test bias

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In psychometrics, the property of a psychological test, when administered to a particular group, such as an ethnic minority or one of the sexes, of yielding an average score that is either lower (in the case of negative bias) or higher (positive bias) than the average score for the total population, the disparity being due to a factor or factors other than a true difference in the attribute being measured. The last stipulation is often difficult to prove in practice, but without it an allegation of test bias is vacuous. Without it, one could argue that scales for weighing newborn babies are biased against black babies, because they yield lower average birth weights for black than white babies. See also item bias.

Subjects: Psychology.

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