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Individual Differences

Biases in Intelligence Testing

Robert Williams

Robert Lee Williams II

Williams was an American psychologist, one of the founding members and former president of the Association of Black Psychologists, and a critic of racial biases in intelligence testing. He demonstrated inherent racial bias in standardised testing, where White students performed better than Black students, leading White psychologists to suggest intellectual superiority in White Europeans. In response, Williams created the Black Intelligence Test of Cultural HomogeneityLink opens in a new window, or BITCH-100 (it is unclear whether the acronym was a deliberate rebuke against intelligence testing!). The test was developed by drawing from African-American speech and personal experiences. Williams found that Black students performed better than White students, thus demonstrating racial biases in standardised tests.

Example of vocabulary items from the BITCH-100Link opens in a new window

Video: Williams interview on the BITCH TestLink opens in a new window

Video: TED-Ed - Should we get rid of standardised testing?Link opens in a new window