Correlates of discriminatory behavior

In this post, I am going to go over a number of different predictors and correlates of discriminatory behavior and prejudiced behavior, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. The main topics discussed will be personality correlates of discrimination, cognitive functioning of people who are more discriminatory towards others, and the heritability of discrimination.

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Psilocybin, IQ, and the Stoned Ape Hypothesis

A while back, I wrote a post discussing the potential for psychedelics to increase intelligence. There are many reasons this is of particular interest. For one, we have been looking for an “IQ pill” for a long time now with no luck. The main choices are nootropics like modafinil, Adderall, etc. Unfortunately, these don’t seem to work too well. Second, there are obvious benefits to a higher IQ, particularly in the labor market (Gwern, 2016; Strenze, 2015; Salgado and Moscoso, 2019). Third, as I will talk about shortly, even a very small, but significant increase in intelligence due to psilocybin may have some interesting implications for the so-called Stoned Ape hypothesis.

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Does Cannabis Legalization Decrease Productivity?

One particular concern with cannabis legalization or drug legalization in general is that it may reduce the amount of productivity. The classic story goes like this: people use drugs, particularly cannabis which has more sedative effects than the other drugs up for consideration, and they become addicted to them, become lazier, somtimes leaving their jobs, going on welfare, etc. and getting sucked into a life of drugs. Perhaps this is a more extreme version of the argument. If so, I am also disagreeing with the moderate version. Anyways, does it hold up?

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On Single Motherhood and Crime

So, the most popular option offered by conservatives to explain race differences in crime or criminology in general is single motherhood. Some popular pundits who expunge this theory are Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell, and Charlie Kirk. Overall, this theory is strongly flawed.

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What is the proper interpretation of the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study?

The Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study was a long project dedicated to directly measuring the influence of shared environment on the racial gaps in intelligence. The original paper about it came out in 1976 and the authors hypothesized that socialization in favorable environments would significantly reduce the racial gap in IQ (Scarr and Weinberg, 1976). At that point, the data did suggest an environmentalist hypothesis regarding race differences, however it was revisited by the authors in 1992, an event which caused much more controversy regarding the results. While the authors still supported an environmentalist position (Weinberg et al., 1992), their data brought a number of replies. In this post, I am going to summarize the main arguments used by the authors and review the replies as well as the authors’ responses to those replies.

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Response to Richardson and Norgate (2015): “Does IQ Really Predict Job Performance?”

Ken Richardson is a figure in the psychometric world who has made some pretty bold claims about g, heritability, and IQ testing as a whole. Out of his many (flawed) works, there is one in particular I wished to respond to. Richardson and Norgate (2015) argue that the correlation between IQ and job performance is, at best, greatly overestimated by the pro-IQ side (figures such as Ian Deary, Richard Haier, Arthur Jensen, and most notably in the job performance debate, Frank Schmidt and John Hunter) and at worst, entirely useless. Do their arguments hold up?

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The Black Plague and European Intelligence

In this post, I want to detail some evidence as to how the ‘Black’ plague or bubonic plague caused a change in European genetic makeup, particularly that concerning intelligence. A few years ago, a study made mainstream news showing that Europeans have less susceptibility to HIV, and generally have stronger immune systems than before, because of the black plague (Laayouni et al., 2014). Now, that finding is not actually the focus of this post, but it allows the ideas within the post to become more realistic.

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