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Peter Schonemann

Peter H. Schönemann is a German born psychometrician and statistical expert. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. His research interests include multivaritate statistics, multidimensional scaling and measurement, quantitative behavior genetics, test theory and mathematical tools for social scientists. He has published roughly 90 papers dealing mainly with the subjects of psychometrics and mathematical scaling. Schönemann’s influences include Louis Guttman, Lee Cronbach, Oscar Kempthorne and Henry Kaiser.

Schönemann has also been a persistent critic of what he considers to be scientifically sanctioned racism in psychology. In particular, he claims that (1) Arthur Jensen and others routinely confuse the first principal component (PC1) with g as Charles Spearman defined it, and that (2) the high IQ heritability estimates reported in the literature derive from restrictive formal models whose underlying assumptions are rarely tested and usually violated by the data.[1][2] [3]

Additional recommended knowledge



1953-56 University of Munich (Vordiplom)

1956-59 University of Gottingen (Diplom)

1960-64 University of Illinois (Ph.D. in General Psychology)

Notable work

Schönemann's PhD thesis "A solution of the orthogonal Procrustes problem with applications to orthogonal and oblique rotation," proposed a solution to the orthogonal Procrustes problem. Other Schönemann papers include "A generalized solution of the orthogonal Procrustes problem",[4] "The minimum average correlation between equivalent sets of uncorrelated factors",[5] and "Some new results on factor indeterminacy" [6] co-authored with M.M. Wang. All papers are routinely cited in the psychometric literature.[7][8][9] Schönemann has also written numerous book chapters, including his most recent "Psychometrics of Intelligence" chapter in the Encyclopedia of Social Measurement and the “Heritability” chapter in the “Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence”.[10]

g theory

Schönemann, in line with authors Louis Guttman and Lee Cronbach, argues for the non-existence of psychometric g.[11][12][13] He writes that there is a fundamental difference between g, first defined by Charles Spearman as a latent one-dimensional variable that accounts for all correlations among any intelligence tests, and a first principal component (PC1) of a positive correlation matrix. Spearman's tetrad difference equation states a necessary condition for such a g to exist.[14] The important proviso for Spearman's claim that such a g qualifies as an "objective definition" of "intelligence", is that all correlation matrices of "intelligence tests" must satisfy this necessary condition, not just one or two, because they are all samples of a universe of tests subject to the same g. Schönemann and others argue that this condition is routinely violated by all correlation matrices of reasonable size, and thus, such a g does not exist.[15].

Twin Studies

Schönemann, in a number of publications, has argued that the statistical heritability estimates used for most twin studies rest on restrictive assumptions which are usually not tested, and if they are, are often found to be violated by the data.[16] This is true for the monozygotic twins raised apart vs together (MZT) studies (Burt, Shields, Jinks and Fulker, Bouchard) as well as for the more widely used MZT vs dizygotic twins raised together studies.[17] For example, the narrow heritabilities of responses to the question “did you have your back rubbed” work out to .92 heritable for males and .21 heritable for females. Using the statistical models published in Loehlin and Nichols (1976) the question “Did you wear sunglasses after dark?” is 130% heritable for males and 103% for females. [18] [19]

Several other scholars have also criticized heritability estimates,[20][21] [22] and twin studies.[23][24][25][26][27] Yet others argue that the problem with heritability is "a station passed" and that behavior geneticists can and should concentrate on more important problems.[28]


  1. ^ Models and muddles of heritability. Genetica, 99, 97-108: [1]
  2. ^ Factorial definitions of intelligence: Dubious legacy of dogma in data analysis. In I. Borg (Ed.), Multidimensional data representations: When and why. Ann Arbor: Mathesis Press, 325-374
  3. ^ Schönemann, P. H. (1983). Do IQ tests really measure intelligence? Commentary, The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 6, 311-313
  4. ^ A generalized solution of the orthogonal Procrustes problem. Psychometrika, 31, 1-10.: [2]
  5. ^ The minimum average correlation between equivalent sets of uncorrelated factors. Psychometrika, 36, 21-30.: [3]
  6. ^ Some new results on factor indeterminacy. Psychometrika, 37, 61-69:]
  7. ^ Wayne F. Velicer (1974). A Comparison of the Stability of Factor Analysis, Principal Component Analysis, and Rescaled Image Analysis. Educational and Psychological Measurement, Vol. 34, No. 3, 563-572 (1974) DOI: 10.1177/001316447403400309 © 1974 SAGE Publications
  8. ^ David V. Budescu (1983). The Estimation of Factor Indeterminacy. Educational and Psychological Measurement, Vol. 43, No. 4, 971-976 (1983) DOI: 10.1177/001316448304300404 © 1983 SAGE Publications
  9. ^ Giorgio Vittadini (1989). Indeterminacy Problems in the Lisrel Model. Multivariate Behavioral Research 1989, Vol. 24, No. 4, Pages 397-414 (doi:10.1207/s15327906mbr2404_1)
  10. ^ Peter H. Schönemann (1994). Heritability. In R Sternberg (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence. New York: McMillan, p. 528-536.
  11. ^ Guttman, L. (1955). The determinacy of factor score Matrices with implications for five other basic problems of common theory. Br. J. Statistical Psychol. 8, 65-81.
  12. ^ Guttmann, L. (1992). The irrelevance of factor analysis for the study of group differences. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 27, 175-204.
  13. ^ Cronbach L.J. (1976) Equity in Selection – Where psychometrics and political philosophy meet. Journal of Educational Measurement, 10, 31-42
  14. ^ Famous artefacts: Spearman's Hypothesis. Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive / Current Psychology of Cognition, 16, 665-698:[4]
  15. ^ Psychometrics of Intelligence. K. Kemp-Leonard (ed.) Encyclopedia of Social Measurement, 3, 193-201: [5]
  16. ^ Schönemann, P. H. & Schönemann, R. D. (1994). Environmental versus genetic models for Osborne's personality data on identical and fraternal twins. Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive - Current Psychology of Cognition 13, 141-167: [6]
  17. ^ Schönemann, P. H.(1994).Heritability. In R Sternberg (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence. New York: McMillan, p. 528-536.
  18. ^ Models and muddles of heritability. Genetica, 99, 97-108: [7]
  19. ^ Totems of the IQ Myth: General Ability (g) and its Heritabilities (h², HR). 1995 Meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences
  20. ^ Kempthorne O. (1997). Heritability: uses and abuses. Genetica, Volume 99, Numbers 2-3, 1997, pp. 109-112(4)
  21. ^ Christiane Capron, Adrian R. Vetta, Michel Duyme and Atam Vetta (1999). Misconceptions of biometrical IQists. Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive/Current Psychology of Cognition 1999, 18 (2), 115-160
  22. ^ Kempthorne, O. (1978). Logical, epistomological and Statistical aspects of nature-nurture, Biometrics, 34, 1-23
  23. ^ Joseph, J. (2004). The Gene Illusion: Genetic Research in Psychiatry and Psychology under the Microscope.
  24. ^ Joseph, J. (2006). The Missing Gene: Psychiatry, Heredity, And the Fruitless Search for Genes.
  25. ^ Kamin, L. J. (1974). The Science and Politics of I.Q. Potomac, MD: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  26. ^ Kendler, K. S., & Gruenberg, A. M. (1984). An independent analysis of the Danish adoption study of schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry, 41, 555-564; Lewontin, R. C., Rose, S., & Kamin, L. J. (1984). Not in Our Genes. New York: Pantheon.
  27. ^ Rose, R. J. (1982, p. 960). Separated twins: Data and their limits. Science, 215, 959-960.
  28. ^ W. E. Crusio (1990) Estimating heritabilities in quantitative behavior genetics: A station passed. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 127-128
  • Power Tables for Analysis of Variance
  • Alternative measures of fit for the Schönemann-carroll matrix fitting algorithm
  • Complexity, extremity, and affect in male and female judgments
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Peter_Schonemann". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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