The Bell Curve Controversy
“The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life” was a book written in the early 1990s about human intelligence and how it is cultivated. The book posited that human intelligence is encouraged through environment and things like socioeconomic status. The controversy surrounding the book and the concept of intelligence is rooted in the elitist nature of the research. The foundation of the issue is that the book is stating that the more money a person has and the better environment in which they thrive, the more intelligent they are likely to be. While there are environmental factors that play a role in the development of intelligence, to say that the amount of money someone has or the number of amenities in their environment skews the odds in favor of those with more prosperity than others.
The controversy also focuses on the idea that those with higher intelligence are among the elite in society. This allows the notion to persist that smarter people are somehow “better” than everyone else. It is a divisive way of thinking and this is part of the reason that there is so much controversy around it. The controversy also contributed to racial divides regarding intelligence, which has not been proven by research. There is no difference in intelligence when it comes to the races that have anything to do with the biological factors associated with the way that the mind works.