Concepts and Theories of Human Development

By Richard M. Lerner | Go to book overview

4
The Nature-Nurture Controversy The Sample Case of Intelligence

In the late 1960s the different average group scores of black and white American children on IQ (intelligence) tests became a point of major public concern. The mean (i.e., the arithmetic average) difference between these two groups is often reported to be as high as fifteen IQ points (e.g., Jensen 1980; Scarr-Salapatek 1971 a, 1971 b) in favor of the white children. That is, on standardized intelligence tests, white children as a group typically score higher than do black children as a group. However, this does not mean that blacks always do worse on IQ tests than do whites. In fact, as Jensen points out:

Although the average IQ of the Negro population of the United States, for example, is about one standard deviation (i.e., 15 IQ points) below that of the white population, because of the disproportionate sizes of the Negro and white populations, there are more whites with IQs below the Negro average than there are Negroes. ( 1973, 16)

Until the late 1960s psychologists in the United States interpreted these racial differences in IQ as environmentally based. That is, stress was placed on the cultural disadvantages of black Americans; and the leading hypothesis was that a complex of environmental factors associated with poverty -- a complex as yet largely undefined -- prevents a child from achieving optimum development ( Scarr-Salapatek 1971 a, 1971 b). Such environmental disadvantage, it was argued, accounts for the inferior performance of black children on standardized IQ tests. In essence it was hypothesized that it is not black children but their environments that are deficient.

Assuredly, no one could argue against the point that black Americans as a group have experienced a history of inferior and possibly even pernicious environmental circumstances. In fact, in our discussion of social stereotypes in Chapter 3 we saw how environmentally based social attitudes may have a destructive effect on blacks' intellectual development. Accordingly, psychologists working with the "environmental differences" hypothesis have attempted to determine the nature of the environmental variables that led black children to inferior performance on IQ tests. They have also contributed to social projects designed to ameliorate blacks' environmental disadvantages (e.g., Project Head Start).


THE GENETIC-DIFFERENCES HYPOTHESIS

What brought the IQ difference between blacks and whites to the general public's at-

-105-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Concepts and Theories of Human Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 522

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.