The cultural malleability of intelligence and its impact on the racial/ethnic hierarchy

Psychology Public Policy and Law (Impact Factor: 1.93). 05/2005; 11(2):320-327. DOI: 10.1037/1076-8971.11.2.320

ABSTRACT This commentary highlights previous literature (see record
2005-03637-001) focusing on cultural and environmental explanations for the racial/ethnic group hierarchy of intelligence. Assumptions underlying definitions of intelligence, heritability/genetics, culture, and race are noted. Historical, contextual, and testing issues are clarified. Specific attention is given to studies supporting stereotype threat, effects of mediated learning experiences, and relative functionalism. Current test development practices are critiqued with respect to methods of validation and item development. Implications of the genetic vs. culture-only arguments are discussed with respect to the malleability of IQ. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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    • "Insiders object when skeptics dismiss searches for subtle prejudice as mere rationalizations of hard-core commitments—arguing that researchers have discovered new, not just reinterpreted old, phenomena (Banaji et al., 2004; Greenwald, et al., 2006). Similarly, insiders insist that recent research on stereotype threat provides empirical substance to Proposition # 5 by showing how standardized tests underestimate human capital among disadvantaged groups by failing to take into account the power of "stereotype threat" to depress scores (Suzuki & Aronson, 2005). And insiders argue that research on Just World theory (Lerner & Lerner, 1978; Hafer & Bègue, 2005), the fundamental attribution error (Ross, 1977), and the ultimate attribution error (Pettigrew, 1979) empirically substantiates the contention that people—majority and minority groups alike—are insensitive to the impact of structural barriers on success rates, thereby protecting Proposition # 6 against the objection that it just licenses name-calling. "
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    ABSTRACT: The positions that experts take on whether organizations do enough to ensure equal-opportunity hinge on the assumptions they make about the potency of prejudice. Prominent scholars have challenged the conventional notion that anti-discrimination norms, backed by legal sanctions, can check implicit bias. The strongest form of this argument is that it is impossible to achieve equal opportunity in any society with inequality of result—impossible because objective inequalities inevitably stamp into our minds subjective associations that inevitably contaminate personnel judgments that require the exercise of discretion. We discuss numerous problems with this argument (and the related argument that radical changes to anti-discrimination law are in order) but concede that the debate over what steps, short of quotas, can check implicit prejudice is not resolvable given the paucity of data that clashing camps jointly treat as probative. To avoid a protracted stalemate, we urge adversarial collaborations in which the debaters agree, ex ante, on research designs with the potential to induce both sides to change their minds.
    Research in Organizational Behavior 07/2009; DOI:10.1016/j.riob.2009.06.006 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    • "Are racial differences in IQ due to differences in intellectual ability or to differences in exposure to information? Recent reviews published in the American Psychologist (Anderson & Nickerson, 2005; Cooper, 2005; Rowe, 2005; Sternberg, Grigorenko, & Kidd, 2005) and in Psychology, Public Policy, and Law (Gottfredson, 2005; Nisbett, 2005; Rushton & Jensen, 2005; Sternberg, 2005; Suzuki & Aronson, 2005) indicate that there is no agreed upon answer to the controversial issue of the source of racial differences in IQ. As Sternberg, Grigorenko, and Kidd note, we first need to know what intelligence is to understand the source of racial differences in IQ. "
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    ABSTRACT: African-Americans and Whites were asked to solve problems typical of those administered on standard tests of intelligence. Half of the problems were solvable on the basis of information generally available to either race and/or on the basis of information newly learned. Such knowledge did not vary with race. Other problems were only solvable on the basis of specific previous knowledge, knowledge such as that tested on conventional IQ tests. Such specific knowledge did vary with race and was shown to be subject to test bias. Differences in knowledge within a race and differences in knowledge between races were found to have different determinants. Race was unrelated to the g factor. Cultural differences in the provision of information account for racial differences in IQ.
    Intelligence 11/2006; 35(4). DOI:10.1016/j.intell.2006.08.009 · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    • "There is in fact no good evidence, contrary to Nisbett (2005; and Suzuki & Aronson, 2005), that g is malleable by nonbiological variables. That would require not just evidence that training produces higher scores but evidence of broad transfer of training effects to other highly g-loaded tasks. "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite repeated claims to the contrary, there has been no narrowing of the 15- to 18-point average IQ difference between Blacks and Whites (1.1 standard deviations); the differences are as large today as they were when first measured nearly 100 years ago. They, and the concomitant difference in standard of living, level of education, and related phenomena, lie in factors that are largely heritable, not cultural. The IQ differences are attributable to differences in brain size more than to racism, stereotype threat, item selection on tests, and all the other suggestions given by the commentators. It is time to meet reality. It is time to stop committing the "moralistic fallacy" that good science must conform to approved outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Psychology Public Policy and Law 05/2005; 11(2):328-336. DOI:10.1037/1076-8971.11.2.328 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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