Why is the selection of culturally neutral assessment tools so critical to the ethical practice of psychology? What can potential harm result if assessment materials are culture-bound? What potential limitations do you foresee encountering with culturally neutral assessment tools?
Class, I wanted to bring up an example of cultural bias in assessments. Unfortunately for years, most studies if IQ tests have occurred with mostly Caucasian participants. Because of cultural differences amongst different groups, we cannot generalize research done with an all-Caucasian sample to other ethnic groups. African American and Hispanic individuals tend to score on average 15 points below Caucasians on average on IQ tests, while Asian Americans tend to score higher than average on IQ tests. This does not mean that African Americans and Hispanics are less intelligent than Caucasians and Asian Americans are more intelligent than Caucasians, but rather IQ tests were normed on Caucasian samples when first created. Therefore, IQ tests tend to be culturally biased and you must be cautious when interpreting the scores on an IQ test for members of minority groups. The way that Psychologists are attempting to resolve this issue is by creating new norming tables for different cultural groups so that members of different groups are compared within each other, as opposed to being compared to a Caucasian norming group.
Have you ever encountered other examples of culturally biased assessments?