Cyril Burt: Fraud or Framed? 1st Ed. (U.K.) Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0198523369
ISBN-10: 019852336X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The most interesting detective story to appear this summer. Michael Morgan, University College, London, Education, August 1995 by far the most detailed and objective ... this examination of the available evidence must surely be accepted as scrupulously fair and lucidly presented Times Higher Education Supplement the authors all find something quite interesting to say ... The book ... is fairly and indeed beautifully written. Mackintosh's academic whodunit marks a further step towards Burt's rehabilitation. Chris Brand, Nature by far the most detailed and objective ... this examination of the available evidence must surely be accepted as scrupulously fair and lucidly presented Times Higher Education Supplement Here, the eminent learning theorist Nicholas Mackintosh leads a hand-picked team of scholars in a reexamination of Burt's character and figurework. The book as a whole is fairly and indeed beautifully written. Mackintosh's academic whodunit marks a further step towards Burt's rehabilitation. Chris Brand, University of Edinburgh, Nature, Vol. 377, October 1995 This book reveals much about the passions of psychologists and is surprisingly amusing. David Cohen, New Scientist, September 1995 provides some ammunition for those who come down on the framed side of the debate Times Literary Supplement This book presents an excellent text ... stage in the saga ... the sum of the parts is a rich feast ... Here is a fascinating story, and each chapter in its different way provides a thoroughly good read. I recommend this book as essential reading to all educational psychologists and indeed to psychologists in general. Professor Geoff Lindsay, University of Warwick, Educational Psychology in Practice, Vol. 1, No. 3, October 1996
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1st Ed. (U.K.) edition (October 5, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019852336X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198523369
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,711,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Chris Brand on April 22, 2001
The British psychologist Sir Cyril Burt (1883-1971) thought that the broad heritability of IQ was high -- yielding his notorious correlation of .77 between monozygotic twins reared apart (MZA's). Yet he estimated the narrow heritability as only .52: parents could pass on genetically to their children only a half of their IQ advantage (or disadvantage). Partly by this route, parents could transmit a third of their advantage (or disadvantage) in socio-economic status (SES).
Countering regression to the mean, the class system would be refreshed by social mobility. The majority of the brighter children would come from 'working class' homes and children's own IQ's would account for some 50 per cent of eventual SES variance in their own generation. General intelligence (g), which Burt had once found to relate to speed of intake of simple perceptual information, was frankly more important in life than were 'personality traits'; but there were other sources of variation in mental abilities ("group factors"), and education should accord with children's ability profiles. There were also innate differences between races in g; but "they are small" in comparison with the big differences between individuals.
Progressive enough for Burt to be knighted under a Labour government, Burt's position infuriated rising social scientists and geneticists who abjured anything that could be linked to 'negative' eugenics. "Wouldn't it be great if it could be shown that Burt was really just an old fraud!" muttered one London educationist to Arthur Jensen in 1957. After Burt's death, closer scrutiny of his key work led at last to its being denounced as involving casualness or fraud, and bolder accusations of 'fascism' soon followed.
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