Race And Intelligence Research Paper

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Aaron Downs
Mrs. Behrend
Ap Seminar
14 November 2015
Race and Intelligence
The issue of race and intelligence became prominent in the United States in the late 1960s (Rose 786). While some may argue that race correlates with the intelligence of a person, this paper will show that this is not the case and there are other factors that may determine one's intelligence. The measure of intelligence has many influences such as environment, social economics, biased standardized test, stereotypes, and genetics. These factors will be examined throughout this paper along with providing insight on how standardized tests may be biased toward different races.
Many different environmental influences have been found to shape intelligence. The cognitive
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“Blacks still score below 75 percent of American whites on most standardized tests” (Jencks and Phillips). The belief that intelligence and aptitude are innate seems to be especially important in discussions of racial differences (Jencks and Phillips 6). White Americans score closer on IQ tests to other white populations across the globe than to the worldwide black average (Saletan 1). An important question that may come to mind is whether intelligence tests biased. Intelligence tests are likely to be culturally biased when a standardized test reflects what is learned through experience in a culture that does not regard to another race as highly (Young). For instance, if a standardized test result represented an ingroup preference exclusively than it may only measure a specific part of intelligence; for example the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, WAIS, is more verbal while the Raven's Progressive Matrices, RPM, is more visual (Young). This may cause a majority of individuals with autism to do better on the RPM due to autistic students connecting with images rather than words. Young has stated that intelligence tests that only focus on certain neurological criterias and are not well indicators of intelligence due to it not equally indicating all types of intellect. Yet a majority of psychologists now agree that intelligence tests measure developed…show more content…
This is a factor called “Stereotype Threat Theory which states that subgroup differences can typically be triggered by making the subgroup aware of the negative performance stereotype” (Palumbo and Steele-Johnson page#). African American and Latino students enrolled in college, that are enrolled in math and science courses score much lower on tests when reminded beforehand of their race or gender. Minorities are notn’t the only ones vulnerable to Stereotype Threat Theory (Paul). We are all vulnerable to stereotypes;, a study on white male math and engineering majors did worse on a math test when they were told the test was to determine “why Asians appear to outperform other students on tests of math ability” (Paul). By extensive research and tests conducted on stereotypes and Stereotype Threat Theory it can be concluded that stereotypes have a possible social-psychological brain mechanism that affects academic testing performance (Palumbo and Steele-Johnson). In order to fall into a stereotype category you need to be able identify yourself by gender or ethnic group (Hunt and Carlson 195). One of the last factors that maybe influence one’s intelligence is
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