The primary aim of this study is to demonstrate the usefulness of a systematic construction of ability-test distractors for cross-cultural comparisons. A vocabulary test of seven items was devised in such a way that the five distractors of each item consisted of (a) the right answer, (b1),(B2) words that neither resembled nor associated with the stimulus in meaning or sound, (c) a word that was similar in sound to the stimulus, and (d) a word that was similar in meaning to the stimulus. The sample consisted of 216 candidates to Haifa University, between the ages of 18 and 25. Their parents were of two different ethnic origins: North African (N = 72) and East European (N = 144). The two groups were matched on sex and general level of intelligence. It was found that Ss from the European background tended to choose type (d) distractor as their best guess when they did not know the right answer. On the other hand, Ss from North African origin preferred distractors of type (c).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology