This week, you viewed a video with historical footage of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in New York Harbor. If you have not viewed this video, stop and do so now—or watch it again, this time with the perspective of what it would feel like to be in that scene. You may have relatives that arrived through Ellis Island or a similar entry point in other parts of the country. Imagine being in that moment, having endured great hardship, and then facing a test that checks your intelligence—and for no small reason. It will determine whether you can enter the United States.
Based on what you are learning about culture, is it likely that test would be fair in assessing the knowledge of those who speak languages other than English and have wildly different sets of experiences? Additionally, different cultures have different definitions of intelligence. Some cultures integrate movement and emotions into the concept of intelligence. Other cultures value analytical thinking. Still others highlight nonverbal communication. Sadly, many Ellis Island immigrants were labeled “feeble-minded” by extremely biased intelligence tests and, after all those hardships, were refused entry into America.
You will return to the issue of bias by examining how intelligence tests can favor some cultures over others. Through the Learning Resources, you will experience two types of intelligence tests and imagine how you might do if each test had major stakes for you—such as whether you could vote, be accepted by a college, or be allowed to enter a country. Intelligence tests have been used for those and other purposes—and sometimes with the express purpose of excluding some groups over others.
For this Assignment, you will examine how culture influences the definition of “intelligence” and what is considered “common knowledge” and analyze your own experiences with differing cultural views of these concepts.
- Review the Week 2 Learning Resources, with particular attention to Chapter 5 in the course text and the media piece on Ellis Island immigration.
- Take the two short assigned tests, “The Original Australian Test of Intelligence” and “The Chitling Intelligence Test,” in the Learning Resources. Note the tests cannot be filled in online. Use paper and pencil to record your answers, and then click the scoring sheet link to check your results.
- Consider how well you did on each test. What kind of knowledge was needed to do well, and how “common” is that knowledge? Consider questions in both tests that stand out to you as examples of cultural bias.
- Based on your experience, consider what conclusions you can draw about the meaning of “intelligence” and “common knowledge” across cultures and the potential for constructing an intelligence test without cultural bias.
- Consider the various views of intelligence discussed in your Learning Resources and consider how they are similar or different from your own views.
- Keep in mind the goal of supporting your viewpoints with clear reasoning and evidence. Review the Walden Writing Center resources on scholarly writing in preparation for creating your Assignment.
By Day 7
Submit a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following components. Be sure to include references to Learning Resources, including media.
- Analyze the questions in the Original Australian and Chitling tests and identify possible sources of cultural bias by specifically discussing at least one question from each test that may not be fair to members of other cultures.
- Explain whether or not you think it is possible to construct an intelligence test that would be fair to all cultures.
- In the past there have been attempts to create unbiased tests – how successful have these attempts been?
- Considering the major factors of environment, socioeconomic status, biology, and family, which do you believe to have the greatest influence on intelligence? What research supports your belief?
- Compare your own personal view of intelligence to those of cultures discussed in your Learning Resources, pointing out similarities and differences.
Note: Support the responses within your Assignment with evidence from the Learning Resources. Provide a reference list for resources you used for this Assignment.
Submission and Grading Information
To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:
- Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK2Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
- Click the Week 2 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
- Click the Week 2 Assignment link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
- Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK2Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
- If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
- Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
To access your rubric:
Week 2 Assignment Rubric
Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity
To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:
Submit your Week 2 Assignment draft and review the originality report.
Submit Your Assignment by Day 7
To submit your Assignment:
Week 2 Assignment