Asians outperform white students because they try harder, study finds

May 05, 2014
Asian-American schoolchildren tend to outperform their white counterparts in school because they try harder, according to a US study out Monday

Asian-American schoolchildren tend to outperform their white counterparts in school because they try harder, according to a US study out Monday.

The findings were based on an analysis of records from two separate surveys tracking several thousand whites and Asians in the United States from kindergarten through .

Scientists at Queens College of New York, the University of Michigan and Peking University in Beijing looked at grades, test scores, teacher ratings, family income and education level, immigration status and other factors.

"Asian-Americans enter school with no discernible academic advantage over whites," said the study, noting that "advantage grows over time."

By fifth grade, or age 10-11, Asian-Americans "significantly outperform whites," and the peak difference is reached by grade 10, or age 15-16.

"Overall, these results suggest that the growing can be attributed to a widening gap in academic effort rather than to differences in cognitive ability."

Asian-Americans tend to be motivated by cultural teachings that instill the notion that effort is more important than inborn ability, researchers said.

They also endure "greater parental pressures to succeed than in the case of comparable peers."

The notion of a hard-working Asian student who is destined to succeed may be a stereotype, but it may actually work to the benefit of Asian-American youths, the researchers said.

"These positive stereotypes may help bolster Asian-American achievement just as negative stereotypes have been shown to hinder the achievement of African-American youth," said the article.

Asian-Americans' higher degree of success comes at a price, however.

Whether their family lineage traces back to the Philippines, South Asia, Southeast Asia or East Asia, these children report fewer positive feelings about themselves and say they spend less time with friends than whites, the study found.

"They also have more conflict with both parents than comparable white peers," it said.

The research was published in the May 5 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed journal.

Explore further: Tiger mothers run risk of raising ethnic outcasts in pursuit of academic success

More information: "Explaining Asian Americans' academic advantage over whites," by Amy Hsin and Yu Xie, PNAS, 2014. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1406402111

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User comments : 18

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HTK
1.6 / 5 (5) May 05, 2014
ROFL

White man's biased thoughts again....

There should be a research on this subject!
wealthychef
2.5 / 5 (6) May 05, 2014
And in other news, Asians eat more rice because of cultural norms, and Christians go to church more often than atheists.
mosahlah
5 / 5 (5) May 05, 2014
I'm working on an Asian-Caucasian hybrid.
thought_less_50
1 / 5 (2) May 05, 2014
Whoa!
Pejico
May 05, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Burnerjack
5 / 5 (2) May 05, 2014
Those on the positive end of this assessment will be in full agreement while those on the negative end will declare 'racism'. Film at eleven...
version782
3.7 / 5 (3) May 05, 2014
Getting good grades isn't an inherently admirable thing, you only want to get decent level grades at best, any more means you actually do all the tasks your masters give you which means you are a passive drone incapable of independent thought. All great thinkers are rebels and hate institutions, grading systems, bureaucracy.. etc.
sirchick
1 / 5 (1) May 05, 2014
This same article can apply to Girl's grades and Boy's. Although in those situations maturity can be a factor.

Sinister1812
1 / 5 (1) May 06, 2014
Boy, you not get good grade? I turn you into soup!
JRi
3.7 / 5 (3) May 06, 2014
Where did they forget african americans and latinos?
Modernmystic
not rated yet May 06, 2014
I applaud this study! Finally some truth in these things and less politics.

I also have virtually no doubt that if the reverse had been found to be true it's because whites would have cheated, been given preferential treatment, or bigoted professors against Asians....

BobSage
not rated yet May 06, 2014
My daughter recently particpated in a middle school speech competition. About 80 to 90% of the competitors were Asian, although they represent a small minority of the population in our state.
googol
3 / 5 (2) May 06, 2014
Nothing like a study like this to bring out the racists,
kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) May 09, 2014
These academic stars are the same people who cannot decide to walk left or right to avoid an oncoming person, so they walk directly into you. Also they smoke cigarettes like a fish sucks water to maintain that competitive edge
Shootist
not rated yet May 09, 2014
And because Han Chinese have an average WAIS-R IQ of 109.
kochevnik
not rated yet May 09, 2014
Apparently JohnGee sympathizes with klutzy asians walking and driving into him. Very stoic. My friend with the shattered right arm from a Korean driving into his bicycle can't claim the same degree of heroism
Burnerjack
5 / 5 (1) May 10, 2014
Where did they forget african americans and latinos?

That would be too "controversial". PC always trumps all.
Lex Talonis
not rated yet May 10, 2014
Some minister of education from Japan was asked as if he was a great sage, equal of all heaven, when some well meaning idiot teacher / education dept person from Merika asked this; "Oh all your students do so well in all the tests -what do you think we should do to improve our students tests grades?"

He replied, Yes getting high marks in tests, well it's about the only thing our students can do."

And then we have the teenage suicide rate in Japan....

And the USA

and

and

and.....
bob45
not rated yet Jun 20, 2014
"Overall, these results suggest that the growing achievement gap can be attributed to a widening gap in academic effort rather than to differences in cognitive ability."

Actually, looking at the subgroup data provided by PNAS, only East Asians had a cognitive advantage. The data showed a cognitive advantage of approximately 1/3 or 33%, which is quite significant. The rest of the Asians ( Southeast, Filipinos, and South) had no cognitive advantage.

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