ERIC Number: ED388570
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
"The Bell Curve": Review of Reviews.
Parker, Franklin; Parker, Betty J.
This paper reviews the book "The Bell Curve" by Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and political scientist Charles Alan Murray. The paper asserts as the book's main points and implications: (1) one's socioeconomic place in life is now determined by IQ rather than family wealth and influence; (2) ruling white elites, who have benefited from better homes, books, conversation, and education, pass these advantages along to their children; (3) white high IQ rich are getting richer but having fewer children than the lower IQ majority and will be swamped by them; (4) East Asian Americans have, on average, 3 points higher IQ than whites who average 15 points higher IQ than African-Americans; (5) America's bell curve begins a normal IQ spread with high IQs of 125 and over labeled Class I cognitive elites including 5 percent or 12.5 million Americans followed by Class II brights with IQs 110-125, and then Class III IQs of 90-110 to which half the U.S. population belongs, and lastly Class IV dull IQs 75-90 and Class V very dull IQs 50-75 to which 5 percent or 12.5 million Americans belong; and (6) the worst fear scenario suggested by the book is that, in self-protection, from low IQ underclass violence, crime and drug abuse, high IQ elites will restrict and control dullards in reservations. The bulk of the paper is devoted to selected quotes by noted leaders in the education field criticizing the United States' over-reliance on IQ testing. The main criticisms center around: (1) the book as a mirror of a national direction in a time of change; (2) the book as negative and racially divisive; (3) the book reflective of present social discontent; and (4) the book representing a clash of American values. Contains 23 references. (EH)
Publication Type: Book/Product Reviews; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A