New Study Shows No Racial Differences in Intelligence Among Infants

Racial conservatives cite the persisting racial scoring gap on standardized tests for college and graduate school admissions as evidence that there is an inherent difference between whites and blacks in cognitive abilities. Scholars of IQ and intelligence give little support for this view. New research by Roland G. Fryer, an economist and Harvard University fellow, and Stephen D. Levitt, an economist at the University of Chicago who is white, have found that there are no differences in cognitive abilities among very young blacks and whites.

The study measured the mental abilities of more than 10,000 babies born in the year 2001. The babies were between eight and 11 months old when tested. Scholars trained in early childhood development rated the babies’ abilities in reaching for and holding objects, exploring their surrounding environment, using tools to help them in tasks, and in communication skills. The results showed no difference in the abilities of black and white babies.

While Asian Americans routinely score higher on standardized tests for college and graduate school admissions, Asian babies in the Fryer-Levitt study actually performed at a slightly lower level than either blacks or whites.