Intelligence, Race, and Genetics: Conversations with Arthur R. Jensen
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In a series of provocative conversations with Skeptic magazine Ssenior editor Frank Miele, renowned University of California-Berkeley psychologist Arthur R. Jensen details the evolution of his thoughts on the nature of intelligence, tracing an intellectual odyssey that leads from the programs of the Great Society to the Bell Curve Wars and beyond. Miele cross-examines Jensen's views on general intelligence (the g factor), racial differences in IQ, cultural bias in IQ tests, and whether differences in IQ are due primarily to heredity or to remediable factors such as poverty and discrimination. With characteristic frankness, Jensen also presents his view of the proper role of scientific facts in establishing public policy, such as Affirmative Action.“Jensenism,” the assertion that heredity plays an undeniably greater role than environmental factors in racial (and other) IQ differences, has entered the dictionary and also made Jensen a bitterly controversial figure. Nevertheless, Intelligence, Race, and Genetics carefully underscores the dedicated lifetime of scrupulously scientific research that supports Jensen's conclusions.
different numbers of twins were examined? Jensen: The fact that the MZ twin correlation was 0.77 in three different reports is not too surprising for cumulated, overlapping data Jensen: sets. Burt’s value of 0.77 is very close to our best estimate for this correlation. A number of other studies of MZ twins reared apart have reported correlations of 0.76 and 0.78, and no one claims those studies were “faked” or the numbers were “cooked.” No one with any statistical sophistication, and Burt had
These are virtually absent in psychological measurement. There’s no doubt, however, that IQ tests and many other conventional psychological tests have real practical value. They are unquestionably valid predictors of certain kinds of performance in education and employment, and can be most useful in educational selection, and in hiring and promotion decisions. As I’ve worked on my book-in-progress on mental chronometry (the real-time measurement of cognitive processes while they are going on),
capability for comprehending our surroundings— “catching on,” “making sense” of things, or “figuring out” what to do. 2. Intelligence, so defined, can be measured, and intelligence tests measure it well. They are among the most accurate (in technical terms, reliable and valid) of all psychological tests and assessments. They do not measure creativity, character, personality, or other important differences among individuals, nor are they intended to. 3. While there are different types of
having a higher IQ increase as life settings become more complex (novel, ambiguous, changing, unpredictable, or multifaceted). For example, a high IQ is generally necessary to perform well in highly complex or fluid jobs (the professions, management); it is a considerable advantage in moderately complex jobs (crafts, clerical and police work); but it provides less advantage in settings that require only routine decision making or simple problem solving (unskilled work). 12. Differences in
intelligence certainly are not the only factor affecting performance in education, training, and highly complex jobs (no one claims they are), but intelligence is often the most important. When individuals have already been selected for high (or low) intelligence and so do not differ as much in IQ, as in graduate school (or special education), other influences on performance loom larger in comparison. 13. Certain personality traits, special talents, aptitudes, physical capabilities, experience,