Intelligence Tests and Immigration to the United States, 1900–1940

Abstract

Measuring innate (genetically determined) mental traits was a major part of the psychometric movement in the early decades of the twentieth century. Low test scores (given as an intelligence quotient, or IQ) were used by eugenicists to lobby in the US Congress for restricting immigration of those claimed to be genetically inferior in IQ.

Keywords: intelligence tests; immigration restriction act (Johnson–Reed act); Mendelian genetics; eugenics; feeblemindedness

References

Allen GE (1986) The Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, 1910–1940: an essay in institutional history. Osiris (2nd Series): 225–264.

Allen GE (1987) The role of experts in scientific controversy. In: Engelhardt TH Jr and Caplan AH (eds.) Scientific Controversies, pp. 169–202. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Brigham CC (1923) A Study of American Intelligence. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Gould SJ (1996) The Mismeasure of Man, 2nd edn. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Lipmann W (1922). In: Block NJ and Gerald D (eds.) The IQ Controversy, pp. 4–44. New York: Pantheon Books.

Ludmerer K (1972) Genetics and American Society. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Zenderland L (1998) Measuring Minds: Herbert Henry Goddard and the Origins of American Intelligence Testing. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Further Reading

Haller M (1985) Eugenics: Hereditarian Attitudes in American Thought. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Kevles DJ (1985) In the Name of Eugenics. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Paul D (1995) Controlling Human Heredity, 1865 to the Present, Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press.

Selden S (1999) Inheriting Shame: The Story of Eugenics and Racism in America. New York: Teachers' College Press.

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How to Cite close
Allen, Garland E(Sep 2006) Intelligence Tests and Immigration to the United States, 1900–1940. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005612]