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Personality and Individual Differences 40 (2006) 183–188

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Asian–White differences in aptitude and difficulty


of chosen academic discipline
a,* b
Donald I. Templer , Hiroko Arikawa
a
Alliant University International, California School of Professional Psychology,
5130 E. Clinton Way, Fresno, CA 93727-2014, USA
b
Forest Institute of Professional Psychology, Springfield, MI, USA

Received 22 February 2005; received in revised form 1 May 2005; accepted 10 May 2005
Available online 2 September 2005

Abstract

The ratio of Asian to White in 45 academic disciplines correlated .09 with mean Verbal GRE of disci-
pline, .79 with Quantitative GRE, .58 with Analytical GRE, .62 with Verbal + Quantitative + Analytical
GRE, and .75 with Quantitative Verbal GRE. The respective correlations of ratio of males to females
in discipline were .12, .83, .61, .66, and .77. The rho between the two sets of correlations is 1.00
(p < .01.) The rank order Asian/White and male/female correlation with GRE mean were also similar,
and the rho between these sets of correlations is .90 (p < .05). This correlation is congruent with the con-
tention of Lynn (1987) that the structure of Mongoloid intelligence is to the structure of Caucasoid intel-
ligence as the structure of male intelligence is to the structure of female intelligence.
Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Graduate record examination; Asian; White; Male; Female

1. Introduction

The first purpose of the present study was to determine the correlation of the ratio of Asians to
Whites in 44 academic disciplines with (a) Verbal Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score, (b)

*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 559 456 2777; fax: +1 559 253 2267.
E-mail address: dtempler@alliant.edu (D.I. Templer).

0191-8869/$ - see front matter Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.paid.2005.05.016
184 D.I. Templer, H. Arikawa / Personality and Individual Differences 40 (2006) 183–188

Quantitative GRE score, (c) Analytical GRE score, (d) Quantitative + Verbal + Analytical GRE
score, and (e) Quantitative Verbal GRE. The second purpose was to compare the pattern of
Asian/White ratio of GRE correlations with the pattern of male/female ratio GRE correlations.
The present study is similar to that of Templer, Tomeo, Arikawa, and Williams (2003) who
found a product–moment correlation of .76 and rank order correlation of .84 between the ratio
of Asians to Blacks awarded doctorates in 45 different disciplines and Verbal plus Quantitative
plus Analytical GRE score for those disciplines. The rationale for the Templer et al. study was
based upon the overwhelming evidence around the world that East Asians have larger brain size,
higher IQs, and faster reaction times on nonacademic complex tasks that correlate with IQ than
do Black persons (Hernstein & Murray, 1994; Rushton, 1995, 1997). White persons have an inter-
mediate position on the above mental ability variables.
On the basis of the Templer and Tomeo (2002) findings, the rationale for that study, and the
composite of the relevant research literature, it was predicted that there would be a positive cor-
relation between the ratio of Asians to Whites in disciplines and the sum of Verbal and Quanti-
tative and Analytical GRE score for those disciplines. However, the relationship of Asian and
White academic ability is too complex to merely characterize as the former being higher than
the latter. Asians tend to do less well on tests of verbal ability than they do on tests in the quan-
titative/spatial realm (Brody, 1992; Hernstein & Murray, 1994; Lynn, 1987; Vernon, 1982). Ver-
nonÕs (1982) review indicates an Asian-American mean IQ as 97 on verbal tests and 110 on
visuospatial tests. LynnÕs (1987) review indicates a median verbal IQ of 98 and a visuospatial
IQ of 106. It does not appear that the lower verbal score can be explained entirely by Asians
in North America being less likely to have English as a first language. These differences are found
both in Asia and North America. They are found in acculturated Asian-Americans. Such differ-
ences are also found in American Indians and Inuits, two groups that are closely related geneti-
cally to the classical Mongoloids of North East Asia.
Verbal-quantitative differences more pertinent to the present study are those in 1997–1998,
when Asians were the second highest of seven ethnic groups on the Verbal GRE and highest
on Quantitative and Analytical GRE. White persons were highest on Verbal and second highest
on Quantitative and Analytical GRE (Educational Testing Services, 1999).
Lynn (1987) ascribed the good spatial abilities of Mongoloid peoples to the extreme cold in
North East Asia during the last ice age of between approximately 28,000 and 10,000 years ago.
This cold was more severe than in Europe where the other pale skinned population lived. In con-
trast to peoples who lived in tropical and subtropical climates and were gatherers, the Mongoloid
people had to become hunters. Lynn maintained that good visuospatial abilities were needed for
accurate stone throwing and the formulation of group hunting strategies. He said that good spa-
tial relations were needed to recall visual landmarks on long hunting expeditions and to develop a
good spatial map of extensive terrain. Lynn suggested that verbal abilities were sacrificed to per-
mit an increase in visuospatial abilities. Lynn suggested that in the evolution of the Mongoloid
brain miscellaneous abilities handled by the right hemisphere were transferred to the left hemi-
sphere. He cited the work of Tsunoda (1978) who demonstrated that the Japanese process a vari-
ety of sensory inputs in their left hemisphere that are processed by westerners in the right
hemisphere.
Lynn explained the greater visuospatial abilities in males in terms of the same evolutionary
processes that brought about greater visuospatial abilities in Mongoloids. Males need greater
D.I. Templer, H. Arikawa / Personality and Individual Differences 40 (2006) 183–188 185

visuospatial abilities for hunting, and for constructing better tools and better weapons and better
shelters. Lynn cited a study of Kalakowski and Malina (1974) which found a positive correlation
between a psychometric measure of spatial ability and accuracy of stone throwing in adolescent
boys.

2. Method

The method is similar to that used by Templer and Tomeo (2002). Table 1 contains the mean
GRE of the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical scores and the sum of Verbal and Quantitative
and Analytical from 1994–1997. In addition, Table 1 contains Z scores of Quantitative Verbal
and Z scores for the sum of Verbal and Quantitative and Analytical GRE scores. These Z scores
were determined because the means and standard deviations of Verbal and Quantitative and Ana-
lytical are not identical. For more than one million persons of all disciplines who took these three
parts of the GRE, the means and standard deviations of Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical were
474 (SD = 114), 558 (SD = 139) and 547 (SD = 130) respectively. For each of the 45 disciplines
the means were converted into Z scores based on the means and standard deviations for all per-
sons in all disciplines who took the GRE.

3. Results

Table 1 provides the ratio of Asians to Whites earning doctorates in the academic discipline; the
ratio of males to females earning doctorates in the discipline; and Verbal, Quantitative, Analyti-
cal, Z score Verbal + Z score Quantitative + Z score Analytical, and Z score of Quantitative Z
score of Verbal GRE scores.
Table 2 contains the product–moment correlation coefficients of the Asian/White ratios and
male/female ratios of doctorate earned in fields with (a) mean Verbal GRE of field, (b) mean
Quantitative GRE of field, (c) mean Analytical GRE of field, (d) mean Z score of Verbal + Z
score of Quantitative + Z score of Analytical of field, and (e) mean Z score of Quantitative Z
score of Verbal of field. Table 2 also contains the corresponding rank order correlations.
It is apparent that the Asian/White and male/female correlations with GRE scores are very sim-
ilar. The Spearman rank order correlation between GRE Pearsonian correlations with Asian/
White ratios and GRE Pearsonian correlations with male/female ratios is a perfect 1.0. The Spear-
man rank order correlation between GRE rhos with Asian/White ratios and GRE rhos with male/
female ratios is .90 p < .05.

4. Discussion

The correlations and patterns of correlations are consistent with the previous literature. The
Asian/White ratio correlating .62 with Verbal + Quantitative + Analytical is consistent with East
Asians having higher general intelligence than Whites. If Analytical GRE can be viewed as a mea-
sure of abstract thinking, then the Asian/White ratio correlating .58 with Analytical can also be
186 D.I. Templer, H. Arikawa / Personality and Individual Differences 40 (2006) 183–188

Table 1
Asian/White ratios, male/female ratios, and GRE means of disciplines
Discipline Asian/White Male/female Verbal Quantitative Analytical Z score Z score
ratio ratio GRE GRE GRE V+Q+A Q V
GRE GRE
Physics and Astronomy .19 6.00 538.00 717.00 648.00 2.48 .58
Material Engineering .38 6.56 510.00 703.00 627.00 1.97 .73
Mathematics .19 3.57 499.00 700.00 636.00 1.93 .80
Chemical Engineering .21 6.89 495.00 704.00 621.00 1.80 .87
Philosophy .03 4.00 582.00 599.00 630.00 1.88 .65
Economics .16 3.10 504.00 673.00 618.00 1.64 .56
Other Engineering .19 7.19 489.00 686.00 611.00 1.54 .79
Chemistry .18 5.48 498.00 655.00 611.00 1.40 .49
Comp and Info Tec .23 13.31 482.00 675.00 605.00 1.36 .77
Mechanical Engineering .03 9.57 473.00 695.00 594.00 1.34 .99
Electrical Engineering .38 9.47 466.00 700.00 594.00 1.31 1.09
Civil Engineering .26 8.87 460.00 674.00 584.00 1.00 .96
Earth Atmos Marin .10 3.07 504.00 605.00 595.00 .97 .07
Biological Science .16 1.45 498.00 597.00 593.00 .84 .07
Industrial Engineering .27 5.66 435.00 671.00 570.00 .65 1.16
English Lang Lit .03 .55 555.00 526.00 584.00 .76 .94
Bank and Finance .19 1.69 464.00 621.00 577.00 .60 .54
History .04 .86 542.00 532.00 585.00 .70 .78
Anthro and Archeo .05 .86 534.00 536.00 584.00 .65 .68
Political Science .07 2.46 513.00 552.00 580.00 .55 .39
Arts Hist Theo Cr .04 .64 528.00 533.00 577.00 .52 .65
Secondary Education .02 .60 488.00 557.00 578.00 .35 .13
Archit Environ De .17 4.00 474.00 586.00 562.00 .32 .20
Agriculture .10 3.32 464.00 563.00 562.00 .06 .12
Foreign Lang Lit .05 .43 517.00 536.00 559.00 .31 .54
Library Arch Sci .09 .45 520.00 502.00 552.00 .04 .81
Arts–Perf Studio .03 1.25 445.00 484.00 514.00 1.04 .28
Curri and Instruc .03 .48 469.00 525.00 551.00 .25 .19
Psychology .02 .61 472.00 514.00 550.00 .31 .30
Sociology .08 .97 477.00 506.00 540.00 .40 .40
Health Medical Science .08 .71 448.00 520.00 541.00 .55 .05
Ed Eval and Resea .10 .40 454.00 505.00 546.00 .56 .21
Communications .05 1.04 466.00 504.00 535.00 .55 .32
Business Admin Mg .08 2.99 436.00 521.00 523.00 .78 .07
Other Social Sciences .07 1.19 557.00 494.00 526.00 .11 1.19
Elementary Education .02 .26 442.00 498.00 535.00 .80 .15
Accounting .07 1.17 414.00 531.00 521.00 .92 .33
Public Administration .04 1.96 436.00 504.00 520.00 .93 .06
Education Other .05 .53 445.00 484.00 514.00 1.04 .28
Education Administration .01 .92 425.00 491.00 514.00 1.17 .05
Special Education .03 .21 428.00 470.00 512.00 1.31 .23
Student Couns Per .01 .55 425.00 471.00 509.00 1.35 .20
Home Economics .05 .35 428.00 467.00 511.00 1.34 .25
Social Work .04 .43 432.00 454.00 499.00 1.49 .38
Early Child Education .05 .63 413.00 463.00 500.00 1.58 .15
D.I. Templer, H. Arikawa / Personality and Individual Differences 40 (2006) 183–188 187

Table 2
Correlations of Asian/White and male/female ratios to Pearson and rank order correlations with GRE scores
GRE Asian/White Male/female Asian/White Male/female
r r rank r r rank rho rho rank rho rho rank
Verbal .09 5 .12 5 .19 5 .25 5
Quantitative .79* 1 .83* 1 .67* 1 .82* 1
Analytical .58* 4 .61* 4 .55* 4 .68* 4
Z score V + Z score Q + Z score .62* 3 .66* 3 .59* 3 .74* 2
Z score Q Z score V .75* 2 .77* 2 .63* 2 .71* 3
*
p < .01.

viewed as consistent with East Asians having higher intelligence than Whites. The correlation of
.79 between the Asian/White ratio and Quantitative GRE is consistent with very well established
superiority of Asians in mathematics.
The postulated evolutionary theory of Lynn stresses greater Asian and male superiority in spa-
tial relations. It is recognized that quantitative ability as measured by the GRE is not synonymous
with spatial relations ability. Mathematical ability is a function of both spatial relations ability
and general intelligence. As stated above, the research literature indicates East Asians to be clearly
superior in quantitative ability and superior to a lesser degree in general intelligence.
The most important finding of the present study is the perfect rank order positive correlation
between Asian/White ratio pattern of GRE correlations and male/female ratio pattern of GRE
correlations. This finding gives support to LynnÕs contention that the structure of Mongoloid
intellect is to the structure of Caucasoid intelligence as the structure of male intelligence is to
the structure of female intelligence. The present findings can also be viewed as consistent with
his evolutional theory.
Most of the previous research on the comparative abilities of White and Asian persons has
compared White with East Asian persons (Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans.) The Educational
Testing Service did not specify the type of Asians that the GRE means and standard deviations
were based on. It should be noted that Southeast Asians tend to have lower IQs than East Asians.
Lynn and Vanhanen (2002) provided the mean IQs (calculated or estimated on basis of IQs of
neighboring countries) of 185 countries of the world. They reported a mean IQ of 96 for Vietnam,
92 for Malaysia, 89 for Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos, and 86 for Burma and the Philippines. It
is not known what percentage of persons who took the GRE were East Asians. However, the fact
that the present findings are congruent with predictions based on research using primarily East
Asians should be viewed as supporting the credibility of our findings. Using subjects that deviate
from the conceptualized prototypical subjects ordinarily attenuates rather than inflates
correlations.

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