Sociobiology and Differential Psychology

The Arduous Climb from Plausibility to Proof
  • Arthur R. Jensen


Rushton has performed a most necessary service to the advancement of behavioral science. He has indicated, succinctly yet quite comprehensively, how differential psychology can fruitfully be brought under the purview of the newly developing science of sociobiology. We may rather safely predict that his effort will meet at least temporary resistance. In the long history of differential psychology (i.e., the study of individual and group differences in behavioral traits) and in the comparatively short history of sociobiology (i.e., the study of the biological basis of social behavior) we have seen tides of opposition beyond the usual technical criticism and analysis which are a normal accompaniment to all important scientific endeavor. The resistance has evinced more of the character of the resistance which has been seen historically in connection, not with normal science, but with true scientific revolutions in the Kuhnian sense. In such cases, science has invaded areas of deep human concern and seemingly threatened entrenched theories of man’s nature and place in the universe. The apposition of evolutionary biology and human individual and group differences and social behavior, as proposed in Rush-ton’s essay, will be perceived by some as a similar threat to humans’ welfare and self-esteem.


Brain Size Brain Weight Total Body Surface Area Color Blindness Cranial Capacity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur R. Jensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Human LearningUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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