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Infectious disease and the worldwide distribution of IQ

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Infectious disease and the worldwide distribution of IQ

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Title: Infectious disease and the worldwide distribution of IQ
Author: Eppig, Christopher
Advisor(s): Thornhill, Randy
Committee Member(s): Watson, Paul
Kodric-Brown, Astrid
Gangestad, Steve
Department: University of New Mexico. Biology Dept.
Subject(s): Intelligence
Development
Parasite-stress hypothesis
Hygiene hypothesis
Asthma
Developmental stability
Cognitive development
Life History
Brain growth
Flynn Effect
Parasites
Biogeography
LC Subject(s): Intelligence levels--Environmental aspects.
Cognition--Environmental aspects.
Communicable diseases--Psychological aspects.
Environmental psychology.
Degree Level: Doctoral
Abstract: We show that infectious disease is a major contributor to the worldwide distribution of human cognitive ability, as measured by psychometric IQ. In areas where infectious disease is high, average human intelligence tends to be lower, and in areas where infectious disease is low, average human intelligence tends to be higher. In separate studies, we tested this across world nations (chapter 2) and across states of the USA (chapter 3). In efforts to disseminate our research to wider audiences, I reviewed the findings contained in chapters 2 and 3 using language that is accessible to non-biologists (chapter 4). Although it contains no original research, this chapter makes our research more readily available to people in non-biological fields, such as economics and political science, who may be interested in our findings. An early prediction we made, based on our first analysis, was that infectious disease could account for the apparent link between IQ and rates of asthma that other research has discovered (chapter 5). Additionally, this chapter attempts to reconcile the predictions made by several related hypotheses.
Graduation Date: December 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/17471

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