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Intelligence and Crime: A Study of Penitentiary and Reformatory Offenders

JAMA. 1940;114(23):2327. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810230057027.
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ABSTRACT

Time was when the evils of mankind were explained, in large measure, by the bogy of feeblemindedness. Poverty, unemployment and crime were directly related to intelligence defect. When systematic tests of intellectual capacity were applied in a routine way to some millions of American youths at the time of the draft for the World War, it was disconcerting to this theory to find that, according to the accepted standards at that time, one fourth of the young men accepted for the army were classifiable as feebleminded. This caused enormous readjustments in the concepts of intelligence, feeblemindedness and intelligence testing. It ought to have completely demolished the theory that crime was the result of stupidity, but it didn't.

Dr. Herman Adler, state criminologist of Illinois and director of the Institute for Juvenile Research, was anxious to substitute facts for theories regarding this question, although he himself was convinced that it was

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