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The Mismeasure of MindsDebating Race and Intelligence between Brown and The Bell Curve$
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Michael E. Staub

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469643595

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469643595.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

A Racial History of Emotional Intelligence

A Racial History of Emotional Intelligence

(p.109) Four A Racial History of Emotional Intelligence
The Mismeasure of Minds

Michael E. Staub

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the idea that self-control and ability to tolerate gratification delay was an essential skill infinitely more important than IQ. By the 1960s, personality psychologist Walter Mischel was testing preschoolers on their ability to resist the temptation of one marshmallow available immediately in the expectation that if they waited they could have two marshmallows subsequently. Mischel saw his marshmallow experiment as having a powerful predictive value, even as others racialized Mischel’s findings in a way that pathologized black youth. By the 1970s, psychologists (like Richard Herrnstein, future coauthor of The Bell Curve) announced that there were correlations between low impulse control, low IQ, and criminal behavior. By the mid-1990s, after the publication of The Bell Curve, Harvard-educated psychologist Daniel Goleman, in his bestseller Emotional Intelligence, argued that self-control—not IQ—was most likely to predict future success. Emotional intelligence was to become a critically important alternative both to the metric of IQ and to the policy recommendations (and biological determinism) advanced in The Bell Curve.

Keywords:   biological determinism, criminality, emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman, Richard Herrnstein, gratification delay, impulse control, IQ, marshmallow experiment, Walter Mischel

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