Scientific Perspectives on Intelligence Tests

The APA Board of Directors and Council of Representatives recently established a task force to examine scientific perspectives of intelligence tests and group differences in test scores. The task force is charged with developing a report that responds to questions that have arisen with the publication of The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (Free Press, NY, 1994). The task force met in late January and will meet again in March. The media frenzy surrounding The Bell Curve compelled the Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) to approach the Board of Directors and Council of Representatives for funding for such a task force.

The task force aims to produce a report that is scientifically responsible, understandable to the educated lay public, and balanced regarding the controversial issues addressed by the late psychologist Richard Herrnstein, PhD, and political analyst Charles Murray, PhD, in The Bell Curve. Many journalists and reviewers of the book revealed their lack of knowledge of basic, scientifically accepted facts about IQ, intelligence testing, heritability, and group differences. BSA and the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI) strongly support the premise of the project and believe it is important for APA to address the role of psychological science in this area.

The members of the task force include the following psychologists: Gwyneth Boodoo, PhD, Thomas Bouchard, PhD, Wade Boykin, PhD, Nathan Brody, PhD, Stephen Ceci, PhD, John Loehlin, PhD, Robert Perloff, PhD, Robert Sternberg, PhD, and Susana Urbina, PhD.

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