Race-Related IQ

matt spitzer mwspitze at uci.edu
Tue Nov 29 18:46:53 EST 1994


In article <3bavji$pke at news.iastate.edu>, rox at iastate.edu (Roxanne R
Sweney) wrote:

> 	Currently I am pursuing an argumentative research paper on the topic
> of IQ level inherited in terms of race.  Any information about this topic or
> about the recently published book, The Bell Curve, would be greatly
> appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

One issue you may wish to explore is what IQ actually measures.  A
fundamental assumption of psychometric research is that there is a unitary
entity, intelligence, that can be measured by IQ tests.  This is a BIG
assumption.  Any neurobiologist can tell you that the nervous system is
composed of multiple subsystems that subserve different functions.  Do
these subsystems operate independently?  Good question.  There is certainly
no convincing evidence of a "central processor", analogous to a computer's
cpu, anywhere in the brain.  So, the neurobiology suggests that cognitive
functions may be distributed among different subsystems of the brain, which
would be consistent with a modular view of cognitive functions.  If
cognitive functions are modular, then each subsystem, and consequently each
function, may be subject to independent genetic control.  If so, studying
the heritability of IQ (a unitary measure of cognitive ability) makes no
sense.  



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