May's Reviews > The Mismeasure of Man

The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould
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's review
Jun 13, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: sociology

While I wouldn't say it was my favorite read, I give it high marks for what it is. This piece provides the historical tale of the mis-measurement of man (as the title suggests) in terms of intelligence. It is a very thorough analysis of analysis gone wrong and the social implications associated with doing so.

The need to measure IQ became warped throughout the ages and served two miserable purposes of which become readily apparent in the book. First, poorly designed IQ tests became the basis of years of racism justified under the onus of Darwinian right. It was disturbing to witness that such bias still exists today within the workplace/civilization, etc.

Second, it suggests that testing as a practice is in fact capping certain individuals on what they believe their own potential is. I like that the new dialogue within intelligence has veered toward "Mindset" or the power of the growth oriented individual. It will take time for this old guard with their antiquated ideas of learning to pass.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2009 – Finished Reading
June 13, 2011 – Shelved
August 12, 2011 – Shelved as: sociology

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