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The Mismeasure of Man


Some scientists dispute psychometrics entirely. In The Mismeasure of Man, Professor Stephen Jay Gould argues that intelligence tests are based on faulty assumptions and shows their history of being used as the basis for scientific racism. He writes:

…the abstraction of intelligence as a single entity, its location within the brain, its quantification as one number for each individual, and the use of these numbers to rank people in a single series of worthiness, invariably to find that oppressed and disadvantaged groups—races, classes, or sexes—are innately inferior and deserve their status. (pp. 24–25)
He spends much of the book debunking the concept of IQ, including a historical discussion of how the IQ tests were created and a technical discussion of why g is simply a mathematical artifact. Later editions of the book include criticism of The Bell Curve.

Arthur Jensen, Professor of Educational Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, responds to Gould's criticisms in a paper titled The Debunking of Scientific Fossils and Straw Persons.
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2012 © Robert Artmann | Psychologist