Sunday, August 13, 2006

Narrowing of the white-black IQ gap?   posted by Darth Quixote @ 8/13/2006 03:07:00 AM

Some of you may have read the recent news report of a paper by William Flynn and James Flynn arguing that the white-black IQ gap has steadily narrowed over the last 30 years. I believe that this paper, as well as a rebuttal by Phillipe Rushton and Arthur Jensen, will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

Our own resident educational psychologist Alex Beajuean is analyzing these and other relevant data using a model-based approach that is more sophisticated than the techniques used by Dickens and Flynn. We may deliver a report here at GNXP when this analysis is done. In the meantime, we have made a little graph showing the results of the studies conducted during the period covered by Dickens and Flynn, including those studies that Dickens and Flynn omitted from their analysis (and that Rushton and Jensen argue should have been included):

As you can see, the gap between white and black children does indeed seem to be decreasing over time. The gap between adults, however, does not show any noticeable trend. Perhaps the adults are lagging behind a true gain by blacks as a whole, but remember also that the correlation between genotypic and phenotypic IQ increases with age. Without further analysis, I suggest simply keeping this graph in mind as we go forward.