ERIC Number: ED164662
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: N/A
Pseudoscience and Mental Ability: The Origins and Fallacies of the IQ Controversy.
Blum, Jeffrey M.
Pseudoscience, or the process of persuasion by establishing a pretense of scientific discovery, is examined in this book in an effort to dispel false notions about the validity of various measures of intelligence and the correlations of genetics to mental ability. The history and development of concepts related to hereditary intelligence and Social Darwinism are examined and the ethnocentric assumptions inherent in eugenics and psychometrics are brought to light. Non-scientific premises and procedures upon which the persistent theories tracing intellectual inferiority to race and social class were based are examined. Modern forms of "psychometric illusion," such as intelligence tests, I.Q tests and creativity tests, are discussed in terms of cultural bias and built-in fallacies. The origins and perpetuation of pseudoscience (particularly by the ruling elite) is described and suggestions are made for revising the concept of mental ability. Throughout the book, the nature-nurture controversy is discussed and it is concluded that the nature-nurture, heredity-I.Q. question is unresolvable in the confines of present day empirical sciences. (Author/WI)
Descriptors: Cultural Differences, Educational Research, Environmental Influences, Ethnic Groups, Ethnocentrism, Evaluative Thinking, Genetics, Heredity, Intelligence, Intelligence Differences, Intelligence Quotient, Intelligence Tests, Nature Nurture Controversy, Test Bias, Test Validity
Monthly Review Press, 62 West 14th Street, New York, New York 10011 ($13.95)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Pseudoscience; Social Darwinism