Cognitive Ability, Environmental Factors, and Crime: Predicting Frequent Criminal Activity

  • Lucinda A. Manolakes


Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life has revived the ongoing debate over the appropriateness and usefulness of IQ as an explanatory variable in models predicting behavior.1 The book posits that a core human cognitive ability exists and is “one of the most thoroughly demonstrated entities in the behavioral sciences and one of the most powerful for understanding socially significant human variation” (p. 14). The work’s main thesis is that an individual’s intelligence—no less than 40% and no more than 80% of which is inherited genetically from his or her parents—has more effect than socioeconomic background on future life experiences, including criminal actions.


Parental Education Criminal Justice System Criminal Activity Criminal Behavior Urban Residence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

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  • Lucinda A. Manolakes

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