Human Abilities in Cultural Context constitutes a major new reference frame for conceptualizing and studying human abilities. It is a unique contribution. Part I offers a reevaluation of ability theory by the editors, S. H. Irvine and J. W. Berry, and strong individual statements by H. J. Eysenck, Arthur R. Jensen, Joseph R. Royce, and Robert J. Sternberg, who represent markedly different approaches to the measurement of intelligence. Part II reviews various regional and national empirical studies in Britain, Norway, Turkey, Australia, China, Japan, SOuthern Africa, and North America. Part III focuses on contexts in which the limits of assessment by psychological tests are defined: in minority native groups in North America, in migrants to Britain, in lower-caste enclaves in India, among African minorities, and among Australian Aborigines. Written by long-term residents of the regions in question, these chapters present a wealth of new data that has been ignored in Western formulations of theory and practice.
After five years of editorial labor, Irvine and Berry have issued one of the best-informed, most sustained scientific challenges to conventional wisdom about the nature of mental abilities and the conditions that foster their development in decades - a challenge to which psychologists and educators must respond.