There are two kinds of IQ test biases. Some are for them and others against them.
The modern way of thinking has given people the reason to be convinced that the IQ tests might not be the appropriate and unbiased tool to measure the level of intelligence that an individual has. To begin with, there is no one kind of intelligence that can be compared and measured; the human brain is much more capable to harness different kinds of intelligences which cannot be aptly measured by a single testing tool. So, are IQ tests biased? Let’s read ahead and find out.
There are many reasons which has led people to believe that IQ tests might not be biased. For example, IQ tests have provided enough proof that,
i. It cannot measure creativity in a person. IQ tests usually are presented in a multiple choice form; which means that there is only one preconceived answer that could be correct to a question. A creative person, on the other hand, has multiple ways of facing a problem and is, therefore, is not likely to do good on an IQ test. Therefore that particular IQ test is not fit to measure the intelligence of that creative person.
ii. Secondly, according to Gardner, there are multiple kinds of intelligences, yet IQ tests can measure only a single kind. For example, these tests can measure the mathematical, logical and linguistic intelligence but not the lateral or the fluid intelligence.
iii. Furthermore, there is enough reason to believe that the IQ tests might be biased against the poor or the underprivileged people who have not had the chance to get educated and are, hence, unable to comprehend the questions or to answer them. This, however, does not prove that they might be less intelligent than others. But the grim fact is that the IQ tests may still prove them as individuals with lesser levels of intelligence.
According to T. Anne Cleary (1968), a test becomes biased when “the criterion score predicted from the common regression line is consistently too high or too low for members of the subgroup.” In simple terms, a test is biased when a difference is shown in accuracy of predictions regarding the performance as revealed by the scores.
But this is not the only way to define a biased test. For example, if the scores of one group of people is consistently higher or lower than those of another group of people, it makes the test biased. These are the puzzles that has led some psychologists to think about IQ test biases.
So, do you want to learn in which ways are IQ tests biased? Below are given some points which have been pointed out by Jerome Sattler, who is one of the world’s foremost experts on psychological childhood assessment.
· IQ test biases against cultures
IQ tests are bound to be culturally biased as there are many things that could hinder the acquired knowledge-based IQ of an individual; for instance, differences in educational standards and opportunities, surrounding, life at home and poverty etc. hence, it becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible, to develop a testing tool that objectively measures the innate intelligence of an individual without being culturally biased. However, Sattler is of the opinion that it has not been clearly proven that the tests are, in fact, culturally biased.
Attempts can be made to eliminate culturally bound aspects, such as language, and design a test wholly based on designs, patterns, pictures and demonstrations. Psychologists have also suggested to simple build tests that are culturally fair or are based on the different cultures of people being tested.
Sattler believes that national norms are related to the societal levels of performance. For example, in the US, the Caucasian kids are comparable to the other Caucasian kids; however they do not stand equal in testing to the Hispanic kids or the African American kids. So, are IQ tests biased in this manner? No, they cannot be; therefore those who give the test have to be in knowledge of these differences in norms of the society.
Sattler is of the view that the people belonging to the minorities might not view the test in the same manner as the others. For example, they might not appreciate the achievement stimuli, the demands, the time pressures or the competitive edge required to complete the test.
There the answer to the question – are IQ tests biased? – is yes.
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