Demographic Change and Social Breakdown: The Role of Intelligence

By Hama, Aldric | Mankind Quarterly, Fall 1999 | Go to article overview

Demographic Change and Social Breakdown: The Role of Intelligence


Hama, Aldric, Mankind Quarterly


It is proposed that populations with a high mean general intelligence are less likely to participate in violent crime than those with low mean general intelligence. The current study determined the correlation between racial composition and cognitive ability, as measured by Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores, of college bound high school students of the 50 States and District of Columbia.- Also, the relationship between percent racial composition and rate of violent crime was examined. An overall negative correlation was found between violent crime and intelligence. Furthermore, unique racial correlates between crime and intelligence were observed. There was a positive correlation between percentage of blacks and rate of crime and a negative correlation between percentage of blacks and SAT scores. In contrast, a positive correlation was observed between percentage of whites and SAT scores and a negative correlation between percentage of whites and crime. A negative correlation was observed between percentage of Asians and SAT scores and Tate of crime. These findings suggest that intelligence and race underlie violent criminal behavior. Areas of the United States with a high concentration of blacks and almost devoid of whites, tend to have high rates of violent crime. Asian immigrants from countries other than China and Japan appear to be decreasing the traditional East Asian dominance in scholarship. Socialization to an American culture that emphasizes individualism and materialism is having a negative effect on social behavior on all American racial groups, both immigrant and native.

Key words: intelligence; racial difference; violent crime; United States

Introduction

With varying degrees of sophistication, cognitive ability has been measured by numerous methods. Tests have measured verbal and nonverbal cognitive ability, via paper and pencil or by button-pushing paradigms that measure neural efficiency (reaction speed), requiring no language or mathematical proficiency. Differences in cognitive ability have been observed between the various human races, particularly between American blacks and whites (Baker, 1974; Lynn, 1991; Rushton, 1995). Significant differences in cognitive ability have persisted ever since the administration of the first IQ test, irrespective of testing method ("culture free" tests as well as reaction speed). A significant portion of the differences are presumed to be genetically mediated, as suggested by monozygous twin and adoption studies (references in Rushton, 1995). Brain size and structure significantly differ between whites and blacks and increased "whiteness" of American blacks (increased white background) parallels an increase in intelligence approaching white levels (Baker, 1974; Rushton, 1995). Although yet-to-be-defined "environmental" influences may shape early human intelligence, biological factors (e.g. genetic) undoubtedly underlie racial differences in human intelligence.

The Scholastic Assessment (formerly "Aptitude") Test (SAT) has been previously used as a psychometric test and has been a target of selective reporting by the media.' The media have occasionally reported the SAT scores by race and highlighted the modest improvement of minorities over the previous year. When white scores have been reported, it is noted that the scores have changed little in recent years. However, the media continue to be silent on the fact that the black and white gap in SAT scores has persisted for as long as scores have been reported by race. If it is ever mentioned, the media curtly dismisses racial differences in SAT scores as due to "cultural bias."

To assess the effectiveness of educational programs designed to enhance cognitive ability, comparisons between groups are vital (e.g. children that have or have not undergone "enrichment programs" such as Headstart). However, comparisons based only on "have" and "have nots" have been used by egalitarians as justification for enacting programs and policies that help no one and harm everyone. …

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Demographic Change and Social Breakdown: The Role of Intelligence
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