Yesterday, Andrew Sullivan linked to my piece on the Canadian polygamy ruling. Unfortunately, around that, he’s spent the last three days how difficult the world is for those researchers who study race-based IQ differences and how we need to look into this more. He knows this because the people who agree that there is something there say the political climate is stifling.
Now, as I’ve noted before, there are plenty of people who study this link, plenty of people who talk about it in various forms of media, and plenty of people who cry politics when factors other than genetics are pointed to as major factors in IQ test differences. All it really takes to know this is to pay attention to both sides of this debate.
The problem is that this can be difficult to do. The racially based IQ story is simple and plugs into our just-world biases. The actual picture involves dealing with complex data and statistical analyses. In order to give an overview of the general data on IQ and heritability, I put together this bibliography a couple of years ago. It was originally posted here.
Apropos of the continuing tendency for white supremacists to show up crowing about IQ, here is some reading that may help people understand the history of IQ testing and its relationship to the complex phenomena that are lumped under the term “intelligence.”
IQ Tests: Do They Measure Intelligence?
A quick overview of the topic in lay terms.
Stalking the Wild Taboo–Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns
The comprehensive report of a task force established by the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association in response to The Bell Curve. Includes references.
Never a Dull Moment
A follow-up to the above report, addressing critiques of the report. Presents additional references, including a critique of Rushton’s work.
IQ tests: Throwing out the bathwater, saving the baby
An argument for a very limited use of IQ tests in educational assessment, with a clear discussion of their limitations.
A biography of the psychologist, including a discussion of his development of a scale of activities to measure “mental age.”
Lewis Madison Terman
A biography of the psychologist, including a brief history of the development of the Stanford-Binet test.
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
An overview of the subtests and scales involved in the most commonly given IQ test for adults.
The Construct Validity of IQ Tests–A Comprehensive Psychometric Meta-Analysis
A meta-analysis designed to determine how many types of intelligence the WAIS is measuring.
Individually Administered Intelligence Tests–The Testing Process
A sample of the variety of intelligence tests offered.
“Reliability” and “validity” of IQ tests
A discussion of the different types of validity required of scientific tests and how well those requirements have been met in IQ testing.
SoYouWanna score higher on an IQ test?
Not any sort of definitive site. However, it lists strategies for practicing to the test, which does have an effect on even tests that are supposed to measure innate, unchanging qualities.
Excerpt: ‘IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea’
Coaching a child to perform well on an IQ test in order to get into a prestigious private school.
Is IQ actually AQ? (Mistaking Achievement for “Intelligence”)
A discussion of what is measured by IQ tests.
How the knowledge of low expectations can lead to lowered IQ scores.
The Chitling Intelligence Test
A facetious look at how cultural background can influence the development of intelligence tests.
Shattering Intelligence: Implications for Education and Interventions
James Flynn (of the Flynn Effect) breaks apart the concept of general intelligence. Discusses the interaction of cognitive skills and exercise.
Heritability Estimates Versus Large Environmental Effects: The IQ Paradox Resolved
Uses basketball as a model to discuss how small genetic differences can interrelate with environment to exaggerate the measured heritability of a trait. Aimed at the results of Jensen’s twin study data.
Lewontin vs. Jensen debate
Lewontin answers Jensen’s objections to targeted educational enrichment. A classic debate on the topic.
A review the book by Lewontin (a population geneticist) on the intersection of genetics and culture. Or read Human Diversity (Scientific American Library Series)
[ETA] Anthropology and Race – December 2011
A collection of anthropological writings on the validity of race as a concept.
The Impact of National IQ on Income and Growth–A Critique (pdf)
Criticism of Lynn and Vanhanen’s work on the basis of imprecise modeling and insufficient controls.
A Review of the Bell Curve: Bad Science Makes for Bad Conclusions
A brief but broad overview of the unsupported assumptions and confounding variables used by the authors of this “simple treatise of conservative ideology” that attempts to link race to IQ to social outcomes directly.
Measured Lies: The Bell Curve Examined (book)
A “thoughtful, readable anthology” of essays critiquing The Bell Curve.
…In Different Voices
Part one of a technical but accessible Q&A on the topic of the heritability of intelligence. Much snark.
Those Voices Again