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Are Flynn Losses in France Due to Immigration?
Over a ten year period in France, from 1999 to 2008-9, IQ has declined in France by almost 4 points. What is the cause? Immigration? Dysgenics? A reversal of the Flynn Effect? No doubt that numerous people would attribute the decline in intelligence in France due to MENA and SSA immigration. But is this true?
Lynn and Dutton (2015) show how differing studies show both positive and negative gains in IQ. To prevent further evidence of these negative Flynn gains, they looked to the IQ of France from 1999-2009.
The WAIS-III was standardized in France in 1999 while the WAIS-IV was standardized in 2009. This was a great opportunity to see if the intelligence of the French dropped using the new WAIS-IV. The sample was of 79 people who were of a different sample than that of the broader WAIS-IV French standardization. The average age of the sample was 45, ranging between 30 and 63 years of age. Half of this sample took the WAIS-IV first while the other half took the WAIS-III first to control for practice effects. They used a separate sample to compare the norms of generated by the two standardizes samples.
The above table from the paper, table 3, shows the comparison between the two WAIS tests. Positive ds indicate lower scaled scores on the III in comparison to the IV and thusly higher scores. What these data show is that the IV is harder than the III and IQ declined because the test got ‘tougher’ (because full-scale intelligence declined). As noted above, this phenomenon of decreasing IQ scores has been noticed for about 20 years now. The symbol search showed the smallest decline while there was no change in digit span. The biggest gain was in vocabulary.
This is pretty shocking. In ten years, verbal comp decreased by 4 points, perceptual reasoning index by 3.1 points, no change in working memory index, processing speed index decreased by .7 points, perceptual organization index decreased by 3.9 and the whole full-scale IQ decreased by 3.8 points. Lynn and Dutton discuss the results:
In addition, the Full Scale IQ on the WAIS IV sample of 79 subjects was calculated based on a comparison with the WAIS IV sample of 876 subjects, which was representative of the French population on key variables such as education and region. The scores of this sample of 876 subjects were set at 100 and a comparison made with the sample of 79 subjects. As can be seen in Table 4, on this basis the IQ of the sample of 79 subjects was 101.1 with an SD of 14.7, where the French norm would be 100 and the SD 15. As such, the smaller sample can be regarded as representative of the French population in terms of intelligence.
So this small sample can be regarded as representative of the French population. Lynn and Dutton say that the digit span showing no increase corroborates findings from another researcher that showed that there was no change in forward or backward digit span in 85 years. They then say:
. . .improvements in the quality of nutrition during the twentieth century made a major contribution to increasing IQs. But it seems improbable that the quality of nutrition declined in recent years in France and in the other economically developed countries in which declining IQs have been reported.
So one possible cause is that nutrition has declined in France. From Dubuisson et al, 2010:
These repeated surveys highlighted the fact that trends in French food habits have moved towards an average European diet at the crossroads between Mediterranean and Northern diets, and that food consumption changes impacted, to a lesser extent, nutritional intake.
It shows that the French diet is in between Med and Nord diets. Really, as Lynn and Dutton asserted, there was no decline in nutritional quality for the French.
Another possible cause is a decrease in quality of schools. Flynn says a part of the reason for the rise in IQ was due to the advent of scientific thinking. However, this is not a good explanation either since school quality seems to not have been affected.
Flynn also talks about the media and its role. Lynn and Dutton say:
However, this would not explain declines in other forms of intelligence and, moreover, it might be argued that the desire and ability to read such literature would be underpinned by general intelligence and so a decline in the consumption of such literature would partly reflect a decline in general intelligence, as vocabulary is a measure of intelligence.
It is also worth noting that, apparently, reading may actually increase general intelligence (post coming on that soon).
Now, finally, the theory we’ve all been waiting for: Is it increased immigration?
Lynn and Dutton state:
This increase has occurred throughout western Europe and a number of studies have shown that immigrants from North Africa and south-west Asia typically have an average IQ of around 85 to 90 (Lynn, 2006, Lynn, 2008, Lynn and Vanhanen, 2012 and Rindermann and Thompson, 2014; for a large meta-analysis see te Nijenhuis, de Jong, Evers, & van der Flier, 2004). This conclusion has been confirmed by Kirkegaard (2013) who has shown that in Denmark the number of non-European immigrants increased from approximately 50,000 in 1980 to 400,000 in 2012 and the IQ of non-European immigrants in 18–19 year old military conscripts was 86.3, relative to 100 for indigenous Danes. These immigrants are likely to have had some impact on reducing the average IQ of the populations, but it is doubtful whether the increase in the number of immigrants with lower IQs has been sufficiently great to have had a major effect.
I personally don’t think that migration into Europe from MENA and SSA countries has been enough to put that big of a dent (over 1/3rd of an SD) in average IQ in France, and Europe as a whole. Since people are coming from areas closer to the equator and have higher rates of children since they are r-selected, could this be why France has seen a decrease in intelligence?
Woodley of Menie and Dunkel (2015) reviewed Lynn and Dutton’s paper and said:
Replacement migration in France involving populations exhibiting lower means of IQ and higher rates of total fertility, such as Algerians, Moroccans, Tunisians and Roma (Čvorić, 2014 and Lynn and Vanhanen, 2012) may be increasing the rate of secular losses at the level of g, consistent with speculations advanced in Dutton and Lynn (2015), however the additional loss in g due to this process is anticipated to be very small. Based on a simulation, Nyborg (2012) estimates that in Denmark, replacement migration may be reducing heritable g by .28 points per decade, which would increase the overall loss in g to 1.51 points per decade ( Woodley of Menie, 2015), this still being only 37.75% of the loss observed in the French cohort.
An Environmental Explanation?
Since we still need an explanation for 62.25 percent of the 3.8 decrease in full-scale IQ other than dysgenic fertility, are there any environmental explanations? Environmental explanations can be anything from child abuse, to poor schooling, to poor nutrition, etc. Was there an increase in any of these or other variables that negatively affect IQ which would explain the 3.8 point decline in IQ?
One of the most likely candidates is nutrition. Lack of certain vitamins, especially in childhood, would prevent the brain from receiving the proper nourishment to grow.
The INCA study took record of food consumption from 2,373 people aged 4 to 92 from a 7-week period and from that they saw which nutrients they were deficient in (Touvier et al 2006). To measure if and how much they were nutrient deficient, they used the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR). The vitamins used were calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins C, A, B6, and B12, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate. A lot of these have to do with proper brain functioning and ability to reach its full-size potential. For instance like the B vitamins and iron. Being deficient in those nutrients depresses brain size and with it IQ. For instance, being deficient in vitamin B 12 and folate leads to decreased brain size in childhood. The negative effects of being deficient in these nutrients may partially explain some of the 3.8 point decrease in full-scale IQ.
Regarding the prevalence of the aforementioned nutrient deficiencies in these populations, the authors state:
We also calculated daily consumption of 44 food groups by age and gender. This paper shows how the combination of both data sets, i.e., inadequacy and food consumption data, allows a preliminary screening of potential food vehicles in order to optimize fortification. The prevalence of inadequacy was particularly high for the following groups: for calcium, females aged 10-19 years (73.5%) or aged 55-90 years (67.8%), and males aged 15-19 years (62.4%) or aged 65-92 years (65.4%); for magnesium, males aged 15-92 years (71.7%) and females aged 10-90 years (82.5%); for iron, females aged 15-54 years (71.1%); and for vitamin C, females aged 15-54 years (66.2%). Two examples are provided to illustrate the proposed method for the optimization of fortification.
Most vitamins and minerals have positive effects on brain functioning, some more than others, but notice the prevalence of iron defieciency in the females aged 15-54 years (71.1 percent). With the cohort cited by Lynn and Dutton (2015) and Woodley of Menie and Dunkel (2015) being aged 30 to 63 with an average age of 45, the prevalence of iron deficiencies in the INCA study, along with the other deficiencies in the cohort, may partially be responsible for the decline in IQ.
The Flynn Effect
PumpkinPerson describes it well here:
One of the biggest mysteries in psychology is the Flynn Effect; the fact that over the 20th century, people have been performing better and better on IQ tests. Of course, the average IQ in Western countries by definition is always about 100, however because people keep scoring higher every decade, the tests routinely have to be made more difficult and the norms must be regularly updated to keep the mean IQ from rising far above 100.
However, in first-world countries, in the past 20 or so years, it has been in decline, particularly in France. It’s due to a mix of dysgenic fertility and nutrient deficiencies. Since Flynn gains are largely due to advancements in better nutrition, Flynn loses would then be attributed in part to nutrient deficiencies as well as dysgenic fertility.
The cause for the 3.8 decrease in IQ in France is low fertility rates amongst the French population as well as nutrient deficiencies. Clearly, ameliorating this decrease in IQ can be reversed by the K-selected having more children and healthier eating habits. Drops in IQ won’t be attributed to MENA and SSA populations until the future, but for now, the cause for the decrease is the French themselves.
Genetic Reasons for Human Migration
It’s always talked about in race realist circles what caused the migration Out of Africa and what gives us an urge and sense of wonder for adventure. Well, like with most things in life, there is a genetic reason behind it.
So I use this website called StumbleUpon and I was Stumbling in the Genetics section, and I came across this article, and as I was reading it, I knew that it was going to be rare in Africans.
And what do you know, I was right.
Seems like the gene developed around 40,000 years ago. It’s obviously not just a coincidence or ‘correlation doesn’t equal causation’ argument, as a whole bunch of research backs this gene, and specific alleles, to certain traits in humans, compared to migration, or lack thereof, around the world.
From some research, I found that the abstract of the article says: it’s linked to hyperactivity, novelty-seeking and risk-taking behaviors. Consistent with findings in animal studies was: having more exploratory behavior as well as increased speed and locomotion. Populations with a history of migration in the past 1 to 30,000 years will show the highest instance of having the DRD4 alleles. Those that migrated more miles have a higher rate than those that migrated less. Sedentary populations show a lower instance of the DRD4 allele.
The abstract also says “After compiling existing data on DRD4 allele frequencies of 2,320 individuals from 39 populations and on the migration pattern of these groups, we found that, compared to sedentary populations, migratory populations showed a higher proportion of long alleles for DRD4.”
A correlation of .85 was found with km traveled and rate of DRD4 allele frequency distributions, which support the hypothesis. Nomadic populations had a 10.4 percent higher rate of DRD4 long alleles than sedentary ones.
Here is a blog post talking about the DRD4-7 genes and how they are involved with dopamine levels in the brain and have to do with motivation and behavior.
It cites a researcher saying that the gene occurs in populations that migrated first and furthest out of Africa are more likely to have the gene.
Another blog talks about how Africans with the 4R allele stayed in Africa whereas those with the 7R left and explored the world.
Research has found that it’s easier for the 2R allele to mutate into a 7R allele than for a 7R allele to mutate back to a 4R allele.
So it’s thought that those who emigrated but remained closer to Africa, such as Asia, lost the behavior to explore and settled rather than explore the Americas (which Siberians did do, who eventually became Indians. I would assume that they would have a higher prevalence of this gene, being as they migrated to the Americas while the Africans stayed in Africa, as well as Indians being the furthest genetically from Africans, it also makes sense there). Also saying that those who emigrated to Asia had the 7R, but stayed and it mutated to the 2R over time.
It says looking at the global prevalence of certain allele frequencies, the 4R is more common in Africa, the 2R in Asia, the 7R in the Americas (mostly South), supporting the theory for the 7R allele being the cause for global expansion and positive selection.
Found this article talking about how the DRD4 allele is a role “in the escalation of substance use during adolescence and potential for an enhanced understanding of early-onset substance use.” and those with the 7R allele “Supporting the differential susceptibility to parenting hypothesis, the results suggest a greater preventive effect for youths carrying a 7-repeat allele”.
This NatGeo article says “Most provocatively, several studies tie 7R to human migration. The first large genetic study to do so, led by Chuansheng Chen of the University of California, Irvine in 1999, found 7R more common in present-day migratory cultures than in settled ones. A larger, more statistically rigorous 2011 study supported this, finding that 7R, along with another variant named 2R, tends to be found more frequently than you would expect by chance in populations whose ancestors migrated longer distances after they moved out of Africa. Neither study necessarily means that the 7R form of the gene actually made those ancestors especially restless; you’d have to have been around back then to test that premise with certainty. But both studies support the idea that a nomadic lifestyle selects for the 7R variant.”
All in all, this shows a genetic reason WHY the migration OoA began. It’s very telling that the DDR7 allele first arose when we migrated OoA.