IQ and Human Intelligence
Mackintosh (N.J.)
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.


Back Cover Blurb

  1. ‘What is intelligence?’ may seem like a simple question to answer, but the study and measurement of human intelligence is one of the most controversial subjects in psychology. For much of its history, the focus has been on differences between people, on what it means for one person to be more intelligent than another and how such differences might have arisen, obscuring efforts to understand the general nature of intelligence. These are obviously fundamental questions, still widely debated and misunderstood.
  2. IQ and Human Intelligence provides an authoritative overview of the main issues surrounding this fascinating area, including the modern development of IQ tests, the heritability of intelligence, theories of intelligence, environmental effects on IQ, factor analysis, relationship of cognitive psychology to measuring IQ, and intelligence in the social context. The clear, accessible style and numerous explanatory boxes make this the ideal text for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in psychology.
  3. ‘Mackintosh has written a book that is at once scholarly and highly readable. The book is a joy to read. Even more rare is its balance and objectivity in addition to the absence of the bias and axe-grinding that are so typical in this field. The book provides an excellent and comprehensive introduction to the field of intelligence for anyone with an interest in this area. There is nothing else like it, and I recommend the book most highly.’
    Robert J. Sternberg, IBM Professor of Psychology and Education, Yale University.

  1. I am not the first animal learning theorist to write a book about human intelligence and IQ testing. Nor, in all probability, will I be the last. I do not believe that such trespassing across academic boundaries needs apology or defence: perhaps psychology would be the better if we all attempted to understand, and occasionally write about, topics that lay outside our own narrow specialism. Nor shall I bore the reader with an account of my motives in doing so — except to say that I have not written this book out of a burning desire to advance any political or social thesis. Of course, as the reader will discover, I have a number of strongly held views on the topics covered in this book, and I have not attempted to hide them. It is sometimes thought that a textbook should strive to be balanced and impartial, and that impartiality requires the writer to present every possible side to every question, without presuming to judge their merits. Although this book is intended to serve as a suitable text for advanced undergraduates or graduates, I have not followed this path. Here, indeed, is my first strongly held conviction: such a policy guarantees boring and bland books, which usually insult their readers' intelligence. The history of IQ testing has been controversial, generating a large number of acrimonious disputes. I can see no point in simply presenting all sides of all these disputes, without attempting to judge the relative merits of different positions. Good textbooks should pass judgement — having presented enough evidence to allow readers to disagree with that judgement if their reading of the evidence goes another way.
  2. I should, perhaps, admit at the outset to a second conviction that has grown stronger during the course of writing this book. The study of individual differences in intelligence seems to me an interesting and important branch of psychology, and there is much to admire in the work of numerous people who have done research on this question. I hope that interest and admiration will be apparent. But at the same time, I believe that much arrant nonsense has been written about the measurement of human intelligence, and not only about some of the political and social implications thought to follow from such measurement. Once again, I have not attempted to hide my views. Some readers may therefore find some of my judgements unduly harsh. My hope is that I may challenge them into thinking harder about some of their own preconceptions — even if they conclude that they are right and I am wrong.
  3. Finally, it is a pleasure to acknowledge the help I have been fortunate enough to receive …

  1. The early development and uses of IQ tests – 1
    • Introduction – 1
    • The origins of IQ testing – 7
    • Uses and abuses of IQ tests – 17
    • Summary – 25
  2. Psychometric theories of intelligence – 27
    • Introduction – 27
    • The variety of IQ tests: one intelligence or many? – 28
    • What do IQ tests measure? Test validity – 41
    • What do IQ tests measure? Test reliability and the stability of IQ – 55
    • Summary – 62
  3. The heritability of IQ – 65
    • The meaning of heritability – 65
    • The measurement of heritability – 69
    • Analysis of kinship correlations – 71
    • Quantitative estimates of heritability – 85
    • The mechanism of heritability – 94
    • Summary – 97
    • Appendix – 98
  4. Environmental effects on IQ – 103
    • Introduction – 103
    • Secular changes in IQ – 104
    • Environmental correlations and environmental causes – 110
    • Social class and IQ – 113
    • Physical environment – 119
    • Demography: family size and birth order – 124
    • Parental behaviour and family environment – 127
    • Education and IQ – 131
    • Conclusions – 139
    • Summary – 141
  5. Group differences – 143
    • Introduction – 143
    • Social class – 144
    • Ethnic groups – 148
    • Sex differences – 182
    • Summary – 198
  6. Factor analysis and the structure of human abilities – 200
    • Introduction – 200
    • The factor analytic approach – 202
    • The interpretation of the general factor – 222
    • Summary – 229
  7. The search for general intelligence: simple behavioural and neurological correlates of IQ – 231
    • Introduction – 231
    • Neurological correlates of IQ – 234
    • Behavioural measures of speed of information processing – 242
    • Correlations with g or with group factors? – 252
    • Summary – 264
  8. The search for cognitive operations underlying specific components of IQ: verbal and spatial abilities – 266
    • Introduction – 266
    • Crystallized ability (Gc) – 267
    • Spatial ability (Gv) – 282
    • Summary – 296
  9. Fluid intelligence, reasoning, and problem solving – 297
    • Introduction – 297
    • Analyses of reasoning and problem solving – 299
    • Working memory – 310
    • The central executive and executive control – 317
    • The search for g concluded – 324
    • Summary – 329
  10. Theories of intelligence – 331
    • Introduction – 331
    • Ability and achievement – 333
    • General intelligence or domain-specific expertise? – 344
    • Beyond IQ? – 360
    • Social intelligence – 367
    • Summary – 370
  11. Epilogue - 373
    References – 381
    Author index – 409
    Subject index – 415


OUP, 1998, Paperback.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2021
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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