Test Bias

Testing typically involves assigning numbers to participants to quantify the levels of psychological constructs, such as intelligence, personality, or forms of psychopathology. Test bias occurs when factors other than the construct of interest systematically influence the scores obtained by members of different, identifiable groups. The most common concerns are when the test bias is based on race, cultural background, gender, or socioeconomic status. A test cannot be considered biased solely on the basis of observed group differences in test scores, as some groups are truly different. For example, men are taller, on average, than women. Differentiating actual group differences from test bias is a major challenge for researchers. This entry describes the different kinds of test bias, common sources of bias, some consequences of test ...

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