Asian Americans: Achievement beyond IQ

By James R. Flynn | Go to book overview

4
Measuring the Gap Between IQ and Achievement

Those accustomed to the assumption that group IQ and group achievement go together may need some advance evidence that Chinese and Japanese Americans really do outachieve White Americans. To anticipate, Chinese and Japanese American children born between 1945 and 1949 outperformed Whites at school. Only half as many lagged a grade or more behind their age group, 95% eventually graduated from high school as compared to under 89% of Whites. At least 50% of them took the Scholastic Aptitude Test, as compared to less than 30% of Whites, and despite this they matched White performance. They maintained the same 5 to 3 ratio when undertaking graduate study. In their early 30s, the Chinese American cohorts outnumbered Whites in high status occupations by 55% to 34%, the Japanese cohorts outnumbered Whites by 46% to 34%.

This extraordinary record of achievement will be detailed but first, we must undertake a task of measurement. Marvelling over Chinese and Japanese achievement leads nowhere except to escalating emotion. The first step to understanding is to quantify the Chinese and Japanese American IQ/ achievement gaps and a prerequisite to that is deriving best estimates of the mean IQ of these two groups. The 16 IQ studies existent force us to focus on the post-war generation. Some studies are more reliable or more relevant to that generation than others and therefore, all studies must be ranked in those terms. Some of the best studies give IQ data only for "Orientals", do not distinguish between Chinese and Japanese, and therefore can only contribute toward global estimates for the two groups taken together. This poses the question of whether the same estimates can serve for Chinese and Japanese taken separately, or whether we must posit a certain mean IQ for Chinese Americans and another mean IQ for Japanese Americans.


RANKING IQ STUDIES

Most studies have been assigned a status of 1 to 4 going from most to least reliable. Status 1 was reserved for where a representative nationwide sample

-61-

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Asian Americans: Achievement beyond IQ
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • The Ice Ages and the Sino-Japanese Brain 1
  • 2 - The Three Great National Surveys 16
  • 3 - Eleven Studies from Various Locales 32
  • 4 - Measuring the Gap Between IQ and Achievement 61
  • 5 - The Two Factors of Overachievement 78
  • 6 - The Probable and the Tentative 102
  • 7 - Beyond Genes and Iq 112
  • 8 - Epilogue Setting the Record Straight 140
  • Appendix A Matarazzo's Data (from P. 69) 142
  • Appendix B Key Values for the Sat (from P. 85) 144
  • References 147
  • Author Index 156
  • Subject Index 160
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