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How Does the Increasingly Diverse American Landscape Affect White Americans’ Racial Attitudes?

1700 words

Last month I wrote about how Trump won the election due to white Americans’ exposure to diversity caused them to support Trump and his anti-immigration policies over Clinton and Sanders. That is, whites high in racial/ethnic identification exposed to more diversity irrespective of political leaning would vote for Trump for President and not Clinton or Sanders. It is commonly said that more diversity will increase tolerance for the out-group, and all will be well. But is this true?

Craig and Richeson (2014) explored how the changing racial shift in America affects whites’ feelings towards the peoples replacing whites (‘Hispanic’/Latino populations) as well as the feelings of whites towards other minority groups that are not replacing them in the country. Interestingly, whites exposed to the racial shift group showed more pro-white, anti-minority violence as well as preferring spaces and interactions with their own kind over others. Moreover, negative feelings towards blacks and Asians were seen, two groups that are not replacing white Americans.

White Canadians who were exposed to a graph showing that whites would be a projected minority “perceived greater in-group threat” leading to the expression of “somewhat more anger toward and fear of racial minorities.” East Asians are showing the most population growth in Canada. Relaying this information to whites has them express less warmth towards East Asian Canadians.

In their first study (n=86, 44 shown the racial shift and 42 shown current U.S. demographics), participants who read the title of a newspaper provided to them. One paper was titled  “In a Generation, Ethnic Minorities May Be the U.S. Majority”, whereas the other was titled “U.S. Census Bureau Releases New Estimates of the US Population by Ethnicity.” They were asked questions such as “I would rather work alongside people of my same ethnic origin,” and “It would bother me if my child married someone from a different ethnic background.” Whites who read the newspaper article showing ethnic replacement showed more racial bias than those who read about current U.S. demographics. Whites exposed to projected demographics were more likely to prefer settings and interactions with other whites compared to the group who read current demographics.

In study 2 a (n=28, 14 Dutch participants and 14 American participants, 14 exposed to the U.S. racial shift, 14 exposed to the Dutch racial shift), those in the U.S. racial shift category showed more pro-white/anti-Asian bias than participants in the Dutch racial shift category. Those who were exposed to the changing U.S. ethnic landscape were more likely to show pro-white/anti-black bias than participants exposed to the Dutch racial shift (study 2b, n=25, 14 U.S. racial shift, 11 Dutch racial shift). In other words, making the U.S changing racial/ethnic population important, whites showed that whites were, again, more likely to be pro-white and anti-minority, even while exposed to an important racial demographic shift in a foreign country (the Netherlands). Whites, then, exposed to more racial diversity will show more automatic bias towards minorities, especially whites who live around a lot of blacks and ‘Hispanics’. Making whites aware of the changing racial demographics in America had them express automatic racial bias towards all minority groups—even minority groups not responsible for the racial shift.

In study 3 (n=620, 317 women, 76.3% White, 9.0% Black, 10.0% Latino, 4.7% other race) whether attitudes toward different minority groups may be affected by the exposure to the racial shift. Study 3 specifically focused on whites (n=415, 212 women, median age 48.8, a nationally representative sample of white Americans). Half of the participants were shown information about the projected ethnic shift in America while the other half were given a news article on the geographic mobility in America (individuals who move in a given year). They were asked their feelings on the following statements:

“the American way of life is seriously threatened” and were asked to indicate their view of the trajectory of American society (1 = American society is getting much worse every year, 5 = American society is getting much better every year); these two items were standardized and averaged to create an index of system threat (r = .64). To assess system justification, we asked participants to indicate their agreement (1 = strongly agree, 7 = strongly disagree) to the statement “American society is set up so that people usually get what they deserve.”

They were also asked the following questions on how certain they were of America’s social future:

“If they increase in status, racial minorities are likely to reduce the influence of White Americans in society.” The racial identification question asked participants to indicate their agreement (1 = strongly agree, 7 = strongly disagree) with the following statement, “My opportunities in life are tied to those of my racial group as a whole.”

The researchers had the participants read the article about the impending racial shift in America and had them fill out “feeling thermometers” on how they felt about differing racial groups in America (blacks, whites, Asians and ‘Hispanics’) with 1 being cold and 100 being hot. Whites reported the most positivity towards their own group, followed by Asians, blacks and showing the least positivity towards ‘Hispanics’ (the group projected to replace whites in 25 years). Figure 2 also shows that whites don’t show the same negative biases they would towards other minorities in America, most likely due to the ‘model minority‘ status.

fig-2

So the researchers showed that by making the racial shift important, that led to more white Americans showing negative attitudes towards minorities—specifically ‘Hispanics’. This was brought about by whites’ “concerns of lose of societal status.” When whites begin to notice demographic changes, the attitudes towards minorities will change—most notable the attitudes towards blacks and ‘Hispanics’ (which is due to the amount of crime committed by both groups, and is why whites show favoritism towards Asians, in my opinion). Overall, it was shown in a nationally representative sample of whites that showing the changing demographics in the country leads to more negative responses towards minority groups. This is due to the perceived threat on whites’ group status, which leads to more out-group bias.

These four studies report empirical evidence that contrary to the belief of liberals et al—that an increasingly diverse America will lead to more acceptance—more exposure to diversity and the changing racial demographics will have whites show more negative attitudes towards minority groups, most notably ‘Hispanics’, the group projected to become the majority by 2042. The authors write:

Consistent with this prior work, the present research offers compelling evidence that the impending so-called “majority-minority” U.S. population is construed by White Americans as a threat to their group’s position in society and increases their expression of racial bias on both automatically activated and selfreport attitude measures.

Interestingly, the authors also write:

That is, the article in the U.S. racial shift condition accurately attributed a large percentage of the population shift to increases in the Latino/Hispanic population, yet, participants in this condition expressed more negative attitudes toward Black Americans and Asian Americans (Study 3) as well as greater automatic bias on both a White-Asian and a White-Black IAT (Studies 2a and 2b). These findings suggest that the information often reported regarding the changing U.S. racial demographics may lead White Americans to perceive all racial minority groups as part of a monolithic non-White group.

You can see this from the rise of the alt-right. Whites, when exposed to the reality of the demographic shift in America, will begin to  show more pro-white attitudes while derogating minority out-groups. It is important to  note the implications of these studies. One could look at these studies, and rightly say, that as America becomes more diverse that ethnic tensions will increase. Indeed, this is what we are now currently seeing. Contrary to what people say about diversity “being our strength“, it will actually increase ethnic hostility in America and lead towards evermore increasing strife between ethnic groups in America (that is ever-rising due to the current political and social climate in the country). Diversity is not our “strength”—it is, in fact, the opposite. It is our weakness. As the country becomes more diverse we can expect more ethnic strife between groups, which will lower the quality of life for all ethnies, while making whites show more negative attitudes towards all minority groups (including Asians and blacks, but less so than ‘Hispanics’) due to group status threat. The authors write in the discussion:

That is, these studies revealed that White Americans for whom the U.S. racial demographic shift was made salient preferred interactions/settings with their own racial group over minority racial groups, expressed more automatic pro-White/antiminority bias, and expressed more negative attitudes toward Latinos, Blacks, and Asian Americans. The results of these latter studies also revealed that intergroup bias in response to the U.S. racial shift emerges toward racial/ethnic minority groups that are not primary contributors to the dramatic increases in the non-White (i.e., racial minority) population, namely, Blacks and Asian Americans. Moreover, this research provides the first evidence that automatic evaluations are affected by the perceived racial shift. Taken together, these findings suggest that rather than ushering in a more tolerant future, the increasing diversity of the nation may actually yield more intergroup hostility.

Thinking back to Rushton’s Genetic Similarity Theory, we can see why this occurs. Our genes are selfish and want to replicate with out similar genes. Thus, whites would become less tolerant of minority groups since they are less genetically similar to them. This would then be expressed in their attitudes towards minority groups—specifically, ‘Hispanics’ as that ethny will most likely to become the majority and overtake the white majority in 25 years. This is GST on steroids. Once whites realize the reality of the situation of increasing diversity in America—along with their status in the country as a whole—they will then show more negative bias towards minority out-groups.

All in all, the more whites are exposed to diversity in the social context as well as the reality of the ethnic demographic shift in 25 years will be more likely to show negative attitudes towards all American ethnies (though less negative attitudes towards Asians, dude to being less criminal, in my opinion). As the country becomes less white, so to will the whites in America become less tolerant of all minorities and start banding together for pro-white interests—showing that diversity is not our strength. This, in reality, is exactly what liberals do not want—whites banding together showing less favoritism towards the out-group. However, this is what occurs in countries that increasingly become diverse.

The Evolution of Violence: A Look at Infanticide and Rape

1700 words

The pioneer of criminology was a man named Cesare Lombroso, an Italian Jew (a leftover remnant from the Roman days), who had two central theories: 1) that criminal behavior originated in the brain and 2) criminals were an evolutionary throwback, a more primitive type of human. Lombroso felt strongly about the rehabilitation of criminals, at the same time believing in the death penalty for “born criminals”. Though, with new advances in criminology and new insights to the brain, it looks like Lombroso was right with his theory of born criminals.

Why are you 100 times more likely to be killed on your birthday? Why are children 50 times more likely to be murdered by their stepfather than biological one? Why do some parents kill their children? Finally, why do men rape not only strangers, but also rape their wives? All of these questions can be answered with evolutionary psychology.

Evolutionarily speaking, antisocial and violent behavior wasn’t a random occurrence. When these actions occurred tens of thousands of years ago, they were because resources were being acquired from these actions. Thus, we can see some modern criminal acts as resource competition. The more resources one has, the easier it is for him to pass his genes on to the next generation (a big driver for violence). In turn, women are more attracted to males who can provide resources and protection (those who were more antisocial and violent). This also explains these prison romances, in which women get into romances with murderous criminals since they are attracted to the violence (protection) and resources (theft).

The mugger who robs for a small amount of money is increasing his odds of resource acquisition. Drive-by shootings in violent neighborhoods increase the status of those who survive the shootout. What looks like a simple brawl over nothing may be one attempting to increase social dominance. All of these actions have evolutionary causes. What drive these actions are our ‘Selfish Genes’.

The more successful genes are more ruthlessly selfish in their struggle for survival, which then drives individual behavior. The individual behaviors that occur due to our selfish genes may be antisocial and violent in nature, which in our modern society is frowned upon. The name of the game is ‘fitness’. The amount of children you can have in your time allotted on Earth. This is all that matters to our genes. Even those accomplishments you think of, such as completing college or attaining mass amounts of capital all fall back to fitness. With that, increasing your fitness and ensuring your genetic lineage passes on to the next generation is greatly enhanced.

Biological fitness can be enhanced in one of two ways. You can have as many children as possible, giving little parental care to each, or you can have fewer children but show more attention and care to them. This is known as r/K Selection Theory. Rushton’s r/K Selection Theory compliments Dawkins Selfish Gene theory in that the r-strategist is maximizing his fitness by having as many children as possible, while the K-strategist increases his fitness by having fewer children in comparison to the r-strategist but showing more parental attention. There are, however, instances in which humans kill children, whether it’s a mother killing a newborn baby or a stepfather killing a child. What are the reasons for this?

Killing Kids

The risk of being a homicide victim in the first year of life is highest in the first year of life. Why? Canadian Psychologists Daly and Wilson demonstrated in inverse relationship between degree of genetic relatedness and being a victim of homicide. Daly and Wilson discovered that the offender and victim are genetically related in only 1.8 percent of all homicides. Therefore, 98 percent of all murders are killings of people who do not share the killer’s genes.

Many stories have been told about ‘wicked stepparents’ in numerous myths and fairytales. But, as we know, a lot of stories have some basis in reality. Children of stepparents are 40 times more likely to suffer abuse at the hands of a stepparent. People who are living together who are unrelated to one another are more likely to kill one another. Even adoptions are more successful when the adopting parents view the child as genetically similar to themselves.

In this study carried out by Maillart, et al, it was discovered that for mothers, the average age of offense for filicide was 29.5 years for the mother and 3.5 years for the babe. Bourget, Grace, and Whitehurst, 2007 showed that a risk factor for infanticide was a second child born to a mother under 20-years of age. The reasoning for this is simple: at a younger age the mother is more fertile, and thus, more attractive to potential mates. The older the woman is the more sense it makes to hold on to the genetic investment since it’s harder to make up for the genetic loss late in her reproductive life.

Genetic relatedness, fitness, and parental investment show, in part, why filicides and infanticides occur.

Raping Your Wife

There are evolutionary reasons for rape as well. The rape of a non-relative can be looked at as the ultimate form of ‘cheating’ in this selfish game of life. One who rapes doesn’t have to acquire resources in order to attract a mate, he can just go and ‘take what he wants’ and attempt to spread his genes to the next generation through non-consensual sex. It’s known that rape victims have a higher chance of getting pregnant, with 7.98 percent of rape victims becoming pregnant. (News article) One explanation for this is that the rapist may be able to possibly detect how fertile a woman is. Moreover, rapists are more likely to rape fertile women rather than infertile women.

One rapist that author of the book The Anatomy of Violence, Adrian Raine interviewed said that he specifically chose ugly women to rape (Raine, 2013: 28). He says that he’s giving ugly women ‘what they want’, which is sex. There is a belief that women actually enjoy sex, and even orgasm during the rape, even though they strongly resist and fight back during the attack. Reports of orgasm during rape are around 5 to 6 percent (Raine, 2013: 29), but the true number may be higher since most women are embarrassed to say that they orgasmed during a rape.

Men, as we all know, are more likely to engage in no-strings-attached sex more than women. This is due to the ‘burden’ of sex: children. Women are more likely to carefully select a partner who has numerous resources and the ability to protect the family. Men don’t have the burden of sticking around to raise the child.

Men are more likely to find a sexual relationship more upsetting in comparison to women who are more likely to find an emotional infidelity as more distressing. This data on Americans still held true for South Korea, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands. Men are better than women at detecting infidelity, and are more likely to suspect cheating in their spouses (Raine, 2013: 32). Unconscious reason being, a man doesn’t want to raise a child who is not genetically similar to themselves.

But this begs another question: why would a man rape his wife? One reason is that when a man discovers his spouse has been unfaithful, he would want to inseminate her as quickly as possible.

There has never in the history of humankind been one example of women banding together to wage war on another society to gain territory, resources or power. Think about it. It is always men. There are about nine male murderers for every one female murderer. When it comes to same-sex homicides, data from twenty studies show that 97 percent of the perpetrators are male. Men are murderers. The simple evolutionary reason is that women are worth fighting for. (Raine, 2013: 32)

A feminist may look at this stat and say “MEN cause all of the violence, MEN hurt women” and attempt to use this data as ‘proof’ that men are violent. Yes, we men are violent, and there is an evolutionary basis for it. However, what feminists who push the ‘all sexes are equal’ card don’t know, is that when they say ‘men are more likely to be murderers’ (which is true), they are actively accepting biological differences between men and women. Most of these differences in crime come down to testosterone. I would also assume that men would be more likely to have the ‘warrior gene’, otherwise known as the MAOA-L gene, which ups the propensity for violence.

The sociobiological model suggests that poorer people kill due to lack of resources. And one reason that men are way more likely to be victims of homicide is because men are in competition with other men for resources.

Going back to the violence on stepchildren that I alluded to earlier, aggression towards stepchildren can be seen as a strategic way of motivating unwanted, genetically dissimilar others out of the home and not take up precious resources for the next generation bred by the stepfather (Raine, 2013: 34).

Women also have a way to increase their fitness, which a brunt of it is through sexual selection. Women are known to be ‘worriers’. That is, they rate dangerous and aggressive acts higher than men. Women are also more fearful of bodily injury and more likely to develop phobias of animals. In these situations, women are protecting themselves and their unborn (or born) children by maximizing their chances for survival by being more fearful of things. This can help explain why women are less physically violent than men and why those murder stats are so heavily skewed towards men: biology.

Women compete for their genetic interests with beauty and childbearing. The more beautiful the woman, the better resources a woman can acquire from a male and this will ensure a healthy life for the offspring.

Evolutionary psychology can help explain the differences in murder between men and women. It can also explain why young mothers kill their children and why stepparents are so abusive to, and are more likely to murder stepchildren. Of course, a social context is involved but we need to look at evolutionary causes for what we think we may be able to simply explain. Because it’s, more often than not, more complex than we could imagine. And that complexity is our Selfish Genes doing anything possible to reproduce more copies of itself through its vehicle: the human body.

The Evolution of Morality

Summary: Moral reasoning is just a post hoc search for reasons to justify the judgments people have already made. When people are asked why, for certain questions, they find things morally wrong, they say they cannot think of a reason but they still think it is wrong. This has been verified by numerous studies. Moral reasoning evolved as a skill to further social cohesiveness and to further our social agendas. Even in different cultures, those with matching socioeconomic levels have the same moral reasoning. Morality cannot be entirely constructed by children based on their own understanding of harm. Thus, cultural learning must play a bigger role than the rationalists had given it. Larger and more complex brains also show more cognitive sophistication in making choices and judgments, confirming a theory of mine that larger brains are the cause of making correct choices as well as making moral judgments.

The evolution of morality is a much-debated subject in the field of evolutionary psychology. Is it, as the nativists say, innate? Or is it as the empiricists say, learned? Empiricists, better known as Blank Slatists, believe that we are born with a ‘blank slate’ and thus acquire our behaviors through culture and experience. In 1987 when John Haidt was studying moral psychology (now known as evolutionary psychology), moral psychology was focused on the third answer: rationalism. Rationalism dictates that children learn morality through social learning and interacting with other children to learn right from wrong.

Developmental psychologist Jean Piaget focused on the type of mistakes that children would make when seeing water moved from different shape glasses. He would, for example, put water into the same size glasses and ask children which one had more water. They all said they held the same amount of water. He then poured water from one glass into a taller glass and then asked the children which glass held more water. Children aged 6 and 7 say that the water level changed since the water was now in a taller glass. The children don’t understand that just because the water was moved to a taller glass doesn’t mean that there is now more water in the glass. Even when parents attempt to explain to their children why there is the same amount of water in the glass, they don’t understand it because they are not ready cognitively. It’s only when they reach an age and cognitive stage that they are ready to understand that the water level doesn’t change, just by playing around with cups of water themselves.

Basically, the understanding of the conservation of volume isn’t innate, nor is it learned by parents. Children figure it out for themselves only when their minds are cognitively ready and they are given the right experiences.

Piaget then applied his rules from the water experiment with the development of children’s morality. He played a marble game with them where he would break the rules and play dumb. The children the responded to his mistakes, correcting him, showing that they had the ability to settle disputes and respect and change rules. The growing knowledge progressed as children’s cognitive abilities matured.

Thus, Piaget argued that like children’s understanding of water conservation is like children’s understanding of morality. He concludes that children’s reasoning is self-constructed. You can’t teach 3-year-old children the concept of fairness or water conservation, no matter how hard you try. They will figure it out on their own through dispute and do things themselves, better than any parent could teach them, Piaget argued.

Piaget’s insights were then expanded by Lawrence Kohlberg who revolutionized the field of moral psychology with two innovations: developing a set of moral dilemmas that were presented to children of various ages. One example given was that a man broke into a drug store to steal medication for his ill wife. Is that a morally wrong act? Kohlberg wasn’t interested in whether the children said yes or no, but rather, their reasoning they gave when explaining their answers.

Kohlberg found a six-stage progression in children’s reasoning of the social world that matched up with what Piaget observed in children’s reasoning about the physical world. Young children judged right and wrong, for instance, on whether or not a child was punished for their actions, since if they were punished for their actions by an adult then they must be wrong. Kohlberg then called the first two stages the “pre-conventional level of moral judgment”, which corresponded to Piaget’s stage at which children judge the physical world by superficial features.

During elementary school, most children move on from the pre-conventional level and understand and manipulate rules and social conventions. Kids in this stage care more about social conformity, hardly ever questioning authority.

Kohlberg then discovered that after puberty, which is right when Piaget found that children had become capable of abstract thought, he found that some children begin to think for themselves about the nature of authority, the meaning of justice and the reasoning behind rules and laws. Kohlberg considered children “‘moral philosophers’ who are trying to work out coherent ethical systems for themselves”, which was the rationalist reasoning at the time behind morality. Kohlberg’s most influential finding was that the children who were more morally advanced frequently were those who had more opportunities for role-taking, putting themselves into another person’s shoes and attempting to feel how the other feels through their perspective.

We can see how Kohlberg and Piaget’s work can be used to support and egalitarian and leftist, individualistic worldview.

Kohlberg’s student, Elliot Turiel, then came along. He developed a technique to test for moral reasoning that doesn’t require verbal skill. His innovation was to tell children stories about children who break rules and then give them a series of yes or no questions. Turiel discovered that children as young as five normally say that the child was wrong to break the rule, but it would be fine if the teacher gave the child permission, or occurred in another school with no such rule.

But when children were asked about actions that harmed people, they were given a different set of responses. They were asked if a girl pushes a boy off of a swing because she wants to use it, is that OK? Nearly all of the children said that it was wrong, even when they were told that a teacher said it was fine; even if this occurred in a school with no such rule. Thus, Turiel concluded, children recognize that rules that prevent harm are moral rules related to “justice, rights, and welfare pertaining to how people ought to relate to one another” (Haidt, 2012, pg. 11). All though children can’t speak like moral philosophers, they were busy sorting information in a sophisticated way. Turiel realized that was the foundation of all moral development.

There are many rules and social conventions that have no moral reasoning behind them. For instance, the numerous laws of the Jews in the Old Testament in regards to eating or touching the swarming insects of the earth, to many Christians and Jews who believe that cleanliness is next to Godliness, to Westerners who believe that food and sex have a moral significance. If Piaget is right then why do so many Westerners moralize actions that don’t harm people?

Due to this, it is argued that there must be more to moral development than children constructing roles as they take the perspectives of others and feel their pain. There MUST be something beyond rationalism (Haidt, 2012, pg. 16).

Richard Shweder then came along and offered the idea that all societies must resolve a small set of questions about how to order society with the most important being how to balance the needs of the individual and group (Haidt, 2012, pg. 17).

Most societies choose a sociocentric, or collectivist model while individualistic societies choose a more individualist model. There is a direct relationship between consanguinity rates, IQ, and genetic similarity and whether or not a society is collectivist or individualistic.

Shweder thought that the concepts developed by Kohlberg and Turiel were made by and for those from individualistic societies. He doubted that the same results would occur in Orissa where morality was sociocentric and there was no line separating moral rules from social conventions. Shweder and two collaborators came up with 39 short stories in which someone does something that would violate a commonly held rule in the US or Orissa. They interviewed 180 children ranging from age 5 to 13 and 60 adults from Chicago and a matched sample of Brahmin children and adults from Orissa along with 120 people from lower Indian castes (Haidt, 2012, pg. 17).

In Chicago, Shweder found very little evidence for socially conventional thinking. Plenty of stories said that no harm or injustice occurred, and Americans said that those instances were fine. Basically, if something doesn’t protect an individual from harm, then it can’t be morally justified, which makes just a social convention.

Though Turiel wrote a long rebuttal essay to Shweder pointing out that most of the study that Shweder and his two collaborators proposed to the sample were trick questions. He brought up how, for instance, that in India eating fish is will stimulate a person’s sexual appetite and is thus forbidden to eat, with a widow eating hot foods she will be more likely to have sex, which would anger the spirit of her dead husband and prevent her from reincarnating on a higher plane. Turiel then argued that if you take into account the ‘informational assumptions’ about the way the world works, most of Shweder’s stories were really moral violations to the Indians, harming people in ways that Americans couldn’t see (Haidt, 2012, pg. 20).

Jonathan Haidt then traveled to Brazil to test which force was stronger: gut feelings about important cultural norms or reasoning about harmlessness. Haidt and one of his colleagues worked for two weeks to translate Haidt’s short stories to Portuguese, which he called ‘Harmless Taboo Violations’.

Haidt then returned to Philadelphia and trained his own team of interviewers and supervised the data collection for the four subjects in Philadelphia. He used three cities, using two levels of social class (high and low) and within each social class was two groups of children aged 10 to 12 and adults aged 18 to 28.

Haidt found that the harmless taboo stories could not be attributed to some way about the way he posed the questions or trained his interviewers, since he used two questions directly from Turiel’s experiment and found the same exact conclusions. Upper-class Brazilians looked like Americans on these stories (I would assume since Upper-class Brazilians have more European ancestry). Though in one example about breaking the dress-code of a school and wearing normal clothes, most middle-class children thought that it was morally wrong to do this. The pattern supported Shweder showing that the size of the moral-conventional distinction varied across cultural groups (Haidt, 2012, pg. 25).

The second thing that Haidt found was that people responded to harmless taboo stories just as Shweder predicted: upper-class Philadelphians judged them to be violations of social conventions while lower-class Brazilians judged them to be moral violations. Basically, well-educated people in all of the areas Haidt tested were more similar to each other in their response to harmless taboo stories than to their lower-class neighbors.

Haidt’s third finding was all differences stayed even when controlling for perceptions of harm. That is, he included a probe question at the end of each story asking: “Do you think anyone was harmed by what [the person in the story] did?” If Shweder’s findings were caused by perceptions of hidden victims, as was proposed by Turiel, then Haidt’s cross-cultural differences should have disappeared when he removed the subjects who said yes to the aforementioned question. But when he filtered out those who said yes, he found that the cultural differences got BIGGER, not smaller. This ended up being very strong evidence for Shweder’s claim that morality goes beyond harm. Most of Haidt’s subjects said that the taboos that were harmless were universally wrong, even though they harmed nobody.

Shweder had won the debate. Turiel’s findings had been replicated by Haidt using Turiel’s methods showing that the methods worked on people like himself, educated Westerners who grew up in an individualistic culture. He showed that morality varied across cultures and that for most people, morality extended beyond the issues of harm and fairness.

It was hard, Haidt argued, for  a rationalist to explain these findings. How could children self-construct moral knowledge from disgust and disrespect from their private analyses of harmlessness (Haidt, 2012, pg. 26)? There must be other sources of moral knowledge, such as cultural learning, or innate moral intuitions about disgust and disrespect which Haidt argued years later.

Yet, surprises were found in the data. Haidt had written the stories carefully to remove all conceivable harm to other people. But, in 38 percent of the 1620 times people heard the harmless offensive story, they said that somebody was harmed.

Haidt found that it was obvious in his sample of Philadelphians that it was obvious that the subjects had invented post hoc fabrications. People normally condemned the action very quickly, but didn’t need a long time to decide what they thought, as well as taking a long time to think up a victim in the story.

He also taught his interviewers to correct people when they made claims that contradicted the story. Even when the subjects realized that the victim they constructed in their head was fake, they still refused to say that the act was fine. They, instead, continued to search for other victims. They just could not think of a reason why it was wrong, even though they intuitively knew it was wrong (Haidt, 2012, pg. 29).

The subjects were reasoning, but they weren’t reasoning in search for moral truth. They were reasoning in support of their emotional reactions. Haidt had found evidence for philosopher David Hume’s claim that moral reasoning was often a servant of moral emotions. Hume wrote in 1739: “reason is, and ought to be only the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.”

Judgment and justification are separate processes. Moral reasoning is just a post hoc search for reasons to justify the judgments people have already made.

The two most common answers of where morality came from are that it’s innate (nativists) or comes from childhood learning (empiricists), also known as “social learning theory”. Though the empiricist position is incorrect.

  • The moral domain varies by culture. It is unusually narrow in western education and individualistic cultures. Sociocentric cultures broaden moral domain to encompass and regulate more aspects of life.
  • People sometimes have gut feelings – particularly about disgust – that can drive their reasoning. Moral reasoning is sometimes a post hoc fabrication.
  • Morality can’t be entirely self-constructed by children based on their understanding of harm. Cultural learning (social learning theory, Rushton, 1981) not guidance must play a larger role than rationalist had given it.

(Haidt, 2012, pg 30 to 31)

If morality doesn’t come primarily from reasoning, then that leaves a combination of innateness and social learning. Basically, intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second.

If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out truth, you’ll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with you. But if you think about moral reasoning as a skill we humans evolved to further our social agendas – to justify our own actions and to defend the teams we belong to – then things will make a lot more sense. Keep your eye on the intuitions, and don’t take people’s moral arguments at face value. They’re mostly post hoc constructions made up on the fly crafted to advance one or more strategic objectives (Haidt, 2012, pg XX to XXI).

Haidt also writes on page 50:

As brains get larger and more complex, animals begin to show more cognitive sophistication – choices (such as where to forage today, or when to fly south) and judgments (such as whether a subordinate chimpanzee showed proper differential behavior). But in all cases, the basic psychology is pattern matching.

It’s the sort of rapid, automatic and effortless processing that drives our perceptions in the Muller-Lyer Illusion. You can’t choose whether or not to see the illusion, you’re just “seeing that” one line is longer than the other. Margolis also called this kind of thinking “intuitive”.

This shows that moral reasoning came about due to a bigger brain and that the choices and judgments we make  evolved because they better ensured our fitness, not due to ethics.

Moral reasoning evolved for us to increase our fitness on this earth. The field of ethics justifies what benefits group and kin selection with minimal harm to the individual. That is, the explanations people make through moral reasoning are just post hoc searches for people to justify their gut feelings, which they cannot think of a reason why they have them.

Source: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion

Climate, Violence, r/K Selection Theory and the Vindication of JP Rushton

1850 words

Why do violent crimes increase as temperatures increase? Why do violent crimes decrease as the temperatures decrease? These phenomena are noticed every year, and criminologists set out to find the relationship between climate and violence and whether or not there is a curvilinear hypothesis, which crime increases as the temperature increases, but at extremely high temperatures the crime rate begins to dip down.

When the weather gets colder, crime decreases. All though crime does decrease in the Winter months, crimes that take more planning, such as property crime and robbery increase. This is due, obviously, to the fact that people don’t want to spend too much time outside so they plan their crimes ahead to minimize the time spent outside whereas in hotter temperatures this does not occur. It is known that when it’s colder, resulting criminal actions are less random than those committed in hotter temperatures.

The two trains of thought for the temperature/crime theory are the curvilinear hypothesis, as noted above, and the linear hypothesis, which argues for that as the temperature increases, so does crime without a drop in extremely high temperatures.

Mishra (2014) showed that the relationship is not a curvilinear one, but that crime rises steadily as the temperature increases. Looking at Allahabad city, India from a 62 year period from the years 1952 to 2013 with the variables being temperature, humidity and rainfall, the results of the analysis shows that temperature has a significant effect on the proclivity to commit crime, as well as murder. Relative to the temperature, humidity shows a strong correlation with crime with rainfall showing a negative correlation.

Mishra took annual data from the National Crime Record Bureau with monthly data taken from the various police stations of Allahabad city. The temperature and rainfall data was taken from local news stations and the Indian Meteorological Department.

Results of his analysis showed significant correlations with violent crime and temperature (r=.75) with murders increasing as temperatures increase. The relationship between relative humidity and crime was strong as well (r=.68) with rainfall having a negative correlation (r=-.14). Out of all three of these variables, the average temperature has more of an effect on crime than relative humidity. Using a regression model, Mishra discovered a correlation of .56, showing that temperature alone accounts for 56 percent of the variation in crime pattern. Including all three variables in the regression model shows a correlation of .61. This confirms that among the climate elements tested that temperature itself had the highest effect on crime.

Figure 2 of the paper shows that as temperatures rise (starting at about 25 degrees celsius), that the crime rate increases.Since very high temperatures are associated with rainfall, there is a reduction in crime when this occurs, thermal stress is reduced. However, when rainfall and humidity were both unchanged, higher temperatures would not cause a decrease in violence. This result is inconsistent with the curvilinear hypothesis and does not support the claim that extremely high temperatures cause decreased violence.

Van Lange, Rinderu, and Bushmen (2016) thought of the model CLASH (CLimate, Aggression, and Self-control in Humans) which shows differences within and between countries and their proclivities for aggression and criminal behavior. With lower temperatures, along with seasonal variation like what is seen in Northern Europe, peoples had to adopt a slower life history strategy with more focus on planning for the future as well as a need for self-control due to the differing variations in climate and how that has an effect on acquiring food. The CLASH model further shows that slow life history strategy, thinking into the future and self-control are important determinants in predicting violence.

As I have discussed here before, r/K Selection Theory (Life History Theory) shows that those who live in colder temperatures adopt slower strategies which lead to more future planning along with more self-control along with more altruistic behaviors shown. In a more harsh environment, such as Africa, Latin America and other locations situated near the equator, faster life history strategies are needed to offset the harsh environment, which leads to evolutionary causes for earlier menarche in black and Mexican-American girls. Faster life history strategies are needed in locations near the equator due to the harshness of the environment. This is why Africans and other peoples located at or near the equator have more children, to offset the harsher environment. No planning ahead was needed, as most likely populations near the equator wouldn’t have lived long enough to see the delayed payoff. Conversely, those in northerly climes live longer due to the need to plan ahead,  and along with this ability to plan ahead came higher intelligence, which leads to yet another selector for high intellect in populations that evolved further from the equator, earlier childbirth. On top of that selector, deleterious Neanderthal alleles decreased historic fitness levels 1 percent in non-African populations, which further lead to evolution of the ability to think into the future due to less children beared. Since the future becomes more predictable the further you travel away from the equator, it becomes adaptive for peoples to adopt a slower life history strategy out of necessity, as that’s the only way to survive and they will see the fruits of their self-control due to having a longer life expectancy due to superior future time orientation in comparison to those in southerly climes.

Since a faster life history strategy is correlated with threats of harshness and higher morbidity and mortality, from the life history perspective we would reason that those with lower SES would have to adopt a faster life history strategy in order to offset the fact that they are more likely to suffer premature disability or death. Lower SES is also correlated with other r-selected strategies such as earlier sexual activity (a variable correlated with lower IQ), higher rates of childhood pregnancy and childbearing, greater number of offspring and less care and attention shown to those offspring, this study. For the third time this month, proves Rushton right with his application of r/K Selection Theory on the three races of humanity.

Van Lange, Rinderu, and Bushmen state that neighborhood deterioration, assaults, muggings, drug addicts, and presence of gangs are associated with earlier and higher rates of sexual activity. Not coincidentally, this is seen in many majority black and ‘Hispanic’-majority cities in America. They also say that as resources become scarce that women gravitate towards men with more access to resources and those that will invest in their children’s reproductive values. Though this is hardly seen in low-income communities around America, you do see a lot of black women who gravitate towards the drug dealer or another black male who is involved with illegal activities who then acquire mass amounts of capital. This is an evolutionary strategy for all women, since money is correlated with intelligence and therefore a mate with more money has better means to take care of any offspring conceived.

The CLASH model extends r/K Selection Theory, particularly where r/K Selection Theory emphasizes unpredictability and harshness as a source of environmental stress, the CLASH model emphasizes predictability over environmental stress. That is, those who evolved in northerly climes can deal with stress better than those who evolved near the equator, therefore lessening the amount of crime in those populations due to them being able to constrain themselves more. The CLASH model proposes that the combination of predictability and control shape a slow life history strategy, future time orientation, with a focus on self-control. Moreover, in an analysis of 40 work-related values in 40 countries, it was found that the countries located the furthest from the equator tended to place a greater value on future rewards, such as perseverance and thrift.

In countries closer to the equator, according to the 2014 World Fact Book, the average age of first birth for a female was 20 years of age (the countries were the Gaza strip, Liberia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda and  various other middle African countries). Conversely, for countries further away from the equator, the average age of first birth was 28 years of age (Japan, Canada, and most European countries). Those populations that evolved in warmer climates where the changes in season are minimal with unpredictable harshness tend to enact faster life history strategies than those in colder climates.

The researchers state on page 31:

One standard deviation increase in temperature was associated with a 11.3% increase in intergroup conflict and a 2.1% increase in interpersonal conflict. Examples of interpersonal conflict include spikes in domestic violence in India and Australia, greater likelihood of assaults and murders in the USA and Tanzania, ethnic violence in Europe and South Asia, and civil conflicts throughout tropical climates. Hence, we conclude that it is both differences in average temperature and differences in seasonal variation in temperature that help explain cross-national differences in aggression and violence around the world.

And on page 41:

Assuming CLASH is accurate, it is interesting to consider that people’s thoughts and behaviors may be quite different, based on the physical circumstances their ancestors faced and that they face themselves. The world is getting smaller and smaller. Electronic and social media (e.g., WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, email) connect us to people all over the world. Yet, people coming from differing ancestral histories and living in different locations face challenges of self-control in a variety of ways. A businessperson from London may expect a response the next day, but the alliance in Nairobi may want to take at least an extra day. If CLASH is correct, the same pattern should hold for within-country differences between a businessperson working in Chicago and the alliance working in New Orleans, or between a businessperson working in Melbourne and the alliance in Brisbane or Cairns (with London, Chicago, and Melbourne being relatively more remote from the equator, and facing greater variation in climate).

The correlation between temperature, crime and life history strategies is shockingly high. JP Rushton is now vindicated from all of the derision he experienced in the 30 plus years he was pushing his r/K Theory. This shows implications for the European ‘refugee’ crisis as well, due to the higher rates of all violent crime occurring ever since this mass exodus from MENA (Middle Eastern North African) countries.

The CLASH model is a great compliment to r/K Selection Theory and goes deeper into why behaviors differ in human populations based where ancestral evolution occurred. As temperatures increase, so does crime starting at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, with there being a negative correlation for crime committed during rainfall. The CLASH model vindicates Rushton’s supposedly ‘wacky theories’ on race, evolution and behavior. Further, the CLASH model also shows another cause for the current situation occurring in Europe. The people flooding into the continent have ancestral ties to hotter climes. They then bring their genetic proclivity to commit crimes with them to the new area, which then increases crime. This is one of many  reasons for the cucking of Europe. As we look more into evolutionary causes for behavior and those behaviors that lead to more crime committed, Rushton and others will be further vindicated and when this occurs, with ample data, of course, sensible immigration policy can be had to quell the amount of crime committed by ‘migrants’ and other immigrants into our countries.

Marriage, Divorce and Genetic Similarity Theory

1100 words

Genetic Similarity Theory states that we seek out similar others in order to give our genes the best chance to produce copies of themselves. As Richard Dawkins says in The Selfish Gene, it is genes that survive to the next generation with more copies being found in siblings and related co-ethnics. Therefore, the theory goes, by benefitting genetically similar others, we are benefitting copies of our genes. Speed daters match on genotype, which shows evidence for ability to detect genetically similar others. On a subconscious level, we have the ability to detect genetically similar others.

Assortative mating is a form of sexual selection in which those with similar genotypes and phenotypes mate with each other more often than in would be expected under a random breeding model. One of the numerous ways we match by genetic similarity is phenotype. If the phenotype is similar, more often than not, the genotype is as well. This is what drives friendships and marriages, as well as being the cause for ethnocentrism.

Rushton (1987) showed that humans are able to detect degrees of genetic similarity in others, and prefer those most similar to themselves for friends and spouses than less genetically similar individuals, which is the basis for ethnocentrism. A husband and wife are, on average, as close as fourth cousins. Due to matching by GST, spouses should also match on heritable traits such as IQ, body measurements and personality traits. As McCrae et al (2008) write:

Altruism, Modesty, and Tender-Mindedness are characteristics that most people desire in a spouse (cf. Buss, 1986), but people are most likely to find a mate with these characteristics if they have them themselves. This is an instance of the principle that people with desirable qualities have more options in seeking a desirable mate. At the same time, it seems likely that there is a sense in which disagreeable people may actually prefer the company of their own kind, like the haughty Duke in Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” who disposed of his wife because she was too indiscriminately nice.

Everyone has the perfect spouse in their head that they dream of. However, the type of spouse we end up with will, more often than not, be genetically similar to ourselves. Even spouses who are not of the same race or ethnicity match up on heritable traits such as The Big Five, IQ and physiological measurements.

Divorce is also influenced by genetic factors. Jockin, Mcgue and Lykken (1996) found that 40 percent of the variability in the heritability of divorce comes from genetic factors that affect the personality of one spouse. Traditionalism, extraversion and neuroticism (2 of the Big 5 Personality Traits) are causes for divorce. A few reasons I can think of for neuroticism and extraversion being personality traits correlated with divorce is highly neurotic people are more likely to be stressed, anxious, have hypochondria (the worry of contracting an illness) and obsessive behavior. This can put extra strain on a marriage, leading to both of the spouses not being happy in their marriage, leading to divorce. With extraversion, more extraverted people are more open to meeting others and are more social and talkative. This will lead to feelings of jealousy, causing a strain on the marriage.

The genetic and environmental influences responsible for marriage are different from those that are responsible for divorce. Evidence exists that after mate selection, there may be some protective factors for the couple, such as religion. While other factors that place couples at risk for divorce, such as alcoholism, are also genetic in nature.

Trumbetta and Gottesman (2000) suggested endophenotypes with one being oriented to pair bonding and the other to mate diversification. Pair bonding, obviously, leads to a happier marriage as both spouses are monogamous, whereas mate diversification is associated with multiple marriages. It sounds to me like those who pair bond are more introverted whereas those who have diversity in marriage partners are more extraverted, leading to high divorce rates due to jealousy and cheating. The conclude that there are significant genetic influences on both endophenotypes with unique environmental factors accounting for the rest of the variance,

Spouses, as well as friends, sort on characterisitics such as race, socioeconomics, physical attractiveness, level of education, family size and structure, IQ and longevity. This is the Selfish Gene in action. By seeking out copies of itself (which would be in co-ethnics in higher frequencies), the gene is able to ensure its survival onto the next generation.

Even in couples who are not the same race or ethnicity match on other heritable characteristics. Rushton and Nicholson (1988), tested predictions from genetic similarity theory and found that spouses select each other on the basis of more genetically influenced cognitive tests. It’s known since The Bell Curve came out in 1994 that spouses select each other based on IQ. What Rushton and Nicholson noted in the study was that estimates of genetic influence calculated on Koreans and Canadians predicted assortative mating in European Americans in Hawaii and California. Americans of mixed ancestry made up for ethnic dissimilarity  by matching up on the more heritable traits, whereas the correlation is lower for those traits that are more influenced by the environment. The observations on genetic selection were weaker but still had a positive correlation, when the factor was taken out of the equation. This suggests that we choose mates based on the general intelligence factor. This effect is seen in, for instance, white women who date black men. They, more often than not, have lower average IQs than the mean (100).

Pan and Wang (2011) showed that spouses are similar in academic achievement as well as IQ. 6 out of the 8 traits tested (reading, spelling, arithmetic, vocabulary, verbal and full-scale IQ) showing evidence of spousal correlations.

Humans have a natural instinct to marry genetically similar others. Whether the traits are environmentally or genetically influenced, spouses will match on traits with the highest correlations (BMI, waist size, arm size). Genetic Similarity Theory proposes that these phenomena is not by chance, but was how we evolved. Sexual selection, which is natural selection arising through preference by one sex for certain traits in individuals of the other sex, is the driving factor here. Through sexual selection, we humans were able to gain higer intelligence (for men) and gain higher verbal abilties that allowed to care for children (women). These differences remained even when controlling for geographic location. Spouses and friends being as similar as 4th cousins is no accident, in fact, it is evolution in action.

How to Use Current Knowledge to Effectively Treat the Symptoms of PWS Patients

2550 words

Abstract

Researchers have tried to manage those with Prader-Willi’s Syndrome for multiple decades. Though they have greatly curbed some of the implications of the disease, there are still numerous ways in which we can better use our knowledge of how the disease manifests in order to better help those suffering from PWS. Looking at research into how the extra chromosome 15 is linked to low IQ; IQ and its relationship to obesity; how the ability to delay gratification leads to obesity; growth hormone treatment to better treat low muscle mass and higher body fat; and finally using reinforcement theory to punish a response, where doing so will greatly diminish the probability of that response occurring again in the future; all of these factors can be used in conjunction to better mitigate problems from the disease. By examining all of these variables and thinking of better ways to handle them, we can then think of other, better ways to manage those with PWS. In doing so, we can better increase the quality of life of those suffering from PWS, as well as have less of a strain on healthcare workers who care for them. With new advances in technology with CRISPR Cas9, we can then edit the genomes and chromosomes of those suffering from this disease.

 

How to Use Current Knowledge to Effectively Treat and Manage the Symptoms of PWS Patients

How can we use the research on chromosomal differences, research on their IQ differences and their lack of ability to delay gratification that, in turn, would help those individuals with the disease?  Seventy percent of PWS cases are attributed to the deletion of chromosome 15 (Ledbetter et al, 1981). Maternal uniparental disomy, which involves receiving an extra chromosome 15 from the mother, is yet another cause of PWS (Wang, 2004).

Whittington, Holland and Webb (2009) found that there was variation between families in deletion of chromosome 15. They found that the PWS and sibling IQ correlation was .3, a modest correlation.  What was also noticed was that there were subtype differences which manifested itself in the familial differences in IQ. As they expected, the correlation with normal siblings and those with PWS was .5 in those who suffered from PWS due to unilateral disomy. But in the second subset (the chromosomal deletion subset), the correlation was negative at -0.07. Their research shows great promise in the role of chromosome 15 and IQ. They end up concluding that there needs to be an explanation for the small genetic differences between them. How can we use these differences in IQ to help people with PWS and what does this suggest for other symptoms of their disease?

Kanazawa (2014), reviewed the data on the research between obesity and IQ. What he found was that those studies that concluded that obesity causes lowered intelligence only observed cross-sectional studies. Longitudinal studies that looked into the link between obesity and intelligence found that those who had low IQs since childhood then became obese later in life and that obesity does not lead to low IQ.  The average IQ for an individual suffering from PWS is 65 (Butler, Lee and Whitman 2006, p. 13), so that is one reason they have a tendency to be obese. He states that those with IQs below 74 gained 5.19 BMI points, whereas those with IQs over above 126 gained 3.73 BMI points in 22 years, which is a statistically significant difference. Also noted, was that those at age 7 who had IQs above 125 had a 13.5 percent chance of being obese at age 51, whereas those with IQs below 74 at age 7 had a 31.9 percent chance of being obese. This data makes it clear: low IQ is correlated with obesity, so we, therefore, need to find sufficient measures to help those with lower IQs who also suffer from PWS to better maintain their good health. Since we can better identify those PWS individuals who have lower IQs based on how they got the disease, we can then show them more attention in an effort to have them manage their gratification better. Moreover, the lack of ability to delay gratification is also correlated with low IQ (Mischel, Ebbeson, and Zeiss, 1972).

Schlam et al. (2013) observed in a follow-up study to the Marshmallow Experiment that found in a longitudinal study of individuals they found forty years later from the original Marshmallow Experiment, due to inability to delay gratification forty years previously, that was one cause of becoming obese forty years later. Due to PWS sufferers having lower average IQs, and, therefore, a lack of ability to delay their gratification, this is direct evidence that those PWS sufferers with low IQs need more stringent measures to be taken on them, which would then be helpful to those individuals who have a hard time delaying their gratification, which is partially caused by the drop in IQ due to the additional chromosome 15. We can see how those with PWS act; they want their gratification now and do not want to wait for it. This is why, when unsupervised, that those with PWS gorge on the food they understand they should not have, but do so, nevertheless, since their low IQ is correlated with lack of ability to delay gratification, which manifests itself in their obesity. We clearly need to find better methods in which to help those with low ability to delay gratification, which would strongly help those suffering from PWS.

Dykens et al (1997) note that those with PWS have hyperphagia, which correlates with their insatiable want for food. They state that the lack of fullness is due to an altered function of the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that is in control of feelings of satiety. Certain States gave restrictions to homes that take care of those with PWS and have come under fire because of this, mainly due to human rights violations. We must ask, then, should we limit their access to food if it will prolong their lives? Will doing so inhibit their freedom to do as they choose? PWS sufferers also have coronary heart problems; one could argue that given their free ability to choose what they want to do unfettered will lead to premature death due to obesity-related complications. Does their disease truly not allow them to learn the consequences of their behavior? Do they have the intellect to really understand the consequences of their actions of consuming too much food? There is no established or known way to control those with insatiable eating habits due to hyperphagia. So would the best course of action to take with those with PWS actually be to constantly monitor them and to lock access to easily attainable food? My answer is yes, however, there is a clear fine line in whether restricting access to food and constantly monitoring those with PWS infringes on their human rights, or that doing so actually will help them live better, healthier lives since they would have the constant supervision around them to better control their out of control eating habits. When negative actions occur, one idea that can be shown to them is constant positive reinforcement so that they may be better able to understand that what they are doing is harmful to their bodies. We can then use positive reinforcement when they do reach a healthy weight, so, in turn, they will have a higher chance of keeping a healthy weight. They may reap the benefits of positive reinforcement, and stick more closely to their program, and therefore, stay healthy.

The hormone ghrelin is secreted from the hypothalamus. With an altered hypothalamus, this would cause ghrelin levels to overload; then the individual suffering from PWS would feel the need to insatiably gorge on food due to this chemical imbalance in the brain. Ghrelin increased feeding in rats and ghrelin is the physiological mediator of feeding and probably has a function in growth regulation by stimulating feeding and release of growth hormone (Nakazato et al, 2001). There is a correlation between want of food, ghrelin release and growth hormone production. By attempting to mediate these variables, those who suffer from PWS will be able to better control their eating habits through positive reinforcement and better, more sustainable habits. Since whenever we eat we get a release of ghrelin that makes us hungry, people pretty much set their own eating times by eating multiple times a day. This affects PWS patients the same way. They can’t stop eating, due in part to constantly eating which constantly releases ghrelin in their body.

PWS sufferers have low muscle tone and, conversely, more body fat. Growth hormones may be a valid way of alleviating that problem, which in turn will give them a slightly higher resting metabolic rate so that they may burn slightly more calories, in an effort to stay healthier. Growth hormone therapy is great for those with PWS though they are largely inactive and lead a sedentary lifestyle, the growth hormone will allow them to have less body fat and more muscle mass. As noted earlier in my paper, those suffering from PWS have altered function in their hypothalamus, which is also where growth hormone is secreted. Aycan and Bas (2014) state that treatment with growth hormones should be strongly considered for those with PWS.

PWS sufferers are also quick to anger, which can be correlated with their sub-average IQ. They may, for instance, become irate at the fact that they do not have constant access to food, and may turn to emotional, angry and infantile outbursts in an attempt to receive what they want. This is one way that it’s tricky to treat those with the disease. How do you tell an individual with PWS who wants something “No”? Measures should be taken to show those with the disease what they are doing to their bodies in the simplest way possible as to better get the point across to them. We can help those sufferers of PWS who are quick to anger with by allowing them to discern between right and wrong ways to handle times when they don’t get what they want with positive reinforcement.

Since those who suffer from PWS have behavioral problems, there are better measures we can take to assure that they don’t have their violent outbursts. When positive reinforcement is consistently shown to an individual who has PWS, he will have more success with his program. When they do something wrong, they can then be shown positive reinforcement, and through being shown positive things with reinforcement theory, they can better learn that certain actions they take are dangerous and shouldn’t be done again, as Rushton (1980) states: “If one rewards a response, it will increase the probability of the future occurrence of that response. If one punishes a response, it will decrease the future probability of the occurrence of that response.” (p. 90).

Discussion

In this paper, I have presented causes for PWS as well as effective ways to manage the disease. To look at how IQ affects individuals in regards to obesity and because it is highly correlated with other measures as well, we can then better help those with the disease. By seeing which individuals have the parental disomy version of PWS, we can then monitor them and give them better care because of their lowered IQ and make sure they stay at a healthy weight. One of the best measures to take is to heavily restrict food, i.e., make sure ability to access food at all hours of the day is restricted along with constant supervision. Though, there are rights groups fighting for them saying that their human rights are being infringed on. In allowing them to have free reign over what, how and when they eat, they will gorge themselves to obesity, as well as lead themselves to horrible complications that come along with increased food consumption. When one is caught consuming food he or she shouldn’t be consuming, punishing them and letting them understand that the behavior they took was wrong will lead to better choices and outcomes from those choices, due in part to the main facet of reinforcement theory, that punishing a response will lead to a reduced outcome in that response that was punished happening in the future. Also, with the advent of CRISPR Cas9, we will be able to edit genomes, and therefore, eventually, put an end to PWS. It will enable us to fix the chromosomal deletion and uniparental disomy, which will eradicate this disease.

Conclusion

There are better, more helpful ways in which to help those suffering from PWS. By identifying and attempting to correct these abnormalities, those who suffer from the disease can, therefore, have a better quality of life due in part to the extra measures taken. By understanding that their lower average IQs lead to a lot of the problems associated with the disease, we can better structure methods for them to keep on a healthy track and reinforce positive behavior through reinforcement theory. Since obesity is correlated highly with low IQ, we can, therefore, use this information to better help those who suffer from PWS that have low IQs. Locking up food instead of providing free access, as well as understanding they do not have the ability to delay gratification, would be a big start to find better ways to treat sufferers of PWS. Treating negative actions with positive reinforcement through reinforcement theory will lead to better and increased prosocial behavior. It’s been shown that if you punish a response, then it will decrease the future probability of that response occurring. The advent of CRISPR Cas9 will then allow us to edit the chromosomes of those with this disease in the future. Should we use genome editing on individuals with this disease, as well as several other chromosomal/genetic diseases? I believe we should, in doing so, we will greatly increase the quality of life of those with the disease.

 

References

Aycan, Z., & Baş, V. N. (2014). Prader-Willi Syndrome and Growth Hormone Deficiency. Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology Jcrpe, 62-67.

Butler, M. G., Lee, P. D., & Whitman, B. Y. (2006). Management of Prader-Willi syndrome (3rd ed.). New York: Springer-Verlag.

Dykens, E. M., Goff, B. J., Hodapp, R. M., Davis, L., Devanzo P., Moss, F. . . King, B. (1997). Eating Themselves to Death: Have “Personal Rights” Gone Too Far in Treating People With Prader-Willi Syndrome? Mental Retardation, 35(4), 312-314.

Kanazawa, S. (2014). Intelligence and obesity. Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity, 21(5), 339-344.

Ledbetter, D. H., Riccardi, V. M., Airhart, S. D., Strobel, R. J., Keenan, B. S., & Crawford, J. D. (1981). Deletions of Chromosome 15 as a Cause of the Prader–Willi Syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine N Engl J Med, 304(6), 325-329.

Mischel, W., Ebbesen, E. B., & Zeiss, A. R. (1972). Cognitive and attentional mechanisms in delay of gratification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 21(2), 204-218.

Nakazato, M., Murakami, N., Date, Y, et al (2001). A role for ghrelin in the central regulation of feeding Nature 409, 194-198

Rushton, J. P. (1980). Altruism, socialization, and society. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Schlam, T. R., Wilson, N. L., Shoda, Y., Mischel, W., & Ayduk, O. (2013). Preschoolers’ Delay of Gratification Predicts their Body Mass 30 Years Later. The Journal of Pediatrics, 162(1), 90-93.

Whittington, J., Holland, A., & Webb, T. (2009). Relationship between the IQ of people with Prader-Willi syndrome and that of their siblings: Evidence for imprinted gene effects. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53(5), 411-418.

YM Wang, L Chuang, BT Wang, et al. Maternal uniparental disomy in a patient with Prader-Willi syndrome with an additional small inv dup(15) chromosome. J Formos Med Assoc, 103 (2004), pp. 943–947

Differential K Theory, GFP, and the Evolution of Conscientousness

 1400 words

 

There is a link between higher IQ and higher ability to be more conscientiousness, which is then linked to the GFP or General Factor of Personality. Two meta-factors were identified beyond the Big Five Personality Traits and were described as ‘Plasticity’ and ‘Stability’ (Deyoung et al, 2002). To quote from the paper:

Stability subsumes Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability (the reverse of
Neuroticism), and Agreeableness, and refers to the extent to which
an individual is consistent in motivation, mood, and social interac-
tions. Plasticity encompasses Extraversion and Openness to experi-
ence, and refers to the extent to which a person actively searches
for new and rewarding experiences, both intellectual and social.

Why did this evolve, especially so closely with high intellect? It evolved due to conscientiousness, which is defined as being thorough, careful, and vigilant.That, coincidentally enough, being needed to survive the harsh winters of Northern Europe and Siberia. Higher conscientiousness was is also another reason for the formation of European societies. With being able to be more conscientious, this, along with genetic pacification, is yet another cause for the cucking of Europe.

When our ancestors trekked out of Africa and into Siberia and Northern Europe, they needed differing abilities than those peoples who stayed in the more tropic climates. Those in the tropics, for the most part, could just lounge around all day. With food being readily available, there was really no pressing need to “save” or “partition” their findings (as Africa is full of mostly a hunter-gatherer societies). Conversely, in Europe and Asia, with harsh conditions in regards to their environment, which made food less plentiful than in the tropics, this meant that more cooperation was needed. Due to more cooperation being needed to survive, planning ahead (abstract thought) evolved to better help cope with the harsh environment.

The aforementioned factors in Europe and Asia then led to the higher rates of altruism seen today. Ancient Europeans needed to be thorough, vigilant and careful. Whether they needed to be careful with food storage, how much to eat, whether or not to help someone, etc, it’s clear that conscientiousness evolved with higher intelligence. Since higher intelligence is correlated with those three things involving conscientiousness, they evolved hand in hand, as selection only selects for good traits and discards the ones that aren’t useful.

These two environments that the three races evolved in then set the stage for what’s going on today. With Africans’ lack of conscientiousness, this leads to them not being vigilant, careful or thorough. This can be seen with how sloppy they are when they commit crimes. Their ancestral environment wasn’t conducive to conscientiousness, and in turn, higher IQ, so they evolved without the need of conscientiousness, as their societies (for what they are), function ‘well’ in their perception. This is yet another reason why that we cannot live together. Differing evolutionary strategies lead to these causes, yet we still think we can acclimate some peoples into society when their biology says otherwise.

JP Rushton proposed that the GFP (General Factor of Personality) and IQ were linked. It was found that the correlation between the GFP and IQ was -.23. The higher the score, the higher the individual scores on the GFP. He noted that the correlation is so low, possibly due to the restricted range of the sample. Rushton provided an argument for the evolutionary process of cognitive ability and personality evolution. This is clear evidence of the GFP and IQ evolving hand-in-hand.

Lacking a high IQ, and therefore, lack of g, Africans (as well as other colored peoples), on average, have lower g and therefore lower conscientiousness, which then is a huge cause for crime. Increases criminality has been correlated, like I’ve said here before, to a lower verbal intelligence. Though this higher IQ and higher GFP is being taken advantage of. Ever since that fateful day in 1964, white pathological altruism has been taken advantage of. Those with lower conscientiousness know they can take advantage of those with higher IQ and higher conscientiousness as altruism is correlated highly with IQ and conscientiousness.

There is an altruistic personality; the altruist has a high IQ, is conscientious, and altruistic. Those on the opposite end of the spectrum, however, take advantage of that and this can be seen with the political climate around the world in regards to other races’ feelings towards whites.Conversely, those who are r-selected and have a low IQ and GFP tend to be more hostile and commit acts of aggression. This multiculturalism due to the altruistic personality on a large scale is one of the reasons for the mass immigration into Western societies. People, as a whole, become collectively altruistic. Then, those lower IQ, lower GFP, r-selected people then take advantage of the more altruistic people. They then turn into a parasitic entity, sucking the host dry before moving on to their next victim.

This is where a high GFP does not work, in multicultural societies. Of course, this is also due to ethnic dissimilarity, but the other thing I brought up along with that ethnic dissimilarity are all of the negative effects of those that are r selected, which, in their own societies is ‘fine’, but to who are K-selected and have complex societies, those behaviors are archaic.

There is a high correlation between low IQ, low conscientiousness, archaic actions, lack of abstract thought, and lack of society building. We know that those with lower IQs commit more crime on average than those with higher IQs.

This is why allowing non-Western people who are abnormal to our societies  is a bad move, since they don’t share the same evolutionary track, and therefore, due to differing selections due to evolution, evolved differing behaviors to better adapt to the climate, environment, and surroundings.

Since skin color and IQ correlate at -.92, meaning the darker the skin the lower the IQ and vice versa, this is yet another great assessor on whether an individual has a high IQ, and is, therefore, conscientious. This is due to, as I alluded to earlier, the environment in sub-Saharan Africa being conducive to lack of ability to delay gratification. Due to that, we can infer, on average, whether someone will be conscientious or not. Since their ability to delay gratification is impeded due to certain evolutionary pressures not put on Asians and Europeans, they will, therefore, be less conscientious, which is a crucial building block in maintaining a successful society.

To quote Templer from his memorial paper dedicated to Rushton on the different correlates with skin color and different environments/effects:

The research of Templer and Arikawa (2006) supports Rushton’s contention that higher intelligence develops in colder climates. They used 129 countries with primarily indigenous populations (Asia, Africa, and Europe) and correlated culture fair IQ (Lynn & Vanhanen, 2002) with temperature. In addition to temperature, Templer and Arikawa used skin color provided by an anthropology book (Biasutti, 1967). IQ correlated .92 with darker skin color, .76 with winter highs, .66 with winter lows, and .63 with per capita income. Previous research by Meisenberg (2004) reported a correlation of .89 between skin reflectance and IQ in a similar study. Templer (2010b) found a correlation of .96 between skin color measure used by the Templer and Arikawa and the one by Meisenberg’s skin reflectance. Because both measures were independently determined using different methodology, they both can be regarded as highly valid measures of skin color.

The cause of these two variables being correlated is evolution. They paired well with each other, so over tens of thousands of  years, they got selected for with each other and persisted to today. Since we have modern societies and are much more civil (some of us), we can better see these differences in personality as well as behavior. There are This General Factor of Personality was able to evolve due to evolution in cold climates. The altered intelligence, which then altered personality. This r/K Life History Theory of Rushton’s blend’s beautifully with the GFP and intelligence. Evolution in cold climates along with genetic isolation caused differing evolutionary trajectories for each race/ethnicity which led to differences in crime, IQ, socioeconomic statussexual maturitycultures, and so on. There are clear genetic differences brought on by the environment (due to evolution), which leads to  differing societies based on differing evolutionary trajectories. Conscientiousness and intelligence, the whole General Factor of Personality, evolved in Northern populations since it was more beneficial in that environment, and to survive, this is what done to adapt to the environment through natural selection, which then led to racial differences.