Posted on January 25, 2019

Polygenic Scores Mediate the Jewish Phenotypic Advantage in Educational Attainment and Cognitive Ability Compared with Catholics and Lutherans

Curtis S. Dunkel et al., Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, January 24, 2019

Abstract

A newly released multivariate polygenic score for educational attainment, cognitive ability, and self-rated mathematical ability in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study was examined as a mediator of the group difference between Jews (n = 53) and 2 Christian denominations, Catholics (n = 2,603) and Lutherans (n = 2,027), with respect to educational attainment, IQ, and performance on a similarities measure. It was found that the Jewish performance advantage over both Catholics and Lutherans with respect to all 3 measures was partially and significantly mediated by group differences in the polygenic score. This result is consistent with the prediction that the high average cognitive ability of Jews may have been shaped, in part, by polygenic selection acting on this population over the course of several millennia. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)

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