Historicing Intelligence 5

Comparing and synthesizing intelligence measuring in a transnational space

Bildet kan inneholde: organisme, gjøre, linje, rektangel.

Participants: Jim Porter, Christian Ydesen, Jon Røyne Kyllingstad

This WP will synthesize insights from the whole project, as seen through a transnational and comparative lens. This lens will be developed through the investigation of the transatlantic and Nordic contexts of intelligence testing in Norway. 

In this sense, the work package consists of the following research strands:

a) An exploration of Nordic networks, intersections, and transmissions in order to tease out the configurations of a Nordic outlook on IQ-testing and “intelligence” in education from the interwar years and into the rise of the Nordic welfare-states. Christian Ydesen.

b) A comparative study of the role(s) that IQ testing has played in Norway and the USA with specific attention to the transatlantic connections in the field of IQ, and the different economic trajectories of Norway and the US (toward a social democratic welfare state and free market capitalism respectively). Jim Porter.

c) A historical synthesis that elucidates the interplay of local, national, transnational and international processes that have helped shape the scientific object “intelligence” in Norway. Jon Kyllingstad. 

Research strands A and B take a starting point in the findings of the other 4 work packages to explore how these findings appear and relate to a Nordic and American frame of reference. Some key focus areas are:

-The ideological aspects of intelligence.

-The limits of psychometric sciences.

-The societal role(s) of psychometric sciences in general and testing in particular.

-Following the tests across national borders and across time.

Participating researchers

Christian Ydesen (Aalborg University) has published extensively on topics such as international organizations, accountability, educational psychology the history of mental ability testing and educational measurement. His dissertation entitled ‘The Rise of High-Stakes Testing in Denmark, 1920-1970’ explores the policies and practices of IQ testing in Denmark from a transnational and Nordic perspective. Jim Porter (Uppsala University) will develop the US-Norwegian comparative study based on his own ongoing research on the history of IQ, meritocracy, school policy, and race in the USA. His research examines the use of hereditarian IQ theory in federal educational policy in the United States in the years immediately following the Supreme Court order to desegregate schools in the mid-1950s. He focuses om the way in which shifts in discourses about “intelligence” over this period suggest that “racial” and individual “intelligence” were entangled and co-evolving ideologies.  Project leader Jon Røyne Kyllingstad (University of Oslo) is a historian of science who, among other things, has done several studies on notions of race, culture and nation in physical anthropology, genetics, archaeology, historiography, ethnography, linguistics. He aims to write a synthesizing account of the history of intelligence in Norway in a transnational perspective.

Publisert 28. jan. 2022 11:44 - Sist endret 14. nov. 2022 14:32