Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


  • Andrew S. Winston
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_99


More than any other social movement of the early twentieth century, eugenics illustrates and illuminates the intersection of science, ideology, and social values. With a complex history and a shifting relationship to a number of academic disciplines, eugenics provided a major point of cooperation and conflict among scientists, politicians, civic leaders, and social reformers, including those with a redemptive vision for the destruction of the unfit. Psychologists played varying roles in the history of eugenics, as both supporters and critics. The intelligence testing movement of the early 1900s raised hopes for the objective identification of human worth and was therefore an important part of the eugenics movement. Even after World War II, claims regarding the heritability of IQ and alleged racial differences in intelligence continued to play an important role in eugenic ideas and proposals. Despite Nazi atrocities, eugenics remained a muted and transformed presence in the...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada