By Stephen Murdoch
Advance compliment for
IQ a wise heritage of a Failed Idea
"An updated, reader-friendly account of the continued saga of the mismeasure of ladies and men."
—Howard Gardner, writer of Frames of brain and a number of Intelligences: New Horizons
"The excellent news is that you simply won't be proven after you've learn Stephen Murdoch's vital new ebook. the higher information is that IQ: a sensible heritage of a Failed notion is compelling from its first pages, and by way of its end, Murdoch has deftly verified that during our zeal to quantify intelligence, now we have needlessly scarred—if no longer destroyed—the lives of thousands of people that didn't want an IQ ranking to turn out their worthy on this planet. IQ is excellent narrative journalism, a publication that i'm hoping results in worthy change."
—Russell Martin, writer of Beethoven's Hair, Picasso's warfare, and Out of Silence
"With fast paced storytelling, freelance journalist Murdoch strains now ubiquitous yet nonetheless debatable makes an attempt to degree intelligence to its origins within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries. . . . Murdoch concludes that IQ checking out presents neither a competent nor a beneficial device in figuring out people's habit, nor can it expect their destiny luck or failure. . . . A considerate review and a welcome reminder of the hazards of counting on such standardized tests."
"Stephen Murdoch offers a lucid and interesting chronicle of the ever-present and occasionally insidious use of IQ checks. this can be a clean examine a century-old and nonetheless debatable idea—that our human capability might be distilled right down to a unmarried try ranking. Murdoch's compelling account calls for a reexamination of our mania for psychological measurement."
—Paul A. Lombardo, writer of 3 Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the ultimate court docket & dollar v. Bell
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Additional info for IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea
The Sovereign herself will give away the brides at a high and solemn festival . . in Westminster Abbey,” Galton wrote. Galton’s main problem was that neither he nor anybody else knew what tests of innate mental ability “conducted on established principles” looked like. IQ tests, or at least their precursors, the “mental tests,” as they would later be called, were about to be born. Francis Galton was the man to create such tests. Back home from Africa, he had continued to count and measure in a strange cocktail of the profoundly useful, useless, and idiosyncratic.
Binet discovered that while these two groups of children scored differently on average, on particular questions some kids in the “subnormal” group did better than some in the normal group. qxd 4/16/07 2:09 PM Page 33 THE BIRTH OF MODERN INTELLIGENCE TESTS 33 groups’ performances overlapped, which reduced the efficacy of the questions as a diagnostic tool. Eventually Binet and Simon hit upon an idea that makes intuitive sense; they took the age of the child into account. It didn’t matter if both mentally handicapped and typical kids could answer a particular question correctly; what mattered was the age at which they could answer the question.
Finally, and inevitably, “the brains of our nation lie in the higher of our classes,” at the far right end of the curve. From this belief that social position resulted from innate worth, Galton made a most astonishing segue into public policy suggestions that reverberate even now. Galton believed that only those on the extremely gifted end of the curve—those who could “found great industries . . and amass large fortunes for themselves”— should be allowed to have children. Those three years hiding at home and mulling over Darwin’s On the Origin of Species paid off for Galton: the biggest idea of his life was purposefully to apply natural selection to human breeding.
IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea by Stephen Murdoch