ARTICLE: THIRTY YEARS OF RESEARCH ON RACE DIFFERENCES IN COGNITIVE ABILITY Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2005 American Psychological Association
Psychology, Public Policy and Law

ARTICLE: THIRTY YEARS OF RESEARCH ON RACE DIFFERENCES IN COGNITIVE ABILITY

June, 2005

11 Psych. Pub. Pol. and L. 235

Author

J. Philippe Rushton, The University of Western, Ontario and Arthur R. Jensen, University of California, Berkeley

Excerpt

Section 1: Background

Throughout the history of psychology, no question has been so persistent or so resistant to resolution as that of the relative roles of nature and nurture in causing individual and group differences in cognitive ability (Degler, 1991; Loehlin, Lindzey, & Spuhler, 1975). The scientific debate goes back to the mid-19th century (e.g., Galton, 1869; Nott & Glidden, 1854). Starting with the widespread use of standardized mental tests in World War I, average ethnic and racial group differences were found. Especially vexing has been the cause(s) of the 15-point Black-White IQ difference in the United States.

In 1969, the Harvard Educational Review published Arthur Jensen's lengthy article, "How Much Can We Boost IQ and School Achievement?" Jensen concluded that (a) IQ tests measure socially relevant general ability; (b) individual differences in IQ have a high heritability, at least for the White populations of the United States and Europe; (c) compensatory educational programs have proved generally ineffective in raising the IQs or school achievement of individuals or groups; (d) because social mobility is linked to ability, social class differences in IQ probably have an appreciable genetic component; and tentatively, but most controversially, (e) the mean Black-White group difference in IQ probably has some genetic component.

Jensen's (1969) article was covered in Time, Newsweek, Life, U.S. News & World Report, and New York Times Magazine. His conclusions, the theoretical issues they raised, and the public policy recommendations that many saw as stemming directly from them ...
 
 
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