Race, Social Class, and Individual Differences in I.Q

Race, Social Class, and Individual Differences in I.Q

Race, Social Class, and Individual Differences in I.Q

Race, Social Class, and Individual Differences in I.Q

Excerpt

The role--indeed the very existence--of genetic differences in human behavior has long been a matter of heated debate in the social sciences. That the relative weights to be awarded to nature and nurture are still disputed is demonstrated by the following papers, comments upon them, and replies to the criticisms. At last, however, I think that more light than heat is produced by the new designs, methods, and samples that my collaborators and I have used to study genetic and environmental differences in human behavior.

The major theme that integrates all the chapters is the question: "Why do people differ from one another in intellectual performance?" The first issue is how to define, measure, and explain why individuals and groups differ in test scores: Are the tests valid measures for all people? The second issue is the contrast between the study of individual and group variability. In this book, studies of individual variability are complemented by unusual research on average differences among people by race and social class.

From a theoretical point of view, individual and group differences in intellect follow the same evolutionary laws of variation and selection. From a methodological point of view, however, group differences must be studied very differently from individual variability. And social classes--among which there is some individual mobility--must be treated in a different fashion from racial groups--among which individual mobility is unlikely.

Both developmental and quantitative genetics bear on behavioral differences, but their implications are quite different. The necessary partnership of genes and environments in producing developmental change has often been confused with the potentially separable effects of genetic and environmental differences in producing human variation. Principles of developmental genetics--such as mal-

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