Race and Intelligence

The connection between race and intelligence has been a subject of debate in both popular science and academic research since the inception of intelligence quotient (IQ) testing in the early 20th century. There is no widely accepted formal definition of either race or intelligence in academia, and any discussion of their connection involves studies from multiple disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, biology, and sociology.

IQ tests performed in the United States have consistently demonstrated a significant degree of variation between different racial groups, with the average score of those with African ancestry lower than that of European ancestry and the average score of those with East Asian ancestry being higher than that of European ancestry. While the existence of racial IQ gaps is well-documented and not subject to much dispute, there is no consensus among researchers as to their cause. Research into potential genetic causes for intellectual differences between races is controversial and has generated heated debate. Some researchers fear that the findings could be misused to perpetuate racial stereotypes, while others contend that the politicization of the field threatens to stifle important avenues of research.

Four contemporary classifications of position regarding study of differences in IQ based on race/ethnicity are seen. The first is that these gaps reflect a real difference in average group intelligence, which is caused by a combination of environmental factors and heritable differences in brain function. A second position is that differences in average cognitive ability between races exist and are caused entirely by social and/or environmental factors. A third position holds that differences in average cognitive ability between races do not exist, and that the differences in average test scores are the result of inappropriate use of the tests themselves. Finally, a fourth position is that either or both of the concepts of race and general intelligence are poorly constructed and therefore any comparisons between races are meaningless.

The American Psychological Association has said that while there are differences in average IQ between racial groups, and there is no conclusive evidence for environmental explanations, "there is certainly no support for a genetic interpretation," and no adequate explanation for the racial IQ gap is presently available. The position of the American Anthropological Association is that intelligence cannot be biologically determined by race. According to a 1996 statement from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, although heredity influences behavior in individuals, it does not affect the ability of a population to function in any social setting, all peoples "possess equal biological ability to assimilate any human culture" and "racist political doctrines find no foundation in scientific knowledge concerning modern or past human populations."

Read more about Race And Intelligence:  History of The Debate, Ethics of Research, Validity of "race" and "IQ", Potential Environmental Causes, Genetic Arguments, Policy Relevance

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The Bell Curve - Responses - Criticisms - Race and Intelligence
... See also History of the race and intelligence controversy One part of the controversy concerned the parts of the book which dealt with racial group differences on IQ and the consequences of this ... criticized the book's conclusions about race and the malleability of IQ, writing When European immigrant groups in the United States scored below the national average on mental tests, they scored lowest on ... to "folklore" that "Jews and other immigrant groups were thought to be below average in intelligence." It was neither folklore nor anything as subjective as thoughts ...
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Race And Intelligence - Policy Relevance
... Main article Intelligence and public policy Jensen and Rushton argue that the existence of biological group differences does not rule out, but raises questions about the ... average group differences, because of the significant overlap of people with varying intelligence between different races ...
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... The social interpretations of the race concept is incompatible with the idea that the IQ gap between racial groups is caused by genetic factors, and those who see race as a social ... For example psychologist Jefferson Fish argues that race is a social construction and argues that for this reason the question of racial differences in intelligence is not scientific ... However, Richard Lynn in his book Race differences in intelligence does not define races based on current social classification but on ancestral populations ...

Famous quotes containing the words intelligence and/or race:

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