Revisiting the Bell Curve

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Charles Murray, one of the authors of The Bell Curve Herrnstein & Murray, 1994), predicted that, even with further scholarly inquiry into the issues raised by the book, none of its conclusions would be overturned. Now, roughly five years after the publication of The Bell Curve, this target article reviews pertinent research published during the intervening time to assess Murray's prediction. Three primary areas are reviewed: the genetic contribution to intelligence, the relative contributions of intelligence and social factors to success in life, and the potential of educational experience to improve cognitive ability. The issue of genes and racial/ethnic differences in IQ is also examined. It is concluded that, contrary to Murray's prediction, many of The Bell Curve's arguments have been weakened.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2000


  • Adoption studies
  • Behavior genetics
  • Bell curve
  • Crime
  • Education
  • IQ
  • Intelligence
  • Nature/nurture
  • Poverty
  • Twin studies
  • Uterine environment


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