Reviewed Books & Films

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Once Again, It’s Race to the Top


Recently we published a pair of dramatically contrasting reviews of Nicolas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance:  Genes, Race, and Human History.  On the one hand, James Flynn argues that all psychologists should read the book, “particularly those who dismiss hypotheses about whether genetic differences between races or ethnic groups are correlated with trait differences” (para. 1). Although acknowledging we must await direct genetic evidence, he raises the possibility that American Blacks might be “a race whose genes give them collectively a greater inclination toward impetuosity” (para. 8).

On the other hand, Robert Sternberg writes that the book’s premise of “a biological concept of race... is not tenable” (para. 7), describes the book as “deeply flawed” scientifically (last para.), and suggests that race is a social construction rather than a biological fact. As one example, Sternberg points out that “there is more difference in genetic makeup among different black-skinned groups in Africa than there is between typically white- and black-skinned people in the United States” (para. 15).  

Where do you stand on the question of whether race is a biological reality or social construction?


Read the Reviews
ReviewWrong Problem, Wrong Solution
By Robert J. Sternberg
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2015 Vol 60(13)


ReviewGenetic Differences Between Races for Desirable Traits
By James R. Flynn
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2015 Vol 60(13)


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Editor of PsycCRITIQUES

Danny Wedding, PhD

Chair of Behavioral Sciences,
College of Medicine,
American University of Antigua

Associate Editors of PsycCRITIQUES

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