Why national IQs do not support evolutionary theories of intelligence

J.M. Wicherts, D. Borsboom, C.V. Dolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Kanazawa (2008), Templer (2008), and Templer and Arikawa (2006) claimed to have found empirical support for evolutionary theories of race differences in intelligence by correlating estimates of national IQ with indicators of reproductive strategies, temperature, and geographic distance from Africa. In this paper we criticize these studies on methodological, climatic, and historical grounds. We show that these studies assume that the Flynn Effect is either nonexistent or invariant with respect to different regions of the world, that there have been no migrations and climatic changes over the course of evolution, and that there have been no trends over the last century in indicators of reproductive strategies (e.g., declines in fertility and infant mortality). In addition, we show that national IQs are strongly confounded with the current developmental status of countries. National IQs correlate with all the variables that have been suggested to have caused the Flynn Effect in the developed world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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