Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 373–380 | Cite as

Asian achievement, brain size, and evolution: Comments on A. H. Yee

  • J. Philippe Rushton


Asian achievement is now recognized to be global in manifestation. Yet most explanations of group differences remain narrowly focused on one country (the U.S.A.), on one character (test scores), and from one viewpoint (environmentalism). I offer an evolutionary perspective. Genetic distance estimates indicate an African origin for humans about 200,000 years ago, a dispersal event out of Africa about 110,000 years ago, and a Mongoloid-Caucasoid split about 41,000 years ago. This racial succession is matched by cranial capacities, IQ test scores, speeds of decision time, and numerous other life-history variables including rate of physical maturation, family functioning, testosterone level, law-abidingess, and frequency of dizygotic twinning. Evolutionary selection pressures are more cognitively demanding in the cold arctic where mongoloids evolved than in the hot savanna where Africans evolved. Genetic theories are needed to explain the proportionate group differences.

Key Words

brain size evolution genetics intelligence race differences 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Philippe Rushton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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