Quotes XXIX

Quotations about whether it is particularly important
to attend to individual differences in personality.


In the 1970's, the fate of Art Jensen and Hans Eysenck (for speaking about race, heredity and intelligence) cautioned developmental, social and cognitive psychologists against providing formal measures of psychological variables. As in other science (see Quotes II), to offer a method of measurement is to invite one's ideas being repeatedly checked. By contrast, the ideas of non-differential psychologists that they had 'gone beyond IQ' could not be checked by the simple expedient of running correlations. Nor would such psychologists carry out twin and adoption studies to examine the long-term causation of human differences in 'moral development', attitudes, 'cognition', or personality-even though such differences were invariably suggested to be somehow more important than old-fashioned differences in IQ that so interested the London School. As to their origins, such unmeasured differences were attributed to conveniently unresearchable 'complex interactions.'
Knowing they had placed thus themselves hors de combat, the followers of Piaget, Goffman and Neisser sat back to enjoy the posthumous vilification of differential psychology's rogue-elephant, Sir Cyril Burt (see Quotes X). Nor were comparative and physiological psychologists-however sociobiologically oriented -interested in backing ideas of genetically influenced individual (or racial) differences in man: for these students of animal behaviour and the brain felt they had their own hands full enough already with such politically incorrect notions as the innateness of aggression and the universality of psychological sex differences. By the late-1970's, differential psychology thus stood alone in the dock as sociological and egalitarian thought reached a new peak of popularity and political and media support in Britain and America. By 1979 the British Psychological Society condemned Burt as a fraud, declined to mount or encourage a properly executed study of separated identical twins to make good the loss of Burt's figures, and rubbed salt into hereditarian wounds by offering in mitigation for Burt his biographer's excuse that he had suffered a form of 'personality disorder' ["gamin complex"] never previously diagnosed in anyone-let alone in Burt himself while he was alive. Police cordons had proved largely able to protect Art Jensen and Hans Eysenck from their attackers; but who could defend a psychologist's reputation from fellow psychologists who carefully kept their criticisms to themselves till after their colleague was dead? Not till the 1990's was there growing recognition that-though Burt's ideas and methodological sophistication had far outclassed his data-the charge of fraud against him was unproven (Joynson, 1989, The Burt Affair; Blinkhorn, Nature 10 viii 1995; Brand, 1990, PAID 11; Mackintosh (ed.), 1995, Cyril Burt: Fraud or Framed?; Audley, THES 20 x 1995; Brand, Nature, 5 x 1995).
Spurred by the near-universal condemnation of the 'Jensenist heresy', by the denial of high honours to Hans Eysenck, and by the embarrassment of the Burt Affair, personality and ability researchers such as Phil Rushton, Tom Bouchard, David Lykken, Robert Plomin, Lee Willerman, Sandra Scarr and Richard Lynn made fresh empirical efforts to evaluate the role of nature and nurture in human psychology. Strikingly, by the 1990's, their programmes of work agreed on three points. (1) The 'social environment' that is supplied to children is a much less powerful influence on adult outcome than is typically envisaged by champions of the better-known political nostrums-whether Left, Right or health-lobbying. (2) Genetic influences are sometimes as strongly 'interactive' as they are additive [in particular, genetic influences on psychological variables quite often multiply with each other in what is called epistasis-see Quotes V]. (3) The genetic differences between ordinary siblings become more visible with age. (They are weaker in childhood, when parents have control of the child's environment.) Thus real individuality is both substantial and has important genetic origins, even though it is only intellectual variance (in the g factor) that substantially 'breeds true' (i.e. is passed genetically from parents to children).
These conclusions, as they become known, will cause enormous problems for ideologues, the media and most social scientists. Left-wing social theorists prefer to trace at least the more disagreeable human differences (in attainment and in conspicuous virtue vs vice) to 'disadvantage', 'deprivation', 'stereotyping', 'labelling' or 'prejudice'. Thus, at the very beginning of the causal chain envisaged by left-wingers, there are presumed to occur tangible and measurable environmental inequalities that finally yield the horrors of free-market capitalism and neo-colonialism. For the ecologically super-conscious, mankind's problems result from industrialization, over-population, anything nuclear, and low-fibre diets. This is another apparently measurable and manipulable set of differences-though the British Greens' manifesto proposals to cut the British population to forty million by 2050 A.D. will raise some eyebrows. For their part, right-wingers blame human problems variously upon supposed failures of education (in morals, religion, grammar and spelling) and/or upon the supposedly dependency-inducing and responsibility-decreasing inadequacies of statism, welfarism and their combination in socialism. The unifying features of these three main utopian doctrines are thus: (a) we can all be changed-as was classically hoped by many religious thinkers and reformers; (b) similar social arrangements should be made for everybody. Even the fact that parents seldom buy all their children the same clothes or toys at Christmas seems to go unnoticed by many aspirants to political philosophy; so it is no wonder that such ideologues are unimpressed by psychogenetic research.
Should scientific psychologists continue with the search for basic psychological differences, for their origins, and for their recognition by educators, 'carers' and therapists? Re-affirmation and extension of hereditarian ideas by the latest methods are doubtless defensible so long as Western taxpayers are required to fund other, less consequential researches. Yet can it be shown that it is positively worthwhile to acknowledge human psychological differences? A certain amount will depend on the actual, visible success of the testing movement (see Quotes XXX). It will also be important to study countries like Japan where parents invest their own moneys in their children's education from an early age-and thus make important choices that presumably correspond to some extent to individual differences between children. Evaluation can also be sought of past 'individualization' of treatment and training in the West (see Carroll, 1993, Human Cognitive Abilities; Brand, 1996, The g Factor, Chapter IV; Quotes XX-subsections on 'education' and 'individualization'). However, little can be learned while Western education authorities decline to test children's intelligence; and while the temperaments and personalities of medical patients are known only quite informally to their general practitioners.
Again, interest in exploring psychological differences will be influenced by psychologists' moral assumptions. Are people (essentially or potentially) 'equal', 'fraternal' and just plain similar? Alternatively, do they show marked individuality, medium-term continuity of personality differences, and sufficient capacity to support genuine free choice and the taking of responsibility? These moral outlooks will themselves reflect (a) what knowledge of human realities the psychologist has bothered to seek; and (b) what findings are actually available from research conducted in bygone times-before legal or informal prohibition of IQ-test use-when children were treated not merely in accordance with their rights to receive the same State expenditure, but also according to their potentials for benefiting from particular types of instruction. Faced with such vicious circles, the Quotes offer claims for and against 'differentiation'; but they can only hint at possible ways out of the present morass.
For most of us, to be viewed and treated as we really are-as individuals with our very own levels and constellations of abilities and motivations-is an affecting, and usually rewarding experience. Thus it is important that students (and 'experts') in psychology should reach an opinion as to the likely merits of distinguishing people from one another in any relatively objective fashion. However, to prove the value of differentiating will doubtless take longer so long as uninformed egalitarianism holds sway. (See also Quotes XXV - XXVII re the interface of psychology and politics.)

For more coverage of the importance of recognizing
individual differences in general 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:




(i) Differentiation? - Yes! 6

(ii) Differentiation? - No! 7

(iii) Is there a problem of some kind? 8

(iv) A brighter future? 12



(i) Differentiation? - Yes!

"From heaven descends the maxim KNOW THYSELF -
To be taken to heart and remembered, whether you're choosing
A wife, or aiming to win a seat in that august body
The Senate. Thersites never laid claim to Achilles' armour:
Ulysses did-and look at the show he made of himself.

If you decide to plead some touch-and-go case, where vital
Issues hang in the balance, take stock of yourself, get it clear
Just what you are-a talented, forceful speaker
Or a third-rate windbag. A man should know his measure
In great things and small alike."

"The greater the intellect one has, the more originality one finds in men. Ordinary persons find no difference between men."

"Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same."
George Bernard SHAW.

"Inappropriate educational procedures, often based on the notion that all children learn in essentially the same way except for easily changed environmental influences, can alienate many children from ever entering any path of educational fulfilment."
A.R. JENSEN, 1973,
Genetics and Education. London : Methuen.

"Norman Dixon (1976, On the Psychology of Military Incompetence) attributes many military fiascos to personality defects in various military leaders; but, whether one wishes to focus on ability, personality, leadership, courage, or physical strength and stamina, it is clear that individual differences play an enormously important role in the outcome of military endeavours."
B.RIMLAND & J.E.LARSON (U.S. Navy psychologists), 1986, 'Individual differences: an underdeveloped opportunity for military psychology'.
Journal of Applied Psychology 16.

"Fortunately, after many years of neglect, there are signs that a number of cognitive psychologists are at last prepared to take seriously the question of individual differences."

"There is no platonic ideal that best characterizes the human species. Rather, we are characterized and bound together by those differences in cerebral and mental structure that make possible an organized human society, the final organization in a hierarchy that serves to preserve and enhance the heritage of our evolution."
Jerre LEVY, 1977, Annals of the New York Academy of Science 299.

"....no-one-historian, biologist or philosopher-has hitherto appreciated how important individuality is in human affairs. ....many have recognized that individuality is highly important. But....it is even more important than the most ardent advocates....have indicated."
Roger J. WILLIAMS, 1978, Free and Unequal. Indianapolis : Liberty Press.

"The separateness of persons is the basic fact for morals."
J.FINDLAY, 1978, Values and Intentions.
Atlantic Highlands, N.J. : Humanities Press.

"Understanding that people are incorrigibly different from each other is the beginning of wisdom for the budding psychologist."
H.J. & M.W. EYSENCK, 1981, MindWatching.

"We believe that the optimism recently expressed by numerous authors regarding the future for personality research is indeed warranted."
D.T.KENRICK & S.L.BRAVER, 1982, Psychological Review 89.

"Individual differences in scientific productivity are extremely large. A very small percentage of individuals account for most of the major contributions [to the number of citations earned by British psychologists]. In our 1977 study, for example, London and Oxford combined were found to account for nearly fifty per cent of the citations...."
J. Philippe RUSHTON, 1984,
Bulletin of the British Psychological Society 37.

"The longer I live, the more convinced I become that one of the greatest honours we can confer on other people is to see them as they are."
Shiva NAIPAUL, 1985.

"Sticht et al. (1987), who favor greater use of low-aptitude recruits ("cast-off youth"), are most explicit about the modifications in technical training they require and about "how difficult it is for the [military training] schools to train personnel of all aptitudes when slow learners my require two to five times more instructional time than more able learners." They report the conclusions of research on Project 100,000 men, which are that training for such individuals must be made as concrete, precise, structured and job specific as possible. {They note that} successful training for low-aptitude men 'in some cases....may be achieved if the training content is limited strictly to that which is relevant to a specific job, and no attempt is made to supply any underlying theory or more general instruction which might be useful to trainees of higher aptitude...'"
Linda S. GOTTFREDSON, 1995, 'Why g matters: the complexity of everyday life.'

"What impressed me about anthropology is how it implicitly stresses the importance of difference; and if we are to say things about humans it is important that anthropologists continue to record the very different ideas that are behind customs and ceremonies and rituals and sexual practices."
Bruce Dakowski (author of 'Stranger Abroad', UK TV Channel IV), 1986. Interviewed by Karen Gold, Times Higher Educational Supplement, 24 x.

"The fundamental justification....for toleration of the faults and follies of others, to the extent that this is desirable, is that one is not so much wiser than other people as to be justly confident of one's ability to rule them better than they can rule themselves."
J.HARRISON, 1987, Philosophy 62.

"Personality variables were significantly correlated (r's range from .20 to .48) with...three measures of recovery [following acute-care hospitalization, in 101 patients of ages 60-94]; multiple r's ranged from .52 to .60. Results indicate the importance of emotional outlook to the process of recovery from hospitalization."
V.G. CICIRELLI, 1988, to 24th International Congress
of Psychology, in Sydney, Section F327.

"In a cluster of jobs [that Hunter, Schmidt and Judiesch (1990, J.Appl.Psychol.) ranked] as "low complexity" (unskilled and semiskilled blue-collar workers), the top 1 percent of workers were about 50 times more productive than the average worker and three times as productive as the bottom 1 percent. In "medium complexity" occupations (technicians and supervisors, for example), the top 1 percent was 85 ;percent above the average and twelve times better than the bottom 1 percent. In the "high complexity" area (managers, professionals, and some technical workers), the top 1 percent was 127 percent better than the average; statistical complications made it impossible to quantify results for the lowest 1 percent. In a study of professional budget [the researchers] estimated that the "dollar value productivity" of superior performers (defined in this case as the top 15 percent) was $23,000 a year greater than that of the low performers (the bottom 15 percent."
Daniel SELIGMAN, 1992, A Question of Intelligence:
the IQ Debate in America.
New York : Carol (Birch Lane).

"The great artists and thinkers of every culture have always looked for what is individual in humanity rather than for what is general. Their works are likely to demonstrate how people tend to chafe under narrow classifications of any kind - political, social, racial, ethnic or moral. The whole of Pirandello's work, for example, features characters who long for some understanding of their fullness and complexity in the face of an external world more satisfied with simple formulas and categories."
Robert BRUSTEIN, 1991, 'The use and abuse of multiculturalism.'
The New Republic, 16 & 23 ix.

"Carloads of hicks were [on Sunset Boulevard] to disgust themselves with the creatures that inhabit the Strip at night. Carloads of freaks were there to see and be seen by their buddies on the street. Past the pulsating discos, the chic coffee houses, and the not-so-chic porno palaces, the sidewalks were a solid stream of the stuff that feeds off and is fed to the Hollywood dream machine. Pot heads, coke sniffers, hash eaters, speed freaks, skag shooters, bikers, draggers, racers, pimps, pushers, prostitutes, religious fanatics who have been saved, homicidal maniacs who never will be, yogis, Krishnas, Buddhists, Maoists, urban guerrillas, neo-Nazis, drag queens, butch dykes, leather boys, chain-mail girls, starlets hoping to be discovered, has-beens hoping to be rediscovered, and those who are there because there's no place else to go."
'Sam Hunter', in L.A.Morse's The Big Enchilada.
London : Xanadu, 1991.

"The {artistic} performer's raw material and instrument is the self-the pen and palette-and from that self the art is fashioned."
S.BACH, 1992, Marlene Dietrich. London : HarperCollins.

[Thomas Boyce] was collecting data looking at the relationship between immune competence in five year olds and respiratory tract infections [when] the 1989 San Francisco Bay Area Loma Pieta earthquake struck....[A] child's prior immunological competence was found strongly to predict the child's probability of illness after the earthquake."
R.J.R.BLAIR, 1996, Times Higher, 17 v.

(ii) Differentiation? - No!

"The more deeply we go back into history, the more does the individual...appear as dependent, as belonging to a greater whole."
Karl MARX, Grundrisse. Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1973.

"To speak plainly, my complaint is this. You treat each one of your parishioners As though he were a separate spiritual problem. Between ourselves, that's a mistake....
You can minister just as well to the souls in your care By serving the state at the same time. Your job isn't to save every Jack and Jill From damnation, but to see that the parish as a whole Finds grace. We want all men to be equal....
The surest way to destroy a man Is to turn him into an individual. Very few men can fight the world alone."
'The Provost', addressing 'Brand' in H. IBSEN's Brand, Act V. London : Methuen, 1986.

"Psychology as a science has to do with general facts and traits of mind. It takes no account of individual peculiarities."
J. SULLY, 1884, Outlines of Psychology. London : Longmans Green.

"Everything, even individuality itself, depends upon relationships.... The light shines only when the circuit is completed.... In isolation, I doubt if any individual amounts to much; or if any soul is worth saving or even having."

"It is easy to spot a difference, but it takes genius to notice a similarity."
Sir Frederick BARTLETT (Professor of Psychology in the University
of Cambridge, c. 1930-1950).

"Robyn Penrose, Temporary Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Rummidge, holds that "character" is a bourgeois myth, an illusion created to reinforce the ideology of capitalism. As evidence for this assertion she will point to the fact that the rise of the novel (the literary genre of "character" par excellence in the eighteenth century) coincided with the triumph of capitalism; and that the modernist and post-modernist deconstruction of the classic novel in the twentieth century has coincided with the terminal crisis of capitalism.
Why the classic novel should have collaborated with the spirit of capitalism is perfectly obvious to Robyn. Both are expressions of a secularised Protestant ethic, both dependent on the idea of an autonomous individual self who is responsible for and in control of his/her own destiny, seeking happiness and fortune in competition with other autonomous selves. This is true of the novel considered both as commodity and as mode of representation. (Thus Robyn in full seminar spate.)"
David LODGE, 1988, Nice Work. London : Secker & Warburg.

"Modern trait psychology is invariably thought by intellectuals to be merely boring when it is not positively racist. In particular, there are three problems with the exercise of finding any psychological meaning in psychometric dimensions. (i) Trait psychology has only just begun to offer evolutionary accounts of the biosocial function of individual and group differences (Buss, 1994, The Evolution of Desire, New York, Basic; Rushton, 1995, Race, Evolution and Behavior, New Brunswick, Transaction). (ii) Some of these accounts of socio-sexual strategies seem premature and unsubtle (see Brand, 1995, Person. & Indiv. Diffs. 19). (iii) There is a strong case for saying that individual differences are merely what remain after significant natural selection has finished. Especially when differences in trait levels are inherited, all levels have presumably been adaptive during evolution. How can functional significance be teased from such unpromising material?"
C.R.BRAND, 1995, Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive 14.

(iii) Is there a problem of some kind?

"We all feel some uneasiness and discomfort at the notion of differences among persons in traits that we especially value, such as mental abilities, which have obviously important educational, occupational and social correlates."
A.R.JENSEN, 1972, Genetics and Education. New York : Harper & Row.

"Because social science conditions us to think in terms of forces and movements, we devalue the contribution of individuals to social life and social change."
P.WILDING, 1976, New Society, 8 iv.

"[Recent studies of personality] suggest a status for the field of personality that puts one in mind of the apocryphal jet pilot who assured his passengers that while the plane was lost, it was at least making good time."
L.SECHREST, 1976, Annual Review of Psychology 27.

"The research that uses tests to isolate what is 'fixed' as opposed to what is modifiable underwrites an educational technology which will inevitably be seen as repressive rather than liberating."
J.BYNNER, 1980, British Journal of Educational Psychology.

"Accident-proneness as a concept has little use in practical accident prevention. The concept itself is ill-defined; no stable personality characteristics that can be identified with accident-proneness have been discovered. So, therefore, nothing can be done to identify individuals who may be accident-prone in order to treat them or to remove them from areas of greatest risk. Alternative explanations must be found for persons experiencing multiple accidents..."
F. LINDSAY(H.M. Principal Inspector of Factories), 1980. 'Accident- proneness-does it exist?' Occupational Safety and Health 10, ii.

"The foundations of modern individualism go back to Stoic philosophy and political individualism, from which it is but a short step to economic individualism and capitalism. The origins of this kind of individualism are profoundly anti-Christian, in that rational self-development is seen as the purpose of life. Man is accorded final sovereignty over himself, his capacities and his property; and the community is regarded as an association of freely consenting adults joined together in pursuit of self-determined goals. Yet, while this form of individualism is alien to a Christian understanding of man, individuality is part of creation itself and certain of the insights are valuable. The rival doctrine of man that sees society as dominated by class and group interests and the individual as no more than a tool of the collective, is simply a deficient view of what it means to be human."
B. GRIFFITHS, 1984, in D.Anderson, The Kindness that Kills.
London : Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge.

"We view explanatory style as a trait."
S.PETERS & M.SELIGMAN, 1984, Psychological Review.

"[Changing the Subject, by J.Henriques et al.] offers a critique of individual-society dualism, and of its effects on psychology. The concepts of a pre-social individual and a pre-formed social world which inform most psychology and sociology are found inadequate.... The two [concepts] interpenetrate. Individuality and self-awareness are positioned in relation to, and constructed by, social discourses and practices."
P.STRINGER, 1985, British Journal of Psychology 76.

"Our poor are disadvantaged. Our stupid are less able. Our dunces at school are less academic. Our rich and cultivated are less deprived. Things stolen or looted are liberated. And death is our last taboo. - The Book of Common Prayer, evolved during the sixteenth century, spoke with solemn simplicity.... 'we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life'. We [today] are less sure and certain, and our language has accordingly become more vague."
Philip HOWARD, 1986, The State of the Language.
Harmondsworth : Penguin.

"What is sinister is that the whole ideology of psychometrics tends to produce a reduced and standardised view of human beings."
Brian APPLEYARD, 1987, 'Executive mindfields'.
Options for Men, v. London : Carlton Magazines.

"....[a] major reason why meritocratic and essentialist ideologies persist is because these paradigms have widespread acceptance among educationalists internationally, especially in the United States. In fact it would be safe to say that the U.S. is the home of the essentialist-psychometric model of the individual (S.J.Gould, 1981, The Mismeasure of Man)."
Kathleen LYNCH, 1987, Economic & Social Review 18.

"It remains for someone to reveal to us a way of thinking about human differences that is morally as well as scientifically coherent. [Arthur] Jensen has not accomplished this, but much less so have his critics."
C.BEREITER, 1987, in S. & Celia Modgil, Arthur Jensen:
Consensus and Controversy. Brighton : Falmer.

"A seminal paper by C.S.Dweck (1975, J. Person. & Soc. Psychol. 31) illustrated that underachieving children were characterized by their attribution of failure to lack of ability, and that training them to re-attribute failure to lack of effort produced substantially improved performance."
Editorial by C.R. BREWIN, 1988, British Journal of Clinical Psychology 27.

"[The main issue I wish to raise for Industrial/Organizational Psychology] is a fundamental challenge of social constructivist epistemology for the traditional assumptions guiding applied social science research. As a consequence, the idea of individual characteristics as something inherent to the person [needs to be] questioned, and new directions [taken] in understanding individual difference phenomena as emergent properties from social relations..."
H.P. DACHLER (University of St Gall, Switzerland), 1988,
to 24th Internat. Congress of Psychol., Sydney, Section S639.

"[Present psychometric taxonomies, deriving from the substantial empirical programmes of H.C.Quay, E.I.Megargee, R.Blackburn and B.J.McGurk] were considered against criteria for their evaluation and none of the systems were seen to satisfy all the preconditions set. Moreover, notwithstanding the issue of the reliability and
validity of the typologies, the identification of types of offender did not necessarily lead to apposite treatment recommendations."
A.W. McEWAN, 1988, 'The potential of personality data for the classification of criminal offenders.' Directorate of Psychological Services Report, Series 1, No.28. London : Home Office, Prison Department.

"The door opened. Ben appeared: he had been pushed into the room by the nurse. The door shut behind him, and he backed against it, glaring at the doctor.
He stood with his shoulders hunched forward and his knees bent, as if about to spring off somewhere. He was a squat, burly little figure, with a big head, the yellow stubble of his coarse hair growing from the double crown of his forehead. He had a flattish flaring nose that turned up. His mouth was fleshy and curly. His eyes were like lumps of dull stone. For the first time Harriet [his mother] thought, But he doesn't look like a six-year-old, but much older. You could almost take him for a little man, not a child at all.
The doctor looked at Ben. Harriet watched them both. The doctor then said, 'All right, Ben, go out again. Your mother will be with you in a minute.'
Ben stood petrified. Again Dr Gilly spoke into her machine, the door opened, and Ben was hauled backwards out of sight, snarling.
'Tell me, Dr Gilly, what did you see?'
Dr Gilly's pose was wary, offended; she was calculating the time left to the end of the interview. She did not answer.
Harriet said, knowing it was no use, but because she wanted it said, heard: 'He's not human, is he?.....I want it said. I want it recognized. I just can't stand it never being said?'
'Can't you see that it is simply outside my competence? If it is true, that is?'"
From Doris Lessing's The Fifth Child. London : Jonathan Cape, 1988.

"...the simple analysis, current on the left, that any kind of differential psychology readily becomes the tool of Fascism, fails to [explain] the selection of some typologies, but not others, for exploitation by Nazism. A closer look at the favouring of typological psychology under Nazism shows that some typologies were much more favoured than others-leading ultimately to the rejection of IQ testing-and that the criterion of favour was organicism: the attribution of psychological types to biological substrates."
Carol SHERRARD, 1989, to Symposium on Anti-Democratic Politics and
the Human Sciences in the Inter-War Years, 7th European Cheiron
Conference, Gothenberg.

"Reflexive hostility to IQ tests is the norm among humane and liberal-minded members of the educated classes, which means it is also the preferred wisdom of the American media. The source of the hostility is fairly obvious. Anyone accepting the validity of IQ tests is instantly in the grasp of an unlovable proposition: people are not equal in mental ability. Worse, groups are not equal in average ability. The rich have more mental ability than the poor....blacks and Hispanics score significantly lower than whites on average. Whites in turn score a bit lower than Asian Americans, which also counts as bad news in many precincts.... men tend to be somewhat over-represented at the tails of the distribution curve, meaning that more of them are in the high-talent ranges above, say, IQ 140.... An irresistible implication of these data [is that] many of the advantages flowing to the most privileged members of American society may have been legitimately "earned"."
Daniel SELIGMAN, 1989, Commentary, iii.

"[Paul Kline, in S.H.Irvine & J.W.Berry, Human Abilities in Cultural Context, provides] a brief résumé of British psychometrics from Galton to the present.... As told by Kline, it is a gloomy story of former giants-Galton, Spearman and Burt- being replaced by contemporary pygmies. Today there is only one decent psychometrician left in Britain, and at the end of [Kline's] chapter his identity is revealed. It is Kline himself."
R. LYNN, 1990, Personality & Individual Differences 11.

"In the early 1960's, special school and special classes were introduced in the German Democratic Republic for specially gifted children. Ironically, old elite schools with strong nineteenth-century traditions were still being used as elite schools in the communist East Germany of the 1980's, but now for children in theory selected according to ability and talents rather than social background.... [they] were very important in training certain elites-such as the future sports champions of the GDR."
Mary FULBROOK, 1991, The Fontana History of Germany.
London : Fontana.

"[Marxism's] belief that economic forces are the primary dynamic in history is Romantic naturism in disguise. That is, it sketches a surging wave-motion in the material context of human life but tries to deny the perverse daemonism of that context. ....The 'great man' theory of history was not as simplistic as claimed; we have barely recovered from a world war in which this theory was proved evilly true. One man can change the course of history, for good or ill. Marxism is a flight from the magic of person and the mystique of hierarchy. It distorts the character of western culture, which is based on charismatic power of the person. Marxism can work only in pre-industrial societies of homogeneous populations. Raise the standard of living, and the rainbow riot of individualism will break out."
Camille PAGLIA, 1992, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson. Harmondsworth : Penguin.

"Much social policy has long been based on the false presumption that there exist no stubborn or consequential differences in mental ability. It has therefore often been fruitless or, worse yet, harmful. Educators routinely over-promise and schools, accordingly, consistently disappoint. Welfare reformers do not take seriously the possibility that today's labor market cannot absorb all low-IQ individuals, no matter how motivated they may be. Civil rights advocates resolutely ignore the possibility that a distressingly high proportion of poor black youth may be more disadvantaged today by low IQ than by racial discrimination, and thus that they will realize few if any benefits (unlike their more able brethren) from ever-more aggressive affirmative action."
Linda S. GOTTFREDSON, 1995, 'Why g matters.'

(iv) A brighter future?
(See Quotes XX for further consideration of the possible gains from
'individualizing' procedures of treatment and training.)

"The more extroverted tend to seek not only social contacts but also other stimulants such as loud noises and music.... [they] tend also to prefer brighter colours, more physically stimulating activities, and to perform best when under substantial pressure.... The evidence indicates that extroverts tend to be chemically under-aroused.... in any working group, troublesome differences between extroverts and introverts in desire for social contacts and in liveliness of behaviour are likely to be unavoidable, and separation of individuals into different groups according to personality characteristics needs to be considered if human relations are to remain satisfactory."
A.T.WELFORD, 1987, Ergonomics 30.

"[In the experience of Dr M.Crowe, consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital, London,] loss of desire in men usually happens to quiet, unassuming types, compulsive peace-makers with volatile wives. Such a couple are instructed to hold evening heart-to-hearts "to bring out the arguments they're not having". The man is also taught to be more assertive and expressive of his emotions. "He then suddenly finds his wife more attractive. I know stereotypes are unpopular at the moment, but sexually they seem to work."
Liz GILL, 1987, New Statesman, 4 ix.

"...schools wishing to improve the effectiveness of education for all children will have to adjust their curricula to their students, not continue to expect their students to fit into a uniform, Procrustean educational bed in the mistaken belief that they are limitlessly malleable."
W. HAVENDER, 1987, in S. & C.Modgil, Arthur Jensen:
Consensus and Controversy. Brighton : Falmer.

"Behavioural approaches to treatment [of dyspraxia] are likely to lead to success provided they are tempered with a recognition of the neurological and neuropsychological status of the individual patient."
Barbara WILSON, 1987, British Journal of Clinical Psychology 26.

"It happens that certain executives find themselves in the wrong position and in no way up to the mark.... It seems essential to admit such errors, to rectify them, and, without dramatizing them, to assign the person concerned to a job that corresponds to his abilities."
General Secretary Gorbachev, 1987, reported in Pravda, 28 i.

"....practising managers and graduate students worked on a fictitious moon survival problem. In it, participants imagine that they have crash-landed on the moon 200 miles from their base. They must then rank, in order of importance to their survival, the fifteen pieces of equipment they have intact. It was found that the quality of decisions made by interacting groups was no better than that of the best individual group member. In another study using this same problem, the investigators found that it is essential for the contribution of the most qualified group members to be counted most heavily in the group's decisions in order for the group to derive the benefits of that member's presence."
Adrian FURNHAM (Reader in Psychology, U.C.L.),
1992, 'Does brainstorming work?'

"Today it is clear what should be done about the ideological extravaganza of the last generation of educators and their psychological advisers. Those appointed educational experts who have declined to attend to the phenomenon of intelligence differences will need to be granted early retirement; and children and parents will need an immediate offer of choice. To continue to be state-funded, schools should be required to demonstrate that, for the majority of the hours of the school day, most pupils have a choice as to which lessons to attend; and that the choice that is offered to them (and their parents) is between lessons of different levels of difficulty. A belief in freedom of choice is a value shared with pride by virtually all social and political groupings in the West: so, a century after the introduction of compulsion to attend school, it is time to deliver freedom and choice for schoolchildren. As one British political commentator puts it:
"It will soon be an article of faith among educationalists that mixed-ability classes are bad because they cheat clever children, middling children and dull children. There is nothing wrong with streaming so long as it is easy for children to move from one stream to another."
(A. Massie, 1991, Sunday Times (London).)
C.R.BRAND, 1996, The g Factor. Chichester : Wiley DePublisher


"So when the world is asleep, and there seems no hope of waking
Out of some long, bad dream that makes her mutter and moan,
Suddenly, all men arise to the noise of fetters breaking,
And everyone smiles at his neighbour and tells him his soul is his own."
Rudyard KIPLING.

"One cannot fathom that a society could develop to a higher level without the participation of individuals who think and judge in an independent way, just as it is inconceivable to imagine the development of an individual without the nurturance of his society."
A.EINSTEIN, quoted by R.R.Rogers in J.Offerman-Zuckerberg,
Politics and Psychology. New York : Plenum, 1991.

"....the choosiness of human beings in picking their mates has driven the human mind into a history of frenzied expansion for no reason except that wit, virtuosity, inventiveness and individuality turn other people on. It is a somewhat less uplifting perspective upon the purpose of humanity than the religious one, but it is also rather liberating. Be different."
Matt RIDLEY, 1994, The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature. Harmondsworth, UK : Penguin.


(Compiled by Chris Brand, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh.)

For more coverage of the importance of recognizing
individual differences in general 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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