Intelligence, IQ, and Crime

Intelligence, IQ, and Crime

Intelligence, IQ, and Crime History of mental testing and IQ The relationship between IQ and Crime Issues of Spuriousness Direct, or Indirect Effect Criticisms of the Bell Curve Alfred Binet French scientist who began in the field of craniometry

Began to doubt the validity of this method Around 1900, he started psychological testing (commissioned by government) Devised several mental tasks (counting coins, spatial reasoning) Binets Admonishment 1.Scores are a practical device They do not buttress any theory of intelligence

2.Scores are a rough empirical guide for identifying retarded children They should not be used to rank normal children 3.Children identified as retarded should be helped Low scores should not mark children as innately incapable The Creation of IQ Binet: eventually assigned an mental age to each

task (normal x years of age should complete) Subtract the physical age from the mental age to see how big the gap was (identify those in need) Later, others argued that the mental age should be divided by the physical age Intelligence Quotient was born The American bastardization Binets methods adopted by scientists in U.S.

They managed to break all of the rules H.H. Goddard coined the term moron, set at a mental age of 12 avid in the eugenics movement Lewis Terman Created the Stanford-Binet IQ exam Goal = rational society where people could be assigned jobs based on intelligence IQ tests today

No longer mental age/physical age All correlate with the Stanford Binet or other early versions Calibrated to produce a mean of 100 The Flynn effect Still multiple tasks covering different cognitive areas Seven J. Gould Two biggest mistakes regarding IQ scores

1. Reification 2. Hereditarian fallacy IQ and Crime Early positivists (Goddard) found large differences between criminals and non-criminals As testing improved, this difference shrunk Sutherland (1940s): it will dissapear Currently: 8-10 point gap Why this difference???

Possible Spuriousness Race, Class, SES, Culture? Controlling for these effects, the relationship remains Detection Hypothesis? Detected vs. Undetected offenders = no difference Impulsivity? Ruled out through statistical control If relationship is non-spurious

The Direct Effect Model (Hernnstien and Murray) Low IQ Indirect Effects Low IQ school trouble labeling process Crime Delinquency

Biological: Low IQ is proxy for neuropsychological damage (N.P. damage x Parenting) Delinquency Criticisms of the Bell Curve Only 3 variables in model (not enough control) Could control for school performance, other factors IQ explains only 3% of the variation in crime The correlation is about .06 Is this important enough to justify their policy

implication?? Ranked with other predictors, IQ is near the bottom of the list

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