Early 20th century social ecology of U.S. State IQ and suicide rates: Evidence from the army Alpha and Beta Intelligence Test Data of Yerkes (1921)

Martin Voracek1
1University of Vienna, Austria
Cite this article:  Voracek, M. (2007). Early 20th century social ecology of U.S. State IQ and suicide rates: Evidence from the army Alpha and Beta Intelligence Test Data of Yerkes (1921). Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 35, 1027-1030.

Volume 35 Issue 8 | e1634 | Published: September 2007 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2007.35.8.1027

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Consistent with a number of facts from suicide research and an evolutionary view of suicidal behavior, positive ecological (group-level) correlations between contemporary suicide rates and intelligence level have been observed in several geographical (cross-national and within-nation) studies (e.g., Lester, 1993, 1995, 2003; Voracek, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2006a-h, 2007). The present research extended these accounts cross-temporally to a test of the social ecology of U.S. state IQ and suicide rates during the early 20th century. Analysis of historical state suicide rates (1913-24), along with validated state IQ figures derived from the Army Alpha and Beta Intelligence Test data of Yerkes (1921), showed a clear positive correlation of state IQ with suicide rates (independent of state wealth) across the USA, thus suggesting temporal stability of the effect.
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