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Statistical Hazards in Nature-Nurture Investigations


by Barbara Stoddard Burks & Truman L. Kelley 1928

'Selection' is given first place among the hazards because it is so persistent, so widespread, and often so hard to recognize. A practical definition of selection as used here would be: the system- atic operation of one or more factors that prevent a group of individuals from being what they are assumed to be. It is found, for example, in attempting to determine how much native difference exists between the mental levels of various races, that in the higher school grades negro children are closer to the level of white children than is the case in the lower grades. On the face of it, this might appear to mean that schooling had wiped out the early difference between negro and white children. If the white and negro children in the higher grades were typical of children of their age, this would indeed be the case. But if it turns out that only the ablest negroes continue at school, it may be that nurture has had no effect at all in narrowing the gap between the abilities of the chosen samples of the two races.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 27, No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 29 Number 9, 1928, p. 9-38
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 20809, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 5:32:46 AM

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