Do blacks have low intelligence?
The opinion is divided. I like to follow the scholars who identify that blacks have the same level of intelligence as people of other colors have. But the other side of debaters have their own case for low black IQ test scores.
The reasons start from IQ test structure, depend upon hereditary constant factor ‘g’, lead to bell curve and end in race specific theories. But they have attracted a lot of criticism. Interestingly, neither the definition of intelligence nor the grouping of black people is clear.
The supporters of low black IQ test scores include all people in the definition of blacks who are not whites. However, the critics claim that in the United States, the black people don’t mean 100% African origin. An average black person is considered to be about 20% white. If genes or inheritance has to do something with a particular community then the racial admixture must have strong impact upon different black IQ test results.
The factor ‘g’ is considered a constant to measure intelligence. The low black IQ scores proponents claim that 'g' remains constant not only in individuals but also in the communities. By 2005 most of the psychologists have accepted this factor and they have conducted different studies to establish its validity. Some have tried to correlate it with brain-evoked potentials, brain PH, nerve conduction velocity etc. Some have even tried to establish a correlation between factor ‘g’ and the gray matter of your brain.
On the other hand the dissenting voices are not wordless either. The critics argue that intelligence is much more complicated then to be expressed with a single letter or factor. They argue that the brain structure and its components in blacks and whites are similar and ratio of the differences is almost the same in the all communities.
While discussing low black IQ test scores, you can’t ignore consistent rise in the IQ score over time. The fact was brought to the public by James Flynn so it is called Flynn effect. It proves two things; the IQ tests are not perfect to measure your intelligence and low black IQ difference is temporary.
Similarly, it has been proven many times that when you practice IQ tests you can enhance your IQ test results. None of the psychologist thinks that increase in score can be equated to increase in intelligence. It is just your familiarity with the test model that facilitates your mind application properly.
For example, the ability to repeat digits backwards is considered a measurable mental ability. If you practice reciting digits backwards for a few days, you will increase your IQ test scores. It is nothing more than training of your brain to do a thing efficiently.
The defectiveness of the IQ test scores can also be seen in the fact that Africans are generally reported to have an IQ of 70 while many tests show this rating for the mental disable people. On the other hand the Africans are completely comparable to the whites unless they are offered abstract cognitive tests.
Thus IQ test scores are not reliable source to qualify a whole community inferior or superior to others.
Some studies have proven that black children are above average in the starting years of schools. In many urban schools of the UK, the black children are scoring 30 to 40 percentile on the basic skills scores, way above the 15th percentile associated with an 85 IQ.
Unfortunately, the scores decline as the children grow up.
One obvious hypothesis for low black IQ test scores is inferior schooling as claimed by Fryer and Levitt (2004). But black children attending excellent schools have also shown the same declining tendency in their IQ test results. School results in Chicago and Detroit prove that black children show 85th percentile in high grade. They excel to their white counterparts.
But situation is not the same everywhere.
Another angle of the debate is even more interesting. The IQ test scores have been proving that the Asians are more intelligent than whites. Are they so? Richard Lynn of Ireland claims that Japanese score 11 points higher than Americans.
There are two camps. One claims that Asians are good in math so they score better but they are not more intelligent. The other camp claims that they are more intelligent so that score higher. And then there's Norm Matloff who agrees that Asians score better, but they are no more required in Silicon Valley.
Why Differences in IQ Test Scores?
In my opinion the differences of IQ test scores between different communities is result of IQ tests themselves. No general IQ tests are available that can show that a general population of blacks scoring equal to or better than a general white population. Some may go with quality of schools, quality of education, level of income, or spending habits, but main flaw still lies with the construction, validity samples and interpretation of the IQ test scores.
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