J. Philippe Rushton

J. Philip RushtonJ. Philippe Rushton was born in Bournemouth, United Kingdom, in 1943. His father was a building contractor; his mother was French and gave him his middle name. They then emigrated to South Africa and later to Canada so he went to school in several places. Rushton returned to England and earned a BSc in psychology from Birkbeck, University of London in 1970 and in 1973 received his PhD from the London School of Economics for work on altruism in children. He then moved to the University of Oxford for a one-year post-doc to continue his research on personality development in children. After that he returned to Canada where he taught at York University from 1974-1976 and the University of Toronto until 1977. He then moved to the University of Western Ontario where he was made a full professor in 1985. Rushton then received a DSc from the University of London in 1992.

Rushton’s research interest was altruism. Why people help others poses a challenge for theories of human development and evolution. His early work focused on the social learning of generosity in 7- to 11-year-old children. After writing a book, Altruism, Socialization, and Society, 1980, examining the influence of the family, the educational system, and the mass media, he broadened his approach to include sociobiology and behavioral genetics. Rushton then carried out twin studies using the University of London Twin Register in the U.K. and found that individual differences in empathy and nurturance are about 50% heritable. So are individual differences in aggression and crime. Some of these differences are mediated by testosterone.

More controversial was his work on race differences. In new studies and reviews of the world literature, he consistently found that East Asians and their descendants average a larger brain size, greater intelligence, more sexual restraint, slower rates of maturation, and greater law abidingness and social organisation than do Europeans and their descendants who average higher scores on these dimensions than do Africans and their descendants. To explain this pattern he proposed a gene-based evolutionary theory. His book, Race, Evolution, and Behavior reviews the theory and many of the data sets.

See also his book’s homepage: Charles Darwin Research.org

Credits to University of Western Ontario

Published: 19 March 2014

Last update: 14 August 2015


Wendy Dunn

Wendy DunnWendy Dunn is a Professor of Psychology at Coe College. Her research interests concern how people make decisions about others, especially in personnel selection situations. In particular, Dunn is interested in how personality traits, such as conscientiousness and extraversion, are judged by others as being related to performance in jobs of different types. She also investigates how other characteristics, such as physical attractiveness and intelligence are evaluated and how they figure into decision processes. Dunn is just beginning a second line of research looking at how adolescents versus young adults weigh difficult decisions, especially when these involve emotional issues.

Dunn is the author (with Grace Craig, University of Massachusetts Amherst) of Understanding Human Development (soon to come out in 3rd edition from Prentice Hall), and Psychology: Concepts and Applications (with Charles Morris at University of Michigan and Albert Maisto at University of North Carolina, Charlotte), also published by Prentice Hall, as well as an array of student study guides and instructors manuals that accompany various texts in the field of Psychology.

She holds a PhD degree from University of Iowa while both of her BS and MS were completed at Iowa State University. She has been teaching at Coe College since 1980.

Credits to Coe College

Published: 19 March 2014

Last update: 23 April 2015