Friday, January 05, 2007

An IQ Primer

For anyone who might want to learn about IQ, the uses of IQ, and the relationship between IQ and race, here is a list of recommended articles available on the Web. I suggest that they be read in the order listed.

Start with this Linda Gottfredson article. It is an outstanding crash primer by an expert in psychometrics. A psychometrician is an experimental psychologist trained in testing and test design. Make sure you don't skip the sidebars, and study the graph thoroughly.

After that, read this copy of a letter originally published in The Wall Street Journal. If you take the trouble to Google the names of the signatories, you'll notice that they are (or were) big guns in psychology--nary a Nazi in the bunch.

If your appetite is now whetted read The Role of Intelligence in Modern Society. Omigod! That author isn't a Nazi either.

If you read those three things, you'll have adequate background to read with an open mind The Inequality Taboo by Charles Murray.

After Murray warms you up, read this paper by J. Philippe Rushton and Arthur R. Jensen. Rushton and Jensen are leading lights among psychometricians, and both have received good kickings in pursuit of the truth. Both men have needed police or campus security protection at times and have faced movements to have their tenure revoked. Nevertheless, if you are interested and take the time to Google around, you'll find that they are overwhelmingly respected by their peers, both psychometricians and the larger community of experimental psychologists.

All of that should give you an actually somewhat educated lay opinion, but a quick review by Dr. Jerry Pournelle, who has a PhD in experimental psychology (and another in political science), of the public policy implications wouldn't hurt.

Finally, if your now informed opinion induces the urge to further think about the political implications, Steve Sailer's articles on IQ are an excellent resource. Lots of people have taken the time to kick the man around, but Sailer has spent several years educating himself on the issues, and his detractors haven't. I'm not crawling as far out on a limb as it looks with that statement, because I know that Sailer's articles follow the mainstream thought of experimental psychology.

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