The sociologist’s fallacy


The sociologist’s fallacyis a fallacy where a correlation between a social variable (such as income) and an observable (phenotypic) characteristic (such as measuredIQor criminality) is claimed to be evidence of causality, without considering that genetics may be the explanation or a partial explanation.

The fallacy is commonly committed byrace denialistswho often claim to have proven that observed race differences are partially or completely due to socioeconomic factors.

The expression was coined by the IQ researcherArthur Jensen.

One example is by arguing that socioeconomic factors correlate with IQ and that therefore differences in socioeconomic status cause IQ differences, without considering that genetics may be the cause or a partial cause of the IQ differences, which in turn cause the socioeconomic differences.

Another example is that lower income correlates with higher criminality and that therefore conclude that low income causes high criminality, without…

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