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Race and intelligence

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Alfred Binet (1857-1911) developed the first IQ tests.
An experimewnt with plant growth. The different result is due to differences in the environment.

Many animals, including humans, show intelligent behaviour. This is often labeled as intelligence, and helps them solve problems they enounter. In the early 20th century, special tests were developed,to show which pupils would need more help in school. These tests are generally called IQ tests. Doing a test will result in a numerical score, which can be compared to others. Different people from different ethnic backgrounds, have different scores in such tests. There are also different test which use different test methods. Ever since the tests were done, there has been a debate, to what extent, the social and ethnical background of a person doing the test influences the score. Some factors may be linked to the environment, in with the person has grown up. Another problem is the fact, that the terms "race" and "intelligence" cannot be defined in a way that most people agree with.

The first test showing differences in IQ test results between different population groups in the US was the tests of United States Army recruits in World War I. In the 1920s groups of eugenics lobbyists argued that this demonstrated that African-Americans and certain immigrant groups were less intelligent than to Anglo-Saxon whites. They said this was due to innate biological differences. They used this as an argument for policies of racial segregation. Soon, other studies appeared, contesting these conclusions and arguing instead that the Army tests had not adequately controlled for the environmental factors such as socio-economic and educational inequality between blacks and whites.

The debate started again in 1969, when Arthur Jensen had the view that for genetic reasons Africans were less intelligent than whites and that compensatory education for African-American children was therefore doomed to be ineffective. In 1994, the book The Bell Curve argued that social inequality in the United States could largely be explained as a result of IQ differences between races and individuals rather than being their cause, and rekindled the public and scholarly debate with renewed force. During the debates following the book's publication, the American Anthropological Association and the American Psychological Association (APA) published official statements regarding the issue, both highly skeptical of some of the book's claims, although the APA report called for more empirical research on the issue.


This article "Race and intelligence" is from Simple English Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Race and intelligence.


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