Thursday, January 03, 2013

Wordsum score and age at first marriage

Respondents who are not currently nor have never been married are excluded. Not as stark a trend as I would've guessed, but it runs in the predictable direction. My guess as to why those of the most modest intelligence actually buck the it to some extent is due to a lack of prospects and very delayed emotional and psychological maturation. Only 1% of respondents failed to answer a single wordsum question correctly, so we're looking at the mentally handicapped here.

GSS variables used: AGEWED, WORDSUM, BORN(1)


IHTG said...

How does it look if you restrict it to people from specific age cohorts?

Dan said...

I have been thinking about the mentally disabled. I have been thinking that fertility may not be as dysgenic as we fear, if the very low IQ members of society (e.g. the conventionally retarded who are the dependents of their parents or an institution) are factored in. Likely the people on the very left of the curve have little fertility but are often not included because they are not integrated into society?

What do you think, Epigone? Do you have any data or ideas that would shed some light on this?

Dan said...

On a similar note, some portion what would be the left half may be lost in utero, due to the same genetic problems tied to low IQ.

I want to reconcile the so-called Flynn effect with apparently dysgenic fertility. What if we are only noticing the lower success at the right tail but not at the left tail?

Presumably right-tail individuals have a much better response rate for such surveys than left-tail individuals.

JayMan said...

Kudos on extracting useful information with the AGEWED question. Obviously, this is pretty important to some of my analysis and I've wanted to do this when I first looked at the GSS. I will have to reanalyze some of my stuff with this.

Audacious Epigone said...


Looking at those born in the US, aged 35+, and from 2000 onward, fertility looks roughly normally distributed between wordsum scores of 0-7, with 3 as the height of the peak. It keeps ticking down from 7 (and below 0) at 8, 9, and 10.

I'm not sure if the GSS interviews those with down syndrome and the like, though I'm guessing probably not because of the difficulty in completing the survey. Regarding response rates, though, the interviews are conducted in person, so that presumably helps keep the samples relatively more representative than they would be if it were conducted through mail, online, etc.

Aeoli Pera said...

No difference with respect to gender?

Audacious Epigone said...


Doesn't change much other than shifting everything downwards about 1.5 years for women and up 1.5 years for men.

Aeoli Pera said...