Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 1973 Issue »

    Proving the Absence of Positive Associations

    Lester C. Thurow
    Inequality is in reality two books that differ substantially in tone and confidence if not in basic conclusions. It is also a book that covers a wide variety of issues in sociology, genetics, psychology, and economics. To some extent the statements in the main text of the book are at variance with the qualifications in the footnotes and appendices. For example, the text states that forty-five percent of IQ is inherited yet a careful reading of the appendix leads to the conclusion that we do not really know within a very wide range (say ten percent to ninety percent) how much of IQ is or is not inherited. Since the same authors wrote both the text and the appendices, they are clearly aware of the difference in tone between the two parts of the book. I assume that this is a legitimate dramatic device to get people to read a challenge to their firmly held prejudices, but it is a device that requires the serious reader to read the footnotes. Given the number and extent of the footnotes, this is a formidable hurdle, but it is a necessary part of understanding Inequality. As more and more footnotes and appendices are read, the reader will find himself retreating from the self-confident certainty of the text to a state of increasing ignorance and uncertainty. The truth is not that IQ is eighty-five percent inherited or forty-five percent inherited, but that the data give conflicting results and that we simply do not know and are not likely to know in the near future what percentage of IQ scores is inherited.

    Click here to purchase this article. 

  2. Share

    Spring 1973 Issue


    Desegregating Urban Schools
    A Review of Techniques
    Gordon Foster
    Perspectives on Inequality
    After Apple-Picking
    Philip W. Jackson
    Forensic Social Science
    Alice M. Rivlin
    A Black Response to Christopher Jencks's Inequality and Certain Other Issues
    Ronald Edmonds, Andrew Billingsley, James Comer, James M. Dyer, William Hall, Robert Hill, Nan McGehee, Lawrence Reddick, Howard F. Taylor, Stephen Wright
    The Further Responsibility of Intellectuals
    Stephan Michelson
    Proving the Absence of Positive Associations
    Lester C. Thurow
    Social Policy, Power, and Social Science Research
    Kenneth B. Clark
    Comments on Inequality
    Beverly Duncan
    Equality of Opportunity and Equality of Results
    James S. Coleman
    Inequality in Retrospect
    Christopher Jencks
    Call 1-800-513-0763 to order this issue.