I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the conflation of every lay news story that concerns psychological science with some racist that he wants us to hate.
I''m tired of the supposition that I'm a hater also, or even part of the problem of racism and sexism, just because I think some questions are worth asking (by the way, as should be obvious from the last go around, questions about racial differences are ridiculous from a biological and cognitive standpoint, but not from a sociological and other-branches-of-psychology view).
I'm deeply troubled by the mistrust of psychological science on this board generally.
There is nothing wrong in claiming that "Intelligence" is not a perfect concept, because it isn't. Not too many psychologists I know would stick up for it as a perfect measurement.
Denying that some achievement measures show a strong positive correlation with results of intelligence tests is like denying the earth is round. Shouting people down because they want to present to you the world as it is, and because they think it worthy of study, is hardly a worthy pursuit.
To suggest as one writer in the recent diary, that metaanalyses don't have controls doesn't make sense. Surveying hundreds of published studies smooths out potential problems, it doesn't exacerbate them!
Psychological tests come with instructions, and psychology students take those instructions seriously. We have years of study that tells us we must be consistent, we study statistics and experimental design till we are blue in the face. We love our work just as the rest of you. My goodness, I don't even do psychological testing for a living (well, for a short while as a job I administered them to amnesic patients), and here I am forced to speak up on testing's behalf!
I've never met a racist or sexist psychologist in my 14 years in the field, although certainly a few exist. The danger they pose is tremendous and should be faced at every opportunity.
Sex differences exist in the human brain, people, and they exist early on in development. Secondary androgenization (puberty) enhances some of these differences. In my own work I can see small differences in how male and female participants negotiate conflict when trying to name a briefly-presented facial expression in the presence of a distracting emotion word (tell me as fast and accurately as you can that a presented face is happy while a word on the screen is "angry"). If asked I can tell you what the practical significance of such differences may be (short answer: not much).
I'm presently interested in performance on cognitive tasks as a function of fluctuations in our hormonal environment, how the hemispheres of the brain are specialized, and sex differences. These are valuable basic science questions that must be asked. Why should we be afraid of some truth?
I think Summers was wrong - while there are sex differences they pale in comparison to the effects of very real socialization processes, ones that I hate to see at work in my own 8 yr old boy and 6 yr old girl.
I think racists and sexists are wrong.
I think the act of connecting two different ideas (Summers and the racists) by sweeping statements in the service of an ideological agenda is wrong.
I trust Armando's legal reporting implicitly, and why shouldn't I? I's his line of work! I only ask for his trust in return, and for him to trust the other psychologists on this board and refrain from knee-jerk responses. Must it be that the only fruitful discussion that we can have about science on this board are the (fantastically wonderful and illuminating) evolution and cosmology pesentations by DarkSyde?