In this fascinating, provocative book, Stephen Murdoch explains the turbulent history and controversial current uses of intelligence testing
©2007 Stephen Murdoch; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
I noticed that if you increased the listening speed to 1 and 1/2 times the normal speed the narrator is actually not sounding too bad.
"Outstanding, provides masses of food for thought."
Disregard reviews from people that have not actually listened to the whole thing! This book stands any ideas you had about IQ tests on their head. I have now listened to this book 2 times, and intend to listen to it many times more, despite it's length.
The only thing I can say is get this book, there are too many things in there to list in a short review like this. It is cheap for the insight it gives to the whole concept of IQ tests and the way they have historically been used to provide 'evidence' to support eugenics, racism and dodgy social policies. The book describes various ways IQ tests have been used as a tool for politics and bending social history. That includes our 11 plus tests designed to favour children from better off families.
The book provides many 'oh my god' moments. Read it and see. You will never trust an IQ test again!
A detailed history of intelligence testing, beginning with Darwin?s cousin, Sir Francis Galton, and his hereditability of intelligence theory, to Cyril Burt and the 11-plus and the popular misconceptions in-between that attempt to quantify intelligence.
The author clearly dislikes intelligence tests, and rightly so. He explains how IQ tests have been used to determine ?feeblemindedness?, to accept or reject in migrant workers and for ethnic cleansing. Clearly, intelligence testing shares its bed with eugenics, which in turn, attempts to manipulate natural selection for societal and economic means.
Over the years, general intelligence (g) was considered, by psychologists, to be an innate gift; therefore, there was no point in trying to educate pupils who were ?to the left of the bell curve?. For example, after WWII, primary schools streamed pupils from A-D in order to provide child centred learning. Pupils in the upper streams would be invited to take the 11-plus and those in the lower steams would not. D stream pupils would be sent to poorly equipped secondary modern schools, whilst their more able counterparts who passed the 11-plus would enjoy an academically rich education in grammar schools. Therefore, grammar school pupils would more often climb the social ladder to gain white-collar jobs than their poor state educated counterparts.
Stephen Murdoch describes IQ testing as a two-way discrimination process: negative discrimination being what the Nazis did to those they considered inferior, and the way positive discrimination creams off those ?on the right side of the bell curve? for the better schools and universities.
I think Murdoch is too kind; IQ testing belongs in the dark ages. It does nothing more than identify those who have learnt from their unique environments and grades them accordingly. The underprivileged simply don?t stand a chance.
"Not sure about the content, but..."
I can't even buy it because the narrator sounds so horrible in the sample. Unclear, woolly, with a carrying gravelly quality better suited to movie trailers or gritty mysteries.
His sentences sound somehow rushed, and the tone is all wrong for a popular science book.
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