All posts tagged: IQ

The Most Absurd Human Rights Violations (132): The Difference Between Life and Death is One IQ Point

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capital punishment / law / most absurd human rights violations

For Freddie Lee Hall, a difference of one IQ point could be the difference between life and death. Hall, 68, has been on the US state of Florida’s death row for 35 years for his involvement in the 1978 murder and sexual assault of a pregnant woman and the related murder of a deputy sheriff. Despite finding that Hall had been “mentally retarded” his entire life, a state trial court sentenced him to death by lethal injection. Today, the […]

The Causes of Poverty (73): Low IQ?

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causes of poverty / economics / poverty

This kind of reasoning is all too common: the poor are stupid and they are poor because they make stupid decisions. Unsurprisingly, it’s mostly the rich who indulge in this kind of pop-psychology, because if true it would also mean that they are wealthy because they are smart. They imagine a correlation somewhat like this: Had they cared to look up the actual data, they would have found that the rich don’t necessarily have higher […]

The Causes of Poverty (71): Poverty of Willpower and of Self-Control, Revisited

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causes of poverty / economics / poverty

(source) Almost as old as the problem of poverty itself is the story that poverty is caused by insufficient self-control and willpower. Never mind that things may just as well be the other way around: poverty drains the will. And never mind that the most famous study cited by proponents of the willpower story is apparently misleading: For the past four decades, the “marshmallow test” has served as a classic experimental measure of children’s self-control: […]

Racism (25): What Do We Know About Race?

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racism

At least the following 5 things: There are no human races in the sense of biological or genetic divisions within the human species. About 94% of genetic variation between individuals lies within so-called “racial groups” – or rather “groups which are conventionally labeled as races” on spurious grounds (for example on the basis of vague and ambiguous differences in appearances). This means that two Africans may be as genetically different from one another as an African and a European. Continued interbreeding throughout […]

The Causes of Poverty (63): Stress, Ctd.

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causes of poverty / economics / health / poverty

(source) Poor people are often blamed for their own poverty. And indeed, it’s not difficult to find anecdotal evidence of poor people doing dumb and self-destructive things. However, even if we assume – and that’s a big if – that this evidence can be confirmed by more rigorous statistical analysis, then we’re still not allowed to claim that stupidity is in general – and not just in some cases – an important cause of poverty. First, […]