Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Slater I 122
Cultural differences/intelligence/skills/capacities/Jensen: Jensen (1969)(1) addressed issues related to SES (socioeconomic status) more generally as well as race. He evaluated the effectiveness of the intervention programs that had been implemented at that time ((s) e.g., the Head Start Program in the United States 1964(2)), accurately reporting the basic observation that those programs showed gains in IQ test scores in the short-run, sometimes substantially so, but the gains tended to fade and within a couple years generally had faded to nonsignificance.
[Jensen] raised many fascinating questions about why this might be the case. He concluded that it was probably impractical to try to raise IQ scores; educators would have more success simply teaching basic skills rather than trying to encourage cognitive development. >Intelligence/Jensen, >Intelligence tests/Jensen, >Heritability/Jensen, >Racism/Jensen.
Slater I 123
Cultural differences/Jensen: Thesis: the differences arose because there were different genetic influences on associative learning abilities and the kinds of abilities tapped by IQ tests, which he termed „higher reasoning“. >Genetic variation/Jensen.
Solution/Jensen: Given this, he suggested that education for the culturally disadvantaged should be tailored to what he claimed were their inherently more limited abilities.


1. Jensen, A. R. (1969). How much can we boost IQ and scholastic achievement? Harvard Educational Review, 3, 1–123.
2. For the history of Head start see: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ohs/about/history-of-head-start



Wendy Johnson: „How Much Can We Boost IQ? Updated Look at Jensen’s (1969) Question and Answer“, in: Alan M. Slater & Paul C. Quinn (eds.) 2012. Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Jensen, Arthur R.
Slater I
Alan M. Slater
Paul C. Quinn
Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2012


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