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Different races have different intellects.

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Different races have different intellects.

There is a widespread belief amongst that different races have different intellects. Interestingly enough, this belief is not based on sound facts. There are indeed instances where there are differences in IQ levels between different races, but there is nothing to suggest that one race is more intelligent than the other, or one race is superior to the other. IQ levels can change and are based on several factors which will be discussed further.

In general, blacks are found to have lower IQ scores than whites, which can be largely attributed to socio–economic and environmental factors. “Some IQ difference is attributable to environmental differences and some of it is attributable to genetic differences among social classes (Block & Dworkin, 1976, p98). Highly educated and financially prosperous individuals perform better at IQ tests than poor, uneducated and disadvantaged people.

Early experiences and opportunities exert a big influence on intelligence levels. Parents and others can play a big role and influence in helping a child to gain the mental skills associated with high IQ scores. This conclusion can be based on established facts and extensive research with an example being: “Children whose biological parents were white and who were raised by white parents had slightly higher IQ than children with one black and one white biological parent and children with two black biological parents” (Howe, 1997, pg74)

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“Interestingly enough, several observers have found Japanese and Chinese infants to be less precarious on perpetual motor development tests than Caucasian ones. At higher ages, oriental children do significantly better than white ones on such perceptual motor tests as the ‘figure copying task’; Negro children do worse. This superiority of oriental over white is surprising when it is considered that their social-economic status is well below that of whites; taken together with the superiority of oriental adults on tests of abstract reasoning (in spite of the same inferiority in socio economic status) one might conclude that Orientals may have genetically superior gene-pools for doing IQ tests.” (Eyesenck, 1991, p86)

It is true that any young individuals’ intelligence (IQ) can be changed when circumstances are favourable. Motivational factors can also affect a person’s IQ score and parental expectations can drive a child to strive harder. “In one study, it was found that giving black inner-city children tokens that could be exchanged for toys for each correct test raised average scores by 13 points” (Howe, 1997, p51)

There is also some evidence that proper nourishment of a child can raise a child’s IQ, at highest levels of creative achievement, having an exceptionally high level of IQ makes little or no difference. Other factors, including being strongly committed and highly motivated are much more important.

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Based on arguments and findings above, one can conclude that while it’s true that there are differences in IQ levels between different races, there is nothing to suggest that one race is more intelligent than the other, or one race is superior than the other. IQ levels vary due to several factors such as socio-economic, environmental, and indirectly genetic influences. Gene pools can vary in different races, but generally people of different races are not genetically different. Higher levels of IQ can be achieved in individuals or groups by providing the right environment for individuals to develop or condition in. Motivation factors and levels of commitment can also have a significant impact of a person’s IQ.  While IQ results may be perceived as a gauge of an individuals’ intelligence, this is certainly not the case. IQ fails to take all aspects of human intelligence into account, and is just one parameter of human intelligence providing only an indication of an individual’s intelligence. People with low IQ can perform some exceptionally complex tasks, which a person of high IQ may be incompetent of. Unlike weight and length, intelligence cannot be measured or quantified. Given these arguments, once can easily conclude that no one race is inherently superior to the other.


Block, N.J and Dworkin, G., eds. (1976), The I.Q. Controversy: Critical Readings, New York: Random House.

Howe, M.J.A (1997), I.Q. In Question: The Truth About Intelligence, London: Sage.

Eysenck, H.J. (1971), Race, Intelligence and Education, London: Temple Smith.

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