Re: Comment by Rich

Date: Tue Dec 03 2002 - 18:03:29 EST

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    burgy wrote:

    Whether or not it is actually true might be debated -- IQ tests vary a great
    deal across cultures and, after all, are generally useful for only two things:
    (1) to identify areas in the education of a child where remedial teaching
    would be useful (this is why they were invented in the first place), and
    (2) to predict how well a person taking the test will perform if he does it

    There is a good deal of evidence and argument to suggest this. See Gould's

    rich replies:

    Yes, Burgy I have! See the below review of the obstructionist gould's
    mismeasure of man

    Reflections on Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man (1981):
    JOHN B. CARROLL, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    A Retrospective Review in Intelligence 21, 121-134 (1995)



    On its publication in 1981, The Mismeasure of Man (Gould, 1981) stirred in the reading public an interest and a clamor almost equal to that evoked by the recent appearance of Herrnstein and Murray's (1994) The Bell Curve. Although it never made the New York Times best-seller list (as did the latter, for 14 weeks), it was much discussed among intellectual dilettantes, and it received a National Book Critics Circle award, as well as, perhaps unexpectedly, the 1983 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association.

    The biologist Bernard Davis (1983; see also Gould, 1984; Davis, 1984) called attention to the fact that reviews in the popular and literary press, such as The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, and The New York Review of Books, were almost universally effusive in their approbation, whereas most reviews in scientific journals, such as Science (Samelson, 1982), Nature, and Science '82, tended to be critical on a number of counts. Davis cited Jensen's (1982) review in Contemporary Education Review as "the most extensive scientific analysis," but mentioned, as an exception, a generally laudatory review by Morrison that appeared in Scientific American because that journal's editorial staff had "long seen the study of the genetics of intelligence as a threat to social justice" (Davis, 1983, p. 45).

    To Davis' list of generally critical reviews in scientific journals, I would add those by Spuhler (1982) in Contemporary Psychology, and by Jones (1983) and Humphreys (1983) in Applied Psychological Measurement (the latter appearing also in the American Journal of Psychology, 1983).

    Despite these critical reviews, however, The Mismeasure of Man continues to be cited frequently in the social science literature, usually, but not always, with what can be taken as agreement and approval. In the annual volumes of the Social Science Citation Index, the numbers of citations listed for the years 1982 to 1993 were 18 (1982), 32 (1983), 32 (1984), 49 (1985), 46 (1986), 48 (1987, including a citation of a German translation), 61 (1988), 51 (1989), 53 (1990), 62 (1991), 58 (1992), and 56 (1993). It is evident that Gould's book has had a powerful influence on public and professional thinking about mental testing.

    I do not wish to imply that all of this influence was unfortunate or negative. Gould's research on the history of craniometry is interesting and possibly valuable for historians of science. His account of the history of mental testing, however, may be regarded as badly biased, and crafted in such a way as to prejudice the general public and even some scientists against almost any research concerning human cognitive abilities. ===========================================================

    They've been hiding the efficacy of IQ testing! gould was 'badly biased' and 'prejudiced the general public.'


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