Criticisms of Adam Perkins and 'The Welfare Trait'

A series of tweets detailing the different criticisms of 'The Welfare Trait' by Dr Adam Perkins.


  1. The criticisms are divided into different sections rather than organised chronologically. I have included some of Dr Perkins' rebuttals and responses but not all of them. Extracts are from the book unless explicitly stated.
  2. Lies:
  3. A talk was planned at LSE which Perkins was going to deliver about his book. The content of the book understandably caused some outrage and there were discussions between people about going to the talk and arguing against it's conclusions.
  4. The talk was cancelled and Perkins claimed that there were threats to destroy the lecture hall in protest. This has, however, been revealed to be a lie (as this post by Rick B shows).

  5. Problems with the evidence:
  6. 1)
  7. The reference for the paper is: Tonge, W. L. et al (1975). Families without hope: A controlled study of 33 problem families (No. 11). Headley for RC Psychs
  8. 2)
  9. 3) Perkins was asked to provide evidence for "controlled studies that examine income and family size". He provided several links, non of which were controlled studies. He also claimed they show that increasing welfare increases the number of children.
  10. 4) Perkins uses a mouse model to suggest that work ethic could be bred into the animals. However, the paper he cites is about genetically breeding mice to run more on a wheel and the direct relevance to breeding people to have a better work ethic appears limited.