aware of transgression against societal norms. They could get you burned at the stake.

So, I think that BGC is taking a simplistic approach to things.

Whites (and East Asians) evolved in an environment where being very much attuned to the social norms was important, and Whites and East Asians have lived in complex societies for a long time.

However, the environment has changed, and being able to thread the eye of the racism needle has not been selected for for long enough.

Don't worry however, because it is happening.

Of course, in China they don't need to worry about this shit.

Anonymous said...

Jason Malloy said


Of course, regardless of their origin, equalist beliefs have also now established themselves as an elite status marker, which means that high IQ people with less PC beliefs are the real Clever Sillies.

If you say politically incorrect things among educated people, you are less sensitive to social incentives.


Indeed. Selection is likely operating to produce individuals who can parrot the socially (politically) correct line while correctly assessing things.

bgc said...

First of all thanks very much to the Audacious Epigone for his first shot at testing this idea.

Jason misrepresents my description of Clever Sillies - it has nothing top do with 'autism' (in the loose sense of an inability to feel emotions).

I said: "my suggested explanation for this association between intelligence and personality is that an increasing relative level of IQ brings with it a tendency differentially to over-use general intelligence in problem-solving, and to over-ride those instinctive and spontaneous forms of evolved behaviour which could be termed common sense."

(I use 'common sense' as shorthand for the spontaneous behaviours of evolved social intelligence.)

I think it is the tendency to over-use general intelligence and over-ride common sense specifically in relation to 'social intelligence' (social and psychological interpretations and explanations) which opens some higher IQ people to infinite error.

There is one common sense (i.e. natural, spontaneous) social intelligence explanation, but an infinite number of alternative explanations.

Once turn away from the natural and spontaneous with respect to social and psychological phenomena, and there are an infinite number of ways of being wrong.

PC culture is continually generating alternative non-common sensical explanations for social and psychological phenomena, and this can go on forever.

Has science, has culture, has anybody got the ability or time to test all of the endless stream of alternative psycho-social explanations for their rational consistency and predictive consistency? Of course not! The process can continue forever.

Jason has encountered this is relation to intelligence - the spontaneous common sense view is that people differ in intelligence (and personality) and that people resemble their parents in intelligence and personality (because these are significantly inherited from parents).

(Obviously the common sense, social intelligence view is not expressed so abstractly as this! But it is spontaneous to see behavioural differences between people, and to look at ancestral relatives as sources of these differences.)

Once the decision to reject the common sense has been made, once elites have decided that it is dumb and low status to accept the promptings of common-sensical social intelligence; there can be an unending stream of alternative non-common-sensical 'explanations' for the social phenomena which are straightforwardly explained in terms of hereditary intelligence and personality - none of which are as coherent, consistent or predictive as the common sense view, but none of which hang around for long before being replaced with another alternative non-common-sensical explanation.

It is precisely the fact that they are non-intuitive which gives these ideas their appeal for the elite.

This is nothing to do with autism (so called - and the term 'autism' is being hideously misused at present - have the people using it so widely ever encountered a real autistic person?). For higher IQ people, social intelligence is (or may be) fully retained, but is not being used in specific situations. Instead of using social intelligence on psycho-social phenomena, psycho-social phenomena are treated as abstract problems, to be dealt with using general intelligence.

It is essentially about using one psychological system in preference to another - i.e. about using the mechanism/s 'general intelligence' (abstract - content indifferent, systematic) in preference to the social intelligence mechanisms which evolved to deal with other human beings.

Bruce G Charlton

Jason Malloy said...

"Jason misrepresents my description of Clever Sillies - it has nothing top do with 'autism' (in the loose sense of an inability to feel emotions)."

Bruce, the Baron-Cohen interpretation of autistic spectrum traits is my own understanding of the systematizing-related social deficits you are describing. I apologize if these beliefs distorted the summary of yours, which can simply be rephrased as:

"Bruce's essay says that politically correct ideas are the result of the high IQ elite having [systematizing-related social deficits], which prevent social scientists and other elites from true insight into human behavior."

There are many things I do not accept in this model.

* To the extent that social skills have been measured, higher IQ people have equal to higher social skills (e.g. more friends), not lower.

* Sociological questions/topics are overwhelmingly much more complex than what can be determined by basic social intuitions. e.g. being a good salesman doesn't give you much insight into the relationship between crime and recessions, or the efficacy of parenting styles, or the cause of suicide. These topics are very difficult and counter-intuitive, and are not explained by "common sense".

* Sociology is a soft science and sociological questions are basically unresolved, leaving a lot of latitude for generous doubts and politically expedient beliefs. Wrongness is more likely to come from the inherent difficulty of the questions or naked political biases than lack of keen social intuitions.

* Elite sociological biases do not manifest themselves in self-harming social behaviors (indicating intelligence has prevented them from manipulating and understanding others). For example a professional might claim that poor black children are no more violent than white children (to gain status among peers), and then bend over backwards to make sure their own children attend a "safe" private school.

* Elite sociological biases are targeted around a specific class of related topics (hereditary inequality), while Clever Sillies theory predicts a general sociological bias. Indeed, smarter people are otherwise more accurate in their sociological intuitions.

bgc said...

No Jason - read the paper. I am not talking about deficits at all. There is no postulated deficit in social intelligence in high IQ people. The hypothesis is that high IQ people are not _using_ their social inteligence where it would be adaptive. If high IQ people do use and attend to their social intelligence then it works fine. But I am saying that they biased towards reinterpreting psychosocial problems in abstract terms.

bgc said...

Let me explicate further - I am a prime example of a clever silly.

I have at some point in my life held most of the clever silly 'ism' ideas that were in circulation about people and society.

Yet my social intelligence is well above average - for example, I scored near the maximum in Baron Cohen's 'eyes' test. I can read social situations well (although I am not very interested by them.)

The problem was that I routinely over-rode the promptings of my social intelligence, and instead applied abstract analysis to defend or generate an endless parade of cleverly wrong ideas.

Indeed the capacity to perform this over-ride - the generation and defense of counter-intuitive explanations - was a major source of intellectual pride. It seemed to prove I had transcended the commonplace, the unthinkingly spontaneous.

My contention is that this disposition of mine is actually characteristic of intellectuals as a class - although there are, of course, exceptions.

Jason Malloy said...

"No Jason - read the paper. I am not talking about deficits at all. There is no postulated deficit in social intelligence in high IQ people. The hypothesis is that high IQ people are not _using_ their social inteligence where it would be adaptive."

Must a deficit be physiological? You describe the behavior as probably innate and maladaptive.

If I choose to never open my eyes, that is a behavioral-based blindness. You are describing a behavioral social blindness.

Audacious Epigone said...

TUJ,

So the dogooders are true believers, then? Seems to me that their private actions contradict that assessment.

All groups compete for status with their peers, but when it comes to HBD, SWPL competitions are not just unempirical, they're anti-empirical. It's not easy to spin epicycle after epicycle like they do when it comes to obvious HBD-related issues.

Xenophon,

I interpreted the word "crime" in this sentence to be synonymous with "felony", not "misdemeanor". Based on the high rates of agreement among both groups, it appears that nearly all respondents interpreted it in the same way. That intelligent people were more likely to agree with the statement is not surprising to me--"snitches get stitches" is a prole-ish code to live by.

If common misdemeanors are included, though, you're right--that changes my assessment of the question.

Re: morality, it's the carpe diem of the masses vs the universalistic humanism of the smarties. Seems to me the putative moral relativism of elites is oversold by cultural conservatives. Exploitation, racism, greed, domestic abuse, animal cruelty, etc are much more black-and-white in the eyes of the smarties than they are in the perspective of the masses.

Re: the question on traditional mom or Mr. Dad, yes, I'm comfortable in asserting that, ceteris paribus, a nuclear family is better off if the man focuses primarily on providing and the woman holds down the domestic front and is the primary caregiver of the couple's children.

Re: the question on affirmative action in literature, the nature of the question insinuates that the respondent is to choose what is better for the consuming public--the most meritorious novels or those written by the right kinds of people (ie, are you more moved by Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments or Rich's poetry?) Most people who enjoy reading are going to derive more pleasure from reading the best stuff available than they are from knowing Cornell West wrote it (especially people of middling intelligence).

Anonymous said...


For example, I believe Adrienne Rich is a bad poet whose work has been pushed for political reasons, but I can't make the intellectual leap to conclude that those who disagree with me are lacking common sense.


Yes, I have only found one of Rich's poems that I liked (Auntie's Tiger(s)), but that is because it resonates with specific aspects of my childhood.

However, I really only find one of Frost's poems to be any good, and it is not The Road Never Taken, and only one of Whitman's (O Captain, my Captain). All the rest of Whitman's poetry seems rather pedestrian. Not at all like Shakespeare.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

So the dogooders are true believers, then? Seems to me that their private actions contradict that assessment.

During the Medieval Ages actual infanticide was a routine practice among devout Christians despite the "thou shalt not kill" stuff involved in Christian theology.

Behaving in contradiction to one's stated beliefs is a long and storied feature of human nature.

SWPL competitions are not just unempirical, they're anti-empirical.

When have large groups of humans (including the smarter groups) ever been consistently empirical?

It's not easy to spin epicycle after epicycle like they do when it comes to obvious HBD-related issues.

The ease of answering that question depends on how capable people are of believing conflicting ideas at the same time.

The Man said...

In my experience where the high IQ folk, the overthinkers are at a disadvantage is for spur of the moment decisions.

"Hey, let's go the black club in the worst part of town, what could possibly go wrong?"

"But black men are hot!"

I actually had a high IQ kid working for me in a restaurant I managed in the eighties who I kept finding attempting to work out his job functions mathematically, on paper, instead of just doing them. For instance I found him graphing the most efficient way to sweep a 10' by 20' foot floor, while I, the probably overly practical type came out, booted him in the ass, tore up the scrap of paper pointed to a corner and bellowed "start over here with these paper scraps and sweep until you hit the wall pointdexter."

A person that ignores their 'inner nudgings' has very little defense from the true dangers of this world. The truly sad thing is that our alleged institutions of higher learning are now unteaching our children and putting them in appreciable danger.

Anonymous said...

"Scientists often pry into things they ought to leave alone."

I'm glad to learn that the (self-described) "smarties" are now in favor of all that nuclear stuff they used to decry. I wonder if Hallmark makes a "I was stupid 'cause I was smart--I'm sorry!" card.

With the popularity among "smarties" of Red & Green anti-vivisection, anti-science, and anti-technology the "Scientists often pry into things they ought to leave alone" should have elicited close to 90% not 5.1%.

Audacious Epigone said...

Anon,

I'm not sure that's the case.

Xenophon Hendrix said...

>"It is better for a man to work and a woman to take care of home."

You are trying to measure sense. You say "ceteris paribus"--all other things equal--the statement is clearly correct.

I look at that statement, and I say that it is so broad that it's hard to agree with it. There will seldom be real-world situations when all other things are equal in this case. For instance, is being a homemaker really the best use of a smart woman's time? What about the women who go stir crazy? Is it better for the family if mom is on the verge of flipping out? Our current situation where middle-class women feel they have to work is bad, but so was the pre-1970 situation where middle-class women felt they needed to stay home. One size does not fit all.

Furthermore, consider the strong case that Judith Rich Harris makes about parents: Once they provide a decent environment, they can't do a whole lot to influence how their kids turn out. If Harris is right, this is a case where common sense notions are wrong. Should a woman with a 140 IQ be pressured to stay home with her children on the chance that she can add a small amount of value? If she wants to do so, fine, but can you honestly say it would be better for her to do so? We want smart women to have more children. They are more likely to do so if they don't feel guilty about having them while pursuing a career.

This question probably is measuring political correctness in part, but I suspect it is also measuring in a lot a people the idea that human experience is far too broad for it to be a good generalization.

Audacious Epigone said...

Xenophon,

Good points, all of them. Again, I think the issue rests on interpretation of the question. Although it is not explicitly articulated, I presume most people read it as if earning power, personal fulfillment in work and/or homemaking, etc of the man and woman are equal, and as respondents are being asked whether or not they think behavioral tendencies (biological, cultural, and otherwise) influence men and women in different ways.

Robert Wiblin said...

If you're going to concede that the scientific nature of astrology is an empirical issue unassociated with common sense it seems hard to maintain that either of these empirical questions has an obvious common sense answer:

"Blacks do worse in life because of their innate inability to
learn as much as whites."

"Poor schools are an important reason why there are poor people in the US"

You say that the common sense position is to say that blacks are genetically inferior and that bad schools do not matter. I don't see how that is common sense at all.

Audacious Epigone said...

Robert,

The perception of inferiority is inherently subjective.

Re: astrology vs. differences in average intelligence and the influence of the school environment on material prosperity, the former is not routinely encountered, while the latter two are observed in most people's day-to-day lives.

Robert Wiblin said...

The lower socioeconomic status of blacks is observed, but the cause itself, genetic or otherwise, is not. I'm agnostic as to the cause, but I don't see how either is the common sense one.

In the post you say that the common sense position is the schools don't matter, but in your comment you suggest that it does.

Audacious Epigone said...

Robert,

I meant that re: schools, people routinely see how all the cliched educrat solutions to improving scholastic results don't work. A 12-minute wonderlic test administered to an 8th grader will tell you more about his capabilities than any increase in access to pedagogical resources, instructor attention, model UNs, etc will.

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.