Buy Used
£1.96
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Mismeasure of Man (Penguin science) Paperback – 27 Feb 1997

5 customer reviews

See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, 27 Feb 1997
£18.00 £0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"



Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Revised edition edition (27 Feb. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140258248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140258240
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 860,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Brian Flange on 10 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
Gould has entered hot and disputatious waters with this particular book, now substantially revised and expanded to keep it abreast of recent developments in the ongoing debate about how to measure and quantify intelligence. Before criticising this book (or, too often, a caricature version thereof) it's worthwhile keeping a very close eye on Gould's own mission-statement: this book is not (repeat, NOT) a politically-motivated attack on I.Q. testing per se, nor yet a plea for "anything goes" obscurantism about the scientific investigation of the mind - rather, Gould offers a sustained and notably well-informed attack on a narrowly-focused but potentially highly dangerous doctrine, namely that view of intelligence which reduces all mental fitness or excellence to a single, inheritable, directly quantifiable factor which is essentially immune from change by environment or social factors. This is Gould's target and this specificity of aim should never be forgotten when this book is reviewed or discussed. As Gould demonstrates at great length, statistical reasoning is like any other branch of enquiry, in that if it applies a correct method to flawed, partial or self-serving premisses it will go as badly awry as the most illogical thinking. Gould is emphatically not attacking statistical analysis as a tool of scientific investigation, but rather attacking the way in which highly questionable assumptions about racial or intellectual "inferiority" have been smuggled into scientific investigation as "unbiased" first principles. Far too many of Gould's critics have served up an utterly distorted caricature both of the man and his methods - presumably because engaging with a cardboard Gould is so much less time-consuming than troubling to engage with the issues themselves.Read more ›
9 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By John Engelman on 10 July 2015
Format: Hardcover
Whenever The Bell Curve is mentioned, someone is likely to claim that it has been "decisively refuted" by Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man. The Bell Curve, by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, makes three assertions. First, intelligence is the single most important factor in determining academic success and prosperity, and it is highly important in determining other beneficial outcomes in life. Second, intelligence is primarily determined by genes. Third, the average intelligence of some races is higher than it is for other races, for reasons that are again genetic.

These assertions infuriate many liberals. Nevertheless, few conservatives embrace them. This may be because they imply that there is little moral significance to the distribution of wealth and income. Charles Murray has acknowledged, "science is demonstrating that no one deserves his IQ." The Bell Curve suggests that the rich are not better people than the rest of us. They are more fortunate in a way the rest of us would rather not think about. Moreover, their achievements are out of reach for most of us.

Rich conservatives want us to believe that we can achieve what they have achieved if only we apply ourselves. They fear that if we don't believe that, we may believe that raising their taxes is a good idea.

Therefore, The Mismeasure of Man has received a positive reception. Unfortunately, Professor Gould's arguments are so erroneous as to indicate deliberate deception.

In much of the book he describes and refutes nineteenth century explanations of racial differences in intelligence and behavior. Think about that for a moment. During the nineteenth century everyone knew that the sun provided the earth with warmth and light.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By DR NEIL C SCOTT on 18 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent review of the darker side of Intelligence Testing. I can't agree with all of his conclusions and the usefulness of such tests are well documented, as are the dangers of using them. But this is extremely engaging and readable and a must read for anyone seriously involved in the development or propogation of psychometrics as it raises serious issues that mustn't be ignored.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
This book adheres to the best traditions of popular science writing in that it lays out a great deal of research and technical detail in an accessible way, leaving the more abstruse elements to the footnotes. He covers the whole history of intelligence testing from the early measurements of skull capacity to the present day. Throughout, he is at pains to show that the conclusions reached by scientists and researchers were often driven by their own social and political convictions, rather than logical interpretation of objective data. He demonstrates how bias was introduced to the results by the selection of data or by the statistical techniques used, and illustrates how the same data can be re-analysed to reach an entirely different conclusion. In particular, he makes an excellent job of explaining the essential, but theoretically daunting, topic of factor analysis which no other popular writer on IQ testing dared to tackle. Ultimately, although I would recommend this book, I lost patience towards the end as he pushed continuously the point that IQ is neither a single entity, entirely innate, nor unchanging. I was convinced by half way through, and this "preaching to the choir" quality spoiled the second half.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback