The Validity of IQ and General Intelligence, g
One part of the criticism of The Bell Curve focused on the validity of IQ and g. William J. Matthews and Stephen Jay Gould (1994) listed four basic assumptions of The Bell Curve. According to Gould, if any of these premises are false, then their entire argument disintegrates (Gould, 1994).
- Intelligence must be reducible to a single number.
- Intelligence must be capable of rank ordering people in a linear order.
- Intelligence must be primarily genetically based.
- Intelligence must be essentially immutable.
Similarly, anthropologist C. Loring Brace in a review wrote that The Bell Curve made six basic assumptions at the beginning of the book. He argued that there are faults in every one of these assumptions.
- Human Cognitive ability is a single general entity, depictable as a single number.
- Cognitive ability has a heritability of between 40 and 80 percent and is therefore primarily genetically based.
- IQ is essentially immutable, fixed over the course of a life span.
- IQ tests measure how "smart" or "intelligent" people are and are capable of rank ordering people in a linear order.
- IQ tests can measure this accurately.
- IQ tests are not biased with regard to race, ethnic group or socioeconomic status.
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