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Verbal intelligence by demographic

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanApril 14, 2012 3:43 AM


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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”).

all male female wordsum demographic  chart
all non-Hispanic white Hispanic non-Hispanic black wordsum demographic  chart
highest educational attainment wordsum demographic  chart
all, new England, middle Atlantic, e north central, w north central, s Atlantic, e south central, w south central, mountain, pacific wordsum demographic  chart
all, liberal, moderate, conservative, wordsum demographic  chart
all, democrat, independent, republican  wordsum demographic  chart
all, atheist and agnostic, theist, very convinced theist wordsum demographic  chart
all, protestant, catholic, jewish, no religion wordsum demographic  chart
all, bible is inspired by god, bible is word of god, bible is book of fables wordsum demographic  chart
wealth by thousands of dollars wordsum demographic  chart
real income indexed to 1986 wordsum demographic  chart
all, human beings did not develop from animals, human beings developed from animals wordsum demographic  chart


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

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