Flynn, J. (2006, October 18). Excerpts from Chapter 9 ("Justice and Meritocracy") of: How to Defend Humane Ideals. WebPsychEmpiricist. Retrieved October 18, 2006, from

This paper presents two sets of extracts from the author’s book How to Defend Humane Ideals. The first set fundamentally challenges a great deal of “politically correct” thinking on bias in testing and social policy. One of the main organising constructs is “ethnicity as an information bearing characteristic”. It is argued that it is naïve to think that individualistic assessment can meaningfully replace the use of the information bearing capacity of group differences in public policy. The second set of extracts clearly demonstrate that those who imagine that a single-factor meritocracy can be combined with gross differences in material standard of living are simply not thinking clearly. Resolution of the dilemma posed by the tension between meritocracy and egalitarianism behoves psychologists to find ways of identifying, developing, and rewarding multiple talents on the one hand and ways of understanding and intervening in the sociocybernetic forces which prevent people enacting their values (both individually and collectively) on the other.

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