The Testing of Negro Intelligence, v01 (1966)
The question of Negro-white differences in mental test performance has been the subject of lively debate in recent years. Unfortunately, the subject has often been confused with social and political issues of racial inferiority, desegregation, civil rights and other extraneous matters. Moreover, a number of well meaning but often insufficiently informed writers have taken the untenable position that racial differences ought not to be found; or if found should immediately be explained away as somehow immoral and reprehensible. With this attitude I am in sharp disagreement. I welcome every honest effort to help Negroes improve their lot, but I do not believe it is necessary to prove that no racial differences exist, nor to conceal and gloss them over, if found, in order to justify a fair policy toward Negroes. The honest psychologist, like any true scientist, should have no preconceived racial bias. He should not care which race, if any, is superior in intelligence, nor should he demand that all races be potentially equal. He is interested simply in uncovering differences in performance when such exist and in inferring the origin of these differences. And this is certainly a legitimate scientific enterprise. The study of Negro-white differences in the United States offers certain distinct advantages to the student of social psychology. Negroes and whites have lived side by side in this country for more than 300 years. The American Negro s native language is English, and he has been exposed in varying degree to the same environmental influences as the American white. As a result, American whites and Negroes are much more alike in background than are racial groups of totally different cultures, e.g., American whites and Congolese. Two major difficulties arise when Negroes and whites are compared in mental test performance in the United States. First, the American Negro is generally below the white in social and economic status and his work opportunities are more limited. Many of these inequalities have been exaggerated. But inequities in the environment render it difficult to make fair comparisons between many Negro and white groups, though fair comparisons can be – and have been – made by a careful equating of background variables. A second difficulty stems from the fact that many American Negroes have white ancestry. Racial mixture, however, should cause Negro-white differences in the United States, if found, to be even more significant. For then racial differences would probably be much greater if American whites and African Negroes were compared. The second edition of The Testing of Negro Intelligence summarizes the studies of Negro-white differences in mental test performance in the United States over the past 50 years. It is a careful and accurate survey which should command the attention of all serious students of the subject. Dr. Shuey finds that at each age level and under a variety of conditions, Negroes regularly score below whites. There is, to be sure, an overlapping of 10-15 per cent which means that some Negroes achieve high scores. But the mean differences persist and are statistically significant. We are forced to conclude that the regularity and consistency of these results strongly suggest a genetic basis for the differences. I believe that the weight of evidence (biological, historical and social) supports this judgment.
The Testing of Negro Intelligence, v02 (1982)