Donnerstag, 27. Februar 2014

"Natural" age-specific marital fertility, East Asia and Europe, ca. 1600-1800

One Quarter of Humanity
J. Z. Lee and W. Feng (1999)

Share of never married females, China & Europe, ca. 1800

-> By age 20-24 most Chinese females were already married, while the vast majority of European females were still single.

-> By age 30-34, virtually no Chinese females remained single, whereas 30 percent of their Western counterparts were still spinsters.

See also:
Share of never married males, China & Europe, ca. 1800

One Quarter of Humanity
J. Z. Lee & W. Feng (1999)

Dienstag, 25. Februar 2014

Marrying Out

Marrying Out  [A report on interethnic / interracial marriage in the U.S. (2010)]
Jeffrey S. Passel, Wendy Wang, and Paul Taylor
Pew Research Center

Key findings:

-> A record 14.6% of all new marriages in the United States in 2008 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another. This includes marriages between a Hispanic and non-Hispanic (Hispanics are an ethnic group, not a race) as well as marriages between spouses of different races – be they white, black, Asian, American Indian or those who identify as being of multiple races or ―some other race.

-> Among all newlyweds in 2008, 9% of whites, 16% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 31% of Asians married someone whose race or ethnicity was different from their own.

-> Gender patterns in intermarriage vary widely. Some 22% of all black male newlyweds in 2008 married outside their race, compared with just 9% of black female newlyweds. Among Asians, the gender pattern runs the other way. Some 40% of Asian female newlyweds married outside their race in 2008, compared with just 20% of Asian male newlyweds. Among whites and Hispanics, by contrast, there are no gender differences in intermarriage rates.

-> Rates of intermarriages among newlyweds in the U.S. more than doubled between 1980 (6.7%) and 2008 (14.6%). However, different groups experienced different trends. Rates more than doubled among whites and nearly tripled among blacks. But for both Hispanics and Asians, rates were nearly identical in 2008 and 1980.

-> These seemingly contradictory trends were both driven by the heavy, ongoing Hispanic and Asian immigration wave of the past four decades. For whites and blacks, these immigrants (and, increasingly, their U.S.-born children who are now of marrying age) have enlarged the pool of potential spouses for out-marriage. But for Hispanics and Asians, the ongoing immigration wave has also enlarged the pool of potential partners for in-group marriage.

-> There is a strong regional pattern to intermarriage. Among all new marriages in 2008, 22% in the West were interracial or interethnic, compared with 13% in both the South and Northeast and 11% in the Midwest.

-> Most Americans say they approve of racial or ethnic intermarriage – not just in the abstract, but in their own families. More than six-in-ten say it ―would be fine with them if a family member told them they were going to marry someone from any of three major race/ethnic groups other than their own.

-> More than a third of adults (35%) say they have a family member who is married to someone of a different race. Blacks say this at higher rates than do whites; younger adults at higher rates than older adults; and Westerners at higher rates than people living in other regions of the country.

Relative Representation of Surname Types Among U.S. Physicians:

(The physician frequencies are all derived from the listings of physicians in American Medical Association 2012.)

The Son Also Rises
Gregory Clark (2014)

Samstag, 22. Februar 2014

How Universal is the Negative Correlation between Education and Fertility?

How Universal is the Negative Correlation between Education and Fertility?
Gerhard Meisenberg (2008)


A negative correlation between education and fertility has been described with great regularity in modern societies. The present investigation examines the strength of this relationship with data from the  1990, 1995 and 2000 waves of the World Values Survey covering 78 countries with a combined sample size of up to 181,728 respondents. The negative correlation is present in nearly all countries, is stronger in females than males, is greater for educational level than for length of schooling, and is not mediated by personal wealth. It is strongest at relatively low levels of economic, social and cognitive development and becomes weaker in the most advanced societies. However, it is also less than maximal in the least developed countries. The relationship is strongest in Latin America and the Middle East, where the typical correlations for cohorts with completed fertility are -.31 for females and -.24 for males, and weakest in Protestant Europe, where average correlations are -.10 for females and -.01 for males. The negative relationship persists in the younger generation of advanced societies, who are reproducing under conditions of sub-replacement fertility.

Freitag, 21. Februar 2014

Is Homo sapiens polytypic? Human taxonomic diversity and its implications

Is Homo sapiens polytypic? Human taxonomic diversity and its implications
Michael A. Woodley (2010)


The term race is a traditional synonym for subspecies, however it is frequently asserted that Homo sapiens is monotypic and that what are termed races are nothing more than biological illusions. In this manuscript a case is made for the hypothesis that H. sapiens is polytypic, and in this way is no different from other species exhibiting similar levels of genetic and morphological diversity. First it is demonstrated that the four major definitions of race/subspecies can be shown to be synonymous within the context of the framework of race as a correlation structure of traits. Next the issue of taxonomic classification is considered where it is demonstrated that H. sapiens possesses high levels morphological diversity, genetic heterozygosity and differentiation (F ST ) compared to many species that are acknowledged to be polytypic with respect to subspecies. Racial variation is then evaluated in light of the phylogenetic species concept, where it is suggested that the least inclusive monophyletic units exist below the level of species within H. sapiens indicating the existence of a number of potential human phylogenetic species; and the biological species concept, where it is determined that racial variation is too small to represent differentiation at the level of biological species. Finally the implications of this are discussed in the context of anthropology where an accurate picture of the sequence and timing of events during the evolution of human taxa are required for a complete picture of human evolution, and medicine, where a greater appreciation of the role played by human taxonomic differences in disease susceptibility and treatment responsiveness will save lives in the future.

The Distance Between Mars and Venus: Measuring Global Sex Differences in Personality

The Distance Between Mars and Venus: Measuring Global Sex Differences in Personality
Marco Del Giudice, Tom Booth, and Paul Irwing (January 2012)



Sex differences in personality are believed to be comparatively small. However, research in this area has suffered from significant methodological limitations. We advance a set of guidelines for overcoming those limitations: (a) measure personality with a higher resolution than that afforded by the Big Five; (b) estimate sex differences on latent factors; and (c) assess global sex differences with multivariate effect sizes. We then apply these guidelines to a large, representative adult sample, and obtain what is presently the best estimate of global sex differences in personality.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Personality measures were obtained from a large US sample (N = 10,261) with the 16PF Questionnaire. Multigroup latent variable modeling was used to estimate sex differences on individual personality dimensions, which were then aggregated to yield a multivariate effect size (Mahalanobis D). We found a global effect size D = 2.71, corresponding to an overlap of only 10% between the male and female distributions. Even excluding the factor showing the largest univariate ES, the global effect size was D = 1.71 (24% overlap). These are extremely large differences by psychological standards.


The idea that there are only minor differences between the personality profiles of males and females should be rejected as based on inadequate methodology.

Figure 1. The magnitude of global sex differences in personality, estimated with different methods from the same dataset.The effect size (ES) increases dramatically as better methods are employed. The male-female overlap (right-hand axis) is calculated on the joint distribution assuming multivariate normality.

Dienstag, 18. Februar 2014

Mathematics, Demonstrative Reasoning and Plausible Reasoning:

A short excerpt of the preface of "MATHEMATICS AND PLAUSIBLE REASONING", Georg Polya, 1954


Strictly speaking, all our knowledge outside mathematics and demonstrative logic (which is, in fact, a branch of mathematics) consists of conjectures. There are, of course, conjectures and conjectures. There are highly respectable and reliable conjectures as those expressed in certain general laws of physical science. There are other conjectures, neither reliable nor respectable, some of which may make you angry when you read them in a newspaper. And in between there are all sorts of conjectures, hunches, and guesses.

We secure our mathematical knowledge by demonstrative reasoning, but we support our conjectures by plausible reasoning, A mathematical proof is demonstrative reasoning, but the inductive evidence of the physicist, the circumstantial evidence of the lawyer, the documentary evidence of the historian, and the statistical evidence of the economist belong to plausible reasoning.

The difference between the two kinds of reasoning is great and manifold. Demonstrative reasoning is safe, beyond controversy, and final. Plausible reasoning is hazardous, controversial, and provisional. Demonstrative reasoning penetrates the sciences just as far as mathematics does, but it is in itself (as mathematics is in itself) incapable of yielding essentially new knowledge about the world around us. Anything new that we learn about the world involves plausible reasoning, which is the only kind of reasoning for which we care in everyday affairs. Demonstrative reasoning has rigid standards, codified and clarified by logic (formal or demonstrative logic), which is the theory of demonstrative reasoning. The standards of plausible reasoning are fluid, and there is no theory of such reasoning that could be compared to demonstrative logic in clarity or would command comparable consensus.


Another point concerning the two kinds of reasoning deserves our attention. Everyone knows that mathematics offers an excellent opportunity to learn demonstrative reasoning, but I contend also that there is no subject in the usual curricula of the schools that affords a comparable opportunity to learn plausible reasoning. I address myself to all interested students of mathematics of all grades and I say: Certainly, let us learn proving, but also let us learn guessing.

This sounds a little paradoxical and I must emphasize a few points to avoid possible misunderstandings.

Mathematics is regarded as a demonstrative science. Yet this is only one of its aspects. Finished mathematics presented in a finished form appears as purely demonstrative, consisting of proofs only. Yet mathematics in the making resembles any other human knowledge in the making. You have to guess a mathematical theorem before you prove it; you have to guess the idea of the proof before you carry through the details. You have to combine observations and follow analogies; you have to try and try again. The result of the mathematician's creative work is demonstrative reasoning, a proof; but the proof is discovered by plausible reasoning, by guessing. If the learning of mathematics reflects to any degree the invention of mathematics, it must have a place for guessing, for plausible inference.

There are two kinds of reasoning, as we said: demonstrative reasoning and plausible reasoning. Let me observe that they do not contradict each other; on the contrary, they complete each other. In strict reasoning the principal thing is to distinguish a proof from a guess, a valid demonstration from an invalid attempt. In plausible reasoning the principal thing is to distinguish a guess from a guess, a more reasonable guess from a less reasonable guess. If you direct your attention to both distinctions, both may become clearer.

A serious student of mathematics, intending to make it his life's work, must learn demonstrative reasoning; it is his profession and the distinctive mark of his science. Yet for real success he must also learn plausible reasoning; this is the kind of reasoning on which his creative work will depend. The general or amateur student should also get a taste of demonstrative reasoning: he may have little opportunity to use it directly, but he should acquire a standard with which he can compare alleged evidence of all sorts aimed at him in modern life. But in all his endeavors he will need plausible reasoning. At any rate, an ambitious student of mathematics, whatever his further interests may be, should try to learn both kinds of reasoning, demonstrative and plausible.



Samstag, 15. Februar 2014

Stress responsiveness predicts individual variation in mate selectivity

Stress responsiveness predicts individual variation in mate selectivity (full download)
Maren N. Vitousek and L. Michael Romero
General and Comparative Endocrinology (2013)


Steroid hormones, including glucocorticoids, mediate a variety of behavioral and physiological processes. Circulating hormone concentrations vary substantially within populations, and although hormone titers predict reproductive success in several species, little is known about how individual variation in circulating hormone concentrations is linked with most reproductive behaviors in free-living organisms. Mate choice is an important and often costly component of reproduction that also varies substantially within populations. We examined whether energetically costly mate selection behavior in female Galápagos marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) was associated with individual variation in the concentrations of hormones previously shown to differ between reproductive and non-reproductive females during the breeding season (corticosterone and testosterone). Stress-induced corticosterone levels – which are suppressed in female marine iguanas during reproduction – were individually repeatable throughout the seven-week breeding period. Mate selectivity was strongly predicted by individual variation in stress-induced corticosterone: reproductive females that secreted less corticosterone in response to a standardized stressor assessed more displaying males. Neither baseline corticosterone nor testosterone predicted variation in mate selectivity. Scaled body mass was not significantly associated with mate selectivity, but females that began the breeding period in lower body condition showed a trend towards being less selective about potential mates. These results provide the first evidence that individual variation in the corticosterone stress response is associated with how selective females are in their choice of a mate, an important contributor to fitness in many species. Future research is needed to determine the functional basis of this association, and whether transient acute increases in circulating corticosterone directly mediate mate choice behaviors.

Reproductive Strategy and Sexual Conflict: Slow Life History Strategy Inihibts Negative Androcentrism

ReproductiveStrategy and Sexual Conflict: Slow Life History Strategy Inihibts Negative Androcentrism
P. R. Gladden, A. J. Figueredo, D. J. Andrejzak, D. N. Jones, and V. Smith-Castro
Journal of Methods and Measurement in the Social Sciences; 2013


Recent findings indicate that a slow Life History (LH) strategy factor is associated with increased levels of Executive Functioning (EF), increased emotional intelligence, decreased levels of sexually coercive behaviors, and decreased levels of negative ethnocentrism. Based on these findings, as well as the generative theory, we predicted that slow LH strategy should inhibit negative androcentrism (bias against women). A sample of undergraduates responded to a battery of questionnaires measuring various facets of their LH Strategy, (e.g., sociosexual orientation, mating effort, mate-value, psychopathy, executive functioning, and emotional intelligence) and various convergent measures of Negative Androcentrism. A structural model that the data fit well indicated a latent protective LH strategy trait predicted decreased negative androcentrism. This trait fully mediated the relationship between participant biological sex and androcentrism. We suggest that slow LH strategy may inhibit negative attitudes toward women because of relatively decreased intrasexual competition and intersexual conflict among slow LH strategists.

Donnerstag, 13. Februar 2014

Gender Differences in Five Factor Model Personality Traits in an Elderly Cohort

Gender Differences in Five Factor Model Personality Traits in an Elderly Cohort: Extension of Robust and Surprising Findings to an Older Generation

Benjamin P. Chapman, Paul R. Duberstein, Slivia Sörensen, and Jeffrey M. Lyness;
Personality and Individual Differences (October 2007)


In college and adult samples, women score higher then men on the Five Factor Model (FFM) personality traits of Neuroticism and Agreeableness. The present study assessed the extent to which these gender differences held in a sample of 486 older adults, ranging in age from 65-98 (M = 75, SD = 6.5), using the NEO-Five Factor Inventory. Mean and Covariance Structure models testing gender differences at the level of latent traits revealed higher levels of Neuroticism (d = .52) and Agreeableness (d = .35) in older women than older men. The consistency of these findings with prior work in younger samples attests to the stability of gender differentiation on Neuroticism and Agreeableness across the lifespan. Gender differences on these traits should be considered in personality research among older, as well as middle age and younger adults.

Montag, 10. Februar 2014

The Misguided Case for Indigenous Recognition in the Constitution (Part II)

The Misguided Case for Indigenous Recognition in the Constitution (Part II)
Frank Salter (January 2014)

Indigenous Recognition’s Misguided Case

Indigenous Recognition’s Misguided Case
Frank Salter (December 2013)

The Tall Poppy Syndrome:

"The ethical idea of fairness, with all its many virtues, has sometimes been corrupted into a set of attendant vices. One such vice has been so widely perceived in New Zealand that it has its own name in common speech. New Zealanders call it "the Tall Poppy Syndrome." It might be defined as envy or resentment of a person who is conspicuously successful, exceptionally gifted, or unusually creative.
More than that, it sometimes became a more general attitude of outright hostility to any sort of excellence, distinction, or high achievement - especially achievement that requires mental effort, sustained industry, or applied intelligence. All this is linked to a mistaken idea of fairness as a broad and even-handed distribution of mediocrity. The possession of extraordinary gifts is perceived as unfair by others who lack them. Those who not only possess them but insist on exercising them have sometimes been punished for it.
New Zealand lexicographers believe that tall poppy is an Australian expression, which appears in the Australian National Dictionary with examples as early as 1902. It is also widely used in New Zealand, where it has given rise to a proper noun, an adjective, and even a verb. Successful people are called "poppies", and when abused for their success they are said to be "poppied" by envious others. In 1991, a Wellington newspaper reported that successful businessmen "are being 'tall-poppied' by other New Zealanders."
We were told by many people in New Zealand that the Tall Poppy Syndrome is not as strong as it used to be, and that it never applied to all sorts for achievement. One New Zealander observes that "there is no such thing as a tall poppy playing rugby." Nearly all New Zealanders take pride in  the Music of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and in the mountaineering of Sir Edmund Hillary, who where rarely tall-poppied.
But other bright and creative New Zealanders have been treated with cruelty by compatriots who appear to feel that there is something fundamentally unfair about better brains or creative gifts, and still more so about the determination to use them. This attitude is linked to a bizarre and destructive corruption of fairness, in which talented young people are perceived as tall poppies and are severly persecuted. Perhaps to most deleterious work of the Tall Poppy Syndrome is done in school yards and classrooms among the young. In any society, nothing is more destructive than the persecution of children because they exercise gifts that others lack. It discourages not only excellence itself but the striving for excellence. Taken to an extreme, the great good that is fairness can become an evil, and even a sin - one of the Seven Deadly Sins, which is the sin of envy."

Fairness and Freedom (2012)
David Hackett Fischer

Sonntag, 2. Februar 2014

Controlling for increased guessing enhances the independence of the Flynn effect from g: The return of the Brand effect

Controlling for increased guessing enhances the independence of the Flynn effect from g: The return of the Brand effect
Michael Anthony Woodley, Jan te Nijenhuis, Olev Must, and Aasa Must
Intelligence, March-April 2014


The true independence of the Flynn effect from g is masked by a Brand effect.
o The Brand effect results from increased guessing on harder test items.
o Controlling the Flynn effect for the Brand effect boosts its independence from g.


The cause of the Flynn effect is one of the biggest puzzles in intelligence research. In this study we test the hypothesis that the effect may be even more independent from g than previously thought. This is due to the fact that secular gains in IQ result from at least two sources. First, an authentic Flynn effect that results from environmental improvements and should therefore be strongly negatively related to the loading (and therefore the heritability) of IQ subtests. Second, a “Brand effect”, which results from an increase in the number of correct answers simply via enhanced guessing. As harder items should encourage more guessing, secular gains in IQ stemming from this Brand effect should be positively associated with subtest g loadings. Analysis of Estonian National Intelligence Test data collected between 1933 and 2006, which includes data on guessing, g loadings and secular IQ gains, corroborates this hypothesis. The correlation between gains via the Brand effect and g loadings is .95, as predicted. There is a modest negative association between raw secular gain magnitude and subtest g loadings (− .18) that increases to − .47 when these are controlled for the Brand effect. Applying five psychometric meta-analytic corrections to this estimate raises it to − .82 indicating that the authentic Flynn effect is substantially more independent from g than previously thought.