The Mismeasure of Man

The Mismeasure of Man

4.04 (6,754 ratings by Goodreads)
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Can human intelligence be measured? From 19th-century craniometry (literally, the measurement of skulls) to today's vastly sophisticated methods of IQ testing, the author traces the history of scientists' attempts to assess human intelligence. Along the way he tackles the fundamental problems - the very idea of measurement seems reductive, suggesting that biology is destiny - morever as he vividly demonstrates, scientists' theories have too often been dangerous reflections of their own personal motives and racial/class/sexual prejudices. This book examines the fatal flaws in intelligence testing and reaffirms the richness and variety of human potential. This book won the National Book Critics' Circle Award for 1982.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 23mm | 324g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0140136819
  • 9780140136814

Table of contents

American polygeny and craniometry before Darwin - blacks and indians as separate, inferior species; measuring heads - Paul Broca and the heyday of craniology; measuring bodies - two case studies on the apishness of undesirables; the hereditarian theory of IQ - an American invention; the real error of Cyril Burt - factor analysis and the reification of intelligence; a positive conclusion.
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Rating details

6,754 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 38% (2,538)
4 37% (2,511)
3 19% (1,274)
2 5% (306)
1 2% (125)
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