This page is a quote from Chapter 12 of Papalia, Olds & Feldman (2001).

Cultural Bias in Intelligence Testing

The text discusses the difficulty of developing a test that measures innate intelligence without introducing cultural bias. This has been virtually impossible to achieve. One attempt was to eliminate language and design tests with demonstrations and pictures. Another approach is to realize that culture-free tests are not possible and to design culture-fair tests instead. These tests draw on experiences found in many cultures. One facetious attempt to develop an intelligence test that utilizes distinctively black-ghetto experiences is the Chitling Test. It is a humorous example that demonstrates well the built-in cultural bias found in most IQ tests.

The Chitling Test (formally, the Dove Counterbalance General Intelligence Test) was designed by Adrian Dove, a Black sociologist. Aware of the dialect differences, he developed this exam as a half-serious attempt to show that American children are just not all speaking the same language. Those students who are not "culturally deprived" will score well. A sample of the test follows (the original has 30 multiple-choice questions):

Other, similar tests have been developed for Blacks (for example, the Black Intelligence Test of Cultural Homogeneity by Robert L. Williams) and for the Chicano culture. After this exercise, consider some of the "standard" IQ tests. Use examples of questions and discuss where bias is and is not present.


Papalia, Olds & Feldman (2001)    A Child's World 8/eWebsite ! Retreived November 18, 2001,

Dove, A. The "Chitling" Test. From Lewis R. Aiken, Jr. (1971). Psychological and educational testings.  Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

"Taking the Chitling Test," Newsweek, 72 (July 15), 1968.