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Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Racist Rodeo 2023 begins ~ what is the Institute of Mental Chronometry?

Technically, Racist Rodeo 2023, aka this year's annual conference of the International Society for Intelligence Research starts July 27, but today there will still be festivities:

We will begin with a welcome reception sponsored by the Institute for Mental Chronometry on the evening of Wednesday, July 26, with drinks, refreshments, and guest speakers Steven Pinker and Frank Worrell! 

But what, you may ask, is the "Institute for Mental Chronometry"? The text did not include a link to any online presence for the Institute for Mental Chronometry (IMC) so almost the only information available online is via various organizations that track non-profits.

According to ProPublica, it is a Research Tax-Exempt Organizations with headquarters in Walnut Creek, California and "TAX-EXEMPT SINCE DEC. 1972."

And the name is not Institute for, it's the Institute of Mental Chronometry.

There are no tax records available on ProPublica before the 2001 tax year.

The latest tax record available is 2021 and its key employees and officers are DAVID J LUBINSKI, Pres/DIRECTOR; DANIEL J. LEVY (SEC/DIRECTOR) and DOUGLAS K DETTERMAN (VP/DIRECTOR.)

Detterman is the founder of the International Society for Intelligence Research and the Intelligence journal (which continues to publish Emil Kirkegaard as of 2023), and Lubinski I've mentioned several times already.

Daniel J. Levy doesn't appear to have any connection to intelligence "research" and appears to be an accountant.

The address given for IMC is 165 Lennon Lane #200  Walnut Creek  CA  94598, which is the address of Thomas Doll a wealth management company.

All three employees/officers received $31,890 in 2021.

Lubinski, Detterman and Levy are the only official names listed going back to 2012. 

In 2011 there is a fourth name - Arthur Jensen.

2010 appears to be the first year that Lubinski, Levy and Detterman were officers of the organization. In 2009 there was a whole different set, except for Jensen, who was working almost full time for the organization.

The same group goes back to 2005, when Barbara Jensen, his first wife, and Joe Moray, his son-in-law - are also included.

In 2004 the organization was not called Institute of Mental Chronometry, it was called Institute for the Study of Educational Differences. Same group of officers. In 2003 they got a donation of over a million dollars from the estate of Richard L. Bussman. In 2002 there was a donation of over a million from the estate of Bussman, and $50K from the estate of Dorothy Bussman. In 2001 and 2002 officers included C. C. Li and Ellis B. Page.

In 1990, the Institute for the Study of Educational Differences was mentioned in a University of Delaware inter-departmental memo in which the UofD explained why it would be refusing donations from the white nationalist Pioneer Fund (includes a letter from Linda Gottfredson, Lubinski's buddy, whining that only racists agree to fund her "mainstream" race pseudoscience.) 

The Institute for the Study of Educational Differences, like Gottfredson, was a recipient of money from the Pioneer Fund.

So that's probably why they changed the name to "Institute of Mental Chronometry" - to avoid the obvious connection to hardcore racists. 

It can't be because of mental chronometry's track record, which appears to be a complete failure for the race pseudoscience project:

Mental chronometry measures the elapsed time between the presentation of a sensory stimulus and the subsequent behavioral response by the participant. These studies have shown inconsistent results when comparing black and white populations groups, with some studies showing whites outperforming blacks, and others showing blacks outperforming whites.[179]
Arthur Jensen argued that this reaction time (RT) is a measure of the speed and efficiency with which the brain processes information,[180] and that scores on most types of RT tasks tend to correlate with scores on standard IQ tests as well as with g.[180] Nisbett argues that some studies have found correlations closer to 0.2, and that a correlation is not always found.[181] Nisbett points to the Jensen & Whang (1993) study in which a group of Chinese Americans had longer reaction times than a group of European Americans, despite having higher IQs. Nisbett also mentions findings in Flynn (1991) and Deary (2001) suggesting that movement time (the measure of how long it takes a person to move a finger after making the decision to do so) correlates with IQ just as strongly as reaction time, and that average movement time is faster for black people than for white people.[182] Mackintosh (2011, p. 339) considers reaction time evidence unconvincing and comments that other cognitive tests that also correlate well with IQ show no disparity at all, for example the habituation/dishabituation test. He further comments that studies show that rhesus monkeys have shorter reaction times than American college students, suggesting that different reaction times may not tell us anything useful about intelligence.

But what does Institute for Mental Chronometry do? It does not seem to generate any papers. According to an article in Intelligence (still publishing Emil Kirkegaard in 2023!) in a paper by Jensen published in 2011:

Jensen's Institute of Mental Chronometry commissioned a leading electronics firm to construct a state-of-the-art apparatus to administer, record, and analyze MC experiments.

So presumably the IMC is still working on developing this apparatus, although I haven't found any evidence yet.

Mainly, the IMC appears to be a service organization for the International Society for Intelligence Research. 

For this year's Racist Rodeo:

Travel support for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees: We are pleased to announce that enrolled Ph.D. students and postdoctoral researchers who have either an oral presentation or a poster accepted for the conference (as a presenting senior author) may be eligible for travel support, thanks to the generosity of the Institute of Mental Chronometry. Reimbursement will be available for documented transportation, lodging & meal expenses of up to $1,000 USD for travel within the United States or up to $1,500 USD for travel for all others. For students and postdocs with an accepted poster or talk, an additional $200 will added to your travel support so you can arrive a day early to enjoy the pre-conference event on July 26th, featuring talks by Steven Pinker and Frank Worrell. If you wish to apply for travel support, click “Yes” for this option when submitting your abstract.

And for last year's Racist Rodeo

The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to April 22, 2022. Please submit your abstract if you haven’t yet done so. Travel support is available for presenting graduate students and postdocs courtesy of the Institute for Mental Chronometry (IMC).

 Back in 2010, the ISIR was thanking the Templeton Foundation and Elsevier for student travel support:

We thank the Templeton Foundation for its generous support of student travel awards, and Elsevier Publishing Company for its generous contribution to the reception. 

According to SourceWatch:

The John Templeton Foundation tries to encourage the integration of religious beliefs and free-market principles into the classroom.

While researching this post, I found that Emil Kirkegaard runs a website devoted to Jensen. Maybe that's why the ISIR can't quit Kirkegaard, they both share a deep love of Arthur Jensen.

Lubinski wrote the obituary for Arthur R. Jensen for American Psychologist. I'll have more to say about that soon.

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