Culture fair intelligence tests

By the 123test team. Updated September 2023

Culture fair intelligence test

Culture fair test

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On average, migrants and people from cultures other than the American and European, tend to score lower on IQ tests. Some people have interpreted this as evidence that people from non-white cultures are less smart by nature. However, this conclusion is wrong.

In most cases, the intelligence tests used are not culture fair. After all, in order to do well on a Spanish IQ test, you would have to be able to speak and understand sufficient Spanish. In addition, migrants often have had less education, and tend to have less developed test skills. The latter means that they are not used to, for example, multiple choice questions or have not learned to work under time pressure.

Many migrants have never taken an IQ test before, so it should be no surprise they score lower.

Completely culture fair?

Several culture fair intelligence tests have been developed over the years. They contain less verbal instructions and the questions relate to images or puzzles. As they focus more on logical reasoning, they are better suited for people from different cultures. An example of culture fair intelligence tests are Raven's Progressive Matrices. However, research has shown that even these tests are not completely free of cultural bias. After all, it is not the tests that are discriminating, it's the people interpreting the test scores.

Although it still remains to be seen whether it is at all possible to develop 100% unbiased intelligence tests, some big steps have been made. An example is our free culture fair intelligence test, which is all visual and focuses on logical reasoning. This test is nonverbal, which should make it comprehensible to people from all over the world.