Front cover image for The Cattell controversy : race, science, and ideology

The Cattell controversy : race, science, and ideology

"Raymond Cattell, the father of personality trait measurement, was one of the most influential psychologists in the twentieth century, the author of fifty-six books, more than five hundred journal articles and book chapters, and some thirty standardized instruments for assessing personality and intelligence in a professional career that spanned almost seventy years. In August 1997, the American Psychological Association announced that Cattell had been selected the recipient of the American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychological Science. Then, only two days before the scheduled ceremony, the APF abruptly postponed the presentation of the award due to concerns involving Cattell's views on racial segregation and eugenics." "In addition to his mainstream research, Cattell had also authored a series of publications that posited evolutionary progress as the ultimate goal of human existence and argued that scientifically measurable criteria should be used to distinguish "successful" from "failing" racial groups so that the latter might be gradually "phased out" by non-violent methods such as regulation of birth control. Derived from science, Cattell's evolutionary philosophy was intended to be the basis of a full-blown religion. Although the earliest of these works had been published in the 1930s, near the end of an era in which eugenically based policies for human improvement were much more acceptable, Cattell promoted similar ideas well into the 1980s and '90s."
Print Book, English, ©2009
University of Illinois Press, Urbana, ©2009
xi, 254 pages ; 24 cm
9780252034008, 0252034007
Introduction : "a fierce wind"
Factor analysis and its discontents : Cattellian science
In the name of evolution : the beginning of Cattell's moral system
Beyondism and the necessity for "genthanasia" : Cattellian morality in the postwar period
The Cattell convention : the controversy over the award
Conclusion : science, awards, and ideology