6 1 discussion social and cultural iq influence

6 1 discussion social and cultural iq influence

Nursing homework help

Given the importance of the intelligence quotient (IQ) in modern society, significant gaps continue to be measured based on social and cultural differences. In your initial post, utilize the module resources and your own research to explain the reason for these gaps in IQ scores. Clearly state if you think any of the existing hypotheses are sufficient in explaining this gap.

In response to your peers, offer possible solutions or alternatives that could assist in closing these gaps between groups.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.



Gaps in IQ based on cultural and social differences:

Patricia Greenfield, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that nonverbal intelligence tests are based on cultural concepts, such as the Raven’s Progressive Matrices, that are universal in some cultures but almost nonexistent in others. In societies where formal schooling is common, she says, students gain an early familiarity with arranging items into rows and columns, which gives them an advantage over test-takers in cultures where formal schooling is rare (Benson, 2003).

Greenfield also mentioned that media technologies like television and video games give test-takers from cultures where those technologies are prevalent, are at an advantage on visual tests, while test-takers from cultures where the language-based media are more common have advantages on verbal tests, Greenfield thinks it’s important to point out that nonverbal tests or visual tests are the most culture-bound of all, because they are not ‘culture-free’ and they are not ‘culture fair’; she thinks they are less fair than verbal tests. Greenfield does not believe that administering valid tests of ability in other cultures is impossible, just that it needs to involve a deep understanding of each culture’s values and practices (Benson, 2003).

Greenfield and Ashley Maynard, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii, conducted studies of cognitive development among children in a Zinacantec Mayan village in Chiapas, Mexico, using toy looms, spools of thread and other materials drawn from the local environment. The research influenced Greenfield’s beliefs that children’s development can be validly compared to the progression described by Western theories of development, but only by using testing materials and experimental designs based on the Zinacantec culture (Benson, 2003).

Like Greenfield and Maynard, Dr. Robert Serpell, from the University of Zambia, believes that translating a Western test into the local language is not enough. Instead, it is important to customize each test to the needs and values of the culture in which it is to be used. He believes if you do not do that, a person is only able to effectively discover people who would be considered intelligent by Western standards but will not be able to answer the question of whether you’re finding out which people are most intelligent according to the standards of their culture (Serpell, 1979).

I think David Perkins said it best when he said a high IQ is like the height of a basketball player, it is important, all things being equal. But all other things are not equal. There is a lot more to being a good basketball player than being tall, and there is a lot more to being a good “thinker” than having a high IQ score (Frederick, 2009).

IQ tests can be subjective. Some people can take tests better than others; some people have anxiety when taking tests which can affect their score. I think the reasons above make are logical when it comes to IQ gaps. I do think genetics can play a big role in IQ, along with access to resources (food or nutrition, money, electronics, etc.). I also think one’s emotional, mental and physical health, along with one’s upbringing and, experiences can all be contributing factors to a person’s IQ. When it comes to cultural and social differences, I agree with Serpell’s (1979) thought that it is important to tailor each test to the needs and values of the culture in which the test is being used.

All that being said, I think the idea of an IQ test helping identify the potential in individuals is a great thought, however; I work high-level executives, some of these people we read about in Fortune 500 magazines, who are millionaires and billionaires, many of them didn’t go to college and some did not even finish high school. Some of these executives even have or had learning disabilities such as; dyslexia, or speech disabilities, yet they are running and owning big-name companies. I bet if they were given IQ tests in their early years, they might not have scored very high, but no one can deny that these individuals are intelligent. A lot of these people came from underprivileged families and backgrounds, but they had a drive and the instinctive ability to rise above and become a big deal despite the cards they were given at the beginning of their lives.

I agree with Howard Gardner and his belief that it is hard to label a person’s intelligence by one test score. His theory of multiple intelligence, suggests that there are at least eight distinctive types of intelligence (Shaffer & Kipp, 2014).


Benson, E. (2003). Intelligence across cultures, American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/monitor/feb03/intelligence

Frederick, S. (2009). Why a high iq doesn’t mean you’re smart. Yale School of Management. Retrieved from https://som.yale.edu/news/2009/11/why-high-iq-does…

Raven, J., Raven, J. C., and Court, J. (2003). Manual for raven’s progressive matrices and vocabulary scales, Section I: General Overview. San Antonia: Harcourt Assessment.

Serpell, R. (1979) How specific are perceptual skills? A cross-cultural study of pattern reproduction. British Journal of Psychology. 70.3:365-80.

Shaffer, D.R. & Kipp, K. (2014). Developmental Psychology: Childhood & Adolescent (9th ed.).


Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.


African Americans presently score lower than white Americans on vocabulary, reading, and mathematics tests, as well as on tests that claim to measure scholastic aptitude and intelligence. This gap appears before children enter kindergarten and it continues into adulthood. It has lessened since 1970, but the typical American black still scores below 75 percent of American whites on most standardized tests. On some tests the typical American black scores below more than 85 percent of whites.

The black and white test score gap does not appear to be an predictable fact of nature. It is true that the gap shrinks only a little when black and white children attend the same schools. It is also true that the gap shrinks only a little when black and white families have the same amount of schooling, the same income, and the same wealth. But despite endless assumption, no one has found genetic evidence signifying that blacks have less distinctive intellectual ability than whites. Therefore while it is clear that eliminating the test score gap would require massive effort by both blacks and whites and would probably take more than one generation, we believe it can be done.

There was found a very interesting article concerning the black and white IQ test score gap that was edited in 1998 by Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips of The New York Times:

Three facts:

— When black or mixed-race children are raised in white rather than black homes, their preadolescent test scores rise dramatically. Black adoptees’ scores seem to fall in adolescence, but this is what we would expect if, as seems likely, their social and cultural environment comes to resemble that of other black adolescents and becomes less like that of the average white adolescent.

— Even nonverbal IQ scores are sensitive to environmental change. Scores on nonverbal IQ tests have risen dramatically throughout the world since the 1930s. The average white scored higher on the Stanford-Binet in 1978 than 82 percent of whites who took the test in 1932. Such findings reinforce the implications of adoption studies: large environmental changes can have a large impact on test performance.

— Black-white differences in academic achievement have also narrowed throughout the twentieth century. The best trend data come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which has been testing seventeen-year-olds since 1971 and has repeated many of the same items year after year. Figure 1-2 shows that the black-white reading gap narrowed from 1.25 standard deviations in 1971 to 0.69 standard deviations in 1996. The math gap fell from 1.33 to 0.89 standard deviations. When Min-Hsiung Huang and Robert Hauser analyzed vocabulary scores for adults born between 1909 and 1969, the black-white gap also narrowed by half.

(Jencks & Phillips , 1998)

Despite glaring economic inequalities between a few rich suburbs and nearby central cities, the average black child and the average white child now live in school districts that spend almost exactly the same amount per pupil. Black and white schools also have the same average number of teachers per pupil, the same pay scales, and teachers with almost the same amount of formal education and teaching experience. The most important resource difference between black and white schools seems to be that teachers in black schools have lower test scores than teachers in white schools. This is partly because black schools have more black teachers and partly because white teachers in black schools have unusually low scores. The number of people who think they know how to eliminate racial differences in test performance has shrunk steadily since the mid-1960s. While many people still think the traditional liberal remedies would help, few now believe they would suffice.

Conservatives invoke the decline of the family to explain social problems almost as frequently as liberals invoke poverty. But once we control a mother’s family background, test scores, and years of schooling, whether she is married has even less effect on her children’s test scores than whether she is poor. Scientists have not yet identified most of the genes that affect test performance, so we have no direct genetic evidence regarding innate cognitive differences between blacks and whites. But we have accumulated a fair amount of indirect evidence since 1970. Most of it suggests that whether children live in a “black” or “white” environment has far more impact on their test performance than the number of Africans or Europeans in their family tree.


Jencks, C., & Phillips , M. (1998). Books. Retrieved from The New York Times: https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/…