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Testing Bias

  1. Robert J. Gregory

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0987

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Gregory, R. J. 2010. Testing Bias. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Wheaton College, IL

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The claim that some psychological tests are biased is a familiar criticism, and almost everyone has an opinion about it. Typically, skeptics assert that, because of the content or the approach of certain tests, cultural minorities encounter unfair discrimination, and therefore they obtain lower scores on cognitive tests or receive more pathological scores on personality tests than majority populations. The most common basis for the argument of test bias is a subjective one, namely, that certain items or particular subtests just look, appear, or feel unfair to specific subgroups. For example, critics argue that poor performance of some minority groups on cognitive tests is because the test material is drawn from outside the cultural experience of these minorities.


  • factor analysis;
  • test bias;
  • test fairness;
  • test validity