Racial differences in IQ revisited: A synthesis of nearly a century of research

Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, Christine E. Daley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a synthesis of arguments disputing the existence of racialethnic differences in mental ability, and it challenges the classicist model of "intelligence" on which hereditarian assumptions of racial disparity are based. A review of the literature reveals the following eight major premises held by supporters of this perspective: (a) intelligence is unidimensional and can be represented by a single factor, g; (b) intelligence is fixed within individuals and across generations; (c) IQ tests accurately measure this fixed ability; (d) IQ tests are equally valid across racial, ethnic, and cultural groups; (e) intelligence determines individuals' professional and social standings; (f) environment plays little role in determining an individual's intelligence; (g) the intelligence of populations is deteriorating over time; and (h) scores on IQ tests are consistent with classical statistical and measurement theory. Each premise is refuted on the basis of historical, sociological, psychological, and statistical evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-220
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of Black Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology


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