Richard Lynn’s Race Realism

The Internet is once again buzzing about a new peer-reviewed paper by psychologist Richard Lynn which discusses everyone’s favorite, polite-company conversation topic: ethnic penis size.

While this topic has been discussed here before, here are two interesting links for musing:

I don’t think that Lynn understands how these types of ‘studies’ hurt the image of psychology assuming that he cares about such minutiae. Either way, the blame falls mainly on six groups:

  • The sensationalist-seeking European and North American media;
  • Race realist ‘scholars’ who use their PhDs to abuse science (especially psychology);
  • Race realist organizations which promote and finance said ‘research’;
  • Academic scholars that peer-review such low quality work;
  • Academic journals that publish such low quality work; and
  • Scholars and respective organizations that are too busy to issue statements to correct shoddy scholarship.
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4 thoughts on “Richard Lynn’s Race Realism

  1. I’d agree the Psychology (my own discipline) has a problem with the acceptance of obviously questionable research, but sadly it’s a much bigger problem than just us psychologists. You might be interested in Ben Goldacre’s new book ‘Bad Pharma’ (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/oct/17/bad-pharma-ben-goldacre-review). Drug reseach seems to be a much bigger worry. After all, however annoying ‘bad psychology’ is, it hasn’t killed many people 😉

  2. Now that you mention it, I have noticed some strange quality medical and biology articles. However, it was only after I complained to the journal that Lynn placed a statement that his article used non-verified Internet data. I know for certain that this would never be tolerated by my undergrad engineering lecturers. As for problems in the pharma industry, the Ethical Nag blog does a great job analyzing the madness.

    While bad psychology does not seem to lead to deaths, it does lead to mental harm. One guy of Chinese descent committed suicide because he was told by his doctor that his penis was ‘normal FOR HIS RACE.’ This is directly related to Rushton’s (and Lynn’s) ‘research.’ Then there are the social repercussions such as the incessant bestialization of African males and the concurrent feminization of Asian males especially in Hollywood. Personally, big pharma and race realism psychology seem to be part of a bigger problem of human self-interest, sadly with a cloak of scientific respectability.

    Thanks for commenting and thanks for your article which frankly, is one of the few sane ones on Lynn.

  3. Absence of race realism also leads to problems though – for example blaming of institutions (eg teachers) for group disparities in outcomes. People like Peter Singer, Linda Gottfredson and Steven Pinker have written about this.

  4. Well that assumes that what they label as race realism is actually race realism and not some ethnic issue such as a culture of poverty.

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