A Question of Intelligence: The IQ Debate in America

Front Cover
Carol Publishing Group, 1992 - Psychology - 239 pages
Why do some people have higher IQs than others? Why do some groups score higher average than others? Why do some countries seem to have higher average than others? Are the tests culturally biased? Are the tests worthwhile at all, or should they be abolished? These are all highly charged questions, and these days we often get extremely emotional about them. To dispel the confusion, Daniel Seligman offers us this bracing defense of IQ testing. Many Americans, however, may be troubled by this book's controversial and unavoidable message: that people are in fact born with unequal mental abilities. Carefully researched and powerfully argued, A Question of Intelligence reports that in weighing nature vs. nurture, it is mostly nature that accounts for differences in intelligence. What we inherit translates later into career and financial successes - and inequalities. And since America is in critical respects a meritocracy, IQ scores explain a lot about why some people gravitate to the top, while others go through life with limited opportunities. Threading his way through a cluster of quarrels about IQ, Seligman tells us why most experts (psychologists, educators, researchers) believe the tests do measure "intelligence" and are not culturally biased. In the midst of a social and political minefield, he addresses the sensitive but inescapable subject of ethnic and national differences in IQ and outlines the connection between IQ levels and economic achievement. He proposes that banning the tests will work against the interests of school children: we must still make decisions about our kids - which ones need remedial reading courses, for example, and which ones qualify for advanced programs - andthose decisions will be better if informed by IQ testing. Seligman even takes an IQ test himself along the way, and sends back a lively account of the experience. The realities of the entire IQ controversy have almost always been at odds with the media's reports. Now A Question of Intelligence sets the record straight, putting this fiery debate to the test in crystal-clear, comprehensible terms. It is a bold and crucial book for every American who wants to understand what is at stake - and why intelligence matters.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

A QUESTION OF INTELLIGENCE: The IQ Debate in America

User Review  - Kirkus

A real hot potato, as a columnist for Fortune defends IQ tests and their unavoidable message: that not all people, nor all groups of people, are born with equal mental abilities. According to Seligman ... Read full review

A Question of Intelligence: The IQ Debate in America

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Seligman, a former senior staff editor of Time Inc. Publications and a columnist for Fortune , utilizes professional opinion studies, and statistical concepts to endorse intelligence quotients. He ... Read full review

Contents

What Its Like to Take an IQ Test
1
Searching for Intelligence
11
How Much Do Street Smarts Matter?
19
Copyright

13 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information