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The Science and Politics of I.q. (Complex Human Behavior) Paperback – January 1, 1974

ISBN-13: 978-0898591293 ISBN-10: 0898591295 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Series: Complex Human Behavior
  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (January 1, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898591295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898591293
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,022,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Kamin wrote in the Introduction to this 1974 book, "This book is concerned with a single question: are scores on intelligence tests (I.Q.'s) heritable? The answer, in the consensus view of most intelligence testers, is that about eighty percent of individual variation in I.Q. scores is genetically determined... The present work arrives at two conclusions. The first ... can be stated simply. There exist no data which should lead a prudent man to accept the hypothesis that I.Q. test scores are in any degree heritable. That conclusion is so much at odds with prevailing wisdom that it is necessary to ask, how can so many psychologists believe the opposite? The answer, I believe, is related to the second major conclusion of this work. The I.Q. test in America, and the way in which we think about it, has been fostered by men committed to a particular social view. That view includes the belief that those on the bottom are genetically inferior victims of their own immutable defects... There are few more soothing messages than those historically delivered by the I.Q. testers. The poor, the foreign-born, and racial minorities were shown ... to have been born that way. This book is about the politics of intelligence testing, as well as the science of intelligence testing. To pretend that the two are separable is either naïve or dissembling." (Pg. 1-2)

He states, "The conclusion cannot be avoided: The numbers left behind by Professor Burt are simply not worthy of our current scientific attention." (Pg. 47) He notes, "The data seem to indicate, however, either that our leading I.Q. tests are very badly standardized, or that general population norms do not apply to twins, or that the twin samples studied by the psychologists are bizarre---or all three. " (Pg.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BookLook on August 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reads like a textbook as it examines and de-bones research on IQ. Firmly in the environmentalist's camp (of "Nature vs Nurture"), the author takes a very close look at the "scientific" findings of the hereditarians -- those who believe you inherit your mental acuity just as your eye color, and no amount of external intervention (meaning education, etc.) has impact on your intelligence. Though clinical and specific, the text is not unlively -- a "fed-up" attitude crackles as much of the "immutable Nature" argument was testified to and swallowed whole by Congress and found its way into horrific pubic policy in the early 1900s. NOTE: the book gets very sludgey with data -- but if you are investigating perspectives on IQ, Kamin is an important figure to be aware of.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence A. Marcus on October 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the book that in the 70s debunked all the nonsense from Cyril Burt and other poor scientists (Burt falsified his data)about the heritability of IQ... Many of these scientists did so called twins studies (and others) to prove that IQ was mostly heritable. The real analysis shows that IQ(as measured by IQ testing) is probably only 40% heritable and the twins studies that were done didnt even measure the differences between real twins. This means that all the republicans who blame the poor for their misfortune will instead have to take the blame themselves because they cut vital social programs for nutrition, education and job creation as well as healthcare.

Binet devised the first IQ tests for the French educational system and his purpose in doing was to find out what problems children had in school by measuring their performance on his intelligence test. Then he went about creating written and verbal exercises that would help them improve their performance on his "IQ test" and in so doing improve their performance at school. This is totally the opposite of ETS, the Wechsler Bellevue and the whole apparatus of people who say you cant improve your performance on IQ tests or SATs which are really IQ tests in disguise (See Weschler and Mattarazo). Americans have misinterpreted and misused Binet's tests.

In the United States we adapted Binet in the form of the Army Alpha and other tests and used them to justify our views that IQ was mostly inherited and that the rich and Northern Europeans were superior to those who were non white, catholic, jewish, from southern europe etc. This view was then adopted by the Nazis in the 30s who used american psychometricians analysis and sterilization programs to justify their own racist views and genocide.
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