Philip E. Vernon
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Life and career
Born in Oxford, England, he attended St. John's College, Cambridge and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1927. Vernon studied contributions of environmental and genetic factors to intellectual development. He concluded that individual differences in intelligence are approximately 60% attributable to genetic factors, and that there is some evidence implicating genes in racial group differences in average levels of mental ability.
"the analysis of the World War I American military conscripts showed that the average IQ of children born in the professional class was 123, whereas those born to unskilled workers averaged 96. Vernon concluded that these social class differences have some genetic basis. He based this assessment on his review of the evidence that the intelligence of adopted children related more to the social class of their biological parents than to that of their adopting parents. Vernon suggested that social mobility allows those with higher intelligence to rise in the social hierarchy, while those with lower intelligence tend to fall."
In 1949, Vernon was appointed the Professor of Psychology at the Institute of Education, University of London, and was later appointed to a research professorship at the Institute in 1964.
In 1968, at the age of 63, he abandoned a secure academic career in England to start a second career at the University of Calgary. The Philip E. Vernon Award at University of Calgary is named in his honor. His son Philip A. Vernon also studies intellectual abilities.
- Study of Values: A scale for measuring the dominant intersests in personality. (1931)
- The Measurement of Abilities (1940)
- The Structure of Human Abilities (1950)
- Intelligence and Attainment Tests (1960)
- Intelligence and Cultural Environment (1969)
- The Psychology and Education of Gifted Children (1977)
- Intelligence: Heredity and Environment (1979)
- The Abilities and Achievements of Orientals in North America (1982)
- Jackson, Douglas N. Philip E. Vernon: 1905-1987. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, Vol 30(4), Oct 1989, 699.
- Richard Aldrich (2002), The Institute of Education 1902-2002: A Centenary history, London: Institute of Education.