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The connection between race and intelligence has been a subject of debate in both popular science and academic research since the inception of IQ testing in the early 20th century. The debate concerns the interpretation of research findings that test takers identifying as "White" tend on average to score higher than test takers of African ancestry on IQ tests, and subsequent findings that test takers of East Asian background tend to score higher than whites. It is still not resolved what relation, if any, there is between group differences in IQ and race.

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 of inferior intellect to Anglo-Saxon whites due to innate biological differences, using 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 African-Americans and Whites. The debate reemerged again in 1969, when Arthur Jensen championed 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 America 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.

In subsequent decades much research has been published about the relationships between hereditary influences on IQ, group differences in intelligence, race, environmental influences on IQ. Particularly contentious in the ongoing debate has been the definition of both the concept "race" and the concept "intelligence", and especially whether they can in fact be objectively defined and operationalized. While several environmental factors have been shown to affect group differences in intelligence, it has not been demonstrated that they can explain the entire disparity. On the other hand, no genetic factor has been conclusively shown to have a causal relation with group difference in intelligence test scores. Recent summaries of the debate call for more research into the topic to determine the relative contributions of environmental and genetic factors in explaining the apparent IQ disparity among racial groups.


Race and intelligence sections
Intro  History of the debate  Validity of race and IQ  Group differences  Environmental influences on group differences in IQ  Research into the possible genetic influences on test score differences  Policy relevance and ethics  See also  References  Bibliography  External links  

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