Cultural Fairness in Aptitude Testing Revisited: A Cross-Cultural Parallel

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I explored some interesting parallels between the cultural fairness controversy and related research in the United States, which peaked in the late 1970s, and the ongoing debate and empirical research on test fairness in a cultural site different from the United States-namely, Israel. Specifically, I tested for cultural fairness and equity of various scholastic aptitude exams routinely used in Israel for prediction and selection purposes among school-age pupils and college applicants alike. In the first study I tested for differential predictive validity in verbal and nonverbal aptitude test scores, for a representative sample of middle-class majority (n = 144) and lower-class minority (n = 144) Israeli schoolchildren, with grade point average (GPA) as criterion. In the second study I tested the degree of differential validity in college admissions aptitude test scores, as predictors, for 824 Jewish majority and 364 Arab minority students enrolled at a major Israeli campus; 1st-year GPA served as the criterion measure. Overall, the results of both studies lend cross-cultural generalizability to much previous research conducted in the United States, providing some evidence of intercept bias; test scores were overpredictive of the scores of minority group students. However, there was little evidence of predictive slope bias by sociocultural group. Therefore, this study provides increased confidence in the appropriateness and fairness of applying the aptitude indices under consideration for predictive purposes at both the elementary school and college levels, and it has important practical implications for professional psychologists involved in testing and placement in various educational settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-262
Number of pages6
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)


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