Francis Galton Why it’s called “regression.”
Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) • IQ testers in the early 20th century argued over whether Galton was • the smartest person of his day or • the smartest person who ever lived.
Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) • Loved to count things. • Developed the first classification system for fingerprints • For identifying people. • Pioneer of statistics • Invented “standard deviation”
First use of “regression” • Francis Galton (1886). "Regression Towards Mediocrity in Hereditary Stature". Journal of the Anthropological Institute15: 246–263.
Galton wrote Hereditary Genius (1869) • Darwin (after reading Galton): “… I have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work.” • Galton: “The rejoinder that might be made to his remark about hard work, is that character, including the aptitude for work, is heritable like every other faculty.”
At the time he published the regression article … • 1884-1890: Galton ran laboratory for measuring heads • Craniometry
Differences among races echoing differences among primates? This diagram from Samuel George Morton, 1839
“Scientific” Racism • Explanation for men’s dominance over women, white men’s dominance over men of color around the world in terms of individuals’ unchangeable characteristics • Rather than social construct • Social science is science, too
Craniometry reality check: • Men – bigger heads than women = smarter? • Stephen J. Gould re-examined Morton’s skulls • Ever changing methods for measuring skulls to get the results assumed to be true • Neoteny
Statistical concepts developed as part of effort to make sexism and racism • Standard deviation • Regression • Correlation coefficient (r and R2) • Factor analysis
Eugenics • Galton invented the term in 1883 • Eu genics – inheriting good things • Galton advocated that families should be evaluated – given “marks” -- for “fitness” • Money incentive for families with high marks to have more children • Horrors of World War II made eugenics unfashionable • Sterilization of defectives in the U.S.
Galton and scientific racism revived? • The Bell Curve 1994 • Race and IQ