Race has always been a factor in discussing the results of standardized tests. Research proves that cultural and environmental factors, rather than genetic make-up, account for African American's lower scores on intelligence quotient (IQ) tests. To better understand how race and IQ cause controversy in the United States, it is beneficial to trace the history of the influence of the IQ test in America. .
General intelligence and IQ tests have often been presented as having a racist element. Since slavery, it is assumed that African Americans were only capable of being slaves. This is illustrated in the terms that slaves were not permitted to receive formal education. They did not have educational resources or the opportunity to learn on the same level as other races. This racist act in history is a perfect example of the belief .
that intelligence, and the availability to become intelligent, were only for a certain group of people. Obviously, African Americans and minorities are not one of those groups.
In the late 1800s, Sir Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin, came up with many conclusions, summaries, and racially based ideas. Galton states that the white race is the one and only superior race when it comes to intelligence. He also states that " intelligence was the most valuable human attribute, and that people who had a lot of it could be identified and put into leadership positions" (Lemann 115). Galton's thought's have had an effect on the decisions of other voices in society, including the creators of IQ test. (Heredity 1).
In 1905, a French psychologist by the name of Alfred Binet, created the first test of standardized human intelligence. Binet's intended to properly identify students who needed special educational assistance. He was not trying to correlate IQ scores with theories of intelligence or sort out the mentally gifted. (Green and Green 2).