Temperamental differences by race

Excerpted from: Solving The African IQ Conundrum : "Winning Personality" Masks Low Scores
By J. Philippe Rushton
August 12, 2004

Over a century ago, Sir Francis Galton initiated research into individual and race differences in intelligence and temperament. He was the first to propose the study of human twins and of selective breeding in animals to disentangle the effects of heredity and environment. And it was Galton—who spent several years exploring in what is now Namibia as a young man—who first contrasted the talkative impulsivity of Africans with the taciturn reserve of American Indians, and the placidity of the Chinese.

Galton further noted that these temperament differences persisted irrespective of climate (from the frozen north through the torrid equator), and religion, language, or political system (whether self-ruled or governed by the Spanish, Portuguese, English or French).

Anticipating later studies of transracial adoptions, Galton observed that the majority of individuals adhered to racial type even after being raised by White settlers.

In my book Race, Evolution, and Behavior, I review the evidence accumulated since Galton’s pioneering studies. This shows that his views were largely correct. Twin and adoption studies (such as those of identical twins raised apart by Professor Thomas J. Bouchard Jr. at the University of Minnesota) show that traits like Extraversion and Neuroticism are substantially heritable.

Temperamental differences, measured objectively by activity recorders attached to arms and legs, show up in babies. African babies are more active sooner and develop earlier than White babies who, in turn, are more active than East Asian babies. Motor behavior is a highly stable individual difference variable. Even among Whites, activity level measured during free play shows highly significant negative correlations with IQ: more restrained children average higher intellects.

Parallel results are found in four- to six-year-olds using teacher ratings. One study carried out in Quebec, Canada, had teachers rate immigrant children in French language preschools. The teachers reported more outgoing temperament among children of African descent than among those of European descent, and especially than in those of East Asian descent.

The racial differences in temperament are also found on standardized personality tests. Blacks consistently score more outgoing, active, socially dominant, and impulsive than do Whites, while Whites consistently score more active and socially dominant than do East Asians.

It may be surprising to learn that Blacks also have higher self-esteem than Whites and East Asians. This is true even when Blacks are poorer and less educated. In one large study of 11- to 16-year-olds, Blacks rated themselves as more attractive than did Whites. Blacks also rated themselves higher in reading, science and social studies (but not in mathematics).

The Blacks said this even though they knew they had lower actual academic achievement scores than White children.

In contrast, East Asian students, even though they score higher in academic achievement than Whites, often score lower in self-esteem.

What I am suggesting then, is that Blacks have a self-assured "bright" talkative, personality, which leads many people to over-estimate their abstract reasoning ability. East Asians provide a "compare and contrast" case study with people under-estimating their IQ because of their quietness and otherwise "subdued" personality profile. East Asians who average higher than Whites on IQ tests (107 versus 100) have often been described to me as seeming "dull and uncreative" compared to Whites, achieving what they do only through unimaginative rote learning, imitation, and memorization.

The relative restraint of East Asians contrasted with the noisiness of Africans is apparent to anyone visiting their home continents. When the New York Yankees played the first game of the 2004 baseball season before a packed stadium in Tokyo, Japan, the announcers noted how very much quieter the crowd was than those at games in the U.S. But it was a more tranquil disposition, not a lack of interest in the game, which hushed the stands.

Because of the time difference, people all over Japan regularly get up at two in the morning to view games broadcast from the U.S. featuring American teams which include Japanese-born stars.

Like any other group, Whites look upon themselves as the norm. Whites tend not to speak up if they don’t know the answer to a question. Nor do they like to intrude on the privacy of others. They erroneously assume that, because Africans are talkative, they must know what they are talking about.

The flipside is the reticence and reserve of East Asians. In the realm of behavior, English traditionally uses the same term, "dumb," both for being unable to speak and for being stupid or silly (though both usages are quite Politically Incorrect these days). In the case of the average mental ability of East Asians, dumb is hardly dumber!

The converse is that the greater talkativeness of Blacks does not indicate brightness—it often masks a low ability to reason abstractly.


  1. Hi,

    Jewish people are the most intelligent. They win almost 40% of the Nobel Prize's and they have a small population of only 14 million. So by far they exceed the other races in intelligence. The other races having huge numbers and such small contributions.

    IQ tests, test intellectual conformity, not creativity and originality. This would explain the Asian high IQ's. They as a people are the ultimate conformists.

    In IQ tests there is typically only one answer to the problem. That problem being a social conformity to reason. But everyone knows that Genius's and all of the greatest developments in the world are not the product of conformity. Conformity never breeds creativity. We can see this in the lack of influence the Asian population has had on Science. China used to be called the "sick man" of Asia. Their population is massive and their contribution to innovation is almost nil. We can see this lack of originality in their adoptation of European philosophies, I.e. Communism.

    Friedrich Nietzsche and other Philosophers have critized Asians. Nietsche used the words "Pallid osification" to describe Orientals.

    Pallid: lacking sparkle or liveliness.

    Osification: The process of becoming set and inflexible in behavior, attitudes, and actions. Inflexible conformity, rigid unthinking acceptance of social conventions.

    The reality is Asian people have yet to understand that laws and rules are arbitrary. Europeans make the rules and Asian's follow them.

    It also doesn't make sense that Asian's are considered smart because of the fact that they have destroyed their own countries. This is due to over-population and their basic lack of enviromental understanding.

    It is also common scientific fact that women who have many children are ignorant, and those who have less children are more intelligent. This has already been proven in studies. So it seems strange to say that Asians are smart when the obviousness of their backwards countries, and medieval lifestyle makes them contrary to that premise.

    Europeans have the most advanced civilizations and every other race has yet to meet these levels other than the Japanese. The Japanese only being good at copying other people's inventions and making them better. Other than that their original creativity is lacking as well. They took American cars and made them better. They took the German camera and made it better. And they took German steel and made it better. Otherwise the greatest advances still come from Europeans and Jews. Other than that the Orientals have yet to produce an Einstein or a Thomas Edison.

    When it comes to Black people. It makes sense that they have low intellectual comformity, I.e. IQ tests. They are far too creative to be trapped in this unoriginal form of conditioning. You can tell their creative capacity in their athletics, music, dance, and the way they talk. They by far exceed the Asiatic races in these areas. Being better singers, musicians ect. Blacks far exceed Asians in emotive expression. In all of North America there is only one or two famous high-paid Asian actors.

    Reality, Europeans rule the world and they have allowed others to exist only out of desire for economic bennifet. They, (Europeans) are also the physically strongest, winning the Strongest Man competitions again and again.

    The greater the conformity, the weaker the race. Thus we see the races as they are today. The wild animal being bred out of man, and the physically impotent, conformist thriving.

    Otherwise "Group psychology" is the most destructive thing in the world. All these stereotypes are false when it comes to the individual. Individualism is the most important thing for this time. All countries, Relgions, groups need to dissolve for man to live in peace.

    1. Anonymous8:22 PM



      Norway is famous for giving out Nobel Prizes. At least 20% of the Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Jews, though they are only 0.2% of the world's population.

      See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_Nobel_laureates

      Thus a "Jew" is at least 100 times more likely to receive the Nobel prize compared to a normal White Person, on a per capita basis.

      So how are Judaists (i.e. people who call themselves "Jews", but are, in fact, mostly white people whose ancestors converted to Judaism) able to grab so many Nobel prizes?

      Most of these winners are not even qualified and have done nothing special. Many experts have not even heard the name of the person given a prize and their research was nothing special. However, many others, who were far more qualified, were not given the Nobel Prize because they were non-Jewish whites.

      On the average, the Judaists ("Jews") are mostly white. Their average IQ is not much different than other Whites, such as White Christians.

      In fact, the average IQ in Israel, where Judaists predominate, is only 94, 6% below the average IQ of 100. (Source: "IQ and the Wealth of Nations", © 2002 by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhan). See:


    2. Anonymous8:25 PM


      ...For the rest of the post, see:


    3. Anonymous1:08 PM

      Have you looked at the list of contributions, inventions that were due to Asians, before there was even an Edison or Einstein ? Check wikipedia, for example, to educate yourself.

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. A solid comment from E.C. As noted below, the world contains many "intelligences" that thrive in various field. The hitch comes from those areas where there is most employment demand, and here Asians excel, as do Caucasians. How do we include "People of Color" into the 21st century?

  2. Let's not forget about the Aztecs and Mayans who were mathematical geniuses and were not white. Just because one race can be greater in one area, such as killing off thousands in another race, doesn't make anyone more intelligent and stronger or make them a ruler of the world. Kind, gentle people can be intelligent and strong, then taken by an evil, ignorant person. Example, a 14 yr old ganster took the life of a 50 yr old police officer. Civilization is thought to be the wiser way, yet our trees our disappearing that is needed, our air and water is polluted. This will take us to hell. Some can debate this, but kindness is the most powerful strength of all. You get more with water than vinegar and when you walk this way in life that makes you intelligent.

    1. This sentiment is valid as far as it goes. Empathy is a vital quality. necessary in contemporary civilizations. But it seems to be more evident in societies where there is high civility and the rule of law. All civilizations have to go through stages to arrive at a more functional mode. Some have, some haven't This doesn't take into account, though, as the Blog makes evident, the undermining of cooperation and empathy by individual pathologies as evidenced by the shooter in Norway several years ago.

  3. Anonymous12:09 PM

    Intelligence is not only about number of inventions and making high IQ test scores. It can be social, emotional, creative, musical, artistic, sculpture, agricultural, economic, political, philosophical, and what not !!!! Every race has some unique intelligence, otherwise they would not have survived, by the law of survival of the fittest .... Instead of spending time on useless debate, it is better to understand individual strength, potential and cultivate them optimally, in order to make the world a better place...

    1. Excellent comment. The challenge is to connect those with other than high cognitive skills with the new economy. In the old manufacturing economy 'book learnin' (ie, classroom competance) didn't matter as much. Now in the global economy, making things has mostly moved off shore. The skill set of different groups might have been appropropriate in more primitive societies which haven't advanced as the Northern countries have, hence the term "developing nations." But there isn't enough room for more professional sports players or hip hop artists. Lashing out in Ferguson and Baltimore shows the frustration of young black males who don't fit in.

  4. How interesting awesome article which I agree with!!! Thanks Philippe Rushton for discussing this issue despite political correctness! I definitely agree with the differences between races, every race has its strengths and weaknesses. The Africans are creative and have so much personality so many funny comedians Eddie Murphy being one on top of my head! The Asians are conformists and also good at copying for example the Chinese copying European designs and products quite badly at times but I can tell easily!!! with the Japanese being different and copying and improving I love Japanese cars and also love the Japenese sense of style architecture etc. The Europeans including myself being of Greek origin but genetically a mix of European genes including Italian, Belgian, Irish and Swedish I would say are really the ideas people inventing philosophy, science and the modern world as we know it and an influence globally.


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