The Abilities of Man their Nature and Measurement


    PROF. SPEARMAN'S new book, embracing his researches for some years past, is an exceedingly difficult book to review, and this for more than one reason. In the first place it is distinctly written for the layman, and he is expected to take many things on faith. He has to trust Prof. Spearman's mathematics and still more Prof. Spearman's arithmetic. Now we can scarcely call upon the author of a popular book of this nature to justify either arithmetically or mathematically all his statements, but we do think that without overcrowding his pages he might have given us more of the numerical data on which his conclusions are based, so that we could test their adequacy without an immense amount of labour. This point is all the more to be emphasised because Prof. Spearman claims to have made by his investigations a “Copernican revolution in point of view.” He tells us that he has “not—as all others—set out from an ill-defined mental entity the ‘intelligence’ and then sought to obtain a quantitative value characterisin this. Instead, we have started from a perfectly defined quantitative value ‘g,’ and then have demonstrated what mental entity or entities this really characterises ”(p. 411).

    The Abilities of Man their Nature and Measurement.

    By Prof. C. Spearman. pp. viii + 416 + xxxiii (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1927.) 16s. net.

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    The Abilities of Man their Nature and Measurement . Nature 120, 181–183 (1927) doi:10.1038/120181a0

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