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IQ in Question: The Truth About Intelligence (Sage Communications in Society]) [Paperback]

Michael J.A Howe
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 32.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 Aug 1997 076195578X 978-0761955788
`In this remarkably economical, clear and informed book, Mike Howe... sets about unravelling the formidable semantic, logical and empirical knots into which IQ testers and their supporters have tied themselves.... Howe suggests that we have, for decades, been asking the wrong kinds of questions. He points to the number of alternative, theoretically richer, views of human intelligence that don't reduce all to a single dimension... this is rendered with an easy, readable style which assumes no previous technical knowledge' - British Journal of Educational Psychology

In this provocative and accessible book, Michael Howe exposes serious flaws in our most widely accepted beliefs about intelligence. He shows that crucial assumptions are simply wrong and have had destructive social consequences. IQ is real enough, but the common idea that a quality of intelligence is the underlying cause of people's differing abilities is based on poor science as well as faulty reasoning.

Offering a powerful case for a better understanding of human intelligence, IQ in Question contradicts erroneous and destructive claims such as: IQ tests provide a measure of inherent mental capacities; intelligence and `race' are linked; IQ measures are good predictors of a person's success; intelligence cannot be changed; there is a `gene for intelligence'; and low IQ always means restricted capabilities.


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IQ in Question: The Truth About Intelligence (Sage Communications in Society]) + Intelligence: A Brief History (Blackwell Brief Histories of Psychology)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Sage Publications UK (15 Aug 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076195578X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761955788
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 943,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

`In this remarkably economical, clear and informed book, Mike Howe... sets about unravelling the formidable semantic, logical and empirical knots into which IQ testers and their supporters have tied themselves... Howe suggests that we have, for decades, been asking the wrong kinds of questions. He points to the number of alternative, theoretically richer, views of human intelligence that don't reduce all to a single dimension... this is rendered with an easy, readable style which assumes no previous technical knowledge, and is therefore ideal for the introductory student, the teacher, members of other professions often exposed to (and taken in by) the myths of IQ, and even concerned members of the general public. I hope all will read it, for, in terms of general instructiveness and specific revelations-per-page, they will scarcely find a more rewarding work, nor one that will have wider implications for their hopes for children or people in general' - British Journal of Educational Psychology

`A rational attempt to present the case against IQ testing... There are fascinating nuggets of historical information scattered across the pages' - Business Standard

`Michael Howe has presented an accessible and thorough discussion of all aspects of IQ and intelligence. This book is an important counterweight to many prevailing myths' - Professor George Mandler, University of California, San Diego

`Michael Howe's book deserves to be a popular success. It presents the arguments against conventional IQ theory in a cogent and accessible style. This book responds to the contemporary "hard-line" IQ position with solid evidence for the malleability of human experience in the development of intelligence. Howe attacks the racist implications of the newly resurgent IQ movement with real science and sound argument' - Professor Roy Nash, Massey University, New Zealand

`This stimulating book calls into question a great deal of current orthodoxy about the nature of IQ and the way society interprets and uses the concept. It will disturb some readers and excite others. It is written in a refreshing style which will engage both lay and specialist audiences... the book will make a significant, if sometimes controversial, contribution to the debate about human talent and potential, as well as inform and challenge discussions abut education, training and remediation' - Professor Edward C Wragg, University of Exeter School of Education

`In this highly accessible review, Professor Howe leaves barely a stone unturned in his scrutiny [of IQ]... The result is an expos[ac]e of myths and falsehoods that will be widely welcomed for its thoroughness, comprehensiveness, readability and social implication. For all those learning, thinking or working in the shadow of IQ, this book provides a brighter light and a critical base with which to assess its true nature and its role in society' - Professor Ken Richardson, The Open University School of Education

About the Author

Michael J A Howe is Professor of Psychology at the University of Exeter. He has written widely about human intelligence and his publications include The Origins of Exceptional Abilities (1990) and Fragments of Genius (1989).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars worryingly partial 9 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Howe's book certainly reaches rather different conclusions to other recent authors (e.g., Brody, Cooper, Jensen, Macintosh). He rejects the reductionist notion that individual differences performance on ability tests is attributable to any internal feature of the individual (e.g., those associated with the structure and function of the nervous system).
But is Howe right? The discussion of the heritability of IQ, for example, considers ONLY the data from separated identical twins. Howe raises a number of methodological issues post-hoc, and suggests (without producing data) that these invalidate the generally-accepted finding that general ability has a substantial genetic component. The naive reader would not realise that adoption studies and family studies do not suffer from the well-known methodological objections that Howe raises - but that they (like the separated twin studies) also indicate a very substantial genetic component.
If intelligence has a substantial genetic component, does it correlate with other biological variables? Most authors conclude that it does, but Howe believes that the correlation between intelligence and biological variables (e.g., reaction time, inspection time, alpha activity) is too small to be of interest. Which other branch of psychology would choose to ignore correlations in the order of 0.4 - 0.5?
There are other concerns too: for example, the lack of discussion of a hierarchical model, and the lack of discussion of Hunter's work on the predictive power of ability tests.
In summary, not all of Howe's conclusions seem to be well supported by evidence or logic.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worryingly partial 9 Dec 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Howe's book certainly reaches rather different conclusions to other recent authors (e.g., Brody, Cooper, Jensen, Macintosh). He rejects the reductionist notion that individual differences performance on ability tests is attributable to any internal feature of the individual (e.g., those associated with the structure and function of the nervous system).
But is Howe right? The discussion of the heritability of IQ, for example, considers ONLY the data from separated identical twins. Howe raises a number of methodological issues post-hoc, and suggests (without producing data) that these invalidate the generally-accepted finding that general ability has a substantial genetic component. The naive reader would not realise that adoption studies and family studies do not suffer from the well-known methodological objections that Howe raises - but that they (like the separated twin studies) also indicate a very substantial genetic component.
If intelligence has a substantial genetic component, does it correlate with other biological variables? Most authors conclude that it does, but Howe believes that the correlation between intelligence and biological variables (e.g., reaction time, inspection time, alpha activity) is too small to be of interest. Which other branch of psychology would choose to ignore correlations in the order of 0.4 - 0.5?
There are other concerns too: for example, the lack of discussion of a hierarchical model, and the lack of discussion of Hunter's work on the predictive power of ability tests.
In summary, not all of Howe's conclusions seem to be well supported by evidence or logic.
3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provacative & insightful 30 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Professor Howe provokes thought about the assumptions we make in relation to IQ & what 'having a high IQ' really means. READ IT!!
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