June 12, 2009

Literature review of Sub-Saharan African IQ

Intelligence doi:10.1016/j.intell.2009.05.002

A systematic literature review of the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans

Jelte M. Wicherts et al.


On the basis of several reviews of the literature, Lynn [Lynn, R., (2006). Race differences in intelligence: An evolutionary analysis. Augusta, GA: Washington Summit Publishers.] and Lynn and Vanhanen [Lynn, R., & Vanhanen, T., (2006). IQ and global inequality. Augusta, GA: Washington Summit Publishers.] concluded that the average IQ of the Black population of sub-Saharan Africa lies below 70. In this paper, the authors systematically review published empirical data on the performance of Africans on the following IQ tests: Draw-A-Man (DAM) test, Kaufman-Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC), the Wechsler scales (WAIS & WISC), and several other IQ tests (but not the Raven's tests). Inclusion and exclusion criteria are explicitly discussed. Results show that average IQ of Africans on these tests is approximately 82 when compared to UK norms. We provide estimates of the average IQ per country and estimates on the basis of alternative inclusion criteria. Our estimate of average IQ converges with the finding that national IQs of sub-Saharan African countries as predicted from several international studies of student achievement are around 82. It is suggested that this estimate should be considered in light of the Flynn Effect. It is concluded that more psychometric studies are needed to address the issue of measurement bias of western IQ tests for Africans.


1 comment:

Helga Vierich-Drever said...

In seven years of fieldwork in Africa I have met and worked with a wide variety of people. One of the most remarkable things that happened was when I finally got my Kua informant to give a name to the supreme deity. After much hedging a name (not the real name, course, as that was not known)and so I progressed to the next question: was this deity male or female?" This was met with embarrassed gwaffas and disbelieving stares, Surely I was an adult person, so how could I possibly imagine that an immaterial being would have any need for genitalia? Was I an imbecile? I might add, here, that my tested IQ is 158. But I was clearly a complete dope to ask such a question. So I don't think much of these Subsaharan IQ measures.