Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Congratulations and Thanks to Estonia

Social change in Estonia has promoted both equality of opportunity and science.

Today we hear much about equal opportunity, but is there any objective, scientific measure of it? According to an article in Nature Human Behaviour:

Kaili Rimfeld, Robert Plomin, and colleagues analysed the genes of 12,500 Estonian citizens, alongside information on their levels of educational attainment and occupation. Participants were split into those who grew up under the Soviet Union and those who received their secondary or further education after 1991, in post-Soviet, independent Estonia. This transition to independence is generally assumed to include a change toward more meritocratic access to education and job opportunities.

The authors found that genetic differences known to impact educational attainment and occupational status accounted for twice as much of the variance in these life outcomes in the more meritocratic, post-Soviet capitalist era compared to under the communist society of the Soviet era. This finding demonstrates how major changes in societal structures and equality of opportunities can influence the extent to which achievement reflects ability.

Source: SCIVAL/SCOPUS/nature

And as another article points out, Estonian science has also undergone a renaissance, at least as measured by publications (left). But this is not the only measure of social change in Estonia in this respect known to me. Another is the fact that Tallinn University Press has just published a work which I never believed would be published—or indeed publishable—in my lifetime: my sequel to The Imprinted Brain, The Diametric Mind.

Political opposition to any reasoned consideration of the role of genetics in human nature and behaviour is, as my own bitter experience of a lifetime can confirm, now the norm in the West (at least if official psychology is to be believed). Here, the sun is rapidly setting on equality of opportunity in every respect (as I argue in a section of The Diametric Mind on meritocracy and mentalism) and demonstrably so where opportunity for free expression of any view which is not that of official psychology is concerned (epitomized in another recent post).

But evidently, things are different in Estonia. Hence my headline; and thanks to Tallinn University Press, and to Dr. Amar Annus and Dr. Rebekka Lotman in particular.


Badcock, C., The Diametric Mind: New Insights into AI, IQ, the Self, and Society. Acta Universitatis Tallinnensis. Humaniora, ed. A. Annus. 2019, Tallinn: TLU Press