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Open AccessCommentary

Reservations about Rushton

Department of Psychology, University of Otago, 362 Leith St, North Dunedin, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
Psych 2019, 1(1), 35-43;
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
PDF [203 KB, uploaded 15 February 2019]


Rushton believed not only that East Asians, whites, and blacks could be ranked in that order for desirable traits but also that the black/white IQ gap is predominantly genetic in origin. Concerning the first, he relied on the “ice ages hypothesis”to show that the evolutionary history of the three races had varied as East Asians were subjected to the most demanding environment (north of the Himalayas), whites to the next most demanding (north of the Alps), and blacks to the least demanding (Africa). As to the second, he appealed to arguments based on the method of correlated vectors (Jensen effects) and regression to the mean. To assess his contribution I argue: (1) That the racial ranking for desirable traits is not as tidy as it seems; (2) That the ice ages hypothesis has been falsified; (3) That the black/white Q gap is more likely to be environmental, with black American subculture as the culprit; and (4) That appeals to correlated vectors and regression cannot disentangle genetic and environmental causes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rushton; black/white IQ gap; black subculture; correlated vectors; regression to the mean; the “ice ages” hypothesis Rushton; black/white IQ gap; black subculture; correlated vectors; regression to the mean; the “ice ages” hypothesis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Flynn, J.R. Reservations about Rushton. Psych 2019, 1, 35-43.

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