A few years ago I put up a post, WORDSUM & IQ & the correlation, as a “reference” post. Basically if anyone objected to using WORDSUM, a variable in the General Social Survey, then I would point to that post and observe that the correlation between WORDSUM and general intelligence is 0.71. That makes sense, since WORDSUM is a vocabulary test, and verbal fluency is well correlated with intelligence.
But I realized over the years I’ve posted many posts using the GSS and WORDSUM, but never explicitly laid out the distribution of WORDSUM scores, which range from 0 (0 out of 10) to 10 (10 out of 10). I’ve used categories like “stupid, interval 0-4,” but often only mentioned the percentiles in the comments after prompting from a reader. This post is to fix that problem forever, and will serve as a reference for the future.
First, please keep in mind that I limited the sample to the year 2000 and later. The N is ~7,000, but far lower for some of variables crossed. Therefore, I invite you to replicate my results. After the charts I will list all the variables, so if you care you should be able to replicate displaying all the sample sizes in ~10 minutes. I am also going to attach a csv file with the raw table data. As for the charts, they are simple.
– The x-axis is a WORDSUM category, ranging from 0 to 10
– The y-axis is the percent of a given demographic class who received that score. I’ve labelled some of them where the chart doesn’t get too busy
All of the charts have a line which represents the total population in the sample (“All”).
The "Row" variable in all cases was WORDSUM. I put in YEAR(2000-*) in "Selection Filter(s)."
For the columns:
Sex = SEX
Race/ethnicity = For non-Hispanic blacks and whites put HISPANIC(1) in the filter. Then RACE. For Hispanics just limiting the sample to Hispanics will do, HISPANIC(2-*). Nothing in the row needed.
Education = DEGREE
Region = REGION
Political ideology = POLVIEWS(r:1-3"Liberal";4"Moderate";5-7"Conservative)
Political party = PARTYID(r:0-2"Democrat";3"Independent";4-6"Republican")
Belief in God = GOD(r:1-2"Atheist & agnostic";3-5"Theist";6"Convinced Theist)
Religion = RELIG
Opinion about Bible = BIBLE
Income standardized to 1986 = REALINC(r:0-20000"0-20";20000-40000"20-40";40000-60000"40-60";60000-80000"60-80";80000-100000"80-100";100000-120000"100-120";120000-140000"120-140";140-*"140-")
Wealth = WEALTH(r:1-3"")
Evolution = EVOLVED