linkfest – 03/11/12

Why the British are free-thinking and the Chinese love conformity: It’s all in the genes claim scientists“The study, by the department of psychology at Northwestern University in Illinois, suggests that the individualism seen in western nations, and the higher levels of collectivism and family loyalty found in Asian cultures, are caused by differences in the prevalence of particular genes. ‘We demonstrate for the first time a robust association between cultural values of individualism–collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene,’ said Joan Chiao, from the department of psychology at Northwestern University.” — i know. it’s the daily mail. but it looks like the research will be coming out in the proceedings of the royal society: “Culture-gene coevolution of individualism-collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR)” [in press]. see comments.

Insects have personality too, research on honey bees indicates“A new study in Science suggests that thrill-seeking is not limited to humans and other vertebrates. Some honey bees, too, are more likely than others to seek adventure. The brains of these novelty-seeking bees exhibit distinct patterns of gene activity in molecular pathways known to be associated with thrill-seeking in humans….”

Heart disease drug ‘combats racism’“Volunteers given the beta-blocker, used to treat chest pains and lower heart rates, scored lower on a standard psychological test of ‘implicit’ racist attitudes.” – explain to me again about free will?

Strong Family Ties Reduce Trust Of Non-Family — from parapundit. here’s the original research article: Do Strong Family Ties Inhibit Trust? [pdf]

Sexual selection and small female feet – from the inductivist.

Puzzle of European hair and eye color“Hair and eye color diversity is unusual in two ways. It’s confined to Europeans. And it seems to be linked to prenatal feminization.” – why? from peter frost.

Get Smart – from greg cochran @west hunter.

Rebuttal to Richard Lynn’s Reply — new iq study from italy suggests southern iqs are not lower than northern ones. (i’m a bit worried about the “group sessions” though — hope there was no answer sharing going on!). — @italianthro blog.

New study shows that in US ‘hot spots,’ HIV infection among African-American women is 5-times higher than national estimate“Women constitute roughly one-quarter of new HIV infections in the U.S. with 66% of these infections occurring among black women, despite the fact that black women constitute only 14% of the U.S. female population.”

bonus: Brown bear exfoliates using rock as a tool – tool using bears. we’re in trouble!

bonus bonus: Oldest organism with skeleton discovered in Australia

(note: comments do not require an email. on academia. (~_^) )

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37 Comments

  1. “We demonstrate for the first time a robust association between cultural values of individualism–collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene,’ ”

    I could have told them that. But it’s only ‘true’ when the voice of legitimacy says it!

    Reply

  2. Rebuttal to Richard Lynn’s Reply article:
    Moreover, the children in our group were selected for other research purposes, and did not include children with socio-cultural disadvantage or other type of behavioral or cognitive problems.

    Controlling for “socio-cultural disadvantage” and “cognitive problems” is basically controlling for IQ.

    The average age in both studies is also rather low. Considering heritability increases with age, it would be ideal to test the subjects IQ’s in their late teens.

    Reply

  3. @b.b. – “Controlling for ‘socio-cultural disadvantage’ and ‘cognitive problems’ is basically controlling for IQ.”

    very good point. thnx!

    Reply

  4. My big question about the “anti-racism” drug study: Why were they even testing a beta-blocker on healthy individuals to see if it “combats racism”. Also, do we even know of the Implicit Associations Test (IAT), which they supposedly used to measure “racism” is even valid? Honestly, this is probably the same group of people who would claim, with a straight face, that IQ tests are culturally biased pseudoscience.

    Reply

  5. @georgia resident – “Why were they even testing a beta-blocker on healthy individuals to see if it ‘combats racism’.”

    well, i think it’s interesting to test these sorts of things in these sorts of ways ’cause it just goes to show (maybe) that waaaaycism is not just a “cultural” thing — there’s some biochemistry at the bottom of it.

    however, i read a bit about the test somewhere — i think it was on the occidental observer — and, apparently, only white folks were tested (’cause we’re the only racist people, of course (~_^) ). i’d like to see similar tests done on some other groups as well.

    @georgia resident – “Also, do we even know of the Implicit Associations Test (IAT), which they supposedly used to measure ‘racism’ is even valid?”

    that’s a good question. i don’t know.

    i took the online harvard implicit associations test a long time ago and it told me that i have a slight bias in favor of black people, so there you go. (^_^) (i didn’t find that result too surprising ’cause i certainly don’t feel like i have a strong, personal bias against black people. i mean, i don’t go around hating black people.)

    Reply

  6. Is this serotonin study different than the one Chaio did in 2010, with exactly the same title? Very odd the DM is reporting it as ‘upcoming’

    Reply

  7. uh
    “I could have told them that. But it’s only ‘true’ when the voice of legitimacy says it!”

    Quite :)

    .
    hbdchick

    “Strong Family Ties Reduce Trust Of Non-Family”

    and

    “Why the British are free-thinking and the Chinese love conformity: It’s all in the genes claim scientists”

    Looks like you’re winning ;)

    Also the unsurprising Asian connection in a lot of this research. People will naturally be interested in this stuff because they’re interested in themselves and why people are the way they are. Western scientists would have been doing this kind of research – admittedly more shakily without DNA – since the 1920s if they hadn’t been put in check by Boas et al but now it’s been transmitted beyond the control of the Boasian geocentrists and their inquisition the journey back to reality could be very quick and possibly quick enough to at least save themselves from the same mistakes.

    Reply

  8. re: honey bees having personalities. Having worked with bees off and on for 25 years, I can anecdotally say that bees have at least “moods” if not “personalities”. Saturday, the sun was shining, mid 60 degree temps, one hive was calm one hour and ‘pissed off’ three hours later. (Checking brood and honey levels, as well as destroying queen cups, the first visit. Feeding sugar water 2 or 3 hours later.) There are always 10 or 15 ‘over achievers’ who might follow you 15 to 20 yards after the hive is closed, etc.

    My brother-in-law and I just introduced two Russian queens into two Italian hives last fall. The darker hybrids (Russian queen is very dark) are somewhat more aggressive than their Italian counterparts! (Oh, wait, those are human characteristics as well!)

    Apparently this study took place over two years. I’m still interested to find out more on how they determined scouting (for instance, whether the hives swarmed with the glutamate or octopamine treatment, or whether the researchers developed some sort of distance/action test for “scouting” – in which case they’d have to have some pretty fancy tracking equipment.)

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/335/6073/1225.figures-only

    Reply

  9. @skarphedin – “Is this serotonin study different than the one Chaio did in 2010, with exactly the same title?”

    hmmm. i dunno. i’m the one who got the title of the study from her webpage which says that it’s “in press” (i just assumed it must be that one), but like you say, that was the one that was already published in 2010. dunno if there’s another one coming out, or just the dm being retarded. or me being retarded! (~_^)

    Reply

  10. I wonder if our friend Italianthro deliberately makes leaving comments to his blog difficult? Anyway, I’ll post my response to him here: ;)

    I think your standards for evidence are a bit loose.

    1. Tests like the PISA and the SAT (particularly the old SAT) are measures of IQ. That was the whole point of the original SAT! In fact, they are pretty pure measures of crystallized g. Sections of the WISC/WAIS that measure accumulated knowledge are among the most g-loaded and least impacted by the Flynn effect.

    2. In the early days of internet IQ testing, the tests were less valid because of the restriction of sampling (they tended to have higher average IQs). This is problem has been largely ameliorated thanks to many more people taking such tests, giving the tests much more reliability. In any case, the internet scores would certainly be insightful because the subjects in the different part of Italy were all taking the same test. And then there’s the fact that the scores agree with both the PISA and data from other IQ tests.

    3. The precise way to apply a Flynn correction is somewhat unclear. But even so, we are talking about only a few IQ points, and this is not enough to account for the nearly one standard deviation gap between extreme northern and southern Italy.

    4. I haven’t been able to access Taddei & Naglieri’s data, but I’d like to see how they selected their sample and the ages their subjects were tested, as the heritability of IQ increases with age.

    5. And biggest of all, if even if we ignore the significance of “group session” testing (and assuming this doesn’t mean compromised scores), D’Amico et al. clearly stated that their Sicilian sample was a select group and clearly unrepresentative of the Sicilian population (“the children in our group were selected for other research purposes, and did not include children with socio-cultural disadvantage or other type of behavioral or cognitive problems”). They even note that previous samples, like Cornoldi’s, were intended to be representative (and included those pesky “children with socio-cultural disadvantage or other type of behavioral or cognitive problems.”) Maybe one day they’ll get past the sociologists’ fallacy.

    Of course, most of these points were just rehashing of points critics of Lynn made earlier, for which Lynn himself had responded to in the paper they’re attacking. Of course, nevermind that northern and southern Italians differ not only in IQ, but on numerous measures including real world outcomes. Nevermind that many of these measures correlate to significant differences in the historical paths taken by northern and southern Italians. You’re fighting a losing battle against an ever increasing mountain of evidence for innate differences between the people of the various regions of modern Italy.

    .
    Maybe he’ll see it, and maybe not… ;)

    Reply

  11. “Why the British are free-thinking and the Chinese love conformity: It’s all in the genes claim scientists”

    So now we have even more proof of genetic differences between racial groups that have been found to be linked to behavior? How can anyone continue to deny HBD at this point? I’m rather surprised that this study seems to have been released to little fanfare, and that something so significant could have seemingly slipped under the radar…

    Reply

  12. @jayman – “I’m rather surprised that this study seems to have been released to little fanfare, and that something so significant could have seemingly slipped under the radar…”

    could be that the daily mail, for some strange reason (’cause it’s a cr*ppy tabloid??), is reporting a story from a couple of years ago. *facepalm* or maybe chaio, et. al., have got something new coming out. i dunno. but it’s NOT the article “in press” that i have in the post — that one’s from 2010 (my bad!). thnx to skarphedin for pointing that out. (^_^)

    Reply

  13. On why the British are free-thinking, here was an interesting comment:

    “Thanks to genetics we are discovering how many false myths can be exposed and replaced by a real understanding of the dynamics of different societies. I’m waiting for geneticists to discover why it is that across the world among people of broadly similar intelligence, only one relatively small group seems to be blessed with the ‘originality and inventiveness’ gene. These are the people who have lead the way in the scientific/creative developments which have changed the world we live in, and provided inspiration for others. If there was any justice they would earn praise and undying gratitude, but paradoxically they are vilified and condemned as oppressors of humanity instead, even among themselves! Their obvious over-abundance of the altruism gene must be the reason, and may well lead to their eventual extinction?”

    Reply

  14. Speaking of the “originality and inventiveness gene,” does anyone think Askenazis are relatively (or maybe even absolutely) underrepresented in those “scientific/creative developments” that have changed the world we live in?

    I’m referring to “practical inventions” here, the kinds you get patents for, as opposed to theoretical breakthroughs in our general understanding: what Franklin, Faraday, Ampere, Ohm, Volta, and Hertz did for instance as opposed to what Maxwell and Einstein achieved. (Let’s leave soft-ware out of the equation since we know the score there.)

    I’m wondering whether the Ashkenazi mind might be relatively biased towards theory? Not that there is anything wrong with that. I love theory myself.

    Reply

  15. Let me clarify on relatively and absolutely. By relatively I mean relative to their major achievements on the theoretical side. By absolutely I mean relative to their share of the general population.

    So, if, say, they composed three percent of the population but produced less than three percent of the major inventions (however you want to count them) then that would mean they were absolutely underrepresented. But if it were only in comparison to the number of their theoretical achievements then that would mean relatively.

    I don’t mean to hijack the discussion so maybe we should leave it til another time.

    Reply

  16. I’ve read that Ashkenazi intelligence skews towards verbal intelligence over, for example, spatial intelligence. This might explain why there are so many great Jewish theoreticians in physics, while Ashkenazi Jews do not seem to be as notably distinguished in engineering, which heavily applies those theories.

    By contrast, East Asian intelligence skews heavily to spatial intelligence over verbal. Incidentally, I can’t think off the top of my head of any particularly great East Asian mathematical or scientific theoreticians. I can think of important Indo-Aryan and Arab theoreticians, but not that many Chinese or Japanese theoreticians (at least prior to the 20th century). And yet there’re plenty of East Asians in engineering, which requires the ability to apply theories from both fields. Perhaps the East Asian intelligence profile lends itself more to practical application than theory?

    It could also explain, partially, why Asians tend towards greater conformity than Europeans, while Ashkenazi Jews are famously argumentative compared to other Europeans. Argumentation just doesn’t lend itsef to East Asian intellectual strengths, but lends itself perfectly to Jewish intellectual strengths.

    Reply

  17. @wes – “re: honey bees having personalities. Having worked with bees off and on for 25 years, I can anecdotally say that bees have at least ‘moods’ if not ‘personalities’…. There are always 10 or 15 ‘over achievers’ who might follow you 15 to 20 yards after the hive is closed, etc.”

    it’s not at all surprising that insects have personalities — in fact, i think it’s pretty predictable if one thinks about evolution for half a second. i mean, this is the whole point of natural selection — without variety, there wouldn’t be anything for natural selection to work on, so obviously there is variety.

    i’ve noticed different personalities in foraging birds — you know, when they’re running around on the ground eating insects or seeds or whatever the heck it is they’re eating. if you watch a bunch for long enough, you’ll see that some work the ground methodically, going back and forth and back and forth in very regular patterns. others really seem to be “scatter-brained” and zig-zag all over the place, running from one location to another whenever they spot a delicious looking morsel. and some are way out on the fringes of the group, pushing the boundaries of the search area (the contrarians (~_^) ), while the majority sticks closer to the center of the group. personalities! (^_^)

    Reply

  18. @jayman – “I wonder if our friend Italianthro deliberately makes leaving comments to his blog difficult?”

    i wrote a comment on italianthro’s blog (about the group work issue), and then i realized that you have to sign into google or open id or something, so i skipped it. can’t be bothered.

    Reply

  19. @jayman – “D’Amico et al. clearly stated that their Sicilian sample was a select group and clearly unrepresentative of the Sicilian population (‘the children in our group were selected for other research purposes, and did not include children with socio-cultural disadvantage or other type of behavioral or cognitive problems’)….”

    yes, b.b. caught that, too! that pretty much invalidates their testing right there. if your samples aren’t random and representative, then what’s the point?

    i posted a link to italianthro’s post because i do want to keep an open mind about the north-south italian (and the spanish, btw) iq question. but this article certainly does not demonstrate that there are no differences between the two groups.

    Reply

  20. @luke – “I don’t mean to hijack the discussion so maybe we should leave it til another time.”

    digressions are always allowed here on the hbd chick blog! i sometimes think that online discussions that go completely off-track are the most interesting ones. (^_^)

    (exception: if the same off-topic discussion is brought up repeatedly on multiple comments threads. we’ll have none of that, thankuverymuch!)

    Reply

  21. @luke – “On why the British are free-thinking, here was an interesting comment:

    “‘Their obvious over-abundance of the altruism gene must be the reason, and may well lead to their eventual extinction?'”

    yes, i saw that comment! i thought that maybe i should invite that person over here. (^_^)

    Reply

  22. @luke – “Speaking of the ‘originality and inventiveness gene,’ does anyone think Askenazis are relatively (or maybe even absolutely) underrepresented in those ‘scientific/creative developments’ that have changed the world we live in? I’m referring to ‘practical inventions’ here, the kinds you get patents for, as opposed to theoretical breakthroughs in our general understanding… I’m wondering whether the Ashkenazi mind might be relatively biased towards theory?”

    that’s my impression as well (at least that they are relatively underrepresented in practical fields), but it would’ve been nice to have that quantified one way or another.

    i think a lot of ashkenazi jews, themselves, have this impression, too. i used to work for this jewish guy (ashkenazi jew) and one of his clients, another ashkenazi jew, was over once and they got to talking (with me as part of the conversation) about how impractical jews were. (^_^) i didn’t really know that (or know that stereotype) at the time. and my boss, who was a very funny guy — of course! — commented that it was like that old joke: what does a jew do when he’s got a flat tire? buy a new car. (~_^)

    (the implication was not that jews have a lot of money or anything like that, but that they wouldn’t know how to change a flat tire — that was the whole point of the conversation, that jews are not very practical.)

    Reply

  23. @georgia resident – “I’ve read that Ashkenazi intelligence skews towards verbal intelligence over, for example, spatial intelligence…. By contrast, East Asian intelligence skews heavily to spatial intelligence over verbal.”

    yes, i’ve read that, too. i wish there was more discussion of these things in hbd circles ’cause, hey!, that human biodiversity after all! (^_^)

    the chatter about iq is always about g and how if your iq is high in one area it’ll be relatively high in other areas, too. ok, fine. but what about these other differences that seem to be present as well? i wanna know more about those!

    Reply

  24. It’s so cute how JayMan has deluded himself into believing that his opinions are relevant. Of course, achievement tests like PISA are not IQ tests, correlation is not causality, and Lynn’s various estimates, calculations, corrections and adjustments are not reliable. These facts have been stated and restated again and again in countless published sources, including the new study linked-to in this blog post.

    It’s true that the first test uses a less representative sample of Sicilians, to which the authors attribute their higher score. However, the representative Cornoldi samples that they’re compared to include other Southerners who score the same as the Northerners. Also, in the second test the samples are equivalent, and Southerners still score slightly higher than Northerners.

    In any case, there’s no evidence whatsoever of “innate differences between the people of the various regions of modern Italy” when it comes to either intelligence or achievement. In fact, the evidence points quite clearly to environment as the primary cause of unequal “real world outcomes” between Northern and Southern Italy:

    http://italianthro.blogspot.com/2011/11/geography-and-north-south-disparities.html

    http://italianthro.blogspot.com/2011/12/resources-and-industry-in-the-north.html

    P.S. I had to disallow anonymous comments on my blog because of spam, but all you need is a Gmail, Yahoo or WordPress account, which most people already have.

    Reply

  25. hbd chick: “another ashkenazi jew was over once and they got to talking (with me as part of the conversation) about how impractical jews were. . .”

    While the British are famous for their empiricism and the Americans for their pragmatism. Even so the Germans and to a lesser extent the French were right in there in the patent sweepstakes. The internal combustion engine was largely a German development (Otto, Diesel) as was a lot of industrial chemistry. OTH an Ashkenazie pioneered the production of synthetic fertilizer, which is about as consequential as you can get!

    Reply

  26. @italianthro – “P.S. I had to disallow anonymous comments on my blog because of spam….”

    if you ever consider changing blog platforms, wordpress has a good spam filter. (^_^)

    Reply

  27. A lot of the relevant research on Jewish cognitive patterns seems to have been in the late 60s and early 70s and not much subsequently. Google Stodolsky and Lesser.

    The Jewish pattern is mainly interesting, to me, I think because most of the research on spatial and mathematical IQ shows that high mathematical ability with relatively low spatial ability doesn’t really happen in a general population – usually spatial and math skills are highly correlated. So it’s interesting how they are doing it, if they are doing it.

    Amerinds supposedly have a performance led IQ pattern, but I’m not sure they have a much more technologically impressive pattern (or better accomplishment) than we’d expect. Mongolians apparently tend to hit above Chinese level abilities on spatial and performance skills, with very low verbal abilities, but don’t seem particularly impressive with math or engineering (compound bows and yurts aren’t that nice and Mongolia is not hitting the big time in terms of engineering).

    I’d guess spatial ability itself, freed from its correlations with math ability, has a kind of threshold characteristic where you need a certain amount of it, but having more than that doesn’t really matter, net of any boosts to math ability it tends to come with. Decomposing spatially complex objects into components maybe is not that hard, although it may make things slower.

    In terms of practical stuff, Jews are pretty amazing in medicine – Ehrlich, for example. Uzi submachine guns are nice. There don’t seem many on wiki’s lists of engineers though. Israel has good engineering, but maybe not outstanding engineering – perhaps some of the math ability is being bottlenecked through a narrow spatial bandwidth.

    Reply

  28. @Italianthro:

    Everything I’ve posted in my response to you are facts, as has been demonstrated to you previously numerous times.

    “Of course, achievement tests like PISA are not IQ tests”

    In this capacity they are. You can continue to wish that away, but it’s not going to change anything.

    “correlation is not causality”

    Of course. You’d do well to remember that when you invoke the sociologists’ fallacy.

    “Lynn’s various estimates, calculations, corrections and adjustments are not reliable. These facts have been stated and restated again and again in countless published sources, including the new study linked-to in this blog post.”

    They can continue to repeat the same mistakes, they were wrong before, they are wrong now, and they haven’t offered anything new other than the sociologist’s fallacy and the “IQ tests should be administered by a trained psychologist” bit.

    “It’s true that the first test uses a less representative sample of Sicilians, to which the authors attribute their higher score”

    And there you go.

    “However, the representative Cornoldi samples that they’re compared to include other Southerners who score the same as the Northerners. Also, in the second test the samples are equivalent, and Southerners still score slightly higher than Northerners.”

    I’d like to see more information on how they obtained their samples and the ages they were tested before I’d sign off on that one.

    “In any case, there’s no evidence whatsoever of “innate differences between the people of the various regions of modern Italy” when it comes to either intelligence or achievement.”

    Nope. Just what we’ve been talking about since the beginning of this discussion. :\

    “In fact, the evidence points quite clearly to environment as the primary cause of unequal “real world outcomes” between Northern and Southern Italy”

    Actually, the environmental factors are interesting in an historical context. But in light of HBD chick’s hypothesis about the evolution of Europeans since the Middle Ages, it plays into the genetic explanation (since after all, why did the different regions of Italy have such different historical paths?). Geographic factors affect the course of evolution and the culture which affects the course evolution and so on.

    Reply

  29. @jayman – “Geographic factors affect the course of evolution and the culture which affects the course evolution and so on.”

    quite so.

    Reply

  30. @matt – “A lot of the relevant research on Jewish cognitive patterns seems to have been in the late 60s and early 70s and not much subsequently. Google Stodolsky and Lesser.”

    thnx!

    @matt – “I’d guess spatial ability itself, freed from its correlations with math ability, has a kind of threshold characteristic where you need a certain amount of it, but having more than that doesn’t really matter, net of any boosts to math ability it tends to come with.”

    speaking as someone with above above average spatial skills (esp. for a girl!) and only slightly above average math skills, that makes sense. legos are a lot of fun, but it coulda been nice to be able to construct a space shuttle, too. (~_^)

    Reply

  31. Not only does JayMan believe his opinions are facts, but he now thinks that he knows better than the experts, who are all making “mistakes” according to him, and that bloggers’ pet theories are a legitimate form of evidence (no offense to HBd Chick, but let’s get real). His delusion truly knows no bounds. And since his “reply” contains nothing beyond said opinions and delusions, it requires no further comment from me. My original response stands.

    Reply

  32. In one of his blog post, Italianthro cites T. Sowell : “The climate and terrain of southern Italy contributed to its poverty”

    My reply :

    Race, John R. Baker (1974).

    “It would be wrong to suppose that civilization developed wherever the environment was genial, and failed to do so where it was not. … It has been pointed out by an authority on the Maya that their culture reached is climax in that particular part of their extensive territory in which the environment was least favourable, and in reporting this fact he mentions the belief that ‘civilizations, like individuals, respond to challenge’. [1043] … The Sumerians found no Garden of Eden awaiting them in Mesopotamia and the adjoining territory at the head of the Persian Gulf, but literally made their environment out of unpromising material by constructing an elaborate system of canals for the drainage and watering of their lands. A very large number of Aztecs and members of several other Middle American tribes lived and made their gardens on artificial islands that they themselves constructed with their hands.” (p. 528)

    Reply

  33. If you’re interested, I’m currently scanning the entire book (~600 pages). Then, I’ll upload it. I will give you the link when I finish.

    Reply

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