Monday, June 08, 2009

Rushton and Jensen's response to Nisbett's "Intelligence and how to get it"

Yesterday I made an FYI post re: an op-ed piece in the NY Times (Rising Above IQ) regarding Richard Nisbett's book on race, culture, schooling and IQ. To say the least, Nisbett's publication has generated considerable response and criticism from intelligence scholars. Thanks to a comment posted to this blog, I was made aware of one of these scholarly responses at Philppe Rushton's web page. He, together with Aruthur Jensen, have a "working paper" in progress and welcome comments on the current draft. A copy can be found by clicking here. Below is the abstract.

Let the games begin.

Rushton, P. & Jensen, A. Race and IQ: A Theory-Based Review of the Research in Richard Nisbett’s Intelligence and How to Get It. Manuscript in preparation.


We provide a detailed review of data from psychology, genetics, and neuroscience in a point-counterpoint format to enable readers to identify the merits and demerits of each side of the debate over whether the culture-only (0% genetic-100% environmental) or hereditarian (50% genetic-50% environmental) model best explains observed mean ethnic group differences in intelligence test scores: Jewish (mean IQ = 113), East Asian (106), White (100), Hispanic (90), South Asian (87), African American (85), and sub-Saharan African (70). We juxtapose Richard Nisbett’s position, expressed in his book Intelligence and How to Get It, with our own, to examine his thesis that cultural factors alone are sufficient to explain the differences and that the hereditarian model we have presented over the last 40 years is unnecessary. We review the evidence in 14 topics of contention: (1) data to be explained; (2) malleability of IQ test scores; (3) culture-loaded versus g-loaded tests; (4) stereotype threat, caste, and “X” factors; (5) reaction-time measures; (6) within-race heritability; (7) between-race heritability; (8) sub-Saharan African IQ scores; (9) race differences in brain size; (10) sex differences in brain size; (11) trans-racial adoption studies; (12) racial admixture studies; (13) regression to the mean effects; and (14) human origins research and life-history traits. We conclude that the preponderance of evidence demonstrates that in intelligence, brain size, and other life history traits, East Asians average higher than do Europeans who average higher do South Asians, African Americans, or sub-Saharan Africans. The group differences are between 50 and 80% heritable.

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