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The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability (Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence) 1St Edition Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0275961039
ISBN-10: 0275961036
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The issue of male/female intelligence has never before been dispositively resolved. And in recent years a number of scholars have mounted a powerful and facially plausible argument for an average male superiority....I had observed that scholars on both sides of the argument seemed intensely interested in one question: What does Art Jensen think?....Jensen's new book...is a 650-page blockbuster that summarizes Art's work on scores of issues, and leaves you thinking that g is not just some academic construct but a biological phenomenon with vast explanatory power....He conclude(s): 'The sex difference in psychometric g is either totally nonexistent or is of uncertain direction and inconsequential magnitude.' That settles it: On average the sexes are equally smart. And yes, that's news."-Forbes

"The g Factor presents a wealth of fascinating data."-Galton Institute Newsletter

"Author Arthur Jensen is arguably the world's leading expert on intelligence (over 300 papers published) and this book summarizes his life's work. This makes it a major and one that will be used for years."-The Mankind Quarterly

"Jensen's diligence in resolving one of the more treacherous issues in psychological research-the nature of human differences in mental ability-may finally settle the critical aspects of this complex issue once and for all."-Society

"Arthur R. Jensen's tome-like salvo in the race and intelligence debate....explains the bases of his system for intelligence measurement, and why he believes that his results indicate a significant difference among the races."-Publishers Weekly

"Jensen does the impossible by making a book about psychological measurement interesting. Though the book will no doubt be politically controversial, readers will have difficulty arguing with Jensen's scholarly, scientific approach. To deny the rationality of Jensen's treatment is to admit a lack of objectivity on the part of the reader."-Choice

"[I]t is futile to study human ability without this book. To everyone studying human ability, The g Factor is the indispensible compendium....Even those who disagree with most of what Arthur Jensen says in The g Factor, such as myself, have to admire the sheer dedication, pertinacity, and tireless scholarship that must have gone into a work of this scope."-Personnel Psychology

"[T]he book is full of highly technical information, but it is presented so that a scientifically minded lay audience can understand. He also presents a wealth of citations to original research and extensive technical notes....If a reader starts with the notion that general intelligence is a fictional concept, this work will easily dispel such a belief."-The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

"In this great brick of a book (Jensen) has marshaled three decades of research to make his complex case about intelligence....(It) makes The Bell Curve, to which it will inevitably be compared, look like a biography of Leonardo DiCaprio. Still, it is lucid and for the most part carefully argued. Those who are inclined to disagree with Mr. Jensen will find that they have quite a challenge on their hands."-Wall Street Journal

..."[J]ensen provides a rigorous and persuasive case that the measurement of g is, contrary to the arguments of many critics..., a highly objective enterprise....One of my distinguished colleagues recently told me that every time he read anything by Arthur Jensen, it was a joy to read and he learned something new. The g Factor continues this tradition. It is a joy to read and is also full of new ideas. It is the work of a master scientist."-Contemporary Psychology

"This is a challenging book to review. To my knowledge there is nothing comparable to it in print....it may well be the needed bridge between the traditional research program in psychology on intelligence and the research programs of the future. This book makes a convincing argument not only for the practical importance of the g factor, but for the position that it is perhaps the greatest scientific mystery and puzzle in psychology."-Personality and Individual Differences

"This tome surely must be considered as the ultimate summary of research on the general factor g, thought to underlie human mental ability. Simply put, Jensen organizes several lifetimes of research and thinking in evaluating the evidence for this concept, its likely hereditary basis, as well as its implications for differences among individuals, between the sexes, racial groups, and for social policy at all these levels. One does not have to agree with the author to find the presentation extremely interesting."-Psychological Reports

"A deep, scholarly work....It is balanced and comprehensive, summarizing virtually all the relevant studies on the nature of intelligence and demolishing most of the challenges and alternative explanations of the major findings....These chapters put general intelligence as a psychological trait on a more solid foundation than is enjoyed by any other aspect of personality or behavior. They also speak persuasively to the issue of heritability, the argument for which becomes more plausible to the extent that intelligence can be associated with biological correlates."-Commentary

"ÝI¨t is futile to study human ability without this book. To everyone studying human ability, The g Factor is the indispensible compendium....Even those who disagree with most of what Arthur Jensen says in The g Factor, such as myself, have to admire the sheer dedication, pertinacity, and tireless scholarship that must have gone into a work of this scope."-Personnel Psychology

"ÝT¨he book is full of highly technical information, but it is presented so that a scientifically minded lay audience can understand. He also presents a wealth of citations to original research and extensive technical notes....If a reader starts with the notion that general intelligence is a fictional concept, this work will easily dispel such a belief."-The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

..."ÝJ¨ensen provides a rigorous and persuasive case that the measurement of g is, contrary to the arguments of many critics..., a highly objective enterprise....One of my distinguished colleagues recently told me that every time he read anything by Arthur Jensen, it was a joy to read and he learned something new. The g Factor continues this tradition. It is a joy to read and is also full of new ideas. It is the work of a master scientist."-Contemporary Psychology

?The g Factor presents a wealth of fascinating data.?-Galton Institute Newsletter

?Author Arthur Jensen is arguably the world's leading expert on intelligence (over 300 papers published) and this book summarizes his life's work. This makes it a major and one that will be used for years.?-The Mankind Quarterly

?Jensen's diligence in resolving one of the more treacherous issues in psychological research-the nature of human differences in mental ability-may finally settle the critical aspects of this complex issue once and for all.?-Society

?Arthur R. Jensen's tome-like salvo in the race and intelligence debate....explains the bases of his system for intelligence measurement, and why he believes that his results indicate a significant difference among the races.?-Publishers Weekly

?Jensen does the impossible by making a book about psychological measurement interesting. Though the book will no doubt be politically controversial, readers will have difficulty arguing with Jensen's scholarly, scientific approach. To deny the rationality of Jensen's treatment is to admit a lack of objectivity on the part of the reader.?-Choice

?[I]t is futile to study human ability without this book. To everyone studying human ability, The g Factor is the indispensible compendium....Even those who disagree with most of what Arthur Jensen says in The g Factor, such as myself, have to admire the sheer dedication, pertinacity, and tireless scholarship that must have gone into a work of this scope.?-Personnel Psychology

?[T]he book is full of highly technical information, but it is presented so that a scientifically minded lay audience can understand. He also presents a wealth of citations to original research and extensive technical notes....If a reader starts with the notion that general intelligence is a fictional concept, this work will easily dispel such a belief.?-The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

?In this great brick of a book (Jensen) has marshaled three decades of research to make his complex case about intelligence....(It) makes The Bell Curve, to which it will inevitably be compared, look like a biography of Leonardo DiCaprio. Still, it is lucid and for the most part carefully argued. Those who are inclined to disagree with Mr. Jensen will find that they have quite a challenge on their hands.?-Wall Street Journal

?...[J]ensen provides a rigorous and persuasive case that the measurement of g is, contrary to the arguments of many critics..., a highly objective enterprise....One of my distinguished colleagues recently told me that every time he read anything by Arthur Jensen, it was a joy to read and he learned something new. The g Factor continues this tradition. It is a joy to read and is also full of new ideas. It is the work of a master scientist.?-Contemporary Psychology

?This is a challenging book to review. To my knowledge there is nothing comparable to it in print....it may well be the needed bridge between the traditional research program in psychology on intelligence and the research programs of the future. This book makes a convincing argument not only for the practical importance of the g factor, but for the position that it is perhaps the greatest scientific mystery and puzzle in psychology.?-Personality and Individual Differences

?This tome surely must be considered as the ultimate summary of research on the general factor g, thought to underlie human mental ability. Simply put, Jensen organizes several lifetimes of research and thinking in evaluating the evidence for this concept, its likely hereditary basis, as well as its implications for differences among individuals, between the sexes, racial groups, and for social policy at all these levels. One does not have to agree with the author to find the presentation extremely interesting.?-Psychological Reports

?A deep, scholarly work....It is balanced and comprehensive, summarizing virtually all the relevant studies on the nature of intelligence and demolishing most of the challenges and alternative explanations of the major findings....These chapters put general intelligence as a psychological trait on a more solid foundation than is enjoyed by any other aspect of personality or behavior. They also speak persuasively to the issue of heritability, the argument for which becomes more plausible to the extent that intelligence can be associated with biological correlates.?-Commentary

?The issue of male/female intelligence has never before been dispositively resolved. And in recent years a number of scholars have mounted a powerful and facially plausible argument for an average male superiority....I had observed that scholars on both sides of the argument seemed intensely interested in one question: What does Art Jensen think?....Jensen's new book...is a 650-page blockbuster that summarizes Art's work on scores of issues, and leaves you thinking that g is not just some academic construct but a biological phenomenon with vast explanatory power....He conclude(s): 'The sex difference in psychometric g is either totally nonexistent or is of uncertain direction and inconsequential magnitude.' That settles it: On average the sexes are equally smart. And yes, that's news.?-Forbes

.,."[J]ensen provides a rigorous and persuasive case that the measurement of g is, contrary to the arguments of many critics..., a highly objective enterprise....One of my distinguished colleagues recently told me that every time he read anything by Arthur Jensen, it was a joy to read and he learned something new. The g Factor continues this tradition. It is a joy to read and is also full of new ideas. It is the work of a master scientist."-Contemporary Psychology

"The g Factor is a book that an academic publisher should kill for. Arthur Jensen is among the pre-eminent psychometricians of the last half-century....It is a book that every scholar working in the area will have to read. An indispensable reference in every psychology library. A book to hold up to young scholars as an example of why a lifetime of patient and meticulous scholarship is worth while."-Charles Murray, in National Review

About the Author

ARTHUR R. JENSEN is Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley. During the 40 years of his tenure at Berkeley, he has been a prolific researcher in the psychology of human learning, individual differences in cognitive abilities, psychometrics, behavioral genetics, and mental chronometry. His work, published in six earlier books and some 400 articles in scientific and professional journals, has placed him among the most frequently cited figures in contemporary psychology.

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Product Details

  • Series: Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence
  • Hardcover: 664 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; 1St Edition edition (February 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275961036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275961039
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jensen's definitions and descriptions of his science are fascinating. g stands for General Ability. It is neither IQ nor intelligence itself. Intelligence, per Jensen, is the capacity of all animals to perceive and act upon the natural world.
The Intelligence Quotient is a statistical artifice that maps individuals' problem solving abilities into a linear scale according to a Gaussian bell-curve distribution. By definition the average IQ is 100 and the standard deviation (SD) 15. By the properties of the bell curve approximately 2/3 of the population falls within one SD of the median, that is, between 85 and 115.
However, as Jensen points out repeatedly, general ability is not a linear function. The discriminators are whether or not an individual can solve specific problems. There is no way to define a lineal relationship between two individuals if once can figure out (for instance) the lowest primo number greater than 90 and another cannot, or one can figure that context requires the word above to be "prime" not "primo" and another cannot. There is no metric for "g" itself. Rather, all tests of mental ability have a degree of "g loading." Psychometrics is the science of assessing and manipulating information about a quality that cannot be measured directly.
Jensen devotes much energy to defending the validity of "g", this thing that defies direct measurement. It is real because:
a) It is statistically "there." It is highly correlated among myriad tests.
b) It works in the real world. There is no single discriminator that approaches the value of "g", usually proxied by an IQ test score, as a predictor of educational or job performance.
c) It has equal predictive power for both sexes, all ages and all populations of mankind.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
In a brilliant 40-year career that has earned him a place among the most frequently cited figures in contemporary psychology, Arthur Jensen has systematically researched and extended Charles Spearman's (1927) seminal concept of g, the general factor of intelligence. The g Factor is an awesome and monumental exposition of the case for the reality of g. It does not draw back from its most controversial conclusions -- that the average differences in IQ found between Blacks and Whites has a substantial hereditary component, and that this difference has important societal consequences. However, The g Factor is not about race, as such. The first five chapters deal with the intellectual history of the discovery of g and various models of how to conceptualize intelligence. Other chapters deal with the biological correlates of g (excluding race), its heritability, and its practical predictive power. The fact that psychometric g has many physical correlates proves that it is not just a methodological artifact. Among biological variables, g loads on heritability coefficients determined from twin studies and inbreeding depression scores calculated in children born from cousin-marriages. g is also related to brain size measured by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), brain evoked potentials, and intracellular brain pH levels. It (g) is a product of human evolution and is also found in non-human animals. Despite these caveats, The Bell Curve affair allows one to safely predict that The g Factor's coverage of race will strike many as of central importance. All the issues Jensen raised in 1969 are still with us today.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
First, I am not a professional psychologist nor do I plan to become one. My BS is in Psychology and I have done Cognitive and Neuroscience research. This is a demanding book if you are not versed the field of psychometrics. Jensen cannot avoid having to present some of this information in a technical manner. He does, however, present the technical details of the subject in the clearest possible way. In fact this book has done much to strengthen my intrest in statistics.
The g-factor would be great reading for someone who has read some of the more popular books about human intelligence(Bell Curve, Mismeasure of Man, etc..) and is looking for a broader perspective on these issues. The highly controvesial subjects (race, environment vs. heredity, education) only account for a few parts of the book. Many of the other subjects(like world IQ increases, biological correlates, the history of g, and the politicizing of IQ) are equally facinating. Perhaps the greatest aspect of the book is Jensen's perspective on this subject. Many of his views are as fresh and creative as they are comprehensive.
Comment 43 of 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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There has been a conspiracy, of sorts, by the popular press, the news media, and other entrenched powers that be, to hide what is really known about intelligence. This book is a complete survey of all the research known about intelligence. The simplest definition of intelligence is "the ability to reason and learn". The evidence is compelling that intelligence is a real trait, it's biologically based, strongly influenced by heredity, and different racial groups have different average levels of intelligence and a big part of that difference is genetic and not based on environment.
There is nothing really "new" in this book. But it compiles together in one book all the research about intelligence. There hasn't been a comprehensive survey of this sort written in decades.
Everyone should read this book. The Bell Curve is also a book that everyone should read, but this book should be read first. The Bell Curve starts with the assumption that intelligence is genetically influenced, but most people, indoctrinated by the liberal media, don't believe that or understand it. The g Factor presents the overwhelming evidence that there is indeed a genetically influenced general factor of intelligence.
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