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Assessment. 2005 Sep;12(3):303-19.

Culture-fair cognitive ability assessment: information processing and psychophysiological approaches.

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University of New Mexico, NM, USA.


Valid assessment with diverse populations requires tools that are not influenced by cultural elements. This study investigated the relationships between culture, information processing efficiency, and general cognitive capacities in samples of Caucasian and Mexican American college students. Consistent with the neural efficiency hypothesis, pupillary responses (indexing mental effort) and detection accuracy scores on a visual backward-masking task were both significantly related to the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) Full Scale scores. These measures of information processing efficiency were similar in the two groups. However, they were related only to Caucasian American, but not to a comparable sample of Mexican American, students' WAIS-R scores. Therefore, the differential validity in prediction suggests that the WAIS-R test may contain cultural influences that reduce the validity of the WAIS-R as a measure of cognitive ability for Mexican American students. Information processing and psychophysiological approaches may be helpful in developing culture-fair cognitive ability measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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