Quotations about


In 1967, Britain's witty clinical psychologist, Donald Bannister (an enthusiast for George Kelly's quasi-phenomenological Personal Construct Theory), suggested that psychology was in fact a branch of politics. This was a prescient suggestion, and one that was being articulated for psychiatry by 'anti-psychiatrists' Ronnie Laing and Thomas Szasz.
At the time, there was admittedly almost audible resistance to Bannister's proposal. Scientific psychologists in those days were still prepared to assert the objective nature of their researches and ambitions; and to maintain that any notable coincidence between their conclusions (if any) and their socio-political outlooks reflected chiefly the influence of the former on the latter. However, those were the days of innocence-preceding the victimization in the 1970's of Arthur Jensen and Hans Eysenck for their alleged racism, elitism and eugenicism (or at least for unwelcome pessimism about psychotherapy and Head Start programmes). As the academic martyrdom of Jensen and Eysenck proceeded, many 'experimental psychologists' (as they were then called) learned to keep their heads down, to seek their funding from medical and computer-science sources, and to draw a veil over their personal recognition of the importance of intellectual difference as a prime causal variable in human affairs. Soon 'cognitive' psychologists would come to accept 'discourse analysis' as a legitimate pastime for psychology students-not a high price to pay once truthful realism about the human condition had been abandoned.
In fact, psychologists have often had agendas that were pretty plainly influenced by ideological considerations. Like most Victorian intellectuals (including Marx and Engels), Francis Galton had decidedly politically incorrect views about women, Jews and Negroes. Though he sought equality of opportunity for the sexes in education, he easily came to believe that his observations (in his South Kensington laboratory) had demonstrated the intellectual inferiority of women. The Frankfurt School and their many 'critical theory' descendants among social psychologists were concerned to explain what they took to be the surprising decision against Communism by German voters in the early 1930's-a decision that they first held to require a 'depth' psychodynamic account involving undue deference to authority, and which they later found to require analysis in terms of 'social' (no longer individual) psychopathology. The foremost behaviourist, B.F.Skinner, was an early 'Green': he liked the idea of psychologists exercising authority in a brave new world that would turn people off nuclear weapons, cigarettes, gas-guzzling and salted peanuts. The main difference in the past was that psychologists once felt the need to prove their points empirically: e.g. to prove, using adequate methodologies, that lack of mother love was bad for personality, that being brought up without professional psychological help was bad for mental health, that nurseries made children more sociable, that comprehensive schools made children happier, less snobbish and more sensible about the opposite sex, and that unemployment had nothing to do with having a low IQ.
Today, by contrast, many professional psychologists would freely acknowledge the dominating influence of political attitudes in deciding what kind of psychological work is done. The idea that twin- and adoption-studies can resolve disputes about human nature (and its modifiability) is rarely encountered outside differential psychology and the world of medicine. Political beliefs are readily agreed by correspondents of the British Psychological Society (itself an agent of 'non-sexist language' and of the form of racial discrimination known as 'affirmative action') to decide the outlooks of humanistic and 'radical' psychologists and, less properly, of their opponents. Moreover, broadly political influences decide what psychological research achieves public funding. After the worlds of education and social science in Britain were abandoned by most politicians as unreformably egalitarian, no personological research was funded into sex differences in logical reasoning, into Britain's relatively low rate of post-War IQ-type gain, into the influence of intelligence on intergenerational social mobility, or even into the notorious failure of the British educational system to turn children out with marketable job skills at their own ability levels. The influence on British psychology of the egalitarian socio-political nostrums today's Establishment (in city bureaucracies as much as in Whitehall) is now stronger than that of elected politicians.
As the quotes disclose, the profession of psychology has come to see itself as a branch of welfare endeavour that must necessarily side with the 'under-privileged' (despite 'social class of origin', at least, having had a rather slight connection with human outcomes in empirical researches over the past decade {see Quotes XXIII}). Such continuing dedication to traditional welfarism may seem a surprise: for the wider political community of the West has tried a little in recent years to limit crudely corporatist, social-engineering, egalitarian and utopian fancifulness. Yet such constraining efforts of 'libertarians' often seem-in sociologist Robert Nisbet's phrase-those of 'chipmunks scurrying to bring down a giant redwood'. Certainly, such efforts have barely affected today's psychological establishment in Britain, or the minimally reconstructed expansionist aspirations for social science that are predominant in Britain's constantly expanding universities. (The Anglo-American impetus is to fund and to teach psychology degrees by rote learning if necessary, even though few of the recipients will find their 'qualifications' of distinctive use in any conceivable job-market.)
The selected quotations document these various 'achievements of the resistance' / 'failures of development' (according to taste) amongst Britain's tenured psychologists and allied co-workers. After a glance at ancient history, the Quotes indicate the dissatisfactions of British professional psychologists with 'society' and with the lack of revolutionary zeal that they remark in what remains of their discipline. The Quotes then show something of the socio-political opinionation of 'IQ' psychologists' who-once behaviourism was abandoned by its former champions (now 'cognitive psychologists')-found themselves under attack for their unconventional 'scientism', positivism and lack of common-or-garden idealism. Lastly, the Quotes illustrate the widest (and wildest) hopes and fears of today's psychologists for the future.

For more coverage of how politics impinge on psychology,
especially in relation to the study of intelligence, see:
BRAND, C.R. (1996) The g Factor.
Chichester : Wiley DePublisher.
The book was first issued, in February, but then withdrawn, in April, by the 'publisher' because it was deemed to have infringed modern canons of
'political correctness.'
It received a perfectly favourable review in Nature (May 2, 1996, p. 33).

For a Summary of the book, Newsletters concerning the
de-publication affair, details of how to see the book for scholarly purposes, and others' comments and reviews,
see the Internet URL sites:

For Chris Brand's 'Get Real About Race!'-his popular exposition of his views on race and education in the Black
hip-hop music magazine 'downlow' (Autumn, 1996)-see:



(i) Ancient history. 5

(ii) Anxieties about society. 7

(iii) Anxieties about other psychologists and researchers, their politics, and their failure to adopt an entirely enlightened relativism. 9
{For more detailed discussion of whether people can properly be said to differ in 'intelligence', see Quotes VIII - XI. For further consideration of 'racism' in psychology, see Quotes XXIV.}

(iv) Reflections of IQ-psychologists and sympathisers. 15

(v) Brave New World? 21


(i) Ancient history
{See also Quotes XX.}

"The man of science, whatever his hopes may be, must lay them aside while he studies nature; and the philosopher, if he is to achieve truth, must do the same. Ethical considerations can only legitimately appear when the truth has been ascertained; they can and should appear as determining our feeling towards the truth, and our manner of ordering our lives in view of the truth, but not as themselves dictating what the truth is to be."
Bertrand RUSSELL, 1914, Mysticism and Logic.

"In John Dewey's view, the modern development of scientific method had made it possible for man to face his problems and solve them through the use of organized intelligence. This meant that the scientific, hypothetical, experimental method should replace all forms of absolutism, authoritarianism and dogmatism. ....In his social philosophy, Dewey was a democratic liberal who rejected all a priori solutions whether of the right, left or middle. He advocated the experimental approach to politics, rather than suggesting some blueprint for the future. In Liberalism and Social Action (1935) and Freedom and Culture (1939), he stated his position in terms of immediate problems, and in the latter book severely criticized Marxist dogmatism and abdication of science."
Thesaurus of Book Digests. New York : Avenel Books, 1977.

"....in October, 1929, [Martin Heidegger, the philosophical forerunner of existentialism and constructivism.] warned an official in the German Ministry of Education against Verjudung (growing Judaisation) as a threat to 'our German spiritual life'.... ....Heidegger was to Sartre what Hegel was to Marx."
D.CAUTE, 1995, The Spectator, 21 x. (Reviewing Elzbieta Ettinger, Hannah Arendt / Martin Heidegger, Yale U. Press.

"Floyd Allport [the founder, around 1930, of experimental social psychology] had been trained at Harvard by Hugo Munsterberg, and although his social philosophy was not identical with Munsterberg's, he shared some of the same views. Both were social harmonists, seeing society as a system evolving toward balance, order and efficiency, but needing intervention in order to develop. Both saw themselves as departing radically from traditional American values of individual autonomy and self-reliance. ....Allport [saw] society as a patterned totality, and one which gave rise to oppression and suffering.... Allport [followed] the sociologists of the day in recommending that government should be socialized."
Carol SHERRARD, 1989, addressing the 3rd Annual Conference
of the History & Philosophy of Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society.

"Social and political psychology will become a psychology of social order and social control."
Gardner MURPHY, 1942, Human Nature and Enduring Peace.

"[The mission of community psychology is to] place the psychologist in the position of social interventionist, whose primary task is to intervene at the social system level to modify human behavior."
R.REIFF, 1967, Presidential address to the APA Division of Community Psychology. Quoted by Ellen Herman, 1995, The Romance of American Psychology. Berkeley, CA : University of California Press.

"...legally required preferences on the basis of race or sex are inconsistent with the principle of equality of persons before the law and therefore with the maintenance of a democratic society. It is not surprising that such preferences should find their origin to an important extent....in the work of an ardent anti-democrat, the Swedish lawyer-economist Gunnar Myrdal. Myrdal, a founder of the Swedish welfare state, favored government by a "party of intelligence" which, though it "despises the democratic principle," would for practical reasons work within a democratic framework....[Myrdal's (1944) American Dilemma] denigrated America's "extreme democracy" as an impediment to overcoming what he saw as the country's pervasive racism. ....Judge Felix Frankfurter, a former Harvard law professor, considered Myrdal's book "indispensable" and manipulated the judicial process to implement the social engineering it proposed. {The 1964 Civil Rights Act banned all racial discrimination; but soon social engineers soon converted} the Act's prohibition of racial discrimination in school assignment into a requirement of racial discrimination in order to achieve "racial balance" in the schools {and elsewhere}."
L.E.GRAGLIA, 1996, National Review, 25 iii.

"[Richard] Lewontin's 1984 book, Not in our Genes, co-authored with [Leon] Kamin and Britain's arch-antihereditarian Stephen Rose, was an outright attempt to deny the importance of heredity. A self-described Marxist, Lewontin was a prime force behind Science for the People [a US Marxist-leaning organization aimed at destroying the field of behavioral genetics].... Stephen J. Gould-who according to Skeptic has denied being a Marxist but says that "he learned Marxism on his father's knee"-similarly advances the cause of biological egalitarianism...."
Roger PEARSON, 1996, Humanity and Heredity.
Washington : Scott-Townsend.

(ii) Anxieties about society

"[Psychologists'] labelling of prejudice as a psychopathology deflected us....from acknowledging the all-pervading ideological, cultural, and economic character of Western prejudice."
Halla BELOFF, 1977, British Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology.

"We are becoming increasingly aware that we find ourselves in a community which no longer seems to share to the same extent as in the recent past the aspirations of most psychologists."
Professor D.E.BLACKMAN (President of the British Psychological
Society, 1981/2), 1982, {after three years of Thatcherism},
Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 35.

"Hill's basic thesis is that conceptualizations and treatment of those considered 'mad' have depended upon the cultural Zeitgeist of the time. Consequently an examination of the predominant political, philosophical and religious ideas [of a society] will provide us with a better understanding of our reactions to madness. As he lays particular emphasis upon those ideas held by the ruling factions of the time, his analysis is carried out within a Marxist framework."
R.MARSHALL, 1985, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 38.
(Reviewing D.Hill, The Politics of Schizophrenia: Psychiatric
Oppression in the United States

"I believe that industrialised societies (including governments) are, in general, extremely ignorant and hence short-sighted about the effects of industrialization upon the environment. Can this ignorance be reduced? Can attitudes be changed? In short, can there be a psychology of the environment? I think the answer is yes. Does the British Psychological Society have any suggestions about how such a psychology might be developed?"
B.C.HEALE, 1986, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 39.

"....it is still the case that many individual lesbians and gays experience acute difficulties in 'coming out'. In general, British public opinion on controversial issues, such as abortion, capital punishment and homosexuality tends to be authoritarian rather than liberal (NOP, 1975). Many people may well be tolerant towards lesbians and gays, but adverse towards them being open about their sexuality (see Hays, 1970, discussed in Feldman, 1984), and particularly opposed to the employment of homosexuals in sensitive areas such as teaching, child care and social work. Such social attitudes and the personal problems they create may serve as a strong disincentive to many
psychologists interested in pursuing lesbian and gay research from actually doing so." P.J.FURNELL, 1986, 'Lesbian and gay psychology: a neglected area of British research'. Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 39.

"The militarists, politicians and industrialists who have a vested interest in nuclear weapons are macho, competitive and power-mad in the age-old tradition of men."
Dorothy ROWE, 1986, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 39.

"Violence against women, the harassment of black communities, deaths in custody and the implications for Britain of changes in Northern Ireland's criminal justice system are just some of the issues covered by [P.Scraton's (Law, Order and the Authoritarian State)] introduction to current theoretical debates in critical criminology. The analysis is grounded in detailed discussions of particular cases within the broader context of the "authoritarian state" under successive Thatcher administrations."
Publisher's announcement, 1987.
Milton Keynes : Open University Press.

"Because of the racism in our society....[our sample of young people of mixed race] did have more problems with their racial identity than either the black or the white groups."
Barbara TIZARD, 1992, The Psychologist 5, ii.

(iii) Anxieties about other psychologists and researchers, their politics, and their failure to adopt an entirely enlightened relativism.

"We are evidently impervious to all those many critics of psychology who object to all our irresponsible methodologies, to our philosophical ignorance in recognizing that data are theory-laden, and to our frequent and unrecognized prostitution of our discipline to the often dubious purposes of power elites or the capitalist system."
I.VINE, 1977, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society.

"Hard-headed applied science has been concerned with ego-strengthening and social control. Its theory pre-empts any analysis of the socio-political and existential dimensions of man's experience."
D.PILGRIM, 1977, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society.

"Chauvinism and xenophobia are systematized in sociobiology."
"All science is ideological."
Stephen ROSE, 1979.

"....psychologists are a reactionary force. They help to maintain the status quo; a status quo that is producing the very problems that psychologists set themselves up to help."
Susan MICHIE, 1981, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society.

"Given the continuing prominence of the biomedical model of illness and its abhorrence to most psychologists, one must query the effectiveness of our proselytising."
J.SMITH, 1982, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 36.

"[Michel] Foucault [e.g. 1984, Power/knowledge] understands psychology as one of the sciences of the social which is implicated in the production of modern forms of government. In this analysis, psychology's claims to truth are not guaranteed by a timeless epistemology, but have to be understood in terms of the historical circumstances in which the knowledge was generated. Foucault's thesis locates the sciences of the social as emerging at a distinct historical period in Western Europe when new forms of government were needed to manage the growing populations of towns and cities, an industrialized workforce and a move away from the country. He seeks to demonstrate that such sciences have to be understood in terms of the necessity to produce new techniques for the managing of the subject, the mind, or, as Nickels Rose (1990) puts it, the soul. There is no sure and disinterested march of science in this analysis, but nothing less than the production of the individual as a specific form of the subject."
Valerie WALKERDINE, 1993, Theory & Psychology 3.

"What we've lost is the notion that social (or, more to the point, political) context is everything. Holloway [author of Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity] points out, for example, that psychologists' willingness to design better selection tests for 'industry' looks happily neutral (or even progressive, in modern job-design terms) only because our blinkers hide the fact that it's not 'industry' that briefs us at all: it's that fraction of it that society allows to call the tune. A truly wider psychology of industry would question what 'work' is, or should be, not slavishly keep its present incarnation going."
C.ANTAKI, 1985, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society.

"Never does the political hereditarian consider the implications of even his own principles for social reforms that might benefit the potentially less able and the potentially less stable. Yet it could be equally well argued that such individuals require and deserve the special attention of society, aimed at offsetting the disadvantages of their allegedly poor genetic endowment: after all, following the hereditarian's line of reasoning, the genetically bright and aggressive should already be well equipped to take care of themselves!"
Gordon CLARIDGE, 1985, Origins of Mental Illness.
Oxford : Blackwell.

"....whilst the psychological causes of a phenomenon may be well understood, they are rarely the only factors at work. Thus we need not only to understand and attempt to remedy the psychological causes of, say, racial strife. In order to create a situation in which greater harmony can be achieved there is little point in focusing on the psychological dynamics of prejudice and discrimination unless the social conditions in which they arise and flourish are also changed. And these changes may involve legislation, changes in the school system and content of education, recruitment practices and so on. The question therefore arises as to how socially concerned psychologists, interested in the implementation of psychological research, would interpret their professional role."
Hedy BROWN, 1986, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 39.

"A feature of the colonial attitude is the tendency to see all things Western as superior to, and necessarily better than anything comparable from the developing world. This outlook necessarily means there is a blind spot to problems and inefficiencies existing in the developed world. Thus, at a time when Western psychology is being criticised for its ideological bias and lack of attention to issues such as unemployment, racial prejudice and inter-group conflict (see Billig, 1976, 1978, 1982; Sampson, 1981), Connolly suggests that Western psychologists 'grow psychology for the Third World'. ....a colonial attitude has crept in, so that Connolly believes that developed world psychologists can achieve in Third World societies what critics would claim they have failed to achieve in their own developed-world societies: that is, evolve an applied 'problem-centred' psychology which can help overcome problems related to unemployment, prejudice, violence, and issues facing racial and political minorities generally."
Fathali MOGHADDAM & Donald M. TAYLOR, 1986, Bulletin of the
British Psychological Society 39

"For Hegel, [the] overarching spirit of community was fundamental to the human condition; the individual was a secondary derivative. As Hegel argues, 'The individual is an individual in this substance (which characterizes a community).... No individual can step beyond [it]!' ....Many contend that explanations of human activities in terms of individual selves - motives, mechanisms, drives, structures, and the like - help to sustain institutions in which competition, alienation, and isolation are central features. Worse still, as the individual centred metaphor enters into our consideration of political affairs, we are led to differentiate ourselves from other selves, to cast the world in terms of us versus them."
Kenneth J. GERGEN, 1987, in K.Yardley & T.Honess, Self and
Identity: Psychosocial Perspectives
. Chichester : Wiley DePublisher.

"Ray Fancher [The Intelligence Men].... raises the fascinating possibility that economic forces might have helped to shape and direct the work of such worthies as Terman and Wechsler, thus adding to the usual list of psychological and political influences on psychometrics."
Sandy LOVIE, 1987, British Journal of Mathematical and
Statistical Psychology 39

"The psychology-society relationship is a complex one: in different times and places, psychologists have been slaves, agents, critics, subverters, even outcasts of their host societies. And however purely "scientific" their actual research work, psychologists are always and inevitably one or other of these, which in turn affects the psychology they produce."
Graham RICHARDS, 1988, Times Higher Educational Supplement, 1
vii. Reviewing M.G.Ash & W.R.Woodward, Psychology in Twentieth-
Century Thought and Society

"The distinctive feature of psychology as a science is that it generates theories about people themselves; and these theories are based on presuppositions which arise from the ordinary experience of people. Since we experience people only in a particular social and political reality - i.e. as people already organized, in the whole social production process, in a particular way - major presuppositions about human nature (e.g. about human abilities, class and sex differences, child development and so on) naturally arise as direct reflections which tend to explain and legitimise that organization, and make it seem rational, just and inevitable."
Ken RICHARDSON, 1988, Understanding Psychology.
Milton Keynes : Open University Press.

"[I argue for] the use of psychological theories not as mirrors of reality but as forms of cultural intelligibility. As sense-making devices, such theories serve to sustain or alter patterns of human conduct. Thus, the chief evaluation to be made of such theories is not whether they are true or false, but what forms of cultural life do they support or disturb. ....theories may be valorized {sic} as they offer fresh alternatives to the existing order."
Kenneth J. GERGEN (Swarthmore College), 1988, addressing the
24th International Congress of Psychology (I 24).

"It is becoming increasingly evident that social/personality psychology frequently finds itself complicit in reinforcing the dominant order by, inter alia, reifying concepts [like that of the 'self' as autonomous and individually responsible] that emerged only as a matter of historical contingency [around
the time of the emergence of the free market economy]." B.R.SLUGOSKI & G.P.GINSBURG, 1989, in J.Shotter & K.J.Gergen, Texts of Identity. London : Sage.

"Critical Theory, originating in the Frankfurt School tradition, has located the current North American conception [of personhood, as individualistic rather than relational,] in the heartland of advanced capitalist ideology. These theorists not only question the inevitability of the North American ideal, but also force us to consider the possibility that psychology's subject is a character designed primarily to serve ideological purposes; and that psychology, in studying that character and presenting so-called 'facts' about its qualities, helps contribute primarily to societal reproduction rather than truly to human betterment."
E.E.SAMPSON, 1989, in J.Shotter & K.J.Gergen
Texts of Identity. London : Sage.

"....Critical Theory, developed originally at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt....investigates how cultural ideologies mediate the production of the person, thereby reproducing [themselves]. For example, E.Sampson (1989, in J.Shotter & K.Gergen, Texts of Identity) suggests that the Western conceptions of the self are founded on ideologies of individuality, autonomy and freedom - concepts stressing the ability of self-determinacy. He argues that such notions of self-determinacy create a propensity to seek the cause of problems within the individual rather than within society. In this way the onus is placed on the individual to change, rather than the social structure."
Anna L. MADILL, 1990, 'An historical study of the construction of
the self in literature'. Final Honours Thesis : Edinburgh University
Department of Psychology.

"Foucault's books of the 1970's looked at the social context of various professionalized practices, such as incarceration [and] clinical treatment, as forms of 'surveillance' in which professionalized knowledge was inextricably bound up with relations of power, however benignly the power might be manifested. Without appealing to conspiratorial explanation, Foucault nonetheless emphasized the repressive role of systems which ostensibly served liberal, rational and democratic ends. To some extent, Foucault's analyses supported and extended a broadly Marxist analysis by which any state-sponsored practice under capitalism is inevitably repressive."
John R. MORSS, 1992, 'Making waves: deconstruction and
developmental psychology', Theory and Psychology 2.

"There are a variety of ways of doing psychology differently, of avoiding orthodox psychology's asocial subject, and of resisting the alienation of researched from researcher.... One is to avoid the individual as the focus of analysis, emphasizing instead the cultural practices and discourses that have made us what we are.... Parker (1992, Discourse Dynamics) argues that because of the subversive and scientifically unacceptable nature of psychoanalysis, the advantage of this approach is that it may serve to protect discourse analysis from its potential assimilation by scientistic psychology. On the other hand, disadvantages of this approach include an implicit recourse to individualism and unavoidable unequal relations of power between researcher and researched.... If the aim is to produce knowledge which helps subordinated groups, then surely the first criterion should be that the knowledge is accessible."
Sue WIDDICOMBE, 1992, Theory and Psychology 2.

"As I.Parker (1990, The Crisis in Modern Psychology) has argued....even recent theory in psychology, e.g. the work of Shotter and Harré as well as....Russian group research, can be seen as supporting a particular political agenda."
T.I.GRACIA, 1993, Theory & Psychology 3.

"The Pioneer Fund [established in 1937 to encourage higher reproduction by US whites and to research 'race betterment'] disburses around a million dollars a year. In the second half of the 1980's, its main beneficiary was Thomas Bouchard's twin study project, which was given more than $500,000. .... between 1971 and 1992, Arthur Jensen received more than one million dollars. ....Richard Lynn benefited to the tune of $325,000...."
Marek KOHN, 1995, The Race Gallery: the Return of Racial Science. London : Jonathan Cape.


"Today, given the extent to which all of the social sciences have become monopolized by political values and aspirations, it would be much more correct if they were called the political sciences."
R.NISBET, 1982, Prejudices: a Philosophical Dictionary.
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press

"J.Bruner (1986, Actual Minds, Possible Worlds) may be correct in principle - that different 'cultures' might conceivably 'construct their own realities'; but he is largely wrong in practice. Cross-cultural agreement concerning criminal codes, sexual practices, metaphysical problems and the value of intelligence is far more conspicuous than cultural difference - 'constructed', accidental or otherwise. If we are to believe Bruner, our natural human constructiveness should have generated - around the world - at least a few sophisticated languages and social systems that defy inter-translation and mutual comprehension. In fact, there is no such phenomenon. Perhaps we may one day cease to be able to understand societies that have meat queues, internal passports, restrictions on visiting one's own capital city, conscription, corruption, labour camps, abortion instead of contraception, curfews, widespread alcoholism, censorship, 17% of Gross National Product admitted as spent on the military, virtually no women in high office, and barbed wire to restrain their citizens from leaving; but at present we manage all right. Developmental-psychological relativism is simply bunk."
C.R.BRAND, 1987, Behaviour Research and Therapy 25.

"....most of the influential work in the social sciences is ideological, and most of our criticisms of each other are ideologically grounded. Non-social-scientists generally recognize the fact that the social sciences are mostly ideological, and that they have produced in this century a very small amount of scientific knowledge compared to the great bulk of their publications. Our claim to being scientific is one of the main intellectual scandals of the academic world, though most of us live comfortably with our shame."
C.LESLIE, 1990, Social Science and Medicine 31.

"Hogan & Schroeder (1981, Psychology Today 15) concluded that the Reagan administration perceived psychology as "left-wing political rhetoric with no legitimate claim to the public pocket". This, they concluded, was due to the fact that psychology is pervaded by deep-seated liberal behavioural/situationalist attitudes."
K.J.TIERNEY, 1990, Irish Journal of Psychology 11.

"As [Edward Said] remarked [in his BBC Reith Lectures], the intellectual's obligation is to be the spokesman for the poor-the intellectual as Robin Hood, as he put it (thus revealing his own conformity with, not dissent from, the consensus of the social-affairs intelligentsia....)....No-one but the permanent critic of society can be a genuine social-affairs intellectual....[After 1968, following the anti-positivism of Marcuse, Horkheimer and Adorno,] the application of scientific method to the study of human affairs was not the route to the solution of social problems; on the contrary, the problems of society were due to 'the present triumph of the factual mentality.' 'Facticity' was one of the 'tyrannies' that had to be broken. Only the intellectual who sides with the deprived (the work itself begs the fundamental question), on their terms (judgementalism is banned), can be correct on the facts and sound in his morality; therefore adherence to the cause of the politically-correct advocacy group is crucial, not loyalty to scientific procedures. No superficially plausible facts that undermine the case of the deprived, as they define their own case, can be ultimately true."
Norman DENNIS, 1993, Rising Crime and the Dismembered Family. London : Institute of Economic Affairs.

"[The attacks on The Bell Curve] have revealed the extent to which the social science that deals in public policy has in the latter part of the 20th century become self-censored and riddled with taboos-in a word, corrupt."
Charles MURRAY, 1995, Commentary 99.

(iv) Reflections of IQ-psychologists and sympathizers.

"The best form of civilization in respect to the improvement of the race, would be one in which society was not costly; where incomes were chiefly derived from professional sources, and not much through inheritance; where every lad had a chance of showing his abilities and, if highly gifted, was enabled to achieve first class education and entrance into professional life, by the liberal help of the exhibitions and scholarships which he had gained in his early youth; where marriages were held in as high honour as in ancient times; where the pride of race was encouraged (of course I do not refer to the nonsensical sentiment of the present day that goes under that name); where the weak could find a refuge in celibate monasteries and sisterhoods, and lastly where the better sort of emigrants and refugees from other lands were invited and welcomed, and their descendants naturalized."
GALTON, 1869, Hereditary Genius.

"Of Mohammedanism and Christianity - we do not speak here or elsewhere as to their essential doctrines, but as they are practically conveyed by example and precept to the negro - the former has the advantage in simplicity. It exacts a decorous and cleanly ritual that pervades the daily life, frequent prayers, ablutions and abstinence, reverence towards an awful name, and pilgrimage to a holy shrine, while the combative instincts of the negro's nature are allowed free play in warring against the paganism and idolatry he has learned to loathe and hate. The whole of this code is easily intelligible, and is obviously self-consistent. It is not so with Christianity, as practised by white men and taught by example and precept to the negro. The most prominent of its aggressions against his every-day customs are those against polygamy and slavery. The negro, on referring to the sacred book of the European, to which appeal is made for the truth of all doctrines, finds no edict against either the one or the other, but he reads that the wisest of men had a larger harem than any modern African potentate, and that slave-holding was the established custom in the ancient world. The next most prominent of its doctrines are social equality, submission to injury, disregard of wealth, and the propriety of taking no thought of tomorrow. He, however, finds the practice of the white race, from whom his instructions come, to be exceedingly different from this. He discovers very soon that they absolutely refuse to consider him as their equal; that they are by no means tame under insult, but the very reverse of it; that the chief aim of their lives is to acquire wealth; and that one of the most despised characteristics among them is that of heedlessness and want of thrift. Far be it from us to say that the modern practice in these matters may not be justified, but that it appears to require more subtlety of reasoning than the negro can comprehend, or, perhaps, even than the missionary can command, to show their conformity with Bible teaching."
Francis GALTON, 1878, Edinburgh Review, i.

"Galton saw around him an increasing scepticism of dogmatic religion, and he believed that a re-statement of religious principles was needed. But he doubted whether human beings had yet acquired the intelligence and moral balance necessary to tolerate change. If traditional beliefs were swept away before men were mature enough to accept better alternatives, there would be a period of feverish and unsuccessful experiments, socialist experiments among them, which would end in failure."
C.P.BLACKER, 1952, Eugenics: Galton and After.
London : Duckworth.

"Dr Halsey [the Oxford sociologist] (1967) has recently depicted Galton as the "champion of the privileged classes", and traces [Galton's] views and those of his followers to certain "ideological forces, expressed intellectually as hereditarianism and politically as conservatism". ....In politics, however, Galton was a liberal, not a conservative; and no-one who has read his scathing comments on members of the so-called 'privileged classes' could possibly regard him as their champion. His conclusions were based, not on any 'philosophical considerations', but on the sedulous collection of facts and on objective statistical analysis."
Cyril BURT, c. 1970, in C.James, Modern Concepts of
. Issued by the Association of Educational
Psychologists. 94, Chatsworth Road, Croydon : R.S.Reid.

"[The IQ-test pioneer, Lewis Terman's] combination of [a] hereditarian point of view with generally liberal, reforming political attitudes seems odd today, and some have suggested that he mellowed on this point in his later years. Such arguments are ahistorical as well as counterfactual. For many Americans, it was perfectly logical in the era between the 1920's and the 1950's, to be liberal reformers and to believe that heredity prevailed over environment. Indeed, Terman, Goddard and Yerkes {also mental test pioneers} all supported reform candidates in both the Republican and Democratic parties; yet all three believed in the power of nature over nurture, and so did millions of Americans, whether or not they were scientists, as the tragic history of White - Non-White race relations in that era amply suggests."
Hamilton CRAVENS, 1992, American Psychologist 47.

"Possibly the most influential of the early psychologists who were active in the eugenics movement was William McDougall. Born in England {Lancashire}, and educated at the universities of Cambridge and Göttingen, McDougall taught at Oxford University before eventually emigrating to the US to take up a position at Harvard. With his experience of anthropological work in Borneo, McDougall was a fellow of the prestigious Royal Society in Britain and the author of numerous major textbooks which earned him pre-eminence in the field of social psychology. McDougall's respect for heredity showed itself in a series of books, beginning with An Introduction to Social Psychology (1908)....Because of the significant degree of racial diversity within the living peoples of the world, he prophesied that "racial psychology" would one day become a recognized field of study. As a believer in the quality of the North European stock relative to diverse other populations in the contemporary world, McDougall also took an interest in the composition and quality of the future population of America: his book Is America Safe for Democracy? (1921) stressed the influence of genetic qualities on the destinies of nations, and the need to take race into consideration when attempting to understand history or plan national policy on immigration.... ....Notable sociologists [supported] eugenics. Franklin H. Giddings, author of several major works in early American sociology, professor of sociology at Bryn Mawr College, later chairman of the sociology department at Columbia University and president of the American Sociological Society, was a strong supporter of the eugenics movement who helped to organize some of the first international conferences on eugenics and population."
Roger PEARSON, 1996, Humanity and Heredity.
Washington : Scott-Townsend.

"The world crisis, with its clash of cultures and ideologies, has created for us psychologists unique opportunity for promotive endeavor. What may be achieved through wisely-planned and well-directed professional will be limited only by our knowledge, faith, disinterestedness, and prophetic foresight. It is for us, primarily, to prepare the way for scientific advances and the development of welfare services which from birth to death shall guide and minister to the development and social usefulness of the individual."
R.YERKES, 1943, to the APA's Intersociety Constitutional Convention. Quoted by Ellen Herman, 1995, The Romance of American Psychology. Berkeley, CA : University of California Press.

"The hostile reaction of acquaintances among left-wing intellectuals [in the 1930's] (including Hogben and Laski) to my mention of a positive correlation (of +.25) between the innate component of intelligence and social status was the beginning of the end of my youthful illusion that intellectuals had a special monopoly on penetrating and unprejudiced intelligence."
R.B.CATTELL, 1974, in G.Lindzey, A History of Psychology in
Autobiography, Vol. VI
. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice Hall.

"It is interesting to speculate on the course that history would have taken if early socialists had been truer to their scientific pretensions and had recognised the importance of well trained brains to the planned society we sought in twenties and thirties."
Victor SEREBRIAKOFF (President of UK Mensa), 1984.

"[In adolescence, inspired by] my hero worship of Mahatma Gandhi, .....I even went so far as to become a vegetarian for a time, to my parents' consternation, and to write a book-length biography of Ghandi. ....My fascination with the great life and character of Ghandi has continued to this day.... ....From about 1960 to about 1975, educational research in the United States was dominated by a political philosophy fishing for theories and projects that were consistent with the ideological Zeitgeist, and the theories for the most part turned out to be wrong. Policy in public education is at the mercy of politics, and anyone who believes that basic educational research influences politics believes that a sailboat produces the wind." A.R.JENSEN, 1987, in S. & Celia Modgil, Arthur Jensen: Consensus
and Controversy
. Brighton : Falmer.

"Although we may all have been becoming more intelligent over generations, the enormous variation that is preserved among us today should insistently remind us that previous generations have found a role (and, indeed, a procreative role) for people of all levels of IQ. If natural laws have any merit, achieving the integration of genuinely different people into a true community should thus be the goal of all but the most iconoclastic. It is short-sighted politicking to envisage either a diminution of human differences or a scaling down of the kinds of social arrangements that can genuinely care for and find a place for them all. ....If Arthur Jensen has sometimes seemed to Western psychologists to protest too much about IQ, it must be said that he has asserted truths which, especially when they are properly understood, can make men genuinely communal and enduringly free."
C.R.BRAND, 1987, 'The importance of general intelligence'.
In S. & Celia Modgil, Arthur Jensen: Consensus and Controversy.
Brighton : Falmer.

"Scholars who have elaborated the genetic case for a wide audience - the most famous is Arthur Jensen - have not only been characterized as extremists but smeared as racists. ....Meanwhile, Leon Kamin of Princeton keeps being cited [in the American media] as a respected authority figure. Kamin, it happens, really is an extremist. A Marxist who views the IQ as an instrument of class oppression, he is almost alone among academics {e.g. among 661 American professional psychologists claiming IQ-related expertise, and surveyed by Seligman} in arguing that environmental differences may well explain all IQ variation."
Daniel SELIGMAN, 1989, Commentary, iii.

"....the three people who took the initiative in publicizing the case against Burt {i.e. Kamin, Gillie and Tizard) were all on the left politically."
R.B.JOYNSON, 1989, The Burt Affair. London : Routledge.

"....if one tries to organise the world intellectual community to declare, by the vote of an intimidated majority, that certain testable scientific hypotheses are "incorrect" and, what is more, evil and dangerous, then one is well on the way to harnessing aggressive instincts in the service of the inquisition, the pogrom, the witch hunt, the book-burning, the stamping out of heresy, and, finally, the jihad, the crusade and "the war to end all wars"."
Robin FOX, 1989, 'Anthropology's Auto-da-Fe'. Encounter 73, ix/x.

"The breaking point [for me, with Communist Party friends] came in 1930, when I returned [to Germany, aged 14] from school on the Isle of Wight. This was the time of the Berlin tram drivers' strike, in which Communists and Nazis together challenged the Weimar constitution. Finding it impossible to understand the motive for this collaboration, I went to ask my Communist friends. Shaking their heads at my naivety, they told me that the first duty of socialists was to smash the Weimar state, and if they had to enlist the help of the Nazis to do that, then so be it. Once the state had been smashed, they would deal with the Nazis."
Hans EYSENCK, 1990, Rebel with a Cause. London : W.H.Allen.

""I say that our problems are not going to be mitigated until we establish [a licensing scheme] for those who would produce children. ....A lot of social scientists are so scandalized by my proposals that they think I must be a Fascist," says David Lykken. "But I consider myself a political atheist." Lykken is a well-respected researcher who is known for taking authoritarian positions on public policy. He has just published a book, The Antisocial Personality in which he contends that what turns children into sociopaths is not genes but environment, and particularly the environment of a fatherless home and an illiterate mother."
Lawrence WRIGHT, 1995, New Yorker, 7 viii, 44-62.

"Interviewer: Is there nothing that can be done about the decline of the United States to Latin American status?
Professor Richard Lynn: I think the only solution lies in the break-up of the United States. Blacks and Hispanics are concentrated in the Southwest, the Southeast and the East, but the Northwest and the far Northeast, Maine, Vermont and upstate New York have a large predominance of whites. I believe these predominantly white states should declare independence and secede from the Union. They would then enforce strict border controls and provide minimum welfare, which would be limited to citizens. If this were done, civilisation would survive within this handful of states."
From Right Now, Issue 9, 1995 (BCM Right, London WC1N 3XX).

"Today, Marxists and other biological egalitarians, somewhat humbled by events in Eastern Europe, but with their ethical arguments reinforced by the changing attitudes of the Western nations as result of the new multiculturalism arising from the presence of massive immigrant minorities, remain disproportionately influential in the universities and media of the Western world. Large numbers of social science academics still refuse to recognize, or lack the courage to openly recognize, the implications of the fact that human beings are biological organisms, even though and increasing majority of psychologists once again acknowledge the importance of heredity in shaping the limits of human personalities and abilities. The result has been increasing intimidation of those who seek to apply Darwinian logic to the solution of human problems."
Roger PEARSON, 1996, Humanity and Heredity.
Washington : Scott-Townsend.

(v) Brave New World?

"[My paper] closes with a discussion of the possible relationship between de-self-alienation, self-determination, collective self-determination and political change."
C.LODZIAK, 1976, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society.

"Readers with an interest in psychology and the Third World might like to hear of a forthcoming educational tour of Nicaragua."
Charles ANTAKI, 1986,
Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 39.

"For some years now I have been trying to organize an international meeting entitled 'The image of the enemy' in which scholars from different nations could look at some psychological aspects of international conflicts and rivalry. My main interest has been to encourage an East/West debate about the nuclear arms race. I am happy to say that after two years of discussions these topics are to be included in the 7th World Congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War {a notorious Soviet 'front' organization} which will be held....in Moscow."
James A. THOMPSON, 1986,
Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 39.

"The old model of lesbianism as a pathological affliction has largely given way to a liberal social-scientific one which presents it as an alternative lifestyle, a way of loving, a sexual preference, or a source of sexual fulfilment. This controversial book {Celia Kitzinger's The Social Construction of Lesbianism} argues that the shift from 'pathological' to 'gay affirmative' research merely substitutes one depoliticized construction of lesbianism for another. The author contends that the liberal 'social construction', instead of furthering the liberation of women, represents a new development in the oppression of women in general and lesbians in particular. Gay affirmative constructions are fundamentally incompatible with radical feminist theory in which lesbianism is a political statement representing the bonding of women against male supremacy. Two chapters use the literature on lesbianism and male homosexuality to illustrate the rhetorical techniques through which social science constructs the conditions for its own legitimacy. Kitzinger then draws upon her own research to show the operation of liberal ideology in the construction of lesbian identities. In the final chapter, she urges researchers to reject the traditional model of science as an objective search for truth or facts, but instead to examine their own rhetoric and evaluate their political commitments."
Publisher's announcement, 1987. London : Sage.

"On the political scene, for more than a decade, several Western democracies have experienced a marked shift towards the opinions of the extreme Right, with all that implies: the embracing of the neo-Darwinist, free-for-all social philosophy, an erosion of the collective caring attitude, and an increased intolerance of minority groups and dissident individuals. Interestingly, over the same period, and on a different front, those of us who have been watching have also witnessed another 'revolution'. I am referring to the emergence of the 'new genetics', including the ability, using the freshly discovered techniques of recombinant DNA technology, actually to locate genes on the chromosomes and the opportunity, we are told, even to map out the complete human genome and so ultimately lay bare the whole of Man's heredity. The dangers of these two developments - political and scientific - meeting again in a modern disguise scarcely needs spelling out and should, at the very least, alert us to the lessons of our past."
Gordon CLARIDGE, 1989, Personality & Individual Differences 10.

"Kitzinger (1987, 1989)....argues that one consequence of the current 'liberal humanist' discourse of lesbianism, which emphasizes the centrality of romantic love and the importance of personal growth and happiness, is that lesbian relationships can be accounted for in the same way as heterosexual relationships and thereby pose no threat to the dominant (patriarchal) order. Similarly, the earlier pathological discourse of lesbianism can be understood as a response to the threat of the women's liberation movement to heterosexual relations..... Foucault (1972)....states that his approach is aimed at 'denying the sovereignty of the subject'. Similarly, Shotter and Gergen (1989) argue that to be concerned with social construction or texts of identity is 'to be engaged in a struggle with a single dominant text: the centrality and sovereignty of the individual, and the problems to which it gives rise.'"
Sue WIDDICOMBE, 1992, 'Subjectivity, power and the practice of
psychology'. Theory and Psychology 2.

"The academic critique of the ethnocentrism and racism of western social science, including psychology, is too weighty to be ignored.... Perhaps we can anticipate a British Psychology Society policy statement which states that "The B.P.S. believes that racism is endemic in the values, attitudes and structures of British society, including those of professional psychology and psychological education."
Charles HUSBAND, 1992, The Psychologist 5, ix.

"Poststructural feminism. A branch of feminism based on the proposition that every thought is a political thought and every statement is a political statement. In this context, poststructural feminists argue, such concepts as 'biological difference', 'heterosexual attraction', 'ideal beauty', 'common sense', 'logic', 'facts', 'truth', and 'reality' can be seen for what they are: 'fictive constructs' created by men to oppress women. (Note: One small problem with this otherwise unassailable philosophy, writer Nicholas Davidson (1990, 'Psychology and the construction of gender', National Review, 20 viii) has pointed out, is that it fails to explain why poststructural feminism is not itself a 'fictive construct'.)"
Henry BEARD & Christopher CERF, 1994, Sex & Dating: the Official Politically Correct Guide. London : HarperCollins.


"....a minority [of U.S. scientists still] cling to the intellectual autonomy of the traditional artisan or the traditional client of royal patronage. But intellectual autonomy tends to be undermined even within that minority by several forces, the most obvious of which is the bureaucratization of patronage, that is, the modern system of grant-getting. It tends to reward those who seek to satisfy a bureaucratic hierarchy, rather than those who seek truth, not to speak of wisdom."
David JORANSKY, 1989, Nature 340, 24 viii.

"[Bernard] Henri-Levy, author of Le barbarisme à visage humaine, has a nice line in invective. - Scratch a member of the cultural élite, pondering the human condition from a university chair or a private income.... and you find a power-worshipper, excited by every dictator in sight: Mussolini, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Chou En-Lai, Mao or Ho Chi-Minh, Tito or Castro. Some had dreams of a monarchical, Catholic, peasant France, purged of Protestants, secularists and Jews; others suffered from the psychological condition that Orwell called "transferred patriotism", and anguished with Guevara in the Bolivian backlands...."
Colin WARD, 1993, New Statesman & Society, 29 i.

"Because of their commitment to relativism, many American intellectuals seem peculiarly vulnerable to ignoring and apologizing for Marxist atrocities. Indeed, academic groups such as the American Anthropological Association have consistently refused to condemn Communist mass murder in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Ethiopia. African Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, deplores the way in which Western liberals, who claim to be partisans of freedom, engaged in "passionate reconstructions of reality" and "tortuous rationalizations" for Stalinist and Marxist totalitarianism. Eugene Genovese notes that while the collapse of Nazism produced a major moral accounting on the part of those who silently acquiesced in Hitler's crimes, the collapse of Soviet communism has generated no comparable soul-searching on the part of American leftist intellectuals."
Dinesh D'SOUZA, 1995, The End of Racism. New York : Free Press.


{Compiled by C. R. Brand, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh.)

For more coverage of how politics impinge on psychology,
especially in relation to the study of intelligence, see:
BRAND, C.R. (1996) The g Factor.
Chichester : Wiley DePublisher.

"The nature and measurement of intelligence is a political hot potato. But Brand in this extremely readable, wide-ranging and up-to-date
book is not afraid to slaughter the shibboleths of modern "educationalists". This short book provides a great deal for thought
and debate."
Professor Adrian Furnham, University College London.
The book was first issued, in February, but then withdrawn, in April, by the 'publisher' because it was deemed to have infringed modern canons of
'political correctness.'
It received a perfectly favourable review in Nature (May 2, 1996, p. 33).

For a Summary of the book, Newsletters concerning the
de-publication affair, details of how to see the book for scholarly purposes, and others' comments and reviews,
see the Internet URL sites:

For Chris Brand's 'Get Real About Race!'-his popular exposition of his views on race and education in the Black
hip-hop music magazine 'downlow' (Autumn, 1996)-see:

A reminder of what is available in other Sections of 'P, B & S.'
Summary Index

(This resource manual of quotations about individual and group differences, compiled by
Mr C. R. Brand, is kept on the Internet and in Edinburgh University Psychology Department Library.)
Pages of Introduction
3 - 11 Full Index, indicating key questions in each Section.
12 - 14 Preface. - Why quotations? - Explanations and apologies.
15 - 51 Introduction: Questions, Arguments and Agreements in the study of Personality.
Some history, and a discussion of 'realism vs 'idealism.'
52 - 57 Introductory Quotes about the study of personality.
General problems
1 'Situational' vs 'personological' approaches to human variation.
2 'Nomothetic' vs 'idiographic', 'subjective' and relativistic approaches.
3 Personality dimensions-by factor analysis and otherwise.
4 'Superstructure' and 'infrastructure.' - The 'mind/body problem'.
5 Nature versus Nurture? - Or Nature via Nurture?
6 The role of consciousness in personality and 'multiple personality'.
7 The 'folk psychology' of personality components.
8 The measurement of intelligence. - Does g exist?
9 The bases of intelligence. - What is the psychology of g?
10 The developmental origins of g differences. - The nature and nurture of g.
11 The importance of intelligence. - The psychotelics of g.
12 Piagetianism: Kant's last stand?
13 Cognitivism: 'The Emperor's New Mind?'
14 Neurosis, emotion and Neuroticism.
15 Psychosis, psychopathy and Psychoticism.
16 Crime and criminality.
17 Genius and creativity.
Popular proposals - psychoanalytic, phrenological and prophylactic
18 Psychoanalysis: 'Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire'?
19 Hemispherology: a twentieth-century phrenology?
20 Psycho-social Engineering: therapy, training or transformation?
Group differences
21 Age and ageing-especially, the role of g in 'life-span development'.
22 Psychological sex differences. - Do they exist? Must they exist?
23 Social class. - Does it matter any longer?
24 Racial and ethnic differences. - Their role in 'lifestyles' and cultural attainments.
Ideological issues
25 The psychology of politics and ideological extremism.
26 The politics of psychologists and allied co-workers.
27 Equality and Community: the 'utopian' package of political aims.
28 Freedom and Responsibility: the 'legitimist' package of political aims.
Pragmatic questions
29 Carry on differentializing?
30 Carry on psycho-testing?

Appendix: Factor Analysis. - 'Garbage in, garbage out'?


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