Title

Can Racial Differences in Cognitive Test Performance Be Reduced by Presenting Problems in a Social Context?

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

6-1998

Abstract

It is well documented that African Americans tend to score lower on cognitive ability tests than White Americans. The cause of this performance difference is still being hotly debated and actively researched. Recently, J. E. Helms (1992) argued that cognitive ability tests fail to adequately assess African American intelligence because they do not account for the emphasis placed on social relations and the effect of social context on reasoning in the African American culture. To evaluate this argument, racial subgroup performance differences on Wason conditional reasoning items presented in the standard abstract form and in a social relationship form were examined. Contrary to Helms's argument, results indicate that presenting Wason conditional reasoning items in a social context did not reduce the difference between African American and White American Performance.

Keywords

presentation of Wason conditional reasoning task in social context, racial group performance, Black vs White college students, cultural test bias, ethnic differences

Discipline

Cognitive Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

Journal of Applied Psychology

Volume

83

Issue

3

First Page

438

Last Page

451

ISSN

0021-9010

Identifier

10.1037/0021-9010.83.3.438

Publisher

American Psychological Association

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.83.3.438

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