Hjernevask (“Brainwashing”)

Hjernevask (“brainwashing”) is a Norwegian documentary produced by Harald Eia & Ole Martin Ihle famously challenging the ‘Blank Slate’ model of the social sciences. According to the producers, it was inspired by Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s now classic, The Blank Slate: Modern Denial of Human Nature.

The ‘Gender Equality Paradox,’ ‘The Parental Effect’ and ‘Sex’ episodes are particularly interesting. The full playlist to this excellent documentary can be found here: Hjernevask (with English Subtitles).

[Thanks to Zelcorpion for the link!]

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Here are some of the studies by the scholars featured in these episodes:

  1. Plomin R, et al. (2013) Common DNA markers can account for more than half of the genetic influence on cognitive abilities. Psychological Science, 24(4):562–568.
  2. Trzaskowski M, et al. (2013) Intelligence indexes generalist genes for cognitive abilities. Intelligence, 41(5):560–565.
  3. Lombardo MV, et al. (2012) Fetal programming effects of testosterone on the reward system and behavioral approach tendencies in humans. Biological Psychiatry, 72(10):839–847.
  4. Lombardo MV, et al. (2012) Fetal testosterone influences sexually dimorphic gray matter in the human brain. The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 32(2):674–680.
  5. Plomin R & Daniels D. (2011) Why are children in the same family so different from one another? International Journal of Epidemiology, 40(3):563–582.
  6. Auyeung B, et al. (2009) Fetal testosterone predicts sexually differentiated childhood behavior in girls and in boys. Psychological Science, 20(2):144–148.
  7. Lippa RA. (2010) Sex differences in personality traits and gender-related occupational preferences across 53 nations: Testing evolutionary and social-environmental theories. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39(3):619–636.
  8. Arden R & Plomin R. (2006) Sex differences in variance of intelligence across childhood. Personality and Individual Differences, 41(1):39–48.
  9. Butcher LM, et al. (2006) Generalist genes and cognitive neuroscience. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 16(2):145–151.
  10. Plomin R & Spinath FM. (2004) Intelligence: genetics, genes, and genomics. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86(1):112–129.

4 thoughts on “Hjernevask (“Brainwashing”)

    1. Thanks, I’ll add it.

      Someone already sent me a link to #1 which I added to my “sexual equality cannot exist” post.

      I’m very familiar with all of Baron-Cohen’s and Lippa’s work, the two men featured in #1. I’ll see if I can find the references to add to this post for people who come looking.

      Added links. Hope you find them useful.

      1. Just tagging myself in here in case anyone else finds the studies mentioned in Ep 1. Am trying to find the study in particular which shows greater polarization in traditional career choices being correlated to higher equality of opportunity.

        1. I haven’t posted the references yet because I’m waiting for some specific studies to be published.

          As of now, almost all the studies you’ll come across use the United Nations indices of ‘equality’—I’m very skeptical of these because they combine a few legitimate measures with contrived and irrelevant stuff. On that same note, such studies often ignore/distort their own data and conclude with politically-correct narratives.

          Richard Lippa’s work is a good place to start for what you’re looking for! You can find his page here: http://psych.fullerton.edu/rlippa/


          I didn’t read your comment properly the first time. This is what you were looking for: Lippa RA. (2010) Sex differences in personality traits and gender-related occupational preferences across 53 nations …. Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18712468

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