The g nexus: Detterman detail


It has been very hard getting intelligence research results out to the public. All researchers, whatever their subject, tend encounter the same problem: they get excited about findings which the general public don’t find interesting, or don’t understand. Researchers complain that their subject is ignored, misrepresented and on the odd occasion that it is noticed at all, the treatment is superficial, the selection of supposed experts absurd, the main points mangled

Intelligence research has experienced all of the above, and more. Researchers get thrown out of the university posts, harassed with legal challenges and cumbersome investigations, and systematically avoided by publishers and research funding bodies whenever the results are considered unwelcome.

One researcher who was given the full “ignoral” was Chris Brand. Before being consigned to the outer darkness he wrote a chapter in 1987 entitled “The importance of general intelligence” and Arthur Jensen quoted his summary in Table 9.3 (page 300) of his book “The g factor” in 1998. Brand had also written a book entitled “The g factor” in 1996, which was to have been published by Wiley, who then chose to “de-publish” it.

The list of positive and negative correlations with intelligence that Doug Detterman showed in his lecture is his updated version of Brand’s 1987 original, and as intelligence research flourishes it will continue to be updated. Any slide has to be a summary, but some of the entries were a bit too terse. Doug has provided some very brief explanations of the items readers found confusing.

“Abnormal is normal” means that the same genes that cause normal processes are the same ones involved in what we call "abnormal" conditions.  In other words, abnormality is simply the extremes of normality.

“World conservatism” refers to a score on a test of world conservatism and can be read as conservative in the common political sense of the word.

“Drop out rates” are, of course, negatively correlated with intelligence.  If  I said that, then what I should have said is that educational completion levels are positively correlated with intelligence.

For the background detail, Doug has provided a chapter he is working on.

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