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ERIC Number: ED400262
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Jun-16
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
For Whom Does "The Bell Curve" Toll"? It Tolls for You.
Sternberg, Robert J.
Although British psychologist Francis Galton lost the battle for the definition of intelligence in his own time, his views live on in the work of Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray. They argue that the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is an adequate measure of intelligence, and that IQ is highly heritable. They contend that there are racial and ethnic group differences in intelligence, and that these matter for society. They further believe that tests have been and should be a gating mechanism because they tell who will be better and who will be worse in a variety of pursuits. Their ideas, however, deserve more scrutiny than influence. Herrnstein and Murray ignore the large body of research that says IQ is not the be-all and end-all that they make it out to be. They imply that psychologists are in fundamental agreement on what intelligence really is, but, in fact, psychologists continue to debate the nature of intelligence. There are racial differences in IQ, but are these really differences in intelligence? Herrnstein and Murray vastly underestimate the socialization effects of schooling, home, and community. Even if intelligence does have a degree of heritability, as it most likely does, this does not mean that it cannot be increased. It is regrettable that the main message of "The Bell Curve" is so intellectually corrupt, because there are points in the book that are worthy of discussion. These include society's undervaluing of the intellectually gifted, the degrading of textbooks as opposed to the raising of standards, and the failure of affirmative action to accomplish all it promised. (SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A