, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 209-214

Skin Color and Intelligence in African Americans: A Reanalysis of Lynn's Data

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Finding a modest yet statistically significant correlation between skin tone and vocabulary test scores among African Americans, Lynn (2002) concludes that “intelligence in African Americans is significantly determined by the proportion of Caucasian genes” (p. 365). In this reanalysis of Lynn's data, I demonstrate that his bivariate association disappears once childhood environmental factors are considered. Therefore, a genetic link between skin color and intelligence among African Americans cannot be supported in his data. Investigators seeking to establish a genetic connection between racial ancestry and intelligence must move beyond simple bivariate results to address the confounding influence of environmental conditions that affect cognitive development.