Test Bias

Concepts and Criticisms
  • Arthur R. Jensen
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)


As one who has been reading about test bias now for over 30 years, I have noticed a quite dramatic change in this literature within just the last decade. This development was auspicious, perhaps even essential, for the production of my most recent book, Bias in Mental Testing (1980a). Developments in the last decade made it possible to present a fairly comprehensive and systematic treatment of the topic. Prior to the 1970s, the treatment of test bias in the psychological literature was fragmentary, unsystematic, and conceptually confused. Clear and generally agreed-upon definitions of bias were lacking, as was a psychometrically defensible methodology for objectively recognizing test bias. The study of test bias, in fact, had not yet become a full-fledged subject in the field of psychometrics. The subject lacked the carefully thought-out rationale and statistical methodology that psychometrics had long invested in such topics as reliability, validity, and item selection.


Test Score Test Item Item Difficulty Black Child Mental Test 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur R. Jensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Human LearningUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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