satoshi kanazawa, intelligence and all its correlates

Satoshi Kanazawa seems to believe that intelligence explains, well, a lot of stuff.  Here’s what intelligence is correlated with:

  • a preference for classical music — Kanazawa, Satoshi and Kaja Perina.  Forthcoming.  “Why More Intelligent Individuals Like Classical Music.”  Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.
  • physical attractiveness — Kanazawa, Satoshi.  2011.  “Intelligence and Physical Attractiveness.”  Intelligence. 39:  7-14.
  • substance abuse — Kanazawa, Satoshi and Josephine E. E. U. Hellberg.  2010.  “Intelligence and Substance Use.”  Review of General Psychology. 14:  382-396.
  • being a night owl — Kanazawa, Satoshi and Kaja Perina.  2009.  “Why Night Owls Are More Intelligent.”  Personality and Individual Differences. 47:  685-690.
  • being a liberal and an atheist — Kanazawa, Satoshi.  2010.  “Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent.”  Social Psychology Quarterly. 73:  33-57.
  • all kinds of other stuff — Kanazawa, Satoshi.  2010.  “Evolutionary Psychology and Intelligence Research.”  American Psychologist.  65:  279-289.

We all want sharp graduate students and colleagues, so based on the above we could almost develop a Kanazawa-quotient, a simple heuristic for hiring and selection.  If you meet, say, three-four of the criteria, you should receive serious consideration: you like classical music, are attractive, have a substance abuse problem, are a night owl, liberal and an atheist.

More Kanazawa here.


Written by teppo

January 19, 2011 at 6:20 am

19 Responses

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  1. I don’t have a substance abuse problem, but I can get one if your program is willing to cover that in my graduate tuition.



    January 19, 2011 at 6:51 am

  2. and if your tall, blond and blue eyed…



    January 19, 2011 at 10:15 am

  3. […] satoshi kanazawa, intelligence and all its correlates […]


  4. Let’s see here, I guess universities could throw in substance abuse rehab programs, plastic surgery, and family therapy into the “benefits” package they offer to new faculty!



    January 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm

  5. Sadly though, there is no compelling evidence to date of a correlation between intelligence and publishing in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.


    Henry Farrell

    January 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm

  6. Just judging by the titles, it seems that the causality can go in both directions…



    January 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm

  7. Rense, so it could be substance abuse can cause intelligence? Ha!



    January 20, 2011 at 12:50 am

  8. Does he use IQ to measure intelligence?



    January 20, 2011 at 2:30 am

  9. This from his website:

    ““If the truth offends people, it is our job as scientists to offend them. Wir müssen wissen, wir werden wissen.”
    “If what I say is wrong (because it is illogical or lacks credible scientific evidence), then it is my problem. If what I say offends you, it is your problem.”
    Prepare to be offended.”



    January 20, 2011 at 2:48 am

  10. Guillermo: That last piece talks through some of the g versus general intelligence etc etc stuff…

    “The g factor, which is often used synonymously with general intelligence, is a latent variable that emerges in a factor analysis of various cognitive (IQ) tests. They are not exactly the same thing. g is an indicator or measure of general intelligence; it is not general intelligence itself. As a measure of reasoning ability, general intelligence is what Cattell (1971) called “fluid intelligence” (Gf), not what he called “crystallized intelligence” (Gc), which, while influenced by general intelligence, is a measure of acquired knowledge. The concept of general intelligence poses a problem for evolutionary psychology (Chiappe & MacDonald, 2005; Cosmides & Tooby, 2002; G. F. Miller, 2000a). Evolutionary psychologists contend that the human brain consists of domain-specific evolved psychological mechanisms, which evolved to solve specific adaptive problems (problems of survival and reproduction) in specific domains. If the contents of the human brain are domain specific, how can evolutionary psychology explain general intelligence?….”



    January 20, 2011 at 3:34 am

  11. kanazawa makes me think that it must be easy to get a job at the LSE



    January 20, 2011 at 5:09 am

  12. Is he seriously listing his Erdős Number on his webpage?



    January 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm

  13. “The g factor, which is often used synonymously with general intelligence, is a latent variable that emerges in a factor analysis of various cognitive (IQ) tests. ”

    Let me get this straight. They are obtaining the commonality or common factor from several different IQ tests. This does nothing to invalidate the criticisms against IQ tests’ methodology.

    “g is an indicator or measure of general intelligence”

    Highly doubtful.



    January 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

  14. Actually, his indicators of “intelligence” vary, and Rence makes an important point about the causal direction. For most of his analyses in the SPQ paper on religion, he uses the verbal exam in the GSS–which is the same variable I use in my 2010 Soc. Sci. Research. Statoshi argues that verbal ability predicts religiosity, I argue that sectarian denominations and fundamentalist beliefs militate against learning and promote homogenized social networks (filled with relatively undereducated ties) which limit the lifelong learning of vocabulary.



    January 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm

  15. Kanazawa is an unsavoury character- a complete and utter narcissist.



    January 20, 2011 at 10:12 pm

  16. I don’t know him personally — though, not sure we need to get into character assassinations on the web, particularly anonymously. Better to stick with the arguments and issues at hand (ok, maybe that’s also an indirect route to assassinations, but at least it’s indirect).



    January 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm

  17. I disagree with Satoshi about many things, but I have met him several times and we have corresponded for a couple of decades. He’s a really nice guy, and he’s someone who realizes that alternatives to his expectations are reasonable–but he will relentlessly argue his preferred explanations!



    January 21, 2011 at 2:59 am

  18. Kanazawa at it again, hopefully this time it costs him his job



    May 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm

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