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Ethnic Groups, Intelligence Testing, and the Abilities to Learn

Campbell, Joel T.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
Academic Aptitude, Black Students, Intelligence Differences, Intelligence Tests, Racial Differences


Although many studies have shown that, on the average, African Americans have not performed as well as Whites on tests of mental ability, most psychologists feel that the differences in educational and economic opportunity have been too great to allow for any real matching of groups on socioeconomic status. Therefore, the differences are probably due to environmental effects. It is important to remember that intellectual abilities are not necessarily constant for life, but may be enhanced by enrichment programs, which are particularly beneficial in the early years. In addition, the ability to learn is a combination of multiple aptitude factors. With more information on the aptitude factor pattern of minority cultures, and on the relationship between aptitude factors and learning factors, perhaps more meaningful instructional programs would be possible. Improvements in testing of learning capabilities are needed, as well as equalized access to education and improved education for all students. Paper presented at meetings of American Educational Research Association, February 12, 1965.

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