100 years of Testing Negro Intelligence

It is not the purpose of this book to prove that Negroes are socially, morally, or intellectually inferior to whites; nor is its purpose to demonstrate that Negroes are the equal of or are superior to whites in these several characteristics. Rather, it is the intention of the writer to convey with some degree of clarity and order the results of many years of research on one aspect of Negro behavior and to assess objectively the ever growing literature on this subject. — Shuey (1966). The Testing of Negro Intelligence.

I felt unsatisfied with my last attempt so I decided to conduct a more complete review. This is my most recent version of TNI (Testing Negro Intelligence). I was able to cover every major sample prior to 1980 and nearly every major sample up until the 1990s. I included, along with a plethora of other studies, two major reviews and three meta-analyses. To this I added my own analysis of the publicly available NALS and NAAL and a mini-meta-analysis covering the years 2004 to 2012. This review is based on over 700 samples of which over 60 are nationally representative. It’s so large that it doesn’t fit on my screen — and perhaps yours too. As such, I attached my excel file for interested readers. (Excel File here.)

But from this what can we conclude? That discussion will be saved for a later post. Here’s the main figure, a moving average of the gap.


Brief description of samples:

Sample #1 gives the d based on military intelligence test scores of WWI enlistees for the largest sample reported by Shuey (1966) which contained standard deviations. Typically, the d for this sample is incorrectly reported as 1.17 SD or as 17 IQ points. The correct d is 1.08 SD. Samples #2 through #7 give the ds for different groups based on Shuey’s comprehensive review of (nearly) all studies conducted between 1918 and 1965. Samples #8 and #21 give the ds based on the General Ability Battery Test for adults in industry between the 1940 and 1970 and between 1970 and 1984. Sample #9 gives the d based on military intelligence testing for WWII. #9a gives the d for inductees and #9b gives the d for draftees, as estimated by failure rates. One can compare the WWII ds found to those reported by Roth et al. in their meta-analysis of studies conducted during the second half of the 20th century; in table 4, Roth et al. give an applicant d of 1.46 and an incumbent d of 1.05. Sample #10 gives the ds based on the early NAEP tests conducted during the 50s and 60s. Samples #11 and #18 give the ds for AFQT based on nearly all male 18 year olds – who were required under selective service to take the test — for the years 1962 and 1969. These ds were estimated based on fail rates. Sample #12 gives the d for IQ based on a large national study conducted in 1965. Samples #13 through #16 summarize Osborne & McGurk (1982)’s comprehensive review of (nearly) all relevant studies conducted between 1966 and 1980. Sample #17 reports the d for mothers in the CCP study. Sample #26 gives the d for the age 7 children of the mother. Sample #19 gives the ds reported by Roth et al. (2001) in their meta-analysis of studies conducted during the second half of the 20th century. Samples #20, #33, and #52 gives the ds for Wonderlic, a test used for selection in industry. Sample #21 gives the author’s summary of the ds reported by Sackett and Shen (2008) in their review of mostly grade school and high school achievement test differences. For elementary and high school students the author of this review decomposed scores by decade (from the 60s through the 90s). The number of sub samples (e.g., “NAEP 1992 Grade 8 math“) per decade is listed in the row. Vocabulary and reading scores were averaged to form V+R averages. These averages were then used along with averaged math scores to compute composite scores. Samples #23, #39, and #53 gives the WISC standardization ds for 1972, 1989, and 2002. Sample #24 gives the composite d, as calculated by the present author, based on the 1972 NLSHS. Sample #25 gives the ds based on the 1972-1976 SAT national reports. Sample #27 gives the d based on the first national GRE report which decomposed scores by race. Samples #28, #36, and #47 gives the ds for the 1976, 1986, and 1996 Woodcock-Johnson standardizations. Samples #29, #45, and #56 give the ds for the 1978, 1995, 2008 WIAS standardizations. Samples #30 and #46 give the ds for AFQT based on the nationally representative NLSY79 and NLSY79. Sample #31 gives the ds broken down by decade based on Woods et al.’s meta-analysis. Sample #32 gives the ds for PPVT based on the review of Dunn (1988). Samples #34 and #51 give the ds for the 1985 and 2001 SB standardizations. Sample #35 gives the d of latent g based on a battery of tests given to veterans. Sample #37 gives the d based on the 1986 DAS standardization. Sample #38 gives the d based on the PPVT scores of the children of the women in the NLSY79. Sample #40 gives the d based on the 1991 KIAT standardization. Sample #41 gives the d based on WISC found in a national study conducted around 1991. Sample #42 and #54 are ds based on composite scores from the 1992 NALS and the 2003 follow up, NAAL. Sample #43 is the d based on Raven’s prison norms. Sample #44 is the d based on the PPVT scores of individuals in the Add Heath study. Sample #48 give the ds based on math and reading scores in the Early Childhood Longitudinal study. Samples #49 and #57 give the ds based on the CAT6 and CAT7 standardizations. Sample #50 gives the ds based on the WRIT standardization. Sample #55 gives the present authors meta-analysis based on 32 samples which individuals tested between 2004 and 2012. More details are provided for studies if noted.



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  1. Douglas Knight

    Two of the posts on this blog work for me, but for this post and the follow-up, all of the (internal) links seem to be broken. That is, both links to full images and the excel file. For example, the first image “tniredo1” links to
    but I think should link to
    Similarly, the excel file is here.

    This blog appears to be written by two people in the first person with no signature that I can see. That’s confusing.

    • johnfuerst

      Thanks for the notifications. The blog is still under construction and was recently relocated. The links were linking back to the old site and now have been mostly updated. You mentioned ggplots. I’m not familiar with R. Do you know were I could find a simplified introduction to it?

      • Douglas Knight

        I learned R by googling obvious questions. There are lots of course notes. I learned about Hadley Wickham’s packages (such as ggplot) from this course by his thesis advisor. Or you could go to the horse’s mouth.

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