J. Philippe Rushton

John Philippe Rushton ( born September 3, [ according to other sources: December 3 ], 1943 in Bournemouth, England; † 2 October 2012 in London, Ontario ) was a British- Canadian professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario.


Rushton was born in 1943 in England. At the age of four he emigrated with his parents to South Africa and later to Canada. As a young adult, he went back to England and studied psychology at the University of London, where he obtained his doctorate in 1973 with a dissertation on altruistic behavior of children for Philosophiae Doctor ( Ph.D.). After that, he conducted research for a year as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford about the personality development of children. He then returned to Canada. From 1974 to 1976 he taught as a visiting professor at York University and from 1976 to 1977 at the University of Toronto before he finally joined the University of Western Ontario, where in 1985 he accepted a full professorship. In 1992 he graduated from the University of London degree SCIENTIÆ doctor ( D.Sc. ).

JP Rushton was from 1977 to 1982 a member of the Issue Committees of scientific journals Scientometrics and Developmental Psychology. In the same position he held from 1999 to 2004 for Population and Environment and from 2004 for Intelligence.

He was one of the 52 signatories of the essay Mainstream Science on Intelligence, written by Linda Gottfredson and published in December 1994 by the Wall Street Journal.

From 2002 he was president of the Pioneer Fund, which has made inter alia, the promotion of research on heredity and eugenics to the task.


Rushton until 2010, five books and more than 200 professional articles written as author or co-author that were published in scientific journals such as Personality and Individual Differences or Psychological Science.

At the beginning of his career was Rushton's research focus in the field of altruism. Together with Robin Russell and Pamela Wells he developed in 1984 the genetic similarity theory ( GST; German: genetic similarity theory ), which states that organisms able are to identify other genetically similar organisms, and treat them compared to less closely related individuals preferred. With regard to the people, this means that they behave more altruistic, the higher the degree of genetic similarity among themselves.

In 1995, the controversial book Race, evolution appeared, and behavior. Rushton believes that individual differences of members of the postulated three of his human population groups ( blacks, Caucasians and Asians, he referred to as "races" ) in relation to intelligence, personality, criminal predisposition and other properties not primarily by social or cultural conditions are related but genetically determined, and refers to the causes of these differences in evolutionary history to find. According to Rushton there was a superiority of the Asian race in terms of intelligence and life expectancy, while the black race stand at the other end of the scale. The latter, however, have a higher testosterone and reproductive rate. Approximately in the middle, but much closer to the Asians, the race of Caucasians located. The breed theoretical statements in his work have partly triggered strong criticism among the public and among scientists and him methodological errors were accused. Rushton's research on " racial" differences is associated with sociobiology.

On the occasion of his death in a special issue published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.


  • J. Philippe Rushton: Altruism, socialization, and society. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs 1980
  • J. Philippe Rushton, Richard Sorrentino ( Eds.): Altruism and helping behavior: Social, personality, and developmental perspectives. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; Hillsdale (New Jersey) 1981
  • Henry L. Roediger III, J. Philippe Rushton, DE Capaldi, SG Paris. Psychology. Little, Brown and Company, Boston 1984
  • Doss Jackson, J. Philippe Rushton. (Eds.): Scientific excellence: Origins and assessment. Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, 1987
  • J. Philippe Rushton: Race, evolution, and behavior: A life history perspective. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick 1995 German edition: Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A theory of development history. Ares -Verlag, Graz 2005 ( translated by Rainer Walter )