If you google

IQ gap race

and open the google images, you will see many diagrams showing the differences.

enter image description here

I went on some IQ test pages, and I noticed that the test includes mathematical questions, that have nothing or less to do, with IQ.

That is: if your school you went to is bad, you will have less knowledge after leaving it. For example solving a mathematical question formulated in an IQ test. You cannot solve, but others will be able to solve, because they dealt with it in school, and you didn't. But the real IQ is the same.

So what I am asking is:

does a non-knowledge based, or knowledge corrected IQ test exist, and what are its results per race?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome. Does this answer address your question sufficiently? If not, could you highlight the difference between your post and the question of the linked answer? $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Sep 10, 2018 at 7:47
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD That is just some more explanation why IQ tests can be wrong. But it doesn't address my question at all. I now made the question in bold and added some words. valid answers would be "no" "yes, look here" "maybe, look here" $\endgroup$
    – Toskan
    Sep 11, 2018 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, there is a real IQ gap by race, because IQ is a measure, not a synonym for 'intelligence,' and as a measure for intelligence it often falls short, as the answer AliceD linked shows. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Sep 11, 2018 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause if it is obvious that the IQ test falls short, what measures were taken to correct the short comings? I always thought that IQ tests are testing the intelligence, and not the education. Seems like I was wrong. But I really hope that steps were taken to correct the issues. $\endgroup$
    – Toskan
    Sep 11, 2018 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Toskan It's testing both, and other things too. It's just important to take the conclusions carefully. If you study a fairly homogeneous population, maybe kids in the same school, IQ tests can still be valid for, let's say, dividing a sample into groups to see how some intervention influences them ("wow look, morning carrots really improve apple function in low IQ kids but don't really affect high IQ kids!"). They are not good for comparing races. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Sep 12, 2018 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


No, such a completely knowledge-free test has not been devised. Fluid intelligence (a component of IQ tests) is probably the closest thing to the claim of being "knowledge-free", but it isn't quite so. As typically measured, e.g. using Raven's progressive matrices one still needs to have some clue what the test is talking about in terms patterns etc. And prior exposure to similar test makes a difference (see Hayes et al. 2015) in test results, i.e. there's a learning effect.

In the US, where most such race-intelligence research is conducted, there's still a racial group difference on fluid intelligence tests (e.g. Raven's) in the usual test settings, although some evidence suggests it depends how the test is interpreted by the takers may matter, e.g. Brown & Day (2006):

This study addresses recent criticisms aimed at the interpretation of stereotype threat research and methodological weaknesses of previous studies that have examined race differences on Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM). African American and White undergraduates completed the APM under three conditions. In two threat conditions, participants received either standard APM instructions (standard threat) or were told that the APM was an IQ test (high threat). In a low threat condition, participants were told that the APM was a set of puzzles and that the researchers wanted their opinions of them. Results supported the stereotype threat interpretation of race differences in cognitive ability test scores. Although African American participants underperformed Whites under both standard and high threat instructions, they performed just as well as Whites did under low threat instructions.

A slightly more recent meta-analysis (Nguyen & Ryan 2008) still found an effect though

For minorities, moderately explicit stereotype threat-activating cues produced the largest effect, followed by blatant and subtle cues: ds = |.64|, |.41|, and |.22|, respectively; explicit removal strategies enhanced stereotype threat effects compared with subtle strategies: ds = |.80| and |.34|, respectively.

Alas most such meta-analytic research does not isolate just one type of IQ testing.

IQ testing under stereotype threats is still a pretty controversial area of research in itself, see Ziegler (2017) and reply by Nguyen & Ryan.

  • $\begingroup$ I was directed to this Q&A from here. Can you have a look at there please? As for this answer do you conclude that there are no 'real' IQ differences among races and most difference is due to non-cognitive factors such as in this case streotype threats during testing? $\endgroup$
    – infatuated
    Jun 7, 2020 at 8:47

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