By Brian Evans
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Extra resources for IQ and Mental Testing: An Unnatural Science and its Social History
In particular, the employer is driven to calculate ever more finely the maximum capacity oflabour. Of his workers (and prospective workers) he needs to know the optimum of aptitude for the job, the optim urn of skill acquired through practice and the optim urn of incentive for the work. U Although Weber was seeking to theorise capitalist MENTAL TESTING AND SOCIETY- I 31 society at a very high level of abstraction he was also demonstrating the inner rationality of a quite concrete phenomenon of his own time, namely the growing links between behavioural science and industry.
It seems not altogether chimeric to look forward to the time when citizens, instead of choosing their career at almost blind hazard, will undertake just the professions really suited to their capacities. One can even conceive the establishment of a minimum index to qualify for the parliamentary vote, and, above all for the right to have offspring. That these sentiments were Spearman's and not simply his co-author's is amply demonstrated by a passage in his The Abilities of Man ( 1927). ' Furthermore (and we must recall that Spearman was writing in the aftermath of the General Strike) social selection by the criterion of MENTAL TESTING AND SOCIETY- I 29 intelligence would resolve class antagonism by locating every individual in the socio-economic status appropriate to his ability.
Thouless's much used psychology textbook had, in its discussion of the 'Practical Implications of the Results of Intelligence Testing', laid it down that 'inherited intellectual endowment ... is the best single indicator of [a child's] educability and of his later success' and that this fact had 'important bearings on the problems of education and of 26 IQ AND MENTAL TESTING the efficient fitting of individuals into the economic structure of society . . In an ideal organisation of society, every man would be in an employment suited to his intelligence'3 [our emphasis].