Clear Language, Clear Mind

April 14, 2018

Corvus intelligence

Filed under: Evolutionary biology,intelligence / IQ / cognitive ability — Tags: , — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 03:08

Doing a lot of background reading on animal ecology, I found this review paper:

Recent work on birds and non-human primates has shown that taxonomic differences in field measures of innovation, tool use and social learning are associated with size of the mammalian cortex and avian mesopallium and nidopallium, as well as ecological traits like colonization success. Here, I review this literature and suggest that many of its findings are relevant to hominin intelligence. In particular, our large brains and increased intelligence may be partly independent of our ape phylogeny and the result of convergent processes similar to those that have molded avian and platyrrhine intelligence. Tool use, innovativeness and cultural transmission might be linked over our past and in our brains as operations of domain-general intelligence. Finally, colonization of new areas may have accompanied increases in both brain size and innovativeness in hominins as they have in other mammals and in birds, potentially accelerating hominin evolution via behavioral drive.

Neuroscientists and paleoanthropologists use very different approaches to study the relationship between intelligence and the brain. While neuroscientists study variance between contemporary individuals and species, drawing on techniques like brain imaging, intelligence tests and comparative analyses, paleoanthropologists focus mostly on variation over time and space in fossils and artifacts, in particular tools. This emphasis gives paleoanthropologists a unique insight into three key features of human intelligence: innovation, the first appearance of a novel technique or behavior, tool use and manufacture, and cultural transmission, the diffusion of innovations over space and time.

Studies of tools, innovations and cultural transmission in relation to avian and non-human primate brains have become more numerous in recent years. In this chapter, I review these studies and argue they are relevant to the neuroscience of hominin1 evolution. More specifically, the studies suggest that (1) large brains and increased intelligence in hominins may be partly independent of our ape phylogeny: convergence with avian and platyrrhine cognition, not just ape cognition, may be relevant to understanding our own; (2) tool use, innovativeness and cultural transmission might be linked over our past and (3) in our brains; (4) colonization of new areas may have accompanied increases in both brain size and innovativeness in hominins as they have in other mammals and in birds, potentially accelerating hominin evolution via behavioral drive.

Of course, there are no mentions of any of the people who applied the same kinds of ideas to humans. However, the literature is very informative in getting us to get our priors straight about what to expect for the post-out of Africa human divergence in brain size, cognitive ability, innovation rate etc. Furthermore, there are too few human populations around and they have moved around too much to apply multivariate methods to the data and obtain precise estimates. This is not the case for animals, in which one can find huge datasets of thousands of species enabling powerful multivariate methods.

Of particular interest, however, was this bit:

In birds, the distribution of innovations is also skewed toward some taxa. The families Corvidae, Accipitridae and Laridae rank at the top with over 200 innovations each, but none dominates the way great apes do in primates (Lefebvre et al., 1997; Overington et al., 2009). In birds, the ten genera with the highest innovation frequencies make up only 30% of the more than 2300 cases recorded. The taxonomic distribution of innovation rate is a bit more skewed at higher levels, but again less so than in primates. At four standard deviations above the avian mean, the Corvoidea superfamily (crows, shrikes, magpies, drongos, jays) is the clear outlier in birds when innovation rate is expressed as a residual of research effort, but even then, its innovation frequency represents only 15% of the avian total. Within this parvorder, the genus Corvus (ravens and crows) is an outlier at over eight standard deviations above the avian mean, by far the highest of all genera.

If one searches, one can a find some very interesting videos on Covus, usually crow, intelligence.

TED talks

Experimental footage

Natural observations

Fun stuff!

Entire documentaries

October 24, 2017

Evolution and imperfect mediators

  • Skoyles, J. R. (1999). Human evolution expanded brains to increase expertise capacity, not IQ. Psycoloquy, 10(002). Chicago

Skoyles is arguing a rather implausible claim:

Why do modern humans have larger brains than earlier people such as Homo erectus? As large brains cause problems in childbirth, infancy and locomotion, the advantage they offer must be substantial. This advantage might be associated with increased IQ, but there is a problem: evidence from MRI volumetric surveys, microcephaly and hemispherectomy shows that there exist individuals with psychometrically normal IQ but Homo-erectus-sized brains. Why did evolution increase brain size (with its associated costs) when humans (as these individuals demonstrate) can have normal IQ without bigger brains? I propose that the advantage may be related to increased capacity for an aspect of intelligent behaviour not measured by IQ tests but critical to the survival of our simple hunter-gatherers ancestors: the capacity to develop expertise.

His argument:

2. First, we should note that brain expansion beyond that of Homo erectus size causes neonatal, obstetric and female locomotor handicaps (reviewed below). Thus, whatever selected for increased brain size must have offered a very strong compensating benefit. Second, clinical evidence indicates that modern people can have brains no larger than Homo erectus yet exhibit normal IQ scores. Thus, the compensating benefit offered by large brains is unlikely to be intelligence as measured by IQ: Why should evolution have increased brain size with all its associated problems for something that Homo erectus sized brains could have without expansion?

Do you see the fallacy? It is a subtle variant of a failure to think in statistical terms. Whenever I see these kinds of arguments, I immediately try some analogous traits. A very common practice in analytic philosophy (for those that don’t know, I did spent a bunch of years doing that kind of thing).

If we condense the argument, it becomes a little clearer:

Brain expansion causes problems. Thus, whatever selected for increased brain size must have offered compensating benefits. People can have below average size brains yet exhibit normal intelligence. Thus, the compensating benefit offered by large brains is unlikely to be intelligence. Why should evolution have increased brain size with its associated problems for something smaller sized brains could have without expansion?

I merely edited out the unnecessary parts. Now try substituting some other trait, say fighting ability and some mediator of it.

Muscle size increases causes problems. Thus, whatever selected for increased muscle size must have offered compensating benefits. People can have below average size muscles yet exhibit normal fighting ability. Thus, the compensating benefit offered by large muscles is unlikely to be fighting ability. Why should evolution have increased muscle size with its associated problems for something smaller sized muscles could have without increase?

See the issue? This argument works for any imperfect physical underpinning of a trait, which is to say, basically all of them. Longer legs didn’t evolve for running well for some people with short legs run well. Bigger/stronger hears didn’t evolve for better cardio, because some people smaller/weaker hearts have good cardio. Longer arms didn’t evolve for fighting because some short armed people fight well. Darker skin didn’t evolve as a protection against sun exposure for some relative light skinned people don’t get skin cancer or sunburns. Larger eyes didn’t evolve for seeing better for some people with smaller eyes see well. Bigger ears… Bigger noses… Stronger hands… …

September 25, 2017

“This manuscript addresses a politically sensitive issue that I would prefer not to include in Frontiers in Evolutionary Sociology and Biosociology.”

While I am re-writing our PING study to become a substantial target article, John is sending it to various journals in the mean time to poke about their editorial biases. Here’s a recent reply, which was thankfully quite up front about the bias:

From: Frontiers <noreply@frontiersin.org>
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2017 5:05 PM
To: j122177@hotmail.com
Subject: Rosemary Hopcroft via Frontiers: Decision on your manuscript

Rosemary Hopcroft has sent you a message. Please click ‘Reply’ to send a direct response

Dear Dr Fuerst,

This manuscript addresses a politically sensitive issue that I would prefer not to include in Frontiers in Evolutionary Sociology and Biosociology.

Unfortunately, I have to inform you that your manuscript “Genetic ancestry, cognitive ability, and socioeconomic outcomes” cannot be accepted for publication in Frontiers in Sociology, section Evolutionary Sociology and Biosociology.

The reason for this decision is:
Ethical issues were identified in this manuscript that prevent further review or publication.

I am sorry to reject this manuscript but it addresses a politically sensitive issue that I would prefer not to appear in Frontiers in Evolutionary Sociology and Biosociology.

PLEASE NOTE: Resubmission of any rejected manuscripts to a Frontiers Journal/Specialty must be accompanied by a section in the cover letter addressing the reasons for previous rejection and highlighting subsequent changes. Failure to do so can result in rejection before review.

Please click here to access this manuscript directly:
SOMEURL
(If clicking on the link doesn’t work, try copying and pasting it into your browser.)

At Frontiers, improving peer review has always been a priority. Our unique system is engineered to be rigorous, yet at the same time efficient, collaborative, transparent and fair. To help achieve our goal of offering the best open-access publishing experience, we would appreciate it if you could take two minutes to complete the following survey on your experience with Frontiers Collaborative Review: SOME OTHER URL

With best regards,

Rosemary Hopcroft
Specialty Chief Editor,
www.frontiersin.org

February 19, 2017

Trivers-Willard in humans?

In evolutionary biology, there is a hypothesis about sex ratios: Trivers-Williard hypothesis. It has been noted that males have higher dispersion in their fertility than females have, a finding that is also true in humans (one, two, three). If resources are related to fertility — which they are in many species and used to be in humans — and the species has parental investment in offspring (many don’t), then one could boost one’s number of grandchildren by having more males if one has a lot of resources, and more females if one is poor.

It’s one of those hypothesis that has a nice theoretical theme going for it, and so psychologists are prone seek out evidence for it. How about this paper?

Trivers–Willard at birth and one year: evidence from US natality data 1983–2001

Trivers & Willard (TW) hypothesized that evolution would favour deviations from the population sex ratio in response to parental condition: parents in good condition would have more sons and parents in poor condition would have more daughters. We analyse the universe of US linked births and infant deaths to white mothers 1983–2001, covering 48 million births and 310 000 deaths. We find that (i) married, better educated and younger mothers bore more sons and (ii) infant deaths were more male if the mother was unmarried and young. Our findings highlight the potential role of offspring sex ratio as an indicator of maternal status, and the role of infant mortality in shaping a TW pattern in the breeding population.

What did they find?

The coefficient indicates that married mothers were 0.2% (1.022/(0.513×1000)) more likely to give birth to a son than unmarried mothers. The other direct measure of the economic circumstances of the mother is her education level. We find that lower education was associated with a more female sex ratio. For instance, relative to a mother with some college, a mother without a high school degree was approximately 0.6% (3.064/(0.513×1000)) less likely to bear a boy. We find that mothers in the age group of 15–19 were more likely to give birth to sons and mothers older than 35 were more likely to give birth to daughters (compared with mothers in the age group of 20–34). Biologically, younger women may be in better condition, an observation that would bring this finding in line with the TW hypothesis. The negative gradient is also consistent with the observation (noted by TW) that sons are a more risky parental investment.

The first two fit with TW, but the effect sizes are tiny. The age pattern does not fit. Older women have a lot more resources than younger women, so should have a lot more boys, which in fact they don’t. What’s wrong? Simple alternative hypothesis: male fetuses are more vulnerable, in particular because they only have 1 X chromosome. Many genetic disorders are due to mutations on the X-chromosome and if they are recessive (you need 100% bad copies to get an effect), then male fetuses are a lot more prone to these disorders than females. Medical geneticists are very familiar with this. Other errors are due to other fuck-ups that also affect male fetuses more, and the rate of these fuck-ups increase with the mother’s age, giving rise to the age pattern seen.

Smarter, more educated etc. people have better genes, including having fewer X-linked genetic variants. So male fetuses of such people are less likely to die off before birth (spontaneous abortion). Estimates of the rate of spontaneous abortion for humans are not easy to get because most of them occur in the early stages where women don’t know they are pregnant, but a value of around 50% would not be surprising. So there’s a lot of room for bad male fetuses to die off selectively in a way that looks like TW.

With that said, Noah points me to a study of billionaires which finds large effects for the sex ratio, like 60% boys in billionaires. It could be a more extreme version of the above, but that would imply that more than 60% of conceptions are male, and that this imbalance happens to get down to about 51% in most people due to sex-linked spontaneous abortions. That doesn’t sound so likely. But note that the effect is only there in male billionaires, not female ones. That seems like a big clue.

January 5, 2015

Review: Race (John Baker)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/875481.Race

http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php?md5=5624936a816b96dd3e6a4af6808ee69b

I had seen references to this book in a number of places which got me curious. I am somewhat hesitant to read older books since I know much of what they discuss is dated and has been superseded by newer science. Sometimes, however, science (or the science culture) has gone wrong so one may actually learn more reading an older book than a newer one. Since fewer people read older books, one can sometimes find relevant but forgotten facts in them. Lastly, they can provide much needed historical information about the development of thinking about some idea or of some field. All of these remarks are arguably relevant to the race/population genetics controversy.

Still, I did not read the book immediately altho I had a PDF of it. I ended up starting to read it more or less at random due to a short talk I had with John Fuerst about it (we are writing together on racial admixture, intelligence and socioeconomic outcomes in the Americas and also wrote a paper on immigrant performance in Denmark).

So, the book really is dated. It spends hundreds of pages on arcane fysical anthropology which requires one to master human anatomy. Most readers don’t master this discipline, so these parts of the book are virtually un-understandable. However, they do provide one with the distinct impression of how one did fysical anthropology in old times. Lots of observations of cranium, other bones, noses, eyes+lids, teeth, lips, buttocks, etc., and then try to find clusters in these data manually. No wonder they did not reach that high agreement. The data are too scarce to find clusters and humans not sufficiently good at cluster analysis at the intuitive level. Still, they did notice some patterns that are surely correct, such as the division between various African populations, Ainu vs. Japanese, that Europeans are Asians are closer related, that Afghans etc. belong to the European supercluster etc. Clearly, these pre-genetic ideas were not all totally wrong headed. Here’s the table of Races+Subraces from the end of the book. They seem reasonably in line with modern evidence.

table

Some quotes:

The story of 7 ‘kinds’ of mosquitoes.

[Dobzhansky’s definition = ‘Species in sexual cross-fertilizing organisms can be defined as groups of populations which are reproductively isolated to the extent that the exchange of genes between them is absent or so slow that the genetic differences are not diminished or swamped.’]

Strict application of Dobzhansky’s definition results in certain very similar animals being assigned to different species. The malarial mosquitoes and their relatives provide a remarkable example of this. The facts are not only extreme­ly interesting from the purely scientific point of view, but also of great practical importance in the maintenance of public health in malarious districts. It was discovered in 1920 that one kind of the genus Anopheles, called elutus, could be distinguished from the well-known malarial mosquito, A. maculipennis, by certain minute differences in the adult, and by the fact that its its eggs looked different; but for our detailed knowledge of this subject we are mainly indebted to one Falleroni, a retired inspector of public health in Italy, who began in 1924 to breed Anopheles mosquitoes as a hobby. He noticed that several different kinds of eggs could be distinguished, that the same female always laid eggs having the same appearance, and that adult females derived from those eggs produced eggs of the same type. He realized that although the adults all appeared similar, there were in fact several different kinds, which he could recognize by the markings on their eggs. Falleroni named several different kinds after his friends, and the names he gave are the accepted ones today in scientific nomenclature.

It was not until 1931 that the matter came to the attention of L. W. Hackett, who, with A. Missiroli, did more than anyone else to unravel the details of this curious story.(449,447.448] The facts are these. There are in Europe six different kinds of Anopheles that cannot be distinguished with certainty from one another in the adult state, however carefully they are examined under the microscope by experts; a seventh kind, elutus, can be distinguished by minor differences if its age is known. The larvae of two of the kinds can be distinguished from one another by minute differences (in the type of palmate hair on the second segment, taken in conjunction with the number of branches of hair no. 2 on the fourth and fifth segments). Other supposed differences between the kinds, apart from those in the eggs, have been shown to be unreal.

In nature the seven kinds are not known to interbreed, and it is therefore necessary, under Dobzhansky’s definition, to regard them all as separate species.

The mates of six of the seven species have the habit of ‘swarming’ when ready to copulate. They join in groups of many individuals, humming, high in the air; suddenly the swarm bursts asunder and rejoins. The females recognize the swarms of males of their own species, and are attracted towards them. Each female dashes in, seizes a male, and flies off, copulating.

With the exceptions mentioned, the only visible differences between the species occur at the egg-stage. The eggs of six of the seven species are shown in Fig. 8 (p. 76).

6 anopheles

It will be noticed that each egg is roughly sausage-shaped, with an air-filled float at each side, which supports it in the water in which it is laid. The eggs of the different species are seen to differ in the length and position of the floats. The surface of the rest of the egg is covered all over with microscopic finger-shaped papillae, standing up like the pile of a carpet. It is these papillae that are responsible for the distinctive patterns seen on the eggs of the different species. Where the papillae are long and their tips rough, light is reflected to give a whitish appearance; where they are short and smooth, light passes through to reveal the underlying surface of the egg, which is black. The biological significance of these apparently trivial differences is unknown.

From the point of view of the ethnic problem the most interesting fact is this. Although the visible differences between the species are trivial and confined or almost confined to the egg-stage, it is evident that the nervous and sensory systems are different, for each species has its own habits. The males of one species (atroparvus) do not swarm. It has already been mentioned that the females recognize the males of their own species. Some of the species lay their eggs in fresh water, others in brackish. The females of some species suck the blood of cattle, and are harmless to man; those of other species suck the blood of man, and in injecting their saliva transmit malaria to him.

Examples could be quoted of other species that are distinguishable from one another by morphological differences no greater than those that separate the species of Anopheles; but the races of a single species—indeed, the subraces of a single race—are often distinguished from one another, in their typical forms, by obvious differences, affecting many parts of the body. It is not the case that species are necessarily very distinct, and races very similar. [p. 74ff]

Nature is very odd indeed! More on Wiki.

Some very strange examples of abnormalities of this sort have been recorded by reputable authorities. Buffon quotes two examples of an ‘amour violent’ between a dog and a sow. In one case the dog was a large spaniel on the property of the Comte de Feuillee, in Burgundy. Many persons witnessed ‘the mutual ardour of these two animals; the dog even made prodigious and oft-repeated efforts to copulate with the sow, but the unsuitability of their reproductive organs prevented their union.’ Another example, still more remarkable, occurred on Buffon’s own property. A miller kept a mare and a bull in the same stable. These two animals developed such a passion for one another that on all occasions when the mare was on heat, over a period of several years, the bull copulated with her three or four times a day, whenever he was free to do so. The act was witnessed by all the inhabitants of the place. [p. 92]

Of smelly Japanese:

There is, naturally enough, a correlation between the development of the axillary organ and the smelliness of the secretion of this gland (and probably this applies also to the a glands of the genito-anal region). Briefly, the Europids and Negrids are smelly, the Mongolids scarcely or not at all. so far as the axillary secretion is concerned. Adachi. who has devoted more study to this subject than anyone else, has summed up his findings in a single, short sentence: ‘The Mongolids are essentially an odourless or very slightly smelly race with dry ear-wax.’(5] Since most of the Japanese are free or almost free from axillary smell, they are very sensitive to its presence, of which they seem to have a horror. About 10% of Japanese have smelly axillae. This is attributed to remote Ainuid ancestry, since the Ainu are invariably smelly, like most other Europids, and a tendency to smelliness is known to be inherited among the Japanese. 151 The existence of the odour is regarded among Japanese as a disease, osmidrosis axillae which warrants (or used to warrant) exemption from military service. Certain doctors specialize in its treatment, and sufferers are accustomed to enter hospital. [p. 173]

Japan always take these things to a new level.

Measurements of adult stature, made on several thousand pairs of persons, show a rather close correspondence with these figures, namely, 0 507, 0-322, 0-543, and 0-287 respectively.(172) It will be noticed that the correlations are all somewhat higher than one would expect; that is to say, the members of each pair are, on average, rather more nearly of the same height than the simple theory would suggest. This is attributed in the main to the tendency towards assortative mating, the reality of which had already been recognized by Karl Pearson and Miss Lee in their paper published in 1903. [p. 462]

I didn’t know assortative mating was recognized so far back. This may be a good source to understand the historical development of understanding of assortative mating.

The reference is: Pearson, K. &  Lee,  A.,  1903.  ‘On  the  laws  of  inheritance  in  man.  I.  Inheritance  of  physical characters.’  Biometrika,  2, 357—462.

Definition of intelligence?

What has been said on p. 496 may now be rewritten in the form of a short definition of intelligence, in the straightforward, everyday sense of that word. It is the ability to perceive, comprehend, and reason, combined with the capacity to choose worth-while subjects for study, eagerness to acquire, use, transmit, and (if possible) add to knowledge and understanding, and the faculty for sustained effort towards these ends (cf. p. 438). One might say briefly that a person is intelligent in so far as his cognitive ability and personality tend towards productiveness through mental activity. [p. 495ff]

Baker prefers a broader definition of “intelligence” which includes certain non-cognitive parts. He uses “cognitive ability” like many people do now a days use “general cognitive ability”.

And now surely at the end of the book, the evil master-racist privileged white male John Baker tells us what to do with the information we just learned in the book:

Here, on reaching the end of the book, 1 must repeat some words that I wrote years ago when drafting the Introduction (p. 6), for there is nothing in the whole work that would tend to contradict or weaken them:
Every ethnic taxon of man includes many persons capable of living responsible and useful lives in the communities to which they belong, while even in those taxa that are best known for their contributions to the world’s store of intellectual wealth, there are many so mentally deficient that they would be inadequate members of any society. It follows that no one can claim superiority simply because he or she belongs to a particular ethnic taxon. [p. 534]

So, clearly according to our anti-racist heroes, Baker tells us to revel in our (sorry Jayman if you are reading!) European master ancestry, right?

edited: removed joke because public image -_-

February 16, 2014

The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People (David P. Barash, Judith Eve Lipton)

Filed under: Evolutionary biology,Evolutionary Psychology — Tags: — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 04:52

This book is fairly short and is mostly about sexual selection and sexual antagonism. While other EP lit. uses animal examples, this book is literally full of them. Lots of interesting comparisons with all kinds of birds, for instance. On the continuum of biology — psychology of EP lit., this one is definitely closer to biology.

 

One annoying thing about it is that it doesnt use citations in the text. The ref list has the sources, but there are no numbers or the like in the text. This makes looking up references annoying.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/764783.The_Myth_of_Monogamy

http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php?md5=A8CB31B2CAC0C427C1E0D4DC89AAD12F&open=0

 

 

Certain insects have had an important historical role in helping us appre­

ciate the rarity of monogamy. Thus, some time ago, environmentalists had

great hope for a novel technique that promised to eradicate insect pests. The

idea was to release large numbers of sterilized males, which would mate

with females, who would therefore fail to reproduce. Eventually, no more

pests … and no more pesticides, to .boot. But the success of this procedure

n,ever extended beyond one species, the screw-worm fly.

 

This is what happened. During the 1930s, E. F. Knipling, a forward­

looking entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, may have

sensed that “natural” (that is, noninsecticidal) means of controlling

unwanted insects would be superior to the widespread use of poisons. In any

event, he began exploring a promising technique: Introduce sterilized male .

screw-worms into nature, whereupon they would mate with wild female

screw-worms, whose offspring would fail to materialize. It worked, becom­

ing for a time one of the great success stories of post-Rachel Carson envi­

ronmentalism. By the 1960s, male screw-worms were being exposed to

radioactive cobalt by the vatful, after which insect eunuchs were airdropped

over a vast region along the Mexican-U.S. border . This technique succeeded

in eliminating the screw-worm scourge. However , such an outcome has

never been replicated. As it turns out, Knipling’s choice of a target species

was fortunate (or scientifically inspired): Female screw-worms–despite

their name-are strictly monogamous. By contrast, we now know that for

nearly all insects, one screw is not enough: Females commonly mate with

more than one male, so even when they are inundated with a blizzard of

sterile males, it only takes a small number of intact ones for reproduction to

go merrily along. And so the “sterile-male technique,” for all its environ­

mental, nonpesticide appeal, has gone nowhere.

 

See more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterile_insect_technique

 

This is a great way for rich countries to help poor countries without using alot of money on developmental aid that doesnt work.

 

 

Sperm competition was actually first documented by none other than

Charles Darwin, although he did not identify it as such. Indeed, Darwin

seems to have carefully refrained from pursuing the matter , perhaps because

the question of females mating with more than one male was more than

Darwin’s social climate could bear . Thus, in The Descent of Man and Selec­

tion in Relation to Sex (1871), Darwin described a female domestic goose

who produced a mixed brood consisting of some goslings fathered -by a

domestic goose who was her social partner as well as others evidently

fathered by a Chinese goose … this second male being not only not her

mate, but also not even of the same species!

 

Humans are not the only species to have ”sex with animals”. :)

 

 

It is said that exceptions prove the rule. When it comes to the connection

among maleness, low parental investment, and sexual eagerness, there

are in fact some interesting apparent exceptions. These are cases of

“reversed sex roles/’ in which females are comparatively aggressive, often

larger, brightly colored, and more sexually demanding if not promiscuous,

while the males are coy, drab, and sexually reticent. Among certain insects,

for example, the males produce not only sperm but also a large mass of

gelatinous, proteinaceous glop, which the female devours after mating; in

doing so, she gains substantial calories, more, in some cases, than she ex­

pends in making eggs. And sure enough, in these speCies (including some

katydids and butterflies), females court the males. This makes sense, since

here it is the males, not the females, who make a large metabolic investment.

And in such cases, males, not females, are likely to say “no.” The key for

our purposes-and apparently for these animals as well-is that male­

female patterns of sexual behavior are reversed precisely when male-female

patterns of parental investment are reversed. (It is not known, incidentally,

what gave rise to such sex-role switching in the first place.)

 

Exceptions prove the rule becus exceptions are exceptions to what exactly? The rule.

 

This frase is however confusingly used now a days. An exception to a supposedly exception free rule does ofc not prove it. It disproves it.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exception_that_proves_the_rule

 

 

The suggestion has been made that multiple mating by females may be

tactic of nonhuman primates as well, designed to deprive other females of

sperm from their sexual partner . After all, even though sperm are cheap,

they are not infinitely replaceable, and even the “studliest” of males may

have difficulty producing a constant and undiminished supply . It is even

possible that something akin to female-female competition for male sex­

ual attention explains an interesting womanly mystery: menstrual syn­

chrony . It is a well-known fact that when women live together-in dor­

mitories, sororities, rooming houses-their menstrual cycles tend to

become synchronized. Young women typically begin the academic year

with their periods randomly distributed throughout the calendar , but by

finals in May or June, nearly everyone in the same domicile is reaching for

tampons on the same days.

 

Minus points for calling things well known that are actually doubtful.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_synchrony#2000s

 

 

IPCs are pretty much evenly divided throughout a woman’s reproduc­

tive cycle, if anything somewhat more frequent during the postovulation

phase, when fertility is substantially reduced. By contrast, Baker and Bel­

lis report that EPCs are actually more frequent when women are most fer­

tile ! According to the two researchers, “at some time in their lives the

majority of males in western societies place their sperm in competition

with sperm from another male and the majority of females contain live

sperm from two or more different males .” They estimate that in Great

Britain 4 to 12 percent of children are conceived by “sperm that has pre­

vailed in competition with sperm from another male. ” This is consistent

with standard estimates of “paternal discrepancy” among human beings

generally: about 10 percent, which, if accurate, is enough to bespeak gen­

uine sperm competition.

 

These 10% estimates are wildly off the mark. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misattributed_paternity#Incidence

 

Gilding, M. (2009). “Paternity Uncertainty and Evolutionary Psychology: How a Seemingly Capricious Occurrence Fails to Follow Laws of Greater Generality”. Sociology 43: 140–691. doi:10.1177/0038038508099102. edit

 

 

 

October 17, 2013

Review: The intelligence of dogs

The Intelligence of Dogs A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions Stanley Coren 320p

 

This book is not very technical, has almost no numbers or sources in it. It contains a wealth of at times funny anecdotes. It also contains references to shitty science, mostly Gardner and Sternberg’s anti-g theories. It also has a wrong description of crytallized vs. fluid g. However, aside from all these flaws, it is well worth reading if one is interested in dog (canine) intelligence. I would have liked to see e.g. a factor analysis of the author’s proposed dog IQ test, to see if there is g factor for dogs as well.

 

 

As a psychologist, dog trainer, and avowed dog lover, I set out to de­

scribe the mental abilities that are present in every dog. I also went

one step further—namely, to explore how various breeds differ in their

capacities and behaviors. Before I could do this, though, a bit of

groundwork was in order. I began by looking at the origins of dogs,

because any animal’s mental ability is shaped and limited by its bio­

logical makeup and the forces of evolution that have worked on it.

Then I briefly examined how scientists have viewed dogs’ minds and

detailed some of the controversy about the nature of the canine mind

and consciousness. Finally, I looked at the various types of dog intelli­

gence and described how dog owners could actually measure their

own dog’s abilities. While I hoped to make it clear that no breed of

dog is without merit or purpose, I also pointed out that not all dog

breeds are created equal in terms of their cleverness and mental skills.

 

Starts out well.

 

 

And then there was Lassie. . . .

 

The dog that may have done the most to shape the popular concep­

tion of dogs and their intelligence was a ch ara cter born in a short story

wri tten by Eric Knight in 1938. This story was la te r expanded into a

best-selling book, and, in 1943, it was translated into a heart-warming

tear jerker of a film called Lassie Come Home. Lassie, the wo r ld ’s best-

known collie, was not only affectionate and courageous but clearly

nearly human in her intelligence and understanding.

 

Actually, Lassie, as portrayed on the screen, is not a lovely female

dog at all, but ra th e r a deception perpetrated by a long line of female

impersonators. For nine generations, the dogs that have played Lassie

have all been male descendants of the first Lassie, actually a dog named

Pal. Male collies were preferred for the part, since they are larger and

less timid than females. The viewing audience seems never to have

noticed the relevant anatomical differences. In fact, all we seemed to

notice was th a t the dog we were watching was a collie with a white

blaze on its face. Changes in markings as one dog was substituted for

another for different stunts and tricks seem to have passed us by, just as

easily as the telltale signs that should have told us Lassie was a lad.

 

heh!

 

 

At first glance, seventeen thousand years may not seem like a long

time—after all, dinosaurs roamed the e arth one hundred fifty million

years ago. Yet our own species, Homo sapiens, did not ap pea r until

three hundred thousand years ago. Neanderthal man was still predom­

inant in Europe until forty thousand years ago, and the first types of

humans physically indistinguishable from modern humans appeared

between thirty and thirty-five thousand years ago. Asian tribes first

crossed the Bering Strai t to begin human occupation of the Americas

twenty-five thousand years ago. It is interesting to note that the first

evidence of organized agriculture is only ten thousand years old—

which is three to seven thousand years after the ea rliest proof that

dogs had established their companionship with humans. Falling within

the same general time frame as these Russian fossils is a finding in

Iraq of domesticated dog remains th a t are dated at around fourteen

thousand years ago.

 

This date for modern humans is wrong.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatomically_modern_humans

 

The term anatomically modern humans[1] (AMH) or anatomically modern Homo sapiens[2] (AMHS) refers in paleoanthropology to individual members of the species Homo sapiens with an appearance consistent with the range of phenotypes in modern humans.

Anatomically-modern humans evolved from archaic Homo sapiens in the Middle Paleolithic, about 200,000 years ago.[3] The emergence of anatomically-modern human marks the dawn of the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens,[4] i.e. the subspecies of Homo sapiens that includes all modern humans. The oldest fossil remains of anatomically-modern humans are the Omo remains, which date to 195,000 (±5,000) years ago and include two partial skulls as well as arm, leg, foot and pelvis bones.[5][6]

Other fossils include the proposed Homo sapiens idaltu from Herto in Ethiopia that are almost 160,000 years old[7] and remains from Skhul in Israel that are 90,000 years old.[8]

 

 

When mitochondrial DNA from dogs and wolves are compared,

they are found to differ by only around 1 to 2 percent. To give you an

idea of how close this similarity is, this is in the same range as the dif­

ferences found between different races of humans. Scientists consider

this to be clear evidence th a t the closest anc estor of dogs, and the

species th a t was probably domesticated first, was the wolf. Please note

th a t I said the “closest” and not necessarily the “only” ancestor of dogs

was the wolf.

 

very interesting, if true. No source given.

 

Searching a bit…

 

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ggs/72/4/72_4_229/_article

 

To test the hypothesis that the domestic dogs are derived from several different ancestral gray wolf populations, we compared the sequence of the displacement (D)-loop region of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from 24 breeds of domestic dog (34 individual dogs) and 3 subspecies of gray wolf (Canis lupus lupus, C. l. pallipes and C. l. chanco; 19 individuals). The intraspecific sequence variations within domestic dogs (0.00~3.19%) and within wolves (0.00~2.88%) were comparable to the interspecific variations between domestic dogs and wolves (0.30~3.35%). A repetitive sequence with repeat units (TACACGTA/GCG) that causes the size variation in the D-loop region was also found in both dogs and wolves. However, no nucleotide substitutions or repetitive arrays were specific for domestic dogs or for wolves. These results showed that there is a close genetic relationship between dogs and wolves. Two major clades appeared in the phylogenetic trees constructed by neighbor-joining and by the maximum parsimony method; one clade containing Chinese wolf (C. l. chanco) showed extensive variations while the other showed only slight variation. This showed that there were two major genetic components both in domestic dogs and in wolves. However, neither clades nor haplotypes specific for any dog breed were observed, whereas subspecies-specific clades were found in Asiatic wolves. These results suggested that the extant breeds of domestic dogs have maintained a large degree of mtDNA polymorphisms introduced from their ancestral wolf populations, and that extensive interbreedings had occurred among multiple matriarchal origins.

 

So, yea, something like that.

 

 

An interesting rep o r t of some Russian rese arch on foxes directly

bears on the issue of the domestication of dogs. The experiment was

started in the 1940s by the Russian geneticist Dmitri Belyaev, who

worked in a Siberian laboratory with other biologists who were trying

to domesticate silver foxes. Their aim was pract ical as w’ell as scien­

tific, since they wanted to breed these animals for th e ir beautiful fur,

which brings a high price on the world market. Since the wild fox can

be qu i te sn a p p ish an d ch u r l ish , th e sc ien t is ts w e re also try in g to c re a te

a more docile strain of silver foxes th a t would allow themselves to be

handled and more easily managed. For this reason, only the most gen­

tle of the foxes were allowed to breed. Over a span of only twenty gen­

erations, the scientists managed to develop tame, domesticated foxes.

 

Several surprises resulted from these breeding experiments. In their

behavior, these tame foxes became very doglike. They began to look for

human company ra th e r than running from it. They began to wag their

tails in response to the same types of situations th a t cause domestic

dogs to wag their tails. They also developed a tendency to lick people’s

faces. These domesticated foxes also began to vocalize with yips and

barks much like dogs and quite unlike adul t wild foxes and wolves,

which seldom vocalize. There were even important physical changes.

Females began to come into heat twice a year, ju s t as domestic dogs

do. The ears of some of the foxes became floppy and more doglike.

Unfortunately for the experimenters, also following the p a t te rn for

domestic dogs, these tamed foxes were often born with fur th a t was

multicolored with patches of different shades, which greatly lowered

their market value!

 

The domesticated silver fox experiment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_silver_fox

 

Original source: http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/feature/1999/2/early-canid-domestication-the-farm-fox-experiment

 

 

All canids also enjoy an occasional roll in ca r rio n and other foul­

smelling filth. It is likely that this behavior began as a hunting strategy.

Many prey animals, such as antelopes or gazelles, have a good sense of

smell and can detect an approaching canine predator. However, by

rolling in antelope or gazelle droppings, which of course give off a

safe, familiar smell, the h un te r masks its scent and so can get much

closer before he is detected.

 

In domestic dogs this behavior is no longer functional, but seems to

have persisted because dogs have an aesthetic appreciation of odors,

which some experts have compared to our own fondness for music; it

has no real purpose but seems to give the dog pleasure. Some owners

find the practice offensive and have tried to eliminate it by punishing

their dogs, but this generally is to no avail. Occasionally, one can find a

perfume or other scent th a t the dog likes (usually one with a musk

base), w h ich , w h e n d ab b e d on e i th e r sid e of the dog’s th roa t and

behind its ears, may cause the dog to pass up opportunit ies to roll in

the n eares t pile of dung or o th e r smelly refuse. This sometimes back­

fires, however.

 

My daughter by marriage, Kari, had a marvelous mixed-breed dog

named Tessa, whom we often took along when we went to our little

hideaway farm. At the re a r of the farm is a large drainage canal,

which, at various times of the year, takes on a ra th e r pungent odor if

st irred up. When the canal reached this pitch of smelliness, Tessa

always took the very first opportunity to plunge into the canal and coat

herself in the muck. This always resulted in our hosing her down and

then leaving h e r outside for several hours until the essence wore off.

Once, p r io r to a morning walk, I decided to see if I could avoid the

inevitable wallow in the smelly canal by p re trea ting her with some

aftershave lotion th a t smelled quite fine to me. She seemed a bit puz­

zled by all of this, and when I opened the gate, instead of the usual

chase-the-stick romp th a t starts our walks, she made a direct beeline

for the scum-filled canal. She re tu rn ed afterward, soaking wet and

odoriferous, ready to start our play. Apparently she felt a need to mask

her uncharacteristically perfumed aura with something more aestheti­

cally pleasing to her canine mind.

 

Interesting.

 

 

Much of the interbreeding across the canid species has been delib­

erately encouraged or arranged by human beings. Eskimos and natives

of the high north are known to cross th eir working dogs regularly with

wolves to try to get sled dogs with g re a ter stamina and larger size.

Usually this process involves tying a bitch in season to a stake in a

region th a t wolves are known to frequent. An interested male wolf will

often stop and partake of such an opportunity, and the bitches seem to

accept the at tention willingly. Of course, when times are h a rd e r and

food is scarce, the bitch may be viewed as a candidate for lunch, rather

than love, by the wolf pack.

 

*Chuckle*

 

 

Suppose we knew th a t one pa rt icula r member of the canid family (call

it canid X) was the sole ancestor of domestic dogs. You might think

th a t this would allow us to say th a t if canid X has a certain behavior or

shows a specific mental ability, the same behavior and mental ability

must exist in dogs. Sadly, this would not be true. Even if domestic dogs

contained the genes of only one of the wild canids, they would not be

simply tamed versions of the wild variety. The process of domestication

itself has made dogs different, not only physically but also psychologi­

cally, from their wild cousins.

 

In breeding dogs, people have systematically selected for puppylike

characteristics. The technical term for this is neoteny, meaning th a t the

adul t maintains many of the chara c te rist ic s of the immature animal.

This neoteny involves both physiology and behavior in the animals.

 

and also humans: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoteny

 

 

Behaviorally, our domestic dogs are also more puppylike. When

dogs lick people’s faces, as most domestic dogs will, they are actually

mimicking the behavior of puppies, who will lick their m o th er ’s face to

get h e r to regurgitate food for them. Hence your dog’s kisses really

mean th a t it is trea tin g you as its p a ren t and, of course, asking for a

snack.

 

 

A colleague of mine has pointed out th a t a book with the title The Intel­

ligence o f Dogs could be very short. He noted that, as a psychologist, I

could simply choose to define intelligence, or at least thought, as some­

thing th a t occurs only in humans, and this would spare me a lot of

work and research time. Many psychologists, biologists, and ethologists

(particularly those who like to call themselves “behaviorists”) do exactly

this. For instance, in a recent research book entitled Cognitive Psychol­

ogy and Information Processing, three research psychologists (R. Lach-

man, J. L. Lachman, and E. R. Butterfield) conclude th a t “whenever

higher mental processes are involved, we heartily disagree that human

and animal behavior are necessarily governed by the same principles.”

 

The situation is not simple, however, and many eminent scientists

have disagreed with this ra th e r negative conclusion. Charles Darwin,

for example, wrote in The Descent o f Man that the only difference

between the intelligence of humans and th a t of most of th e ir lower

mammalian cousins “is one of degree and not of k in d.” He went on to

say that “the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties,

such as love, memory, attention, curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of

which man boasts, may be found in an incipient or even sometimes in

a well-developed condition, in the lower animals.”

 

Obviously, ne i th er Darwin nor any sensible person will try to say

that the intelligence of dogs is the same as that of humans in all ways.

There are clear limits to a dog’s intelligence. A dog has never written

an o pera or novel n o r ever designed bridges or explored cybernetic

theory. No dog has ever been elected as a president or p rem ier of a

country (except in an uncomplimentary metaphoric sense, as defined

by the opposition parties).

 

As I write this, it dawns on me that I might be wise to stay away from

the subject of dogs occupying political posts, since there are stories of

dog-kings. Probably the best known of these comes from an Icelandic

saga th a t tells of an upland king known as Eystein the Bad. Eystein con­

quered the people of Drontheim and then made his son Onund their

king. The people of Drontheim were not at all happy with this a rrange­

ment and ended Onund’s reign abruptly and violently. To show his dis­

pleasure at this turn of events, Eystein returned to Drontheim, ravaged

the land, and reduced the people to total subjugation. Then, to cap his

vengeance, he offered the survivors a truly dishonorable choice: They

would be ruled either by one of Eystein’s slaves or by one of his dogs.

The people of Drontheim apparently felt that they could more easily

manipulate the decisions of the dog. As kings go, the dog (whose name

was Saur) was apparently not a bad ruler. The saga claims th a t the dog

“had the wisdom of three men.” It also reports that the dog “spoke one

word for every two that it barked,” presumably meaning that it had dif­

ferent whimpers, growls, and other sounds that were interpreted as sig­

nifying different ideas and moods. The people responded by according

the dog all the expected pomp and ceremony that are due to a ruler.

They furnished him with a throne, so that he “sat upon a high place as

kings are wont to sit.” They also provided him with regal apparel, such

as a gold collar. His attendants or courtiers, whose duty it was to carry

their canine king on their shoulders whenever the weather turned bad,

wore silver chains to signify th eir office.

 

Unfortunately, the story ends ra th e r badly, with what has always

appeared to me to be the culmination of some form of plot or a secret

revolt against the dog-king. Obviously, such a revolt could not simply

involve assassination, since this might make Eystein suspicious and

cause him to re tu rn to mete out fur ther vengeance and perhaps even

to appoint a still less desirable king. Instead, the plotters capitalized on

a chance occurrence. One day, wolves broke into the royal cattle pens.

Instead of calling for help from the men-at-arms, the court iers ( trai­

tors?) rallied the dog-king to defend his livestock. With all of the brav­

ery th a t the sagas accord to one born into royalty, he immediately

mounted an attack, but, being badly outnumbered, he was killed in

battle. Thus ended the reign of Saur, the canine king.

 

There are also things like: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergeant_Stubby,

 

 

Primitive people, however, had no problem allowing dogs to have

intelligence and even suggested they had speech. For example, when

Europeans began to colonize the African Congo, they encountered

many indigenous stories about the dog as the bringer of fire, the great

hunter, and even as a teacher. A typical example comes from the

Nyanga people, whose folk hero Nkhango supposedly negotiated for

fire with the dog Rukuba: The dog would steal some fire from the high

god Nyamurairi in exchange for eternal friendship from humans. After

keeping his p a r t of the bargain, Rukuba joined with Nkhango on the

hunt, and together they achieved grea t success, even against danger ­

ous prey, such as the wild boar. As the dog’s cleverness became more

and more obvious, Nkhango learned to tru s t him with even more

tasks. Finally, Nkhango made a decision to use the dog as a messenger.

Rukuba, however, did not want to be a messenger; he wanted to lie by

the fire in comfort, and, since he was the one who had supplied the fire

in the first place, he felt that it was his right to do so. Musing th a t peo­

ple would always be sending him to this place o r th a t on errands,

because he was clever and trustworthy and could speak, the dog

Rukuba concluded, “If I could not speak, then I could not be a messen­

ger. So I will simply never speak again!” From that day on, the dog of

the Nyanga ceased speaking; he still has the intelligence and capacity

to do so but simply chooses not to.

 

 

Unfortunately, when Descartes threw out intellect, reason, and con­

sciousness for animals, it had more than scientific and intellectual con­

sequences. In denying animals these higher mental abilities, Descartes

also denied them feeling and emotion. According to him, the cry an

animal releases when struck does not indicate pain but is ra th e r the

equivalent of the clanging of springs or chimes you might h e a r after

you drop a mechanical clock or some wind-up toy. Nicolas de Male-

branche, a French philosopher who extended Descartes’s work, picked

up on this idea when he claimed th a t animals “eat without pleasure,

cry’ without pain, act without knowing it; they desire nothing, fear

nothing, know nothing.”

 

The upshot was that Descartes’s analysis was subsequently used to

justify massive cruelty to animals. B e rn a rd le Bovier de Fontenelle

once visited Malebranche a t the Oratory on the rue Saint-Honore.

While they were conversing, he saw Malebranche kick a p regnant dog

who had been rolling at his feet. The dog let out a cry of pain, and

Fontenelle sprang forward to defend it. Malebranche passed the inci­

dent off, saying “Don’t you know th a t it does not feel?” In due time,

such reasoning led to experiments where animals were nailed to

boards by their four paws in order to do surgery on them to see the cir­

culatory system working in a live being. People who pitied the poor

creatures for their pain were laughed at as unknowing fools. After all,

these were not to be considered sentient and feeling creatures; they

were only machines being disassembled for study. Accordingly, moral

concern was inappropriate, since the pain and suffering of animals

were not real.

 

One might be tempted to dismiss these attitudes as the unenlight­

ened thinking of the past. However, viewpoints ju s t this extreme are

still found today, nearly three hun d red fifty years after Descartes’s

theorizing. For instance, P. Carruthers, in the prestigious Journal o f

Philosophy, recently wrote of animals that, “since th e ir experiences,

including th e ir pains, are nonconscious ones, th e ir pains are of no

immediate moral concern. Indeed, since all of the mental states of

brutes are nonconscious, their injuries are lacking even in indirect

moral concern.”

 

It is interesting to note that scientists and philosophers with these

views often act and believe quite differently in their personal lives. The

extreme notion th a t only humans have consciousness and intelligence

and th a t only human pain and suffering is of any significance is ap pa r ­

ently much more difficult to hold in private life, especially if one is liv­

ing with a pet animal. For example, history tells us that Descartes had

a dog named Monsieur Grat—quite a pampered pet, to whom

Descartes spoke in the same manner th a t we speak to our own dogs.

He worried about the dog’s health and referred to things that the dog

liked o r did not like and sometimes privately speculated on what the

dog might be thinking. So much concern for an unconscious machine?

Would one talk to a machine such as a wristwatch and speculate on its

health and its likes? Obviously, in Descartes’s everyday interactions,

the presumption of consciousness for his dog was not only convenient,

but perhaps unavoidable.

 

Dont claim that filosofical beliefs have no effects on peoples behavior!

 

There is also Clarence Darrow: http://www.sfu.ca/~swartz/freewill1.htm#intro

 

 

I initially wrote this chapter during a very gray and rainy spring. The

day I finished it, more than a week had gone by without any noticeable

sunshine. That p a rt icular afternoon, though, the clouds seemed to part

and a burs t of afternoon sunshine shone through the window, forming

a big golden patch on the hardwood floor. Completing my work, I was

moving toward the kitchen to get a cup of coffee when I noticed my

Cavalier King Charles spaniel Wiz standing in the circle of light. He

looked up at the window and then down at the floor as if he were con­

templating something, and then he deliberately tu rned and ran from

the room. Within a mat te r of moments, however, he re appeared drag­

ging a large terry-cloth towel th a t he had stolen from the bathroom.

He pulled the towel into the cente r of the patch of sun, looked at it,

and then pushed at one lumpy section with both front paws. Having

ar ranged the towel to his satisfaction, he then circled around and set­

tled down for a nap on his newly created bed in the warm afternoon

sun. If one of my young grandchi ldren had done this, I would have

said th a t she felt the warmth of the sun and thought that it would be

nice to take a nap in it. Then, remembering the towel in the bathroom,

she went and retrieved it so that she could sunbathe more comfortably.

 

All this requires consciousness, intelligence, and planning. Does ray

dog Wiz have it? It is easier for me simply to recognize th a t my dog’s

behaviors in this situation were similar to behaviors th a t are accompa­

nied by consciousness in a human faced with the same situation. In the

absence of any evidence to the contrary, I will presume th a t I am deal­

ing with consciousness and intelligent behavior in my dog as well.

 

It seems to me that people requiring better evidence than this are setting an unreasonably high evidential standard.

 

 

Dogs can go even further than these kinds of assessments, to a point

where virtually everyone would concede th a t they are really counting.

One spring afternoon, I was part icipating in a dog obedience tr ial on

Vancouver Island in Bri tish Columbia, Canada. One of the o ther dog

competitors and I had finished for the day, and we were out walking in

a large nearby field with his lovely female Labrador retriever named

Poco. The man had a box of large rubber retrieving lures with him,

and he explained to me that he would use these to demonstrate that his

dog could count.

 

“She can count to four quite reliably and to five with only an occa­

sional miss,” he said. “I’ll show you how it works. Pick a number from

one to five.”

 

I picked the number three. While the dog watched, her master

tossed three lures out into the high grass of the field. The lures were

tossed in different directions and to different distances. After I got

down on my hands and knees and verified that the lures were not visi­

ble from the dog’s eye level at the starting position, my companion

simply told the dog, “Poco, fetch,” without pointing or other cues. The

dog went out to the most recently thrown lure, picked it up, and

brought it back. Her master took it from h e r and then repeated “Poco,

fetch,” causing the dog to s ta r t to cast about and search for the next

one. After she brought back the second lure, her master again com­

manded, “Poco, fetch,” and the dog went out after the th ird and last

lure. Removing the last lure from the dog’s mouth, he once again

ordered, “Poco, fetch.” At this, the dog simply looked at him, barked

once, and moved to his left side, to the usual heel position, and sat

down.

 

He then turned to me and said, “She knows th a t she’s retrieved all

three and that that is all there were. She keeps a running count. When

there are no more lures to search for, she lets me know with th a t

‘They’re all here, stupid’ bark and simply gets ready for the next thing

th a t I want her to d o .’’

 

We repeated the exercise for the bet ter p a rt of a half hour, varying

the number of lures up to five, with me and another spectator tossing

the lures and sending the dog to fetch as sort of a check to see if some­

thing hidden in the way the items were placed or the commands given

accounted for h e r success. Once we even had someone toss out a set of

lures in such a way that the dog saw where they landed but the person

giving Poco commands didn’t know how many lures were thrown and

therefore couldn’t give any covert clues to the dog like those Clever

Hans used in his counting tricks. None of these variations seemed to

matter, and even at five, the dog never missed the count once.

 

Dogs even seem to have a rudimentary ability to add and subtract.

Robert Young of the Pontifical Catholic University in Brazil and

Rebecca West of the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom used

a modified version of a test designed to determine that young humans

have such abilities. First the dog is shown a large treat, then a low

screen is p u t in front of it to block the dog’s view. While the dog

watches, the experimenter takes another treat, shows it to the dog, and

then lowers it down behind the screen. If the dog can count, he should

expect th a t when the screen is raised he should see two treats, and

sometimes he does. However, sometimes the experimenter secretly

removes one of the treats so that now when the screen is raised there

is only one t re a t visible. Thus instead of the expected 1 + 1=2, the

dog is presented with 1 + 1 = 1. Alternatively the experimenter can

secretly add an additional treat, giving the dog the result 1 + 1=3.

When any of the wrong answers appear, the dog reacts by staring at

the results for a much longer time than he does if the expected 1 + 1

= 2 appears. This is taken as evidence of surprise and puzzlement on

the p a r t of the dog, suggesting th a t he has done the mental addition

and know’s what the correct result should be. Such an ability would be

useful for mother dogs, which would then know if one or more of their

pups has gone missing from the litter, and by inference she would also

know how many of them were gone and must be found.

 

Creative experiment design. :) +1 for science

 

 

Recently a border collie named Rico was tested by Julia Fischer and

o ther psychologists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary

Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. They found that he could u n d e r ­

stand over two hun d red words, most of w^hich corresponded to the

names of objects. Like a young human child, Rico would quickly form

a rough hypothesis about the meaning of a new word after a single

exposure by inferring th a t the new word is connected to an object he

is seeing for the first time. One example of this is learning by an exclu­

sionary principle. Suppose th a t we put out seven toys and say to Rico

“Go get the fram is.” Rico has never h ea rd the word “f ram is” before.

However, he goes out to the pile of objects and finds th a t he knows the

name of six of them. He then takes the next step and assumes that the

one he doesn’t recognize must be the framis. If we test him later, even

weeks later, with a new pile of objects th a t includes the one th a t we

labeled the framis, he will quickly identify it. This is a complex form of

language learning th a t th a t up to now we thought was possible only in

humans and language-learning apes.

 

One might wonder if this particular dog was super smart among her breed conspicifics.

 

 

The Chinese still tre a t meat from chow chows as a culinary delicacy.

According to popular folk belief, dogs with black coats are considered

to be more nutritious and to have better fat for frying. It is not difficult

to find dog farms, dog butchers, and restau rants th a t specialize in dog

meat throughout modern China and its neighboring countries. When

the Summer Olympic Games were held in Seoul, South Korea, in

1988, the government passed a temporary law forbidding re stau rants

in the city limits to serve dishes made with dog meat, fearing th a t such

menu items would offend th e ir Western visitors. Because of public

pressure, however, shortly after the Olympics had concluded, dog

dishes again became available, and dogs could again be seen hanging

in local butcher shops.

 

If you’re interested in dogs only as a food source, then the question

of the ir intelligence is moot. Who wants smar t food? What you want is

a slow-moving dog (who won’t b urn off much fat or become tough

through exercise or vigorous activity) th a t is not clever enough to make

itself h a rd to capture. Thus it is not surprising that the dogs primarily

used for food may well have been the re ta rdates of dogdom. It seems

th a t virtually every visitor to Polynesia and Micronesia who wrote

about the local poi dogs also commented on th eir absence of intelli­

gence. In A Voyage Around the World (written in 1777), for instance,

Johann Georg Adam Forster, one of the naturalists accompanying Cap­

tain Cook, described the dogs of Polynesia and the South Sea Islands

as “lazy” and “unintelligent.” Specifically, he commented:

 

This day we dined for the first time on a leg of it [dog] roasted, which

tasted so exactly like mutton, that it was absolutely indistinguishable.

. . . In New Zealand, and in the tropical isles of the South Sea, the dogs

are the most stupid, dull animals imaginable, and do not seem to have

the least advantage in point of sagacity over our sheep.

 

 

I have known dogs, especially puppies, who were almost

as stupid as humans in their mental reactions.

—ROBERT BENCHLEY

 

No source given. Not mentioned on Wikiquote. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Robert_Benchley

 

Likely not genuine.

 

 

Before I describe what I learned about working or obedience intelli­

gence from these experts, I had best start with the caution th a t many

of them offered. All the judges recognized th a t there were definite dif­

ferences in the intelligence and trainability of the various breeds; how­

ever, they also noted th a t there is a lot of individual variation among

dogs. They noted th a t even in the dullest breeds, some dogs work

extremely well, while in some of the brightest breeds, certain individu­

als simply show no capacity to learn or perform. One judge told me, “A

lot has to do with the person training the dog. You can s ta r t with a

dumb breed and make them really quite clever if you are a good

enough trainer.” What this judge was actually describing was manifest

intelligence—th a t is, the sum total of all the dimensions of intelligence

th a t any dog displays. Ju s t like h uman beings, few dogs ever achieve

th e ir full psychological potential. The difference among the various

breeds, then, is how easily each can reach a certain level of perform­

ance and what the absolute maximum is th a t a dog of any given breed

may be expected to achieve. Good trainers can do a lot with any breed

of dog; they ju st find the job much easier if they s ta r t with one that has

high working and obedience intelligence.

 

Seems like a good paragraf to remember to quote in discussions of race and intellignece in humans.

 

 

In contemporary writing and discussions, it is considered rude,

biased, sexist, and politically incorre ct to refer to sex differences in

behavior, personality, or intelligence, especially in humans. Yet there

are clearly visible differences between male and female dogs (at least

for cer tain breeds) in terms of th e ir problem-solving and obedience

performance. Physically, males are often larger, stronger, and more

vigorous in th e ir activity th an the females. For some breeds, p a r t icu ­

larly Doberman pinschers and Labrador retrievers, the males perform

significantly better in problem-solving tests, such as those presented in

Chapter 9. Conversely, females of these breeds tend to do much better

in obedience and working tasks. One dog obedience judge, in listing

the top ten obedience breeds, noted next to his entry of Doberman pin­

schers, “females only, males tend to be too hard-headed and are more

difficult to control.” For some breeds, however, such as the poodle and

the English pointer, males are the “so f te r” sex and females are more

obstinate and difficult to train.

 

wud be interesting with more systematic data.

 

 

The case of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel is not unique. Pfaffen-

berger kept careful records during his systematic breeding p rogram

for guide dogs. Because each dog was tested for both personality and

intelligence, this gave a marvelous opportunity to see if these ch a ra c ­

teristics were genetically based. His records show that many personal­

ity characteristics, including the willingness to work for humans, are

carried genetically. The personality of a lit ter was directly predictable

from the personality of the sire and dam. Pfaffenberger scored the will­

ingness to work using a scale th a t ran from a low of 0 to a high of 5 to

keep track of the personalities of the various dogs. In one instance he

mated a dog named Odin who scored 5 on this dimension with a bitch,

Gretchen, who scored 4. If the temperaments of the parents were

passed on to the offspring, then all the re su ltan t puppies would have

temperaments falling between these values. Sure enough, when Pfaf­

fenberger administered tests to the six puppies, he found th a t four of

them scored 5 and the remaining two scored 4.

 

Seems to miss the regression to the mean, and that it might not be entirely polygenetic. But sure, it is mostly polygenetic and regression effects might be small.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_toward_the_mean

 

 

Deafness is more common in dogs than the casual pet owner might

recognize. Congenital hearing loss is mostly due to genetic factors. A

study by George Strain of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge

involving nearly seventeen thousand dogs confirmed th a t coat color is

associated with congenital deafness. The genetic defect that produces

deafness is closely linked with the genes th a t produce white coats,

roan (a dark color coat th a t has been liberally sprinkled with white),

merle (desaturated colors, especially where blacks become grays or

blues), and piebald (spotty, especially black and white) colors in dogs.

The classic example of a piebald dog is the Dalmatian. In this breed,

22 percent are deaf in one e ar and an additional 8 percent are deaf in

both ears, amounting to an amazing 30 percent born with some form

of hearing deficit. While all Dalmatians are more or less piebald, in

o ther breeds the white, roan, merle, or piebald genes are found in

some individuals but not others. In the bull terrier, for example, indi­

viduals can be either white o r can have prominent color patches.

Among those bull ter r iers who are white, the ra te of congenital deaf­

ness is 20 percent, while for those with color patches it is only around

1 percent.

 

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/deafness

 

apparently legit.

 

 

If you are systematic about teaching your dog his name, its sound

will capture the dog’s attention and he will look at you. This attention

is vital when you w an t to teach the dog something or get him to do

something. If you are not systematic about teaching a dog its name,

then the dog will most likely assume th a t its name is the sound th a t it

hears most frequently directed at it by its family. There was a cartoon

th a t captured this idea when it depicted two dogs meeting on the

street. One introduces himself to the o ther saying, “My name is ‘No,

No, Bad Dog.’ What’s yours?”

 

:p

 

 

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, psychologists made a star-

tling discovery. They found that, for many jobs, high intelligence is

actually a handicap, especially where work is quite repetitive, where

the same actions or decisions are required many times during the day,

where work is interspersed with long periods of relative inactivity, or

where the rate of work-related activity is slow. Under these conditions,

an individual with higher general intelligence is actually apt to p e r ­

form worse than one with lower intelligence on a day-to-day basis. Not

only will the b righte r person perform less well, b u t he or she will be

considerably less satisfied with the work and the job as a whole.

 

satisfaction might be lower, but the other is just wrong.

 

cf. The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings.

Schmidt, Frank L.; Hunter, John E.

Psychological Bulletin, Vol 124(2), Sep 1998, 262-274. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.124.2.262

 

http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1998-10661-006

June 20, 2013

Review: Missing the Revolution: Darwinism for Social Scientists (Barkow ed.)

[Jerome_H._Barkow]_Missing_the_Revolution_Darwini(Bookos.org)

In general, this was a short and interesting read. Made me want to read other material by Anne Campbell. The last chapter is skipable, just as Kanazawa said when he reviewed the book.

 

 

Women’s “natural” empathy is seen not as an obstacle to impartial observa-

tion but rather as an asset that affords them a different “way of knowing”

(Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule, 1986). This empathy is endorsed

even in the nonhuman sciences; “If you want to understand about a tumour,

you’ve got to be a tumour” (Goodfield, 1981, p. 213). Allied to this is an ori-

entation toward the idiographic or at least an avoidance of generalization:

Each woman is unique, and sweeping statements about women in general

or classes of women are viewed with suspicion.

 

This is the most stupid claim of ‘personal experience’-favoring people ive ever read.

 

 

The second strand of thought is an explicit acknowledgment of the po-

litical nature of feminist research (Cole & Phillips, 1995). Its aim is to im-

prove the lives of women (“The information-gathering purpose of research

thus takes second place to a facilitative and liberatory one” [Burr, 1998,

p. 139]), rather than to serve existing patriarchal institutions. Because no

firm line is drawn between the researcher and the researched, the fruits of

feminist research benefit the former as much as the latter (“Inquiry, as I have

portrayed it, is an uncertain, vulnerable process with immense potential for

personal growth and intellectual creativity” [Marshall, 1986, p. 208]). It is

clear that the feminist political agenda takes precedence over “malestream”

social science. Psychologist Celia Kitzinger (1990, pp. 121–122) is blunt in

her denouncement: “Having identified psychology as incompatible with

feminism because of its refusal to deal with political realities, and its pre-

tence at objectivity, feminists with a professional involvement in the disci-

pline then sought to redefine and harness psychology for the feminist cause.”

In extremis, this has lead to the wholesale rejection of psychology as con-

flicting with feminist ideology: “The antipsychology approach [which grants

all psychological data and theories a severely limited validity, or even rejects

them completely] is the one which I shall argue offers most to feminist psy-

chology” (Squire, 1990, p. 79).

 

They are beyond hope. But the wording is good, “malestream science”, ill have to remember that when pointing out that males are dominating in science.

 

Its apparently not completely niche: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/malestream

 

See also a random article that uses it here: http://www.progressivewomen.org.uk/the-cultural-malestream-a-dramatic-misrepresentation-of-women/

 

The above is complaining about the underrepresentation of women in films and theater, apparently missing the obvious ideas:

 

As a prepubescent actress at an all-girls’ school I had the chance to play a plethora of roles.  In fact, I mostly cross-dressed: from a Scottish medieval knight to a chain-smoking, juvenile delinquent.  The opportunity to be whoever I wanted to be, to dream up characters far removed from myself is what turned me onto acting.  Inevitably, the real world burst that creative bubble.  On work experience at the Royal Court Theatre, I had the mind-numbing task of separating acting CVs into male and female.  The exercise proved instructive: the women’s pile doubled the men’s.  There was no mistaking the visual metaphor: the odds were quite literally stacked against me.

The issue isn’t that there are more women actors than men; it’s the double bind that there are far fewer roles for women than men.  Women are not proportionally represented, even though the majority of the viewing public, for both theatre and television, is female.

As an art form, theatre purports to be progressive.  Yet, a 2006 study by Sphinx theatre company[1] showed that out of 140 national theatre productions, 62% of roles were for men and 38% for women.  Although more women go to the theatre than men, they are still watching plays in which men play central roles.  It’s no coincidence that 70% of these plays were written by and 69% directed by men.  Despite the significant numbers of female actors, writers and directors, the industry remains male-dominated.

 

Does it occur to her that women might just not be as interesting characters? They certainly are not if we look at history. Since they, according to her, are the majority of the viewers, perhaps they just like to watch men? These are obviously hypotheses to me.

 

It still astounds me that casting is so overtly and unashamedly discriminatory.  Unlike any other industry, more often than not, an actor is primarily hired on the basis of sex, race and appearance.  In this past week, I analysed breakdowns from several casting websites to which I subscribe: 72% sought male actors, while just 28% advertised for women.  It’s not only the number of roles available to women; it’s the quality of these roles, which often perpetuate patriarchal stereotypes and/or sexually objectify women.  Here are a few gems:

Ah, the sociologist’s second fallacy! Which i will expand to not just racism, but any discrimination. There are some obvious solutions for complainer above: Become a screenwriter and start writing plays with more women. Become a director, start making films with more women. Convince other women not to go into acting (thus increasing demand and wages for those there).

 

 

This question of whether ideas that are promulgated through discourse

are veridical is one that constructionists finesse because they reject the

methods by which “facts” and “truth” are established. But in a crucial way,

their avoidance of this question places them in a very awkward position in

relation to their aims of both representing women’s experiences and im-

proving women’s lives. Constructionists’ analyses of women’s experiences

are negotiable, provisional, and subjective “glosses” of women’s negotiable,

provisional, and subjective discourse about themselves. Since there is no

“self,” aside from its situated constitution in text, it makes no sense to lay

claim to “accuracy” in any description of women’s lives since the term is

meaningless without a criterion for factuality. In addition, if there are no

facts (encapsulated in Derrida’s famous dictum “There is nothing outside the

text”), then constructionists are forced to concede that men’s historical op-

pression of women, the suffering of abused wives, and working women’s in-

ability to break through the glass ceiling are not facts but situated social

constructions.

 

Hah.

 

 

Social constructionists not only refuse to seriously address the possibil-

ity of a social reality beyond the text (that may or may not be accurately rep-

resented in discourse) but are equally reluctant to consider the origins of

everyday discourses. If the stronger male sex drive is a collective fiction, then

where did it originate? Which sex benefits from it? Why is it not discon-

firmed by thousands of women’s own experience? At what age and how do

young people acquire it? These are, we are told, illegitimate “mechanical”

questions:

 

But to assume the mechanical reproduction of discourse requires ask-

ing how it got to be like that in the first place. And that question is in

danger of throwing theory back into answers according to the terms

of biological, Oedipal or social and economic determinisms. (Hollway,

1984, pp. 238–239)

 

This reminds me of Jussim et al’s article The Unbearable Accuracy of Stereotypes. Quotes here. Where do stereotypes come from? Usually, they come from the shared experiences of many, many people. Although they can be invented as well. But since they are usually grounded in facts, they are reasonably accurate.

 

 

At the biological heart of sex differences lies anisogamy—the vastly un-

equal size (and consequent energetic cost) of gametes contributed by male

and female in sexual reproduction. As Williams (1996, p. 118) points out,

anisogamy marks the start of male exploitation of females. “When egg-

producers reproduce, they must bear the entire nutritional burden of nur-

turing the offspring. By contrast, the sperm-makers reproduce for free. A

sperm is not a contribution to the next generation; it is a claim on contribu-

tions put into the egg by another individual. Males of most species make no

investments in the next generation, but merely compete with one another

for the opportunity to exploit investments made by females.” When com-

bined with internal fertilization, the stage is set for an even greater inequal-

ity in parental investment for two main reasons. First, the cost to the female

of abandoning the embryo or newborn is far greater than to the male. At any

given point in time she has made the greater commitment to the offspring

(in terms of time and energy) and will suffer a higher replacement cost if she

deserts it (all the more true in humans, where her reproductive future is

truncated by menopause). Second, internal fertilization introduces uncer-

tainty about paternity. While a female need never doubt that the offspring

to which she gives birth is her own, males must entertain the possibility of

cuckoldry. The degree of paternal care depends, across species, on the male’s

certainty that he is the biological father. Doubt reduces the likelihood of

male investment and leaves the mother “holding the baby.” For these rea-

sons, in over 90% of mammals, it is the female who exclusively cares for the

young. As primates, humans are remarkable on three counts. First, they

must cope with a very protracted period of infant dependency. Babies are

born, biologically speaking, about nine months prematurely so that the huge

cranium can pass through the pelvis—a channel that could not grow larger

without compromising the mother’s bipedal locomotion. Sexual maturity is

not attained for 12 to 14 years because an extensive learning period is re-

quired to master the complexity of the social environment that humans

must navigate. Second, humans display a very high degree of paternal care

relative to other primates. Men did not elect this route as a favor to

women—selection does not favor strategies that selflessly benefit others at a

net cost to the donor. Polygyny (men taking multiple mates) can offer huge

reproductive benefits to a man, but the sheer mathematics of the situation

mean that a high proportion of the less desirable will fail to reproduce at

all—and may not even survive the intense degree of male competition that

polygyny engenders. The prizes are high, but the odds are strongly stacked

against winning. For most men, it would be more advantageous to remain

with one woman and increase the likelihood of their joint offspring surviv-

ing than to court multiple women whose offspring had a low survival prob-

ability for lack of male investment. Third, human males are also notable for

the degree of control that they exercise over their mates. These three facts

are not unconnected. The high and protracted dependence of young grow-

ing humans means that they benefit from care by both parents. These long-

term costs are only likely to be met by males who have high levels of paternal

certainty. That certainty requires close mate guarding of female partners.

 

About the differences in preproductive outcome. The classical source given is: http://www.psy.fsu.edu/~baumeistertice/goodaboutmen.htm

 

where it is written (was said):

The Most Underappreciated Fact

            The firstbig, basic difference has to do with what I consider to be the most underappreciatedfact about gender. Consider this question: What percent of our ancestors werewomen?

It’s not a trick question, and it’snot 50%. True, about half the people who ever lived were women, but that’s notthe question. We’re asking about all the people who ever lived who have a descendant living today. Or, put another way, yes,every baby has both a mother and a father, but some of those parents hadmultiple children.

            Recentresearch using DNA analysis answered this question about two years ago. Today’s human population is descended fromtwice as many women as men.

            I thinkthis difference is the single most underappreciated fact about gender. To getthat kind of difference, you had to have something like, throughout the entirehistory of the human race, maybe 80% of women but only 40% of men reproduced.

 

He cites no specific study. But see: Favre, Maroussia, and Didier Sornette. “Strong gender differences in reproductive success variance, and the times to the most recent common ancestors.Journal of Theoretical Biology (2012).

 

Abstract:

The Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) based on human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is estimated to be twice that based on the non-recombining part of the Y chromosome (NRY). These TMRCAs have special demographic implications because mtDNA is transmitted only from mother to child, while NRY is passed along from father to son. Therefore, the former locus reflects female history, and the latter, male history. To investigate what caused the two-to-one female–male TMRCA ratio rF/M=TF/TMrF/M=TF/TM in humans, we develop a forward-looking agent-based model (ABM) with overlapping generations. Our ABM simulates agents with individual life cycles, including life events such as reaching maturity or menopause. We implemented two main mating systems: polygynandry and polygyny with different degrees in between. In each mating system, the male population can be either homogeneous or heterogeneous. In the latter case, some males are ‘alphas’ and others are ‘betas’, which reflects the extent to which they are favored by female mates. A heterogeneous male population implies a competition among males with the purpose of signaling as alpha males. The introduction of a heterogeneous male population is found to reduce by a factor 2 the probability of finding equal female and male TMRCAs and shifts the distribution of rF/MrF/M to higher values. In order to account for the empirical observation of the factor 2, a high level of heterogeneity in the male population is needed: less than half the males can be alphas and betas can have at most half the fitness of alphas for the TMRCA ratio to depart significantly from 1. In addition, we find that, in the modes that maximize the probability of having 1.5<rF/M<2.51.5<rF/M<2.5, the present generation has 1.4 times as many female as male ancestors. We also tested the effect of sex-biased migration and sex-specific death rates and found that these are unlikely to explain alone the sex-biased TMRCA ratio observed in humans. Our results support the view that we are descended from males who were successful in a highly competitive context, while females were facing a much smaller female–female competition.

 

Back to the book!

 

 

Socialization explanations of sex differences are built on the foundation of

the tabula rasa infant shaped, rewarded, and punished until it conforms to

societal demands for sex-appropriate behavior. They first took shape in the

era of behaviorist learning theory. The account was a simple one; parents

treat boys and girls differently, reinforcing the correct behavior in each. Boys

are encouraged to fight, climb trees, and play football. Girls are forced to

wear dresses, play with dolls, and share. The “Baby X” paradigm was hailed

as conclusive evidence of socialization differences (e.g., Will, Self, & Datan,

1976). A six-month-old baby was wrapped in a blue or a pink blanket, iden-

tified as a boy or a girl, then handed to a woman who was asked to look after

it for a few minutes. When told it was a girl, the women more often offered

the infant a doll in preference to other toys. Surely this showed that parents

treat infants differently as a function of their biological sex?

 

But there was a problem. Despite many attempts at replication, the ef-

fect seemed even weaker than it had on first sight appeared (and recall the

effect was found only for toy selection—there were no differences in social

behavior to the infant). It was certainly not strong enough to support the

whole edifice of sex differences (Stern & Karraker, 1989). And even if par-

ents gave their children different toys, such a finding would be trivial unless

it could be shown that the toys changed the child’s subsequent behavior. But

the real challenge came when Lytton and Romney (1991) collected from

around the world 172 studies that had examined the way in which parents

treat their sons and daughters. Considering them all together, the evidence

for differential treatment was virtually nil. Parents did not differ in the

amount of interaction with the child, the warmth they showed, their ten-

dency to encourage either dependency or achievement, their restrictiveness,

their use of discipline, their tendency to reason with the child, or the amount

of aggression that they tolerated. There was one area that showed a differ-

ence. Parents tended to give their children sex-appropriate toys. But sex-

differentiated toy preference has been found in infants from nine months of

age (Campbell, Shirley, Heywood, & Crook, 2000). Children play more

with sex-appropriate toys even when their parents do not specifically en-

courage them to do so (Caldera, Huston, & O’Brien, 1989). It is quite likely

that parents are not using toys to turn their children into gender conformists

but are simply responding to the child’s own preferences.

 

Didnt know of that meta-analysis. Heres the abstract:

 

A meta-analysis of 172 studies attempted to resolve the conflict between previous narrative reviews on whether parents make systematic differences in their rearing of boys and girls. Most effect sizes were found to be nonsignificant and small. In North American studies, the only socialization area of 19 to display a significant effect for both parents is encouragement of sex-typed activities. In other Western countries, physical punishment is applied significantly more to boys. Fathers tend to differentiate more than mothers between boys and girls. Over all socialization areas, effect size is not related to sample size or year of publication. Effect size decreases with child’s age and increases with higher quality. No grouping by any of these variables changes a nonsignificant effect to a significant effect. Because little differential socialization for social behavior or abilities can be found, other factors that may explain the genesis of documented sex differences are discussed.

 

Probably, a newer one exist by now. But interesting nonetheless.

 

 

Anyway, if parents’ behavior toward their children was being guided by

their desire for them to conform to traditional gender stereotypes than we

would expect to find that the most sex-typed adults have the most sex-typed

children. Yet studies find that there is no relationship between traditional

household division of labor, parents’ attitudes to sex-typing, their sex-

typical activities, and their reactions to children’s behavior on one hand

and children’s degree of sex-typing on the other (Maccoby, 1998)

 

So much for those typical explanations…

 

 

Following these early views of the child shaped by selective reinforce-

ment came social learning theory, which emphasized a hitherto neglected

(but altogether central primate) capacity—imitation. This was co-opted into

an explanation of sex differences by proposing that children selectively im-

itate their same-sex parent. Laboratory studies were done in which children

were exposed to adult “models” performing a variety of novel behaviors. If

social learning theorists were right, then the statistical analysis would show

a significant interaction between sex-of-model and sex-of-child—girls would

imitate women and boys would imitate men. Dozens of such studies failed

to find such an effect (Huston, 1983; Maccoby & Jacklin, 1974). Perry and

Bussey (1979) devised an ingenious experiment that avoided the pitfalls of

the previous studies, where children had a one-off exposure to an adult

model. They showed children a film of eight adults selecting a preferred

fruit. In one condition all four men made one choice (e.g., orange), while all

four women made another (e.g., apple). In another condition, three men and

one woman chose an orange while three women and one man chose an

apple. In another condition half the men chose oranges and half the women

chose apples. They found that the extent to which children copied an adult

preference depended upon the proportion of their sex that made that

choice. In the first condition, there was a high degree of same-sex imitation,

in the second a much smaller amount, and in the third, there was no signif-

icant difference between the girls and boys in their choices. What this sug-

gested was that children were not slavishly imitating a same-sex adult but

rather judging the appropriateness of a particular (in this case wholly arbi-

trary) preference on the basis of the proportion of male or female adults who

made it. These results helped to make sense of previous work, which had

already shown that children tended to imitate activities that they already

knew to be sex-typed regardless of the sex of the model who was currently

engaged in it (Barkley, Ullman, Otto, & Brecht, 1977). What was important

was the child’s internal working model of gender and behavior.

 

Interesting.

 

 

Many developmentalists had already rebelled against the thoroughly passive

view of the child constructed by learning theory. Martin and Halverson

(1981) argued that children have a natural tendency to think categorically.

They form categories about all sorts of things, from animals to sports, and it

would be surprising if they did not, very early in life, form categories of male

and female. Once these categories are formed, all incoming information that

is gender-related gets shunted into the correct binary slot, and over time a

stereotype is built up about what males and females look like, do, and enjoy.

It is this internal model or gender schema, not the surveillance of parents,

which drives the child toward sex-appropriate behavior. At the very same

time that this proposal was being offered for child development, Bem

(1974) was proposing an identical scheme to explain adult differences in

sex-typing. The degree to which we “type” information as gender-relevant

is an individual difference variable. Women who strongly sex-type informa-

tion become more stereotypically feminine than women who are less in-

clined to tag information with gender labels. The cognitive revolution had

come to sex differences: it was not a matter of behavioral training, it was a

matter of mental categorizing, organizing, and recalling.

 

But gender schema theory was so cognitive that it left no room for an

adapted mind. The cracks inevitably began to appear. One problem was tim-

ing: sex differences in toy choice, play styles, activity levels, and aggression

are found as early as two years of age (Brooks & Lewis, 1974; Fagot, 1991;

Freedman, 1974; Howes, 1988; Kohnstamm, 1989; O’Brien & Huston,

1985; Roopnarine, 1986), but children are not able to correctly sort pic-

tures of boys and girls into piles until their third year (Weinraub, Clements,

Sockloff, Ethridge, & Myers, 1984). Children prefer sex-congruent toys

before they are able to say whether the toy is more appropriate for a boy or

a girl (Blakemore, LaRue, & Olejnik, 1979). They prefer to interact with

members of their own sex and show sex differences in social behavior before

they can label different behaviors as being more common among boys or

girls (Serbin, Moller, Gulko, Powlishta, & Colburne, 1994; Smetana &

Letourneau, 1984). Longitudinal studies confirm that sex-typed behavior

does not wait upon gender labeling (Campbell, Shirley, & Candy, under re-

view; Fagot & Leinbach, 1989; Trautner, 1992). A second problem was

correspondence: even when children’s gender stereotypes crystallize and

peak at about seven years of age, there is no relationship between a child’s

gender knowledge and how sex-stereotypic their own behavior is (Serbin

et al., 1994; Martin, 1994; Powlishta, 1995). Children seem to need neither

the ability to discriminate the sexes nor an understanding of gender stereo-

typic behavior to show sex differences.

 

Didnt know this! Very cool.

 

 

During the last twenty years there has been a significant change in the

nature of women’s labor, as women have moved into many arenas tradi-

tionally occupied by men. We might therefore expect to see a shift in both

stereotypes and self-perceptions by men and women. No such shift has

occurred (Helmreich, Spence, & Gibson, 1982; Lewin & Tragos, 1987;

Lueptow, 1985; Lueptow, Garovich, & Lueptow, 1995). Furthermore, we

would expect to see a fair degree of cultural specificity, with “traditional” so-

cieties showing more marked stereotypes than more egalitarian ones. We do

not (Williams & Best, 1982). Social role theory supposes that sex differences

are responsive to stereotypes and hence that stereotypes should be more ex-

treme and polarized than actual sex differences. They are not (Swim, 1994).

We are left with the alternative suggestion that stereotypes are reasonably

accurate assessments of the typical differences between men and women.

Rather than stereotypes causing sex differences, the reverse is the case. If this

is true, then we at least have a means of explaining the typical division of

labor between the sexes (women elect to spend more time than men do in

parenting activities). Although Eagly acknowledges that two biological fac-

tors (gestation and lactation in women, and size and strength in men) may

be implicated in the division of labor, for her biology stops at the neck: “This

viewpoint assumes that men and women have inherited the same evolved

psychological dispositions” (Eagly & Wood, 1999, p. 224). While anisogamy

may have forced the reproductive burden upon women, Eagly and Wood

make the implausible argument that there has been no commensurate adap-

tation of their goals, strategies, or preferences.

 

Nobody can seriously doubt that environmental and cultural factors in-

fluence the expression of sex differences. But to acknowledge the impact of

culture upon the surface structure of femininity is not to say that gender has

no biological basis and that the nature of men and women is wholly con-

structed by society. The problem with such a position is that it fails to ad-

dress the issue of why sex differences take the particular form that they do.

If gender differences are arbitrary, it is a curious coincidence that they fol-

low such a similar pattern around the world (Brown, 1991; Murdock, 1981).

Even if sex differences were driven by differential parental treatment, we

would still want to ask why a trait is considered more desirable for one sex

than another. If they were driven by selective imitation, we would still want

to ask why children might show an untutored interest in their own sex. If

driven by gender schema, we would need to ask why sex-specific conformity

is so attractive to children. If driven by the division of labor, we still need to

explain the preference of men and women for agentic and expressive occu-

pational roles. Liberal feminists explain the transmission of the status quo—

but without asking where it came from.

 

For newer data about this, see: http://roseproject.no/, especially the summary here: http://roseproject.no/network/countries/norway/eng/nor-Sjoberg-Schreiner-overview-2010.pdf (english)

 

In the more egalitarian countries, sex differences are larger not smaller! It would seem that the more free women are made, the more they choose interests and work closer to their natural inclinations.

 

 

It is hard to know what to make of Fausto-Sterling’s (1992, p. 199)

claim that “there is no single undisputed claim about universal human be-

havior (sexual or otherwise).” Presumably even the most ardent cultural rel-

ativist would accept that everywhere people live in societies, that they eat,

sleep, and make love, and that women give birth and men do not. Some fem-

inist biologists refuse to engage in any debate about the evolved nature of

psychological sex differences by denying that two sexes even exist. Muldoon

and Reilly (1998, p. 55) believe that “the objectivity of “hard science” in this

area can be questioned, so much so that the biological definition of sex itself

becomes untenable.” They suggest that there is no biological basis for our

belief in male and female as “dichotomous, mutually exclusive categories”

(see also Bem, 1993). Notwithstanding these authors’ uncertainty, most

feminists accept that the vast majority of the population belongs to one of

two biologically distinct sexes. Indeed, most feminists acknowledge that the

reproductive differences between them are the result of evolution.

 

The problems seem to arise when we move from biological functioning

of the body to the biological functioning of the brain—which are seen as

quite unrelated (Bem, 1993). Though everywhere women are the principle

caretakers of children, the fact that there may be variation in how that task

is fulfilled leads some anthropologists to conclude that mothering is not uni-

versal (Moore, 1988). This is analogous to arguing that because people eat

different food in different parts of the world, eating is not universal. Fortu-

nately, Donald Brown (1991), trained in the standard ethnographic tradi-

tion, has documented the extent of human universals. Of special interest to

the study of gender we find: binary distinctions between men and women,

division of labor by sex, more child-care by women, more aggression and

violence by men, and acknowledgment of different natures of men and

women.

 

Even though the brain is the most expensive organ in the human body

in terms of calorie consumption, even though feminists accept that hominid

brain size itself was a result of natural selection, and even though the pro-

duction of the very hormones that orchestrate bodily differences originate

in the brain, many social science feminists reject the notion that evolution

could have had an impact on the minds of the two sexes. Though success-

ful reproduction is the reason for our existence today and though the sexes

play vital and different roles in that process, they reject any notion that their

minds may have been sculpted by millions of years of evolution to set dif-

ferent goals or pursue different strategies.

 

This reminds me of the similar claims made about races. Everybody acknowledge that racial differences in skin color and the like are due to evolution. Things like racially affected diseases are also mainstream: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sickle-cell_disease, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_genetics_of_Jews.

 

But when it comes to mental attributes, surely, they deny evolution any significant change over the last thousands of years since africans separated from non-africans out of Africa, or Asians from Caucasians, and so on. Jensen wrote in The g Factor p. 433 that:

 

Of the approximately 100,000 human polymorphic genes, about 50,000 are

functional in the brain and about 30,000 are unique to brain functions.1121 The

brain is by far the structurally and functionally most complex organ in the human

body and the greater part of this complexity resides in the neural structures of

the cerebral hemispheres, which, in humans, are much larger relative to total

brain size than in any other species. A general principle of neural organization

states that, within a given species, the size and complexity of a structure reflect

the behavioral importance of that structure. The reason, again, is that structure

and function have evolved conjointly as an integrated adaptive mechanism. But

as there are only some 50,000 genes involved in the brain’s development and

there are at least 200 billion neurons and trillions of synaptic connections in the

brain, it is clear that any single gene must influence some huge number of

neurons— not just any neurons selected at random, but complex systems of

neurons organized to serve special functions related to behavioral capacities.

It is extremely improbable that the evolution of racial differences since the

advent of Homo sapiens excluded allelic changes only in those 50,000 genes

that are involved with the brain.

 

An analogous case is true for another biological group distinction: men and women. Given the possibility of sex-linked genes, it seems entirely unreasonable to expect evolution never to make use of this for the brain. Indeed, we know this isnt the case because hormones are partly controlled in the brain. Why then apriori exclude other sex-linked genes for the brain? It makes no sense at all, and is a clear case of prejudiced opinions.

 

That being said, it is now known that there are actually fewer genes in humans than estimated when Jensen wrote that in 1998. This however does little to affect the above theoretical reasoning. http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/faq/genenumber.shtml

 

 

The first is the “Show me the gene” argument, which maintains that we

need not accept the hereditary basis of any trait until biologists locate the

gene responsible. As I have just discussed, phenotypic behavior is not re-

ducible to a gene; it depends upon incredibly complex cascades of interac-

tions with the environment. We will never find a one-to-one relationship

between a gene and a life history strategy (e.g., mature early and breed plen-

tifully versus mature late and invest heavily) because all members of a

species have the ability to take either route and the one that is selected is a

function of environmental factors such as crowding, stress, status, and deve-

lopmental experiences. Even discounting environmental effects, the bio-

logical (to say nothing of psychological) development of a single trait could

not be a straightforward mapping exercise because of pleiotropy (where

a single gene affects two or more apparently unrelated traits), polygenics

(where a single trait is controlled by many genes), nonadditivity (where

genes at different loci interact) and switch genes (higher-order genes control

the action of many others). These complexities aside, evolutionary psychol-

ogists are not geneticists, and it is unreasonable to expect them to be. But

this does not mean that psychologists must remain gagged until then. When

we see universal complexities of psychological design that suggest an adap-

tation, it is reasonable to test such a proposal—just as alternative formula-

tions (e.g., sex differences are absent where children possess no cognitive

categories for male and female) are free to test theirs.

 

This objection is particularly stupid. It is also made with respect to races. I wonder if people also make it with respect to evolution? After all, Darwin had no good idea of the gene, and the biological basis for it wasnt even discovered until 1950ish. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA#History_of_DNA_research

 

Its a case of setting irrationally high evidence requirements for a claim inconsistent with one’s current beliefs.

 

 

The real attack on Wilson’s book started in the fall of 1975 with a letter from

the Sociobiology Study Group to the New York Review of Books (Allen et al.,

1975). In that letter, Sociobiologywas being connected to nazism and racism,

and Wilson was said to support a conservative agenda by emphasizing the

genetic underpinnings of human behavior. Actually, though Wilson’s book

was more than 500 pages long, only the last chapter was devoted to the

human species. There he argued that a number of behaviors, including sex

roles, aggression, altruism, and even moral and religious beliefs, could well

have a biological basis. To boost this argument, he drew parallels to the

behavior of other primates and invoked research on selected traits from be-

havioral genetics and twin studies, suggesting that additional traits may turn

out to have a similar genetic foundation. The critics, however, argued that

Wilson had no evidence and that his statements supported a biological de-

terminist view of humans. For them, such a view implied that social in-

equality was “in our genes,” which would make social measures to diminish

inequality futile.

 

Almost makes me want to read the original book, but surely something newer on sociobiology has come out in the last 38 years?

 

 

But what Wilson wanted to present as exciting new findings his critics

declared to be “bad” and dangerous ideologically influenced science. And

among his critics could be found two of Wilson’s Harvard colleagues,

Richard Lewontin and Stephen J. Gould, who were members of the Socio-

biology Study Group, which had formed soon after Wilson’s book was an-

nounced as news on the front page of the New York Times in late May 1975.

This group organized many critical activities, starting with a letter in the

New York Review of Books signed by a number of Boston-area academics. The

high point of criticism was a sociobiology symposium at the 1978 meeting

of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washing-

ton, DC, where a group of activists (from the antiracist group Committee

Against Racism) chanted “Racist Wilson, you can’t hide, we charge you

with genocide!” whereupon two of them poured a pitcher of ice water on

Wilson’s neck, shouting, “Wilson, you are all wet!”

 

wtf

 

 

In 1975 the critics benefited from the political climate in which bio-

logical explanations of humans were taboo. This was a time when the lib-

eral credo reigned. There was the spirit of the post–World War II UNESCO

declaration stating that no evidence for racial differences existed, and the

general agreement to restrict genetic explanations of humans to the field of

medicine. This was also the time of postwar “environmentalism” (or, rather,

culturalism); people like Margaret Mead in anthropology and B. F. Skinner

in psychology were still held in high regard. And just before the sociobiology

debate, as a warning for all, there had been the controversy about IQ around

psychologist Arthur Jensen’s (1969) suggestion that the 15-point difference

in measured IQ between whites and blacks could have a genetic explana-

tion. Wilson had actually been careful with IQ and race in his book, and even

covered his back by citing Lewontin’s (1972) discovery that variation be-

tween populations (races) is much smaller than variation within a popula-

tion (race), a point that was widely regarded as undermining the usefulness

of race as a biological concept. But for the critics, that was not enough. What

mattered to them was the fact that Wilson had dared discuss biological un-

derpinnings for human behavior at all. This is why he had to be forcefully

denounced as a “bad” scientist, both morally and scientifically.

 

In 1975 many believed the critics when it came to Wilson’s political

motives. Very few ever read his book or asked about his actual agenda—or,

for that matter, about the critics’ agenda.

 

The treatment of the various IQ researchers is also worth reading about. I refer to Nyborg, Helmuth. “The greatest collective scientific fraud of the 20th century: The demolition of differential psychology and eugenics.” Mankind Quarterly, Spring Issue (2011).

http://www.helmuthnyborg.dk/Global-Witch-Hunt/Collective%20Fraud%20Publication_MQLI3Nyborg.pdf

 

 

The members of Science for the People were genuinely convinced that so-

ciobiology was, indeed, evil. (Of course, for academic activists, the fight

against sociobiology was also a welcome cause to rally around after the IQ

controversy.) The working logic of the critics is worth examining more

closely. It involved a type of “cognitive coupling” between three things: bad

science, ideological influences, and bad consequences. Moreover, there was

a clear connection between the critics’ criticism of sociobiology and their

conception that “bad,” and only “bad,” science would be socially abused.

 

What, then, was “bad” science? It turned out to be the kind of science

that the critics disliked: sociobiology, behavioral genetics, IQ research. Bad

science was never the kind of science that the critics did themselves in their

own labs. Bad science was science that involved working with models and

statistics of various sorts, not science at the molecular, reductionist level.

For many critics, the molecular level was where the “real” truth lay. Mod-

eling would never really yield reliable, serious science—only objective-

seeming, dangerous pseudoscience. This was Lewontin’s (1975a) position.

As Lewontin had already declared about those who studied cognitive traits,

they “could not” be interested in genuine science, because real science had

to do with the molecular level. Therefore they “must” be pursuing their re-

search for ideological reasons—which could also explain the “shoddiness” of

their science (Lewontin, 1975b).

 

 

Other evolutionary psychologists have made similar statements (see

Dennett, 1995, p. 537; Daly and Wilson, 1988, p. 12). Not only do evolu-

tionary psychologists acknowledge the existence of by-products and noise;

they also explicitly test by-product hypotheses (e.g., Kurzban, Tooby, &

Cosmides, 2001; Cosmides & Tooby, 1992). In addition, they acknowledge

that adaptationist claims must be backed by evidence: “To show that an or-

ganism has cognitive procedures that are adaptations . . . one must also

show that their design features are not more parsimoniously explained as

by-products” (Cosmides & Tooby, 1992, p. 180).

 

Ironically, in the same volume of essays in which Gould and Rose’s

comments appear (Rose & Rose, 2000), Fausto-Sterling makes exactly the

reverse criticism. She takes issue with Don Symons’s (1979) speculation that

the female orgasm might be a by-product rather than an adaptation (Fausto-

Sterling, 2000, p. 211), existing only because of the male orgasm, with the

design “carried over” to the other sex. Whichever view proves to be correct,

Fausto-Sterling here seems guilty of precisely the sins of which evolution-

ary psychologists stand accused, while Symons is as pluralistic as Gould

could ask.

 

Ironic indeed.

 

 

Elsewhere, however, it is clear that parents do sometimes neglect,

abuse, and even abandon their children (see Hrdy, 1999 for many exam-

ples). Often, one sex of offspring is more likely to be neglected, abused, or

even killed than the other. Female infanticide is the most common pattern

(see Dickemann, 1979b for an evolutionary analysis), but male-biased in-

fanticide has also been reported (e.g., among the Ayoreo of Bolivia by

Bugos & McCarthy, 1984). Much of my own research has focused on a pat-

tern of daughter favoritism among the Mukogodo of Kenya, an impover-

ished and low-status group of Maasai-speaking pastoralists (Cronk, 1989,

1991b, 2000). Although there is absolutely no evidence that the Mukogodo

abuse their children or have ever practiced infanticide, I have documented

in a variety of ways a broad tendency on the part of Mukogodo parents to

favor their daughters over their sons. For example, Mukogodo mothers and

other caregivers tend to hold infant girls more often than infant boys and to

remain closer to them when not holding them. In addition, girls are nursed

longer and more frequently and are more likely to be taken for medical care

than boys. The results of this favoritism include better growth performance

by Mukogodo girls than boys (measured as height-for-age, weight-for-age,

and weight-for-height). Survivorship among young girls is so much better

than among boys that the sex ratio of children ages 0–4 years is 67 boys to

every 100 girls.

 

A number of explanations for this daughter favoritism are possible. For

example, it might be that Mukogodo parents favor their daughters because

of the bridewealth payments, usually consisting of several head of cattle and

some sheep and goats, that they attract. However, there is no correlation

between how many daughters a man has married off and either his herd

size, the number of wives that he himself is subsequently able to marry, or

the number of wives that his sons are subsequently able to marry. Further-

more, although all of the groups surrounding the Mukogodo also demand

bridewealth payments, they show no signs of daughter favoritism. A better

explanation is that the Mukogodo are responding to the relatively good

prospects of their daughters compared to their sons. Mukogodo women vir-

tually all get married, often to wealthy men from neighboring ethnic

groups. Mukogodo men, on the other hand, often have a hard time accu-

mulating the necessary bridewealth and frequently must delay marriage

until middle age or forgo marriage entirely because of their general poverty

and low ethnic status.

 

The Mukogodo pattern of daughter favoritism fits predictions made

by evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers and mathematician Dan Willard

(1973). They noted that if the reproductive prospects of male and female

offspring differ in a way that is predictable from the parents’ condition dur-

ing the time of investment, natural selection would favor parents who invest

more heavily in that sex with the better reproductive prospects. Because in

many species the variance in reproductive success is greater for males than

for females, the conditions faced by an individual during development will

typically have a greater impact on the reproductive success of males than

females. The net result is often that males reared when conditions are good

will outreproduce their sisters, while females reared when conditions are

bad will outreproduce their brothers. The Mukogodo appear to be in the

latter situation: Due to their poverty and low status, girls’ prospects are

much better than boys’, and it makes sense for Mukogodo parents to favor

their daughters. Although this pattern of daughter favoritism increases

Mukogodo parents’ numbers of grandchildren, this is not simply a demon-

stration of the common folk wisdom that people like to have many grand-

children. In two surveys of Mukogodo women’s reproductive goals and

preferences, I have found that they express a bias in favor of sons, not daugh-

ters, and Mukogodo parents appear to be entirely unaware of the daughter

favoritism in their behavior. Mukogodo daughter favoritism seems to be not

a conscious strategy for enhancing one’s number of grandoffspring but,

rather, a deeply rooted evolved predisposition shared by a wide variety of

species that is triggered by specific environmental circumstances. This

demonstrates the value of an evolutionary approach in identifying circum-

stances that lead to patterns of child neglect of which even the parents them-

selves may not be aware.

 

Interesting case study.

 

 

There is no single biosocial approach to the study of human behavior any more than there is a single environmental approach. David Buss (1990) identifies three general biosocial approaches to the study of human behav- ior: evolutionary, behavior genetic, and physiological. Although they em- ploy different theories and methods, work with different units of analysis, and invoke different levels of causation, they are not the contradictory stew we find when we survey the plethora of strictly environmental theories in sociology. Besides having in common the tremendous potential to illumi- nate human nature, biosocial approaches are vertically integrated; i.e., their principles are conceptually consistent across all three levels of analy- sis. Although I concentrate on evolutionary psychology, all biosocial ap- proaches are so “environment-friendly” that I am tempted to call them “biologically-informed environmental approaches.” Evolutionary psycho- logy will not (and cannot) cannibalize the social sciences. We will always need the social sciences, Barkow (1992, p. 635) assures us, but he also re- minds us that “psychology underlies culture and society, and biological evo- lution underlies psychology.” That is all I am asking criminologists to accept.

Possibly too much for them to accept.

Few social scientists balk at the notion that human anatomy and physiology are products of evolution. We observe some aspect of complex morphology and infer that it was selected over alternate designs because it best served some particular function that proved useful in assisting the proliferation of its owners’ genes. Although there is no other scientifically viable explana- tion for the origin of basic behavioral design, most social scientists probably dismiss the idea of human behavioral patterns as products of the same nat- ural process. If we accept the notion that evolution shaped our minds and our behavior, we have to accept that many of our less admirable traits such as deception, cheating, and violence owe their present existence to the fact that they were useful to the reproductive success (the total number of an or- ganism’s descendants, and thus its genes) of our distant ancestors, as were more positive traits such as altruism, nurturance, and love.

Can’t get the one without the other. So it is for the qualities that make men aggressive. Make make useful combatants, useful researchers and so on, but also criminals. It is the price society pays.

How can criminal behavior, including such heterogeneous acts as murder, theft, rape, and assault, be conceived of as an evolved adaptation when it is clearly maladaptive in modern environments? First, because a behavior is currently maladaptive does not mean that mechanisms underlying it are not evolved adaptations (designed by natural selection to solve some environmental problem). Our modern environments are so different in many re- spects from the environments our species evolved in that traits and behav- iors selected for their adaptive value then may not be adaptive at all today. Conversely, traits and behaviors that appear to be adaptive today may not have a history of natural selection (Barkow, 1984; Daly, 1996; Mealey, 1995). An adaptation is a current feature with a past; a feature that is cur- rently adaptive may or may not have a future. Second, the specifics of crim- inal behavior (or of any other social behavior for that matter) are not themselves adaptations: “Genes do not code themselves for jimmying a lock or stealing a car. . . . The genome does not waste precious DNA encoding the specifics” (Rowe, 1996, p. 285).

The author is right, but has anyone tested whether it actually is adaptive today as well? Do criminals have more kids than non-criminals? That seems quite likely! Which would mean that we are actually breeding for more criminal behavior!

How do cheats manage to continue to follow their strategy given how grudgers respond to them when they are unmasked? In computer simula- tions of interactions between populations of cheats, suckers, and grudgers, cheats are always driven to extinction, as evolutionary theory would predict (Raine, 1993; Allman, 1994). The problem with such simulations is that players are constrained to operate within the same environment in which their reputations quickly become known. In the real world, cheats can move from location to location meeting and cheating a series of grudgers who are susceptible to one-time deception. This is exactly what we observe among the more psychopathic criminals. They move from place to place, job to job, and relationship to relationship, leaving a trail of misery behind them before their reputation catches up to them (Hare, 1993; Lykken, 1995). In mod- ern societies, cheats are much more likely to prosper in large cities than in small traditional communities, where the threat of exposure and retaliation is great (Ellis & Walsh, 1997; Machalek & Cohen, 1991; Mealey, 1995).

Good observation about the ‘psychopaths’ and cheaters. We really are setting up a good environment for cheaters. Interesting. The lack of ability to delete things from the internet will however counter this to some degree.

It is a central tenet of evolutionary theory that the human brain evolved in the context of overwhelming concerns for resource and mate acquisition. When food, territory, and mates are plentiful, pursuing them violently is an unnecessary waste of energy involving the risk of serious injury or death. When resources become scarce, however, acquiring them any way one can may become worth the risk (Barkow, 1989). Among our ancestral males, those who were most successful in acquiring resources gained rank and sta- tus and, thereby, access to a disproportionate number of females. As Daly and Wilson (1988a, p. 132) have remarked: “Homo sapiens is very clearly a creature for whom differential social status has consistently been associated with variations in reproductive success.” Today status is not necessarily as- sociated with aggression and violence (typically, quite the opposite today in most modern societies), but it almost certainly was more so in our ancestral environments (Chagnon, 1996; Wrangham & Peterson, 1998). As the species moved from a nomadic lifestyle to civilization, it was typically the most successful warriors that became a nation’s aristocracy (Baumeister, Smart, & Boden, 1996). Because females prefer males with rank and status, genes inclining males to aggressively pursue their interests (which sometimes meant becoming violent) enjoyed greater representation in subsequent gen- erations. From the evolutionary point of view, violence is something human males (as well as males in numerous other species) are designed by nature to do. Wherever we look in the world, males are far more likely than fe- males to be both the victims and the perpetrators of all kinds of violent acts (Badcock, 2000; Barak, 1998; Campbell, 1999).

Actually a study found that being bullied predicts lack of dating. Being bullied is clearly a sign of low status. So, we should expect high status to predict dating.

http://www.epjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/EP10253270.pdf

Early hominids (Australopithecus anemensis and afarenis) were also 50% to 100% larger than females (Geary, 2000). The low degree of sexual di- morphism among modern Homo sapiens (males are only about 10% larger than females, on average) indicates an evolutionary shift from violent male competition for mates to a more monogamous mating system and an in- crease in paternal investment (Plavcan & van Schaik, 1997). However, there is evidence in the archeological literature indicating that homicide was much more common in evolutionary environments than it is today (Edgerton, 1992). In cultures where polygyny and low paternal investment still exist, we find homicide rates greatly exceeding those of any modern society. The Agta have a rate of 326 per 100,000, and the Yanomamo one of 166 per 100,000 (Ellis & Walsh, 2000, p. 71). Chagnon (1996) also presents data showing that homicide rates in many of today’s pre-state societies are many times greater than in any modern industrial society. Indeed, because the Yanomamo practice polygyny, homicide translates directly into reproduc- tive success; males who have killed the most in intervillage warfare (and are thus the most respected) have about three times as many wives and chil- dren than those who have killed least or not at all (Chagnon, 1988).

They must be very war like, breeding for such behavior for many years.

We can accept without question that forced copulation increases fitness among nonhuman animals, but may find it distasteful to apply similar rea- soning to humans. If we claim that rape (or any other violent behavior) is a product of natural selection, aren’t we justifying it and implying that it is morally acceptable? No, we are not; and to claim that we are is to commit the naturalistic fallacy, the confusion of is with ought.Nature simply is, what ought to be is a moral judgment, and to say that forced copulation is natural mammalian behavior no more constitutes moral approval than to claim that we approve of disease and death because we call these unwelcome events natural also. Rape in a modern context is a maladaptive consequence of a mating strategy that may have been adaptive in the environments in which our species evolved; it is a morally reprehensible crime that requires strong preventative legal sanctions. Calling something “natural” does not dignify it or place it beyond the power of culture to modify, as manifestly it is not.

Like with their previous comments, perhaps whatever makes males rape is actually still adaptive. One would have to check to see if rapists have more children than non-rapists. Probably need to rely on anonymous surveys, since not all rapists are actually in prison (they might have been).

A third predictor of a person’s reproductive strategy according to AAT (but not considered a factor in other evolutionary theories of crime) is in- telligence, with those of relatively high intelligence generally opting for par- enting effort and those of relatively low intelligence generally opting for mating effort. It is not assumed that low intelligence is intrinsically antiso- cial (or high intelligence intrinsically prosocial, for that matter), only that it makes the procurement of resources needed to advertise parental effort to prospective females problematic. Low intelligence also makes it difficult to learn and appreciate the moral norms of society. Thus, a strategy emphasiz- ing mating effort is similar to criminal behavior in that direct and immedi- ate methods are used to procure resources illegitimately; little thought is given to the consequences either to the self or to the victim (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). Conversely, parenting effort is embedded in a prosocial lifestyle in which resource procurement relies on the patient and intelligent accumulation of social and occupational skills that are attractive to females. Thus, reproductive strategies mirror antisocial/prosocial behavior in terms of emphases on immediate versus delayed gratification.

This is a question open to testing, and it has been. g is a stronger (negative) predictor of crime than is income, so the effect of g is not completely mediated by resources measured by income.

There is also another question to test. It is known that there is a crime hotspot in IQ. From Jensen 1998:

The above-mentioned correlation between crime and IQ is clearly nonlinear. That is, the rate of serious crimes against persons, such as robbery, assault, rape, and homicide, is very low and nearly constant across IQ levels above IQ 100, but below IQ 100 the rate rises steeply, and then declines rapidly below IQ 70. The peak crime rate occurs in the IQ range from 75 to 90, with the highest rate for violent crime in the IQ range from 80 to 90. The vast majority of both petty crimes and violent crimes are committed by the segment of the population ranging from IQ 60 to 100. (So-called white-collar criminals and leaders of organized crime generally have IQs above 100.) These findings apply to both males and females, although the rate for most types of antisocial behavior is much lower for females, especially violent crime.

On the evolutionary account, one would expect the hotspot to move when the population average moves. This is testable. In countries with all blacks in SS Africa, is the crime also committed by people 10 to 30 below the average?

National IQ’s predict national crime rates too, which favors g theory. Here’s the table from Lynn 2012:

[TABLE 9.1]

The major concern of feminist criminology has long been to explain the uni- versal fact that women are far less likely than men to involve themselves in criminal activity (Price & Sokoloff, 1995, p. 3). Whenever and wherever records have been kept, it has been found that males commit the over- whelming proportion of criminal offenses, and the more serious and violent the offense, the more males dominate in its commission (Campbell, 1999). This fact is not in dispute, although explanations of it are. The traditional sociological view of gender differences in crime and other forms of deviant behavior is that they are products of differential socialization: that men are socialized to be aggressive, ambitious, and dominant, women to be nurtur- ing and passive; and that women will be as antisocial and criminal as men with female emancipation. The majority of studies relating to this issue, however, actually support the opposite of the emancipation hypothesis: that is, as the trend toward gender equality has increased, females have tended to commit fewer rather than more crimes relative to males (Ellis & Walsh, 2000, p. 388).

This makes me wonder why, in their view, that they would WANT to ’emancipate’ women more, if the outcome is that women become just as violent as men! Are feminists inadvertently promoting more violence?

Jerome Barkow asks us to “imagine evolutionary biology and population genetics as one island continent, and the social-behavioral sciences as an- other. Now is the time for ending false dichotomies and for emphasizing continuities. Now is the time to position the social-behavioral sciences in their proper place as a seamless continuation of biology” (1989, p. 18). To become vertically integrated in the way envisioned does not mean that crim- inologists need to become expert evolutionary psychologists, behavior ge- neticists, endocrinologists, or neuroscientists in order to study crime and criminality. They must at least be students of those sciences, however, if they are to develop theories that maintain vertical consistency with them. If they do not they will become irrelevant, as Alice Rossi (1984) warned bio- logically ignorant sex-role researchers in her 1983 presidential address to the American Sociological Association. In this “decade of the brain” and in the age of the Human Genome and Human Genetic Diversity Projects, biolog- ical data relevant to understanding criminal behavior are pouring in at a re- markable rate. Criminologists have an unprecedented opportunity to join other scientists in interdisciplinary analyses of criminal behavior with these data. If criminologists pass up this opportunity, we can be sure that the torch will be passed to other disciplines—the study of criminality is too important to remain mired in premodern science.

May 30, 2013

More reading material about race and intelligence/IQ/g

Filed under: Differential psychology/psychometrics,Evolutionary biology,Psychology,Sociology — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 09:43

I hit open a wealth of good reading material:

http://www.aei.org/article/society-and-culture/religion/the-inequality-taboo/

For those who consider it important to know what percentage of the IQ difference is genetic, a methodology that would do the job is now available. In the United States, few people classified as black are actually of 100-percent African descent (the average American black is thought to be about 20-percent white).[55] To the extent that genes play a role, IQ will vary by racial admixture. In the past, studies that have attempted to test this hypothesis have had no accurate way to measure the degree of admixture, and the results have been accordingly muddy.[56] The recent advances in using genetic markers solves that problem. Take a large sample of racially diverse people, give them a good IQ test, and then use genetic markers to create a variable that no longer classifies people as “white” or “black,” but along a continuum. Analyze the variation in IQ scores according to that continuum. The results would be close to dispositive.[57]

[57] The results of such a study would be especially powerful if the study also characterized variables like skin color, making it possible to compare the results for subjects for whom genetic heritage and appearance are discrepant. For example, suppose it were found that light-skinned blacks do better in IQ tests than dark-skinned blacks even when their degree of African genetic heritage is the same. This would constitute convincing evidence that social constructions about race, not the genetics of race, influence the development of IQ. Given a well-designed study, many such hypotheses about the conflation of social and biological effects could be examined.

Such studies with admixture and various other data now exists, except for IQ.

http://humanvarieties.org/2013/01/26/spearmans-hypothesis-and-the-nlsy97-asvab-part-1/

http://humanvarieties.org/2013/01/29/spearmans-hypothesis-and-the-nlsy97-asvab-part-2/

http://humanvarieties.org/2013/02/22/colorism-in-america-1/

http://humanvarieties.org/2013/02/02/more-than-just-colorism-part-1/

https://occidentalascent.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/iq-malleability-again/

http://humanvarieties.org/2013/03/29/cryptic-admixture-mixed-race-siblings-social-outcomes/

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=13724510&postcount=133

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3113605/

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent in US American minority populations of African or Native American descent than it is in European Americans. However, the proportion of this epidemiological difference that can be ascribed to genetic or environmental factors is unknown. To determine whether genetic ancestry is correlated with diabetes risk in Latinos, we estimated the proportion of European ancestry in case-control samples from Mexico and Colombia in whom socioeconomic status had been carefully ascertained.

Methods

We genotyped 67 ancestry-informative markers in 499 participants with type 2 diabetes and 197 controls from Medellín (Colombia), as well as in 163 participants with type 2 diabetes and 72 controls from central Mexico. Each participant was assigned a socioeconomic status scale via various measures.

Results

Although European ancestry was associated with lower diabetes risk in Mexicans (OR [95% CI] 0.06 [0.02–0.21], p=2.0 × 10−5) and Colombians (OR 0.26 [0.08–0.78], p=0.02), adjustment for socioeconomic status eliminated the association in the Colombian sample (OR 0.64 [0.19–2.12], p=0.46) and significantly attenuated it in the Mexican sample (OR 0.17 [0.04–0.71], p=0.02). Adjustment for BMI did not change the results.

Conclusions/interpretation

The proportion of non-European ancestry is associated with both type 2 diabetes and lower socioeconomic status in admixed Latino populations from North and South America. We conclude that ancestry-directed search for genetic markers associated with type 2 diabetes in Latinos may benefit from information involving social factors, as these factors have a quantitatively important effect on type 2 diabetes risk relative to ancestry effects.

Keywords: Genetic admixture, Genetic association, Latinos, Socioeconomic status, Type 2 diabetes

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1449501/

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0032840#pone.0032840.s002

Another study of racial admixture. Here’s the relevant table.

Fits with genetic theory, doesnt fit nurture theory.

Are there human races?

http://bioethics.stanford.edu/events/documents/pdfs/burchard.pdf

http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/full/ng1456.html

http://www.vdare.com/articles/iq-and-the-wealth-of-nations-richard-lynn-replies-to-ron-unz

https://occidentalascent.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/the-facts-that-need-to-be-explained/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1196372/

We have analyzed genetic data for 326 microsatellite markers that were typed uniformly in a large multiethnic population-based sample of individuals as part of a study of the genetics of hypertension (Family Blood Pressure Program). Subjects identified themselves as belonging to one of four major racial/ethnic groups (white, African American, East Asian, and Hispanic) and were recruited from 15 different geographic locales within the United States and Taiwan. Genetic cluster analysis of the microsatellite markers produced four major clusters, which showed near-perfect correspondence with the four self-reported race/ethnicity categories. Of 3,636 subjects of varying race/ethnicity, only 5 (0.14%) showed genetic cluster membership different from their self-identified race/ethnicity. On the other hand, we detected only modest genetic differentiation between different current geographic locales within each race/ethnicity group. Thus, ancient geographic ancestry, which is highly correlated with self-identified race/ethnicity—as opposed to current residence—is the major determinant of genetic structure in the U.S. population. Implications of this genetic structure for case-control association studies are discussed.

—-

Nurture only theory is untenable for a rational, unbiased, informed person.

January 18, 2013

Art Jensen on Galton + a review of The Legacy of His Ideas by Francis Galton (by Milo Keynes)

Filed under: Evolutionary biology,Evolutionary Psychology,Genetics / behavioral genetics,Science — Tags: — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 11:20

GALTON AND THE COMING OF EMPIRICAL PSYCHOLOGY
All the early influences on differential psychology mentioned so far came
from philosophers. None was an empirical scientist. Darwin was, of course, but
Darwinian ideas were introduced into psychology by Herbert Spencer, a pro­
fessional philosopher. The empirical study of mental ability and individual dif­
ferences could not begin until someone took up the methods of empirical
science, that is, asking definite questions of nature and discovering the answers
through analysis of data based on systematic observation, objective measure­
ment, and experimentation. The first person to do this was the Victorian eccen­
tric, polymath, and genius Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911).3 Galton was Charles
Darwin’s younger half-cousin—half-cousin because they had only one grand­
parent in common, Erasmus Darwin, a noted physician, physiologist, naturalist,
and poet. Born into a prominent and wealthy family, Galton was a child prodigy,
who could read and write before the age of four. He intensely disliked school,
however, and his parents transferred him from one private boarding school to
another, each as boring and frustrating to him as the others, and he begged his
parents to let him quit. In his Memories o f My Life (1908), written when he was
86, he still complained of his unsatisfying school experience. At age fifteen, he
was sent away to college, which offered more challenge. To satisfy his parents’
ambition that he follow in his eminent grandfather’s footsteps and become a
physician, he entered medical school. There he soon discovered that the basic
sciences—physics, chemistry, biology, and physiology—were far more to his
liking than medical practice. So he left medical school for Cambridge Univer­
sity, there to major in mathematics in preparation for a career in science.

Soon after Galton graduated, at age twenty-one, his father died, and Galton
received a large inheritance that made him independently wealthy for the rest
of his very long life. It allowed him to pursue his extremely varied interests
freely in all things scientific. His enthusiastic and catholic curiosity about natural
phenomena drove him to became perhaps the greatest scientific dilettante of all
time. Because he was also a genius, he made original contributions to many
fields, some of them important enough to be accorded chapters in books on the
history of several fields: criminology, eugenics, genetics, meteorology, psy­
chology, and statistics. He first gained fame in geography, as an explorer, ex­
pertly describing, surveying, and mapping previously unexplored parts of Africa.
For this activity, his name is engraved on the granite facade of the Royal Ge­
ographical Society’s building in London, along with the names of the most
famous explorers in British history. (His fascinating book  The Art o f Travel
[1855] was a long-time best seller and went through nine editions.) He also
made contributions to meteorology, inventing isobar mapping, being the first to
write a daily newspaper weather report, and formulating a widely accepted the­
ory of the anticyclone. He made other original contributions to photography,
fingerprint classification, genetics, statistics, anthropology, and psychometrics.
His prolific achievements and publications brought worldwide recognition and
many honors, including knighthood, Fellow of the Royal Society, and several
gold medals awarded by scientific societies in England and Europe. As a famous
man in his own lifetime, Galton also had what Hollywood calls “ star quality.”

Biographies of Galton also reveal his charming eccentricities. His profuse
intellectual energy spilled over into lesser achievements or activities that often
seem trivial. He was almost obsessed with counting and measuring things (his
motto: “When you can, count!” ), and he devised mechanical counters and other
devices to help in counting and tabulating. He loved data. On his first visit to
a city, for example, he would walk around with a small, hand-held mechanical
counter and tally the number of people passing by, tabulating their character­
istics—tall, medium, short; blond, brunette, redhead—separately for males and
females, the latter also rated for attractiveness. To be able to manage all these
data while walking about, he had his tailor make a special vest with many little
pockets, each one for a particular tabulated characteristic. He could temporarily
store the data from his counters by putting into designated pockets the appro­
priate number of dried peas. Back in his hotel room, he counted the peas in
each pocket and entered the numerical results in his notebook for later statistical
calculations.

He devised an objective measure of the degree to which a lecturer bored the
audience, and tried it out at meetings of the Royal Society. It consisted of
counting the involuntary noises—coughs, feet shuffling, and the like—that is­
sued from the audience, and, with a specially rigged protractor, he measured the
angle that listeners’ heads were tilted from a vertical position during the lecture.
A score derived from the data obtained with this procedure showed that even
the most eloquently written lecture, if read verbatim, was more boring than an
extempore lecture, however rambling and inelegant.

He also invented a special whistle (now called a Galton whistle), which is
familiar to many dog owners. Its high-frequency pitch is beyond humans’ au­
dible range and can be heard only by dogs and certain other animals. Galton
made a series of these whistles, ranging widely in pitch, and used them to find
the upper limits of pitch that could be heard by humans of different ages. To
compare the results on humans with the auditory capacities of many species in
the London Zoo, he would attach the whistles to the end of a tube that could
be extended like a telescope, so it could reach into a cage and direct the sound
right at the animal’s ear. While quickly squeezing a rubber bulb attached to one
end of the long tube to force a standard puff of air through the whistle attached
to the other end, he would note whether or not the animal reacted to a particular
pitch.

In another amusing project, he used the mathematics of solid geometry to
figure out the optimal way to cut a cake of any particular shape and dimensions
into any given number of pieces to preserve the freshness of each piece. He
published his clever solution in a mathematics journal. There are many other
quaint anecdotes about Galton’s amazing scientific curiosity and originality, but
the several already mentioned should suffice to round out the picture of his
extraordinary personality.

Although he died (at age ninety) as long ago as 1911, his legacy remains
remarkably vivid. It comprises not only his many pioneering ideas and statistical
inventions, still in use, but also the important endowments, permitted by his
personal wealth, for advancing the kinds of research he thought would be of
greatest benefit to human welfare. He founded the Department of Eugenics (now
Genetics) at the University of London and endowed its Chair, which has been
occupied by such luminaries as Karl Pearson, Sir Ronald Fisher, and Lionel
Penrose; he furnished a psychological laboratory in University College, London;
he founded two prestigious journals that are still active,  Biometrika and  The
Annals o f Human Genetics’, and he founded (in 1904) the Eugenics Society
(recently renamed The Galton Institute), which maintains an extensive library,
publishes journals and books, and sponsors many symposia, all related to the
field now known as social biology.

THE TWO DISCIPLINES OF SCIENTIFIC PSYCHOLOGY

Galton’s position in the history of behavioral science is stellar. He is ac­
knowledged as one of the two founding fathers of empirical psychology, along
with Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920), who established the first laboratory of ex­
perimental psychology in 1879 in Leipzig. As Wundt is recognized as the father
of experimental psychology, Galton can certainly be called the father of differ­
ential psychology, including psychometrics and behavioral genetics. Each is now
a major branch of modern behavioral science. The leading historian of experi­
mental psychology, Edwin G. Boring (1950), drew the following interesting
contrast between the scientific personalities of Galton and Wundt:

Wundt was erudite where Galton was original; Wundt overcame massive obstacles
by the weight of his attack; Galton dispatched a difficulty by a thrust of insight.
Wundt was forever armored by his system; Galton had no system. Wundt was
methodical; Galton was versatile. Wundt’s science was interpenetrated by his
philosophy; Galton’s science was discursive and unstructured. Wundt was
interminably arguing; Galton was forever observing. Wundt had a school, a formal
self-conscious school; Galton had friends, influence and effects only. Thus, Wundt
was personally intolerant and controversial, whereas Galton was tolerant and ready
to be convicted of error, (pp. 461-62)

Wundt and Galton were the progenitors of the two main branches of scientific
psychology—experimental (Wundt) and differential (Galton). These two disci­
plines have advanced along separate tracks throughout the history of psychology.
Their methodological and even philosophical differences run deep, although
both branches embrace the scientific tradition of objective testing of hypotheses.

Experimental psychology searches for general laws of behavior. Therefore, it
treats individual differences as unwanted variance, termed “ error variance,”
which must be minimized or averaged out to permit the discovery of universal
regularities in the relation between stimulus and response. The method of ex­
perimental psychology consists of controlling variables (or treatment conditions)
and randomizing the assignment of subjects to the different treatments. The
experimental conditions are intentionally manipulated to discover their average
effects, unconfounded by individual differences. In general, the stimulus pre­
sented to the subject is varied by the experimenter, while the subject’s responses
are recorded or measured. But the data of primary interest to the experimental
psychologist consist of the averaged performance of the many subjects randomly
assigned to each condition.

Differential psychology, on the other hand, seeks to classify, measure, and
then explain the variety and nature of both individual and group differences in
behavioral traits as phenomena worthy of investigation in their own right. It uses
statistical analysis, such as correlation, multiple regression, and factor analysis,
applied to data obtained under natural conditions, rather than the controlled
conditions of the laboratory. Obviously, when human characteristics are of in­
terest, individual differences and many other aspects of behavior cannot feasibly
or ethically be controlled or manipulated by the investigator. Therefore, scien­
tists must study human variation as it occurs under natural conditions. During
the latter half of this century, however, a rapprochement has begun between the
two disciplines. Both experimental and correlational methods are being used in
the study of cognition.

G al to n ’s Methodological Contributions. Galton made enduring contribu­
tions to the methodology of differential psychology. He was the first to devise
a precise quantitative index of the degree of relationship, or  co-relation (as he
called it) between any two metric variables obtained from the same individuals
(or relatives) in a given population. Examples are individuals’ height and weight
or the resemblance between parents and children, or between siblings, in a given
trait.

In 1896, Karl Pearson (1857-1936), a noted mathematician, who became a
Galton disciple and has been rightly called the “ father of statistics,” revamped
Galton’s formulation of co-relation, to make it mathematically more elegant and
enhance its general applicability. Pearson’s formula yields what now is called
“ the Pearson product-moment coefficient of correlation.” In the technical lit­
erature, however, the word  correlation, without a modifier, always signifies
Pearson’s coefficient.4 (The many other types of correlation coefficient are al­
ways specified, e.g.,  intraclass correlation,  rank-order correlation,  tetrachoric
correlation,  biserial correlation,  point-biserial correlation,  partial correlation,
semipartial correlation,  multiple correlation,  canonical correlation, correlation
ratio, phi coefficient,  contingency coefficient,  tau coefficient,  concordance co­
efficient, and  congruence coefficient. Each has its specialized use, depending on
the type of data.) Pearson’s correlation is the most generally used. Universally
symbolized by a lower-case italic  r (derived from Galton’s term  regression), it
is a ubiquitous tool in the biological and behavioral sciences. In differential
psychology, it is absolutely essential.

Galton invented many other statistical and psychometric concepts and meth­
ods familiar to all present-day researchers, including the bivariate scatter dia­
gram, regression (related to correlation), multiple regression and multiple
correlation (by which two or more different variables are used to predict another
variable), the conversion of measurements or ranks to percentiles, standardized
or scale-free measurements or scores, various types of rating scales, the use of
the now familiar normal or bell-shaped curve (originally formulated by the great
mathematician Karl Friedrich Gauss [1777-1855]) as a basis for quantifying
psychological traits on an equal-interval scale, and using either the median or
the geometric mean (instead of the arithmetic mean) as the indicator of central
tendency of measurements that have a markedly skewed frequency distribution.

In his  Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development (1883), Galton
described an odd assortment of clever tests and techniques, devised mostly by
himself, for measuring basic human capacities, particularly keenness of sensory
discrimination in the different modalities, imagery, and reaction times to audi­
tory and visual stimuli. Although Galton’s use of gadgetry has been disparaged
as “ brass instrument psychology,” it was a seminal innovation—the  objective
measurement of human capacities. Compared with modern technology, of
course, Galton’s methods were fairly crude, sometimes even inadequate for their
purpose. His intense interest in human variation and his passion for quantitative
data, however, led him to apply his “ brass instrument” techniques to almost
every physical and mental characteristic that could be counted, ranked, or mea­
sured.

Galton obtained many types of data on more than 9,000 persons who, from
1884 to 1890, went through his Anthropometric Laboratory in London’s South
Kensington Science Museum. Each had to pay threepence to serve as subjects
for these tests and measurements. Unfortunately, Galton lacked the powerful
tools of statistical inference that were later developed by Karl Pearson (1857-
1936) and Sir Ronald A. Fisher (1890-1962), and therefore he could only draw
much weaker conclusions than the quality of his massive data really warranted.
He was dismayed that the measurements of sensory discrimination and speed of
reaction appeared to show so little relationship to a person’s level of general
mental ability (as indicated by educational and occupational attainments). It soon
became a widely accepted and long-lasting conclusion that the simple functions
assessed by Galton are unrelated to individual differences in the higher mental
processes, or intelligence. Galton’s “ brass instrument” approach to the study
of human abilities, therefore, was abandoned for nearly a century.

Recently, Galton’s original data have been analyzed by modern methods of
statistical inference.151 It turned out that his original hypotheses were largely
correct after all. R. A. Fisher’s method known as analysis o f variance revealed
highly significant differences between groups differing in educational and oc­
cupational level on Galton’s discrimination and reaction-time tests. Galton’s
scientific intuitions were remarkably good, but the psychometric and statistical
methods then available were not always up to the task of validating them.

Galton Introduces Genetics into Psychology. Galton’s most famous work,
Hereditary Genius (1869), was the forerunner of behavior genetics, nearly a
century before either the term or the field of behavior genetics came into being.
Galton was especially interested in the inheritance of mental ability. Because
there was then no objective scale for measuring mental ability, he devised an­
other criterion of high-level ability:  eminence, based on illustrious achievements
that would justify published biographies, encyclopedia articles, and the like. By
this criterion, he selected many of the most famous intellects of the nineteenth
century, whom he classed as “ illustrious,” and he obtained information about
their ancestors, descendants, and other relatives. His extensive biographical and
genealogical research revealed that the relatives of his illustrious probands were
much more likely to attain eminence than would a random sample of the pop­
ulation with comparable social background. More telling, he noticed that the
probability of eminence in a relative of an illustrious person decreased in a
regular stepwise fashion as the degree of kinship was more remote. Galton
noticed that the same pattern was also true for physical stature and athletic
performance.

Galton made other observations that gave some indication of the power of
family background in producing eminence. In an earlier period of history, it was
customary for popes to adopt orphan boys and rear them like sons, with all the
advantages of culture and education that papal privilege could command. Galton
noted that far fewer of these adopted boys ever attained eminence than did the
natural sons of fathers whose eminence was comparable to a pope’s. From such
circumstantial evidence, Galton concluded that mental ability is inherited in
much the same manner, and to about the same degree, as physical traits.

Galton further concluded that what was inherited was essentially a  general
ability, because eminent relatives in the same family line were often famous in
quite different fields, such as literature, mathematics, and music. He supposed
that this hereditary general ability could be channeled by circumstance or interest
into different kinds of intellectual endeavor. He also recognized special abilities,
or talent, in fields like art and music, but considered them less important than
general ability in explaining outstanding accomplishment, because a high level
of general ability characterized all of his illustrious persons. (Galton noted that
they were also characterized by the unusual zeal and persistence they brought
to their endeavors.) He argued, for example, that the inborn musical gift of a
Beethoven could not have been expressed in works of genius were it not ac­
companied by superior general ability. In Hereditary Genius, he summarized his
concept of general ability in his typically quaint style: “ Numerous instances
recorded in this book show in how small a degree eminence can be considered
as due to purely special powers. People lay too much stress on apparent spe­
cialities, thinking that because a man is devoted to some particular pursuit he
would not have succeeded in anything else. They might as well say that, because
a youth has fallen in love with a brunette, he could not possibly have fallen in
love with a blonde. As likely as not the affair was mainly or wholly due to a
general amorousness” (p. 64).

Ga l to n ’s Anecdotal Report on Twins. The use of twins to study the inher­
itance of behavioral traits was another of Galton’s important “ firsts.” He noted
that there were two types of twins, judging from their degree of resemblance.
“ Identical” twins come from one egg (hence they are now called monozygotic,
or MZ, twins), which divides in two shortly after fertilization. Their genetic
makeup is identical; thus their genetic correlation is unity (r = 1). And they are
very alike in appearance. “ Fraternal” twins (now called dizygotic, or DZ) come
from two different fertilized eggs and have the same genetic relationship as
ordinary siblings, with a genetic correlation of about one-half (on average). That
is, DZ twins are, on average, about one-half as similar, genetically, as MZ twins.
DZ twins are no more alike in appearance than ordinary siblings when they are
compared at the same age.

Galton was interested in twins’ similarities and differences, especially in MZ
twins, as any difference would reflect only the influence of environment or
nongenetic factors. He located some eighty pairs of twins whose close physical
resemblance suggested they were MZ, and he collected anecdotal data on their
behavioral characteristics from their relatives and friends and from the twins
themselves. He concluded that since the twins were so strikingly similar in their
traits, compared to ordinary siblings, heredity was the predominant cause of
differences in individuals’ psychological characteristics.

Because Galton obtained no actual measurements, systematic observations, or
quantitative data, his conclusions are of course liable to the well-known short­
comings of all anecdotal reports. Later research, however, based on the more
precise methods of modern psychometrics and biometrical genetics, has largely
substantiated Galton’s surmise about the relative importance of heredity and
environment for individual differences in general mental ability. But Galton’s
research on heredity is cited nowadays only for its historical interest as the
prototype of the essential questions and methods that gave rise to modern be­
havioral genetics. It is a fact that most of the questions of present interest to
researchers in behavioral genetics and differential psychology were originally
thought of by Galton. His own answers to many of the questions, admittedly
based on inadequate evidence, have proved to be remarkably close to the con­
clusions of present-day researchers. In the history of science, of course, the
persons remembered as great pioneers are those who asked the fundamental
questions, thought of novel ways to find the answers, and, in retrospect, had
many correct and fruitful ideas. By these criteria, Galton unquestionably quali­
fies.

Ga l to n ’s Concept of Mental Ability. Galton seldom used the word  intelli­
gence and never offered a formal definition. From everything he wrote about
ability, however, we can well imagine that, if he had felt a definition necessary,
he would have said something like  innate, general, cognitive ability. The term
cognitive clearly distinguishes it from the two other attributes of Plato’s triarchic
conception of the mind, the affective and conative. Galton’s favored term, men­
tal ability, comprises both general ability and a number of special abilities—he
mentioned linguistic, mathematical, musical, artistic, and memorial. General
ability denotes a power of mind that affects (to some degree) the quality of
virtually everything a person does that requires more than simple sensory acuity
or sheer physical strength, endurance, dexterity, or coordination.

Analogizing from the normal, bell-shaped distribution of large-sample data
on physical features, such as stature, Galton assumed that the frequency distri­
bution of ability in the population would approximate the normal curve. He
divided the normal curve’s baseline into sixteen equal intervals (a purely arbi­
trary, but convenient, number) to create a scale for quantifying individual and
group differences in general ability. But Galton’s scale is no longer used. Ever
since Karl Pearson, in 1893, invented the  standard deviation, the baseline of
the normal distribution has been interval-scaled in units of the standard devia­
tion, symbolized by c (the lower-case Greek letter sigma). Simple calculation
shows that each interval of Galton’s scale is equal to 0.696o, which is equivalent
to 10.44 IQ points, when the o of IQ is 15 IQ points. Hence Galton’s scale of
mental ability, in terms of IQ, ranges from about 16 to 184.

Galton was unsuccessful, however, in actually  measuring individual differ­
ences in intelligence. We can easily see with hindsight that his particular battery
of simple tests was unsuited for assessing the higher mental processes that peo­
ple think of as “ intelligence.” Where did Galton go wrong? Like Herbert Spen­
cer, he was immensely impressed by Darwin’s theory of natural selection as the
mechanism of evolution. And hereditary individual variation is the raw material
on which natural selection works by, in Darwinian terms, “ selection of the fittest
in the struggle for survival.” Also, Galton was influenced by Locke’s teaching
that the mind’s content is originally gained through the avenue of the five senses,
which provide all the raw material for the association of impressions to form
ideas, knowledge, and intelligence. From Darwin’s and Locke’s theories, Galton
theorized that, in his words, “ the more perceptive the senses are of differences,
the larger is the field upon which our judgement and intelligence can act”
{Human Faculty, 1883, p. 19). Among many other factors that conferred advan­
tages in the competition for survival, individual variation in keenness of sensory
discrimination, as well as quickness of reaction to external stimuli, would have
been positively selected in the evolution of human intelligence.

It seemed to Galton a reasonable hypothesis, therefore, that tests of fine sen­
sory  discrimination (not just simple acuity) and of reaction time to visual and
auditory stimuli would provide objective measures of individual differences in
the elemental components of mental ability, unaffected by education, occupation,
or social status. The previously described battery of tests Galton devised for this
purpose, it turned out, yielded measurements that correlated so poorly with com-
monsense criteria of intellectual distinction (such as election to the Royal So­
ciety) as to be unconvincing as a measure of intelligence, much less having any
practical value. Statistical techniques were not then available to prove the the­
oretical significance, if any, of the slight relationship that existed between the
laboratory measures and independent estimates of ability. Galton had tested
thousands of subjects, and all of his data were carefully preserved. When re­
cently they were analyzed by modern statistical methods, highly significant (that
is, nonchance) differences were found between the  average scores obtained by
various groups of people aggregated by age, education, and occupation.151 This
finding lent considerable theoretical interest to Galton’s tests, although they
would have no practical validity for individual assessment.

Binet and the F irs t Practical Test of Intelligence. At the behest of the Paris
school system, Alfred Binet in 1905 invented the first valid and practically useful
test of intelligence. Influenced by Galton and aware of his disappointing results,
Binet (1857-1911) borrowed a few of Galton’s more promising tests (for ex­
ample, memory span for digits and the discrimination of weights) but also de­
vised new tests of much greater mental complexity so as to engage the higher
mental processes—reasoning, judgment, planning, verbal comprehension, and
acquisition of knowledge. Test scores scaled in units of mental age derived from
Binet’s battery proved to have practical value in identifying mentally retarded
children and in assessing children’s readiness for schoolwork. The story of Bi­
net’s practical ingenuity, clinical wisdom, and the lasting influence of his test
is deservedly well known to students of mental measurement.171 The reason that
Binet’s test worked so well, however, remained unexplained by Binet, except
in intuitive and commonsense terms. A truly theory-based explanation had to
wait for the British psychologist Charles Spearman (1863-1945), whose mo­
mentous contributions are reviewed in the next chapter.

Galton on Race Differences in Ability. The discussion of Galton’s work in
differential psychology would be incomplete without mentioning one other topic
that interested him—race differences in mental ability. The title itself of his
chapter on this subject in  Hereditary Genius would be extremely unacceptable
today: “ The Comparative Worth of Different Races.” But Galton’s style of
writing about race was common among nineteenth-century intellectuals, without
(he slightest implication that they were mean-spirited, unkindly, or at all un­
friendly toward people of another race. A style like Galton’s is seen in state­
ments about race made by even such democratic and humanitarian heroes as
Jefferson and Lincoln.

Galton had no tests for obtaining direct measurements of cognitive ability.
Yet he tried to estimate the mean levels of mental capacity possessed by different
racial and national groups on his interval scale of the normal curve. His esti­
mates—many would say guesses—were based on his observations of people of
different races encountered on his extensive travels in Europe and Africa, on
anecdotal reports of other travelers, on the number and quality of the inventions
and intellectual accomplishments of different racial groups, and on the percent­
age of eminent men in each group, culled from biographical sources. He ven­
tured that the level of ability among the ancient Athenian Greeks averaged “ two
grades” higher than that of the average Englishmen of his own day. (Two grades
on Galton’s scale is equivalent to 20.9 IQ points.) Obviously, there is no pos­
sibility of ever determining if Galton’s estimate was anywhere near correct. He
also estimated that African Negroes averaged “ at least two grades” (i.e., 1.39a,
or 20.9 IQ points) below the English average. This estimate appears remarkably
close to the results for phenotypic ability assessed by culture-reduced IQ tests.
Studies in sub-Saharan Africa indicate an average difference (on culture-reduced
nonverbal tests of reasoning) equivalent to 1.43a, or 21.5 IQ points between
blacks and whites.8 U.S. data from the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT),
obtained in 1980 on large representative samples of black and white youths,
show an average difference of 1.36a (equivalent to 20.4 IQ points)—not far
from Galton’s estimate (1.39a, or 20.9 IQ points).9 But intuition and informed
guesses, though valuable in generating hypotheses, are never acceptable as ev­
idence in scientific research. Present-day scientists, therefore, properly dismiss
Galton’s opinions on race. Except as hypotheses, their interest is now purely
biographical and historical.

NOTE 3

3. The literature on Galton is extensive. The most accessible biography is by Forrest
(1974). Fancher (1985a) gives a shorter and highly readable account. A still briefer
account of Galton’s life and contributions to psychology is given in Jensen (1994a),
which also lists the principal biographical references to Galton. His own memoir (Galton,
1908) is good reading, but does not particularly detail his contributions to psychology,
a subject reviewed most thoroughly by Cyril Burt (1962). Galton’s activities in each of
the branches o f science to which he made original contributions are detailed in a collec­
tion o f essays, each by one o f fourteen experts in the relevant fields; the book also
includes a complete bibliography o f Galton’s published works, edited by Keynes (1993).
Fancher (1983a, 1983b, 1983c, 1984) has provided fascinating and probing essays about
quite specific but less well-known aspects o f Galton’s life and contributions to psychol­
ogy. Lewis M. Terman (1877-1956), who is responsible for the Stanford-Binet IQ test,
tried to estimate Galton’s IQ in childhood from a few of his remarkably precocious
achievements even long before he went to school. These are detailed in Terman’s (1917)
article, in which he concluded that Galton’s childhood IQ was “ not far from 200” (p.
212). One o f Galton’s biographers, Forrest (1974), however, has noted, “ Terman was
misled by Francis’ letter to [his sister] Adele which begins, ‘I am four years old.’ The
date shows that it was only one day short of his fifth birthday. The calculations should
therefore by emended to give an I.Q. of about 160” (p. 7). (Note: Terman estimated IQ
as 100  X  estimated Mental Age (MA)/Chronological Age (CA); he estimated Galton’s
MA as 8 years based on his purported capabilities at CA 5 years, so 100 x 8/5 = 160.)

(all from The g factor, the science of mental ability – Arthur R. Jensen,, chapter 1).

The Keynes book is: The Legacy of His Ideas  by Francis Galton; ed. Milo Keynes.

I found a review of it, here: Sir Francis Galton, FRS The legacy of his ideas. review

I was particular struck by this:

Some contributors  suggest  that  he spread  himself  too  thinly:  that  he did  too many
things and followed up too few. Perhaps  so, but many great  scientists have been
polymaths.  Could  it be something  more  insidious?  That  his major  work  has become
too politically incorrect  to mention?

I am much like Galton, except that im not that smart. I seem to be around 2.3sd above the white mean, but share his mental energy and diverse interests.

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