IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Ideaby Stephen Murdoch
IQ scores have the power to determine the chances we have in life: the people we meet, the schools we attend, the jobs we get, the lives we live. Very few of us, however, understand what IQ tests and ratings really mean. In this fascinating, provocative book, Stephen Murdoch explains the turbulent history and controversial current uses of intelligence
IQ scores have the power to determine the chances we have in life: the people we meet, the schools we attend, the jobs we get, the lives we live. Very few of us, however, understand what IQ tests and ratings really mean. In this fascinating, provocative book, Stephen Murdoch explains the turbulent history and controversial current uses of intelligence testing.
At the turn of the previous century, so-called experts assessed people's mental abilities by measuring the strength of their hands, the size of their heads, even the swiftness of their blows. A few years later, when psychologists started measuring problem-solving with their newfangled IQ tests, the fledgling field took a radical leap forward at just the right time. American institutions thought they needed the novel intelligence tests because they had more people in new situations than they knew what to do with: immigrants were pouring into Ellis Island, public schools were overflowing, young women seemed to be promiscuous, and the U.S. Army was hopelessly unprepared for World War I. In response, psychologists persuaded everyoneincluding themselvesthat they could actually measure intelligence and that intelligence testing could solve many of society's problems.
In IQ, Stephen Murdoch explores how and why IQ tests were created and how they have been widely used and misused over the past century. IQ is richly detailed and filled with insightful profiles of both the test takers and the intelligence experts who developed and continue to promote intelligence testing. Ultimately, Murdoch argues, intelligence testing is not anywhere near as reliable or important as we have been led to believe.
Revealing the wide-ranging and powerful impact intelligence testing has had on public policy and private livesand showing why we need a whole new model of explaining intelligenceIQ is important reading for psychology and history buffs, parents, and anyone who has ever sweated through the SATs.
- Turner Publishing Company
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Read an Excerpt
Meet the Author
Stephen Murdoch is a freelance journalist who has written for the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and many other publications.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews