Many groups differ in their mean intelligence score. Spearman’s hypothesis states that the differences are a function of cognitive complexity. There tend to be large differences on subtests of high cognitive complexity and small differences on subtests of low cognitive complexity. Spearman’s hypothesis has been supported by a large number of studies. Can Spearman’s hypothesis be generalized to regions of a country, where these regions differ in mean intelligence? We utilized data from 86 different cognitive tests from all 47 Japanese prefectures and correlated the g
loadings of 86 subtests with standardized differences on the same subtests. Spearman’s hypothesis was clearly supported: the biggest differences between the regions were on the tests that were of the greatest complexity, meaning that Spearman’s hypothesis may be generalizable from groups to regions. In Japan, g
loadings offer a better explanation of group differences in intelligence than cultural differences. Future research should explore whether Spearman’s hypothesis is also supported for differences between regions of other countries.
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