Measurement of Intelligence, Eugenics, and the Theory of Second-Best

Recently, I added a new field to my list of interests–intelligence (which consequently was already the topic of a post here). A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a book by the Fortune columnist Daniel Seligman, titled A Question of Intelligence: The IQ Debate in America. It was published in 1992, but a quick internet research reveals that the state-of-the-art in psychometrics has not changed much since. Regarding facts and their causal interpretations, the book is quite balanced–although it might be worthwhile to combine it with Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers to get an even more balanced perspective. Where I do not agree with Seligman at all is in the area of political implications, particularly in the context of eugenics. Continue reading