Richard Lynn, now 89, is known for his research into national and race differences in average intelligence, having relatively recently published the most comprehensive and up-to-date book available on national differences in IQ .
But although ethnic and racial differences in intelligence explain quite a lot, they still leave some phenomena not quite making sense. Lynn resolves this in his new book, edited by Edward Dutton: Race Differences in Psychopathic Personality: An Evolutionary Analysis.
Thus, for example, Blacks of equal IQ to whites nevertheless still appear to be systematically more violent, more criminal, more sexually promiscuous, less interested in long term relationships and more prone to taking very serious risks with their own safety and that of others: speeding, driving while intoxicated, not wearing a seat belt. Clearly, IQ does not account for everything
Some ethnic differences are not washed away by controlling for either intelligence or for any other variables that we examined. We leave those remaining differences unexplained and look forward to learning from our colleagues where the explanations lie.
For Lynn, this challenge was simply too enticing to resist. He wondered whether—because different races are evolved to different ecologies in which the benefits of being able to create trusting and cooperative groups vary—the explanation might lie in race differences in modal personality. Specifically, he wondered if there were consistent differences in the proportion of each race that expressed “Psychopathic Personality” (now officially known as “Antisocial Behavior Disorder”) then the anomaly highlighted by Herrnstein and Murray would potentially make sense.
As Lynn explains in his new book, psychopathic personality is characterized by:
…general poverty of affect, defective insight, absence of nervousness and anxiety, lack of remorse or shame, superficial charm, pathological lying, egocentricity, inability to love, failure to establish close or intimate relationships, irresponsibility, impulsive psychopathic acts, failure to learn from experience, reckless behavior under the influence of alcohol, and a lack of long term goals.
If there were race differences in the proportion of individuals having this kind of extreme personality, then the modal personality of different races would vary in the degree to which it was psychopathic. This would explain why, even when controlling for IQ, blacks would display noticeably more anti-social and risk-taking behavior than whites.
Lynn first took up the challenge in 2002, writing a paper on the subject, mainly comparing blacks, whites and Hispanics [Race Differences in Psychopathic Personality, By Richard Lynn, Personality and Individual Differences, 2002].
But for Lynn, the issue wouldn’t be dealt with until he had tested it with as many of the “Twelve Races of Classical Anthropology” as possible. The result is Lynn’s new book .
Extremely data heavy, replete with numerous tables to make it easier to follow, Lynn’s new book seems to have a fairly simple objective, which it certainly achieves: to take us on a world tour of proxy evidence for race differences in psychopathic personality.
In the USA, for example, Lynn compares racial differences in a huge array of measures of Anti-Social Behavior Disorder—diagnosed psychopathic personality according to assorted scales, hypomania, conduct disorder among children, school suspensions and expulsions, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, moral understanding, likelihood of defaulting on student loans, cheating in sport, crime and especially aggressive and violent crime, long term monogamous relationships, adultery, sexual promiscuity, intimate partner violence, ability to delay gratification, work motivation and commitment, reckless behavior such as “the non-use of seat belts in automobiles,” gambling, risky sexual behavior such as having unprotected sex with a relative stranger, and sexually transmitted disease, among other measures.
Lynn highlights race differences in organ donation: “43% of whites, but only 31% of Hispanics and only 23% of blacks were willing to donate their organs after death.” There are even race differences self-esteem: this being very high among psychopaths…and blacks.
Based on all this, Lynn’s conclusion for the USA is that:
…psychopathic personality is greatest in blacks and Native Americans followed by Hispanics, lower in whites, and lowest in Asians, especially in Northeast Asians where data are given for these disaggregated from Southeast Asians.
On a lot of measures, Native Americans seem to be worse off than blacks, even though their average IQ is higher. For Lynn, this is where psychopathic personality becomes so important. Native American psychopathic personality is, on many psychological scales at least, higher than that of blacks. At the very least, Native Americans are higher on some important aspects of psychopathic personality than blacks, even if they are not higher overall. This helps to explain why they tend to do worse in life in many ways despite being significantly more intelligent.
Lynn uses the same approach—calmly presenting available data and analyzing it—with groups across the world.
He then turns to the genetics of psychopathic personality and explores why there would be race differences in personality from an evolutionary perspective.
Put simply, in an unstable and easy ecology, you need to “live fast, die young.” But as basic needs are easily met and there is very little need for cooperation. But as the ecology gets more stable and also colder, there is more of a need for cooperation and there develops an arms race to move energy towards nurturing your children.
There are, however, localized reasons for various exceptions to this pattern. The same increasingly stable yet difficult ecology also selects for intelligence, because you have to plan for the future and solve increasingly complex problems. Lynn summarizes his key findings on race differences in one of this book’s many tables (Table 16:3) in which IQ is compared to PP (Psychopathic Personality):
|New Zealand Maori||84||5.9|
|Native Americans –USA||86||2.2|
Note that the relationship between IQ and psychopathic personality is negative—but not perfectly so. South Asians are about the same on psychopathic personality as Europeans, for example.
Not for the first time, Lynn’s book is sure to infuriate the multiculturalists—all the more so because it is scrupulously calmly presented, with all assertions very carefully backed-up by an abundance of data.
Lance Welton [Email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.