Cultural bias

For decades many critics have accused designers of the verbal SAT of cultural bias toward the white and wealthy. A famous example of this bias in the SAT I was the oarsman-regatta analogy question. The object of the question was to find the pair of terms that have the relationship most similar to the relationship between "runner" and "marathon". The correct answer was "oarsman" and "regatta". The choice of the correct answer presupposed students' familiarity with crew, a sport popular with the wealthy, and so upon their knowledge of its structure and terminology. Fifty-three percent (53%) of white students correctly answered the question, while only 22% of black students also scored correctly. However, according to Murray and Herrnstein, the black-white gap is smaller in culture-loaded questions like this one than in questions that appear to be culturally neutral. Analogy questions have since been replaced by short reading passages.


Post a Comment