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Most Helpful Favorable Review
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
Whether you'll agree or disagree, it's worth your time
American Enterprise Institute academic Michael Ledeen was right to call ¿The Bell Curve¿ ¿the most moderate book in recent years to spark such an accusatorial controversy.¿ While it's true that ¿The Bell Curve¿ draws many surprising and concerning conclusions, and some...
American Enterprise Institute academic Michael Ledeen was right to call ¿The Bell Curve¿ ¿the most moderate book in recent years to spark such an accusatorial controversy.¿ While it's true that ¿The Bell Curve¿ draws many surprising and concerning conclusions, and some conclusions that some people find alarming, the issues are legitimate and merit consideration. The basic premises and theses of ¿The Bell Curve¿ are these: that intelligence, IQ, or (perhaps less inflammatorily) cognitive ability is a real, measurable, quantifiable characteristic of a human being; that different people tend to be assigned very different roles by society depending on their level of cognitive ability; that people of different cognitive abilities behave differently in some important ways; that cognitive ability is substantially heritable; and that different groups tend to have differing levels of cognitive ability. The authors support these theses using the (remarkably rich) body of literature on the subject. Their procedures are documented with great care and a tremendous variety of sources is cited. The book can be read at a number of levels. At its shortest, the book amounts to only some thirty pages in length. Each chapter begins with a summary that briefly outlines the conclusions that will be reached. The main text of the book is about 550 pages. The content consists chiefly of validation and explanation of the authors' claims, as well as some psychometric history, all of which is both fascinating and persuasive. In addition to the primary text, the book is replete with sidenotes, endnotes, and appendices, to say nothing of the hundreds of external sources to which we are referred in the bibliography. The authors' style is simultaneously informative, accessible, frank, cautious, and persuasive. Of especial interest to the skeptical (including me) is the afterword, in which one of the authors responds to recent critical commentary of ¿The Bell Curve.¿ Whatever your position on psychometrics and whatever critical commentary you may have read on ¿The Bell Curve,¿ this book is an indispensable tool that will allow you to survey the evidence for yourself. Like many who read the primary source rather than relying on biased commentaries, you may find that the logic, not to mention the statistics, of the authors is inescapable. Regardless of your personal beliefs, the book brings up issues that will be fundamental to the future of the human race. It is at least worth your examination.
posted by Anonymous on August 23, 2003Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.
1. Can an IQ exam give an accurate measure of a person's intelligence? An IQ score and intelligence are not the same thing. If you don't understand that, you're too stupid to be using the internet. 2. "How could the authors be racists/white supremacists if they s...
1. Can an IQ exam give an accurate measure of a person's intelligence? An IQ score and intelligence are not the same thing. If you don't understand that, you're too stupid to be using the internet. 2. "How could the authors be racists/white supremacists if they show studies that asians and jews are smarter than whites?" What kind of surname is 'Herrnstein'? That's right... the author is Jewish. 3. Who designs the IQ tests? Be realistic... EVERYTHING in our world is culturally biased to some degree or another... why not exams? 4. Jews are not a race... many jews themselves argue that they are not an ethnicity either; they say they are just people part of the same religion. Saying that Jews are a race is akin to saying Italians and Japanese people are entire RACES unto themselves. I find it a little disturbing that when the authors conclude which RACE is the smartest, they point to a smaller ETHNICITY. 5. Statistics require interpretation no matter what, and when conclusions are reached, you must continue to ask questions, not just leave it at that. 6. "Sucess in life is not social background but high intelligence." Yeah, sure... Can you name the current President of the United States? 7. The average Asian high school student may get higher scores than the average American student, but in most Asian countries, only the best students progress all the way through high school... large numbers of students are weeded out over the years and trained to do other things.
posted by Anonymous on September 24, 2002Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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Posted April 21, 2012
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