General Overview

 After reading a paper by American psychologist, Arthur Jensen, claiming an innate difference in intelligence between the various races, Gould was shocked into writing The Mismeasure of Man

In this historical and scientific non-fiction book, Gould analyzes the main weaknesses of Jensen’s arguments. Most importantly, Gould claims craniometry measurements and intelligence quotient (IQ) test scores fail to capture the full range of human mental capabilities underlying human intelligence. As a result, these measurements and scores have been wrongly used to make the false claim that white males are more intelligent than, and thus superior to, women and members of the various racial groups. 

Controversial arguments that certain groups are inherently inferior to others continue to rage even today, spurring debate on government funding for disadvantaged groups, immigration issues, and social policy. Thus, The Mismeasure of Man is arguably more relevant in the present day than when it was first published in 1981.