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ERIC Number: ED431847
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Beliefs about Intelligence and the Causes of Economic Inequality: Opinions on "The Bell Curve."
Berk, Eric Vanden; Wodtke, Kenneth
Beliefs about intelligence as a cause of economic inequality and the extent to which educational experience, socioeconomic status, and class-consciousness mediate such beliefs were studied. A purposive sample of 184 advanced Business and Social Science university undergraduates and a sample of urban technical college students responded to a three-part 49-item survey. Section I was designed to measure attitudes towards the explanation of economic inequality as reflected in "The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life" (C. Murray and R. Herrnstein, 1994), and section 2 assessed subjects' economic class background and class-consciousness. Results show that, compared to their counterparts, subjects from lower economic class backgrounds, subjects with stronger working class-consciousness, and subjects with educational backgrounds in the social sciences displayed significantly less favorable attitudes toward beliefs promoted in "The Bell Curve." These results are consistent with a number of hypotheses derived from a social conflict and legitimization theory paradigm, which regards views such as those expressed in "The Bell Curve," as sociopolitical ideology serving to legitimize structures of economic inequality. Appendixes contain the survey and a summary of responses by academic major. (Contains 3 tables and 18 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A