Intelligence, Race, and Psychological Testing

Mark Alfano, LaTasha Holden, Andrew Conway

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Philosophers have in recent decades neglected the state of the art on the psychology of intelligence tests as related to racial difference. A major theoretical issue is the measurement invariance of intelligence tests, the fact that blacks, Latinos, women, poor people, and other marginalized groups perform worse than average on a variety of different intelligence tests. But the skepticism now surrounding measurement invariance includes the importance of stereotype threat or the correlation of decreased performance level after test takers are exposed to stereotypes about themselves. Recent research suggests that people’s conceptions of intelligence influence how their own intelligence is expressed. In a study when high school students were informed that intelligence is not an essential or racially determined property, higher grades and better performance in core courses resulted.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race
EditorsNaomi Zack
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190236977
ISBN (Print)9780190236953
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks


  • race
  • intelligence tests
  • measurement invariance
  • stereotype threat
  • intelligence


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