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Cultural Bias in Psychological Tests

In early discussions, the focus was on the inappropriateness of talk therapies for cultures which did not emphasize verbal facility and verbal sharing as much as EuropeanAmerican culture did. Class distinctions were also made, with notice being taken that some groups, such as lowerincome AfricanAmericans, did not thrive with traditional talk therapies.

Later critiques of mental health services emphasized the fundamental EuroAmericancentrism of those services. Research methodologies, research questions, and application of research had all been designed from a particular perspective. Critics contended that measures of mental health, and concepts of mental health, needed to be contextualized. As Rogler et al. (1991) put it:

How do we know we are addressing the major psychological distresses of Hispanics when we uniformly restrict our instrumentation to measures originating in the study of populations markedly different from them? (p. 591)

This is the basic question of those who criticize current psychological testing instrument and find them culturally biased.

For example, in his discussion, Carter (1991) noted that counseling theories, counseling education, and instruments utilized for both research and treatment are all based on certain assumptions about the nature of human beings. However, Carter noted, those assumptions are generally the assumptions of the dominant c


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Cultural Bias in Psychological Tests. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:20, October 24, 2014, from
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