Role of culture in intelligence test performance

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Psychology unit 3 intelligence revision
Role of culture in intelligence test performance
Testing IQ in other cultures can lead to biased results as the language used may
not mean the same thing in other cultures, so other cultures won't score highly.
Fairer tests should be developed in that culture and should use appropriate
language. The instructions should also be developed within that culture.
Kepelle people research
The marking of tests needs to account for different correct answers as the
western correct answer can be correct but it doesn't mean the alternative answers
are wrong. The Kepelle tribe were asked to sort objects into groups. Their
solution was based on functional relationships between objects but the western
answer would separate fruit from utensils. Therefore cultural bias imposes etic as
we assume the western answer is correct and therefore anything different is
assumed to be wrong. Therefore culture plays a large role in intelligence test
Possible genetic reasons for poor IQ scores- Murray and Hernstein
Found that black Americans constantly perform worse on IQ tests and this
variation is due to a range of factors. Black Americans may have poorer education
so their apparent lower IQ scores may be due to poorer education rather than
genetic factors. Black Americans are more likely to have a lower class background
and so have lower IQ due to a lack of resources. The issue is that cultural
variation can reinforce stereotypes even though it is likely the variation is due to
environmental rather than genetic factors. This shows that culture plays a large
role in intelligence test performance
Robert Yerkes army beta tests show that culture can influence IQ scores as the
tests were culturally biased as they tested American knowledge. This led to
discrimination as immigrants were shown to have lower IQ's than Americans and
some were barred from entering the USA as a result. This shows that culture
plays a large role in how people perform on IQ tests and that IQ tests should be
adapted for a specific culture to be fair.
IQ tests may not accurately measure intelligence only westernised and urban
countries see IQ as important. There are other types of intelligence that are more
important in less developed and rural countries. Sternburg found that Kenyan
children had high practical intelligence as they had good knowledge of natural
medical treatments but had poor analytical intelligence. This shows that practical
intelligence is more important in this culture than analytical intelligence and whilst
they have a low IQ, they are still intelligent in their own culture. Also Brazilian
street children have good practical maths skills needed for everyday life but poor
academic maths skills. This shows that culture will determine what intelligence is

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Psychology unit 3 intelligence revision
most important. Cultures which lack IQ don't lack intelligence, but rather do not
place importance on skills which IQ measures. This shows that culture can
influence which intelligence is most important in specific cultures and therefore it
plays a large role in determining intelligence.
Issues with generalising results: cross cultural research mustn't be generalised
from one study to the whole ethnic group as there can be variations within that
group. For example, not all black Americans have low IQ scores.…read more


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