chapter  6
26 Pages

POTENTIAL IN THE COGNITION-CULTURE COMPLEX

Why are the myriad assumptions scrutinised throughout this book so widely embraced and accepted by both psychologists and the general public? Why do we believe that cognitive ability can be conceived like any quantitative character, as far as modelling causes of its development and individual differences in it are concerned? Why do we believe that it can be defined in terms of fixed inner structures or constraints that ‘fit’ some corresponding stable demands of the environment? Why do we believe that it is ‘normally distributed’ in the population, when most measurable traits are not? Why do we reduce cognitive ability to a simple ‘two-layer’ model in which what we ‘see’ on the ‘outside’ is just a smudged expression of the genes on the ‘inside’? Why do we continue to believe in IQ when we recognise that nearly all children know far more and can think in far more complex ways than is ever required in an IQ test, and when a test score predicts nothing that is not actually built into the tests? Why do we believe that genes and environments can be analytically atomised into independent elements having additive effects, when even those who construct genetic models based on those assumptions stake their claims as vibrant ‘interactionists’?