Ending Prejudice: Is Closing the Intelligence Gap the Answer

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In today’s world, prejudice is just as profound as it was in years past if not more so. It can be found in nearly all aspects of life and sometimes is not even known to exist. One thing that has changed regarding prejudice is its appearance. Before the Civil War and through the 1960s, prejudice could be most commonly defined as a physical degrading of African-Americans. They were looked down upon and treated poorly, often being physically harmed as slaves and forced to use separate restrooms, drinking fountains, and sit in different locations on a city bus during the civil rights movement. Today, prejudice is ironic in the fact that it knows no specific race and affects everyone. According to Myers (2011), intelligence varies…show more content…
Prior to their experiments, there were several explanations for this phenomenon, including that black students were actually less intelligent than others. However, Steele and Aronson did not believe this was the cause of the lower grades, and that it may actually be caused by the notion that black students were supposed to achieve lower grades than other students. The experiment that Steele and Aronson came up with consisted of a difficult, frustrating test administered to over 100 college students. They told some students with similar SAT scores that the test was not designed to measure cognitive skills while other groups of students were told the test was designed to measure intellectual aptitude. The group of students whose test was not for measuring cognitive skills scored similarly, regardless of race. Contrarily, black students who took the test measuring abilities scored significantly less than black students whose test was not for measuring cognitive skills, while the scores of white students were similar between both tests. In addition, the same effect on scores was present when students were asked to identify their race prior to taking the test. After conducting this experiment, Steele and Aronson were able to conclude that standardized tests are not exactly standardized. The way tests are worded or presenting information in any way that implies stereotype threat automatically puts some students at
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