Also known if somewhat less delicately as the “Chitlin’ Intelligence Test”, the Dove Counterbalance Test was designed by Black sociologist Adrian Dove, in 1971, and is used for instructional and educational purposes and to also highlight that so-called IQ tests generally rate the knowledge of people who grew up cognizant of the information that particular IQ tests covers. Intelligence quotient tests seek to find the level of capability designed to test learning capability, memory, innovative and creative thinking and the ability to simultaneously address multiple problems that the test subject has on certain kinds of information and knowledge, but, many IQ tests reveal the weaknesses of cultural bias that lurk in so many IQ tests.

The Dove Counterbalance Test is based on Black American specific history and knowledge. The test requires knowledge on the familiarity of Black American community life in the 1950s and 1960s.

Created to test one’s knowledge of Black people’s food, culture, traditions, history, language, attitudes, and lifestyles, the test shows that IQ tests divulge a dissimilarity in people’s cultural backgrounds.

What may be known as a breakfast nook to many White people, as well as a bidet, may be something unknown to many Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and Black Americans.

What may be known to many Black Americans as talking out the side of your neck, and the dozens, may not be known by many other non-Blacks.

Some IQ tests are visual and spatial, as well as verbal and mathematical. The following IQ test item, is modeled after items in the Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test:

Other IQ tests are as follows:  Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, (aka, WAIS Test);  Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Stanford-Binet, Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities, Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, and Raven’s Progressive Matrices (take the test   here.)

IQ tests can also contain cultural influences that reduce their validity, especially in any supposed cultural fairness of the test when given to groups of people not familiar with the tests, creating what is known as Stereotype Threat. Claude Steele discusses stereotype threat.

Some IQ tests, such as the WAIS, cannot measure the cognitive ability of some groups of people such as children suffering from autism; or, groups not familiar with the cultural and linguistic modes of American and Western Europe society, such as the Khoi and San people of South Africa. On the other hand, if the Khoi and San people devised a test for non-San people, I am sure many of us would fail it miserably.


Getting back to the Dove Intelligence Test.

Some questions on the Dove test are as follows:

“A gashead is a person who has a…?” Or this one:  “Jet is…?”

If you wish to go further, test your knowledge here on the Dove Test.

If you want to go even further, here are other IQ tests that show the cultural dissimilarities that occur when trying to assess a person’s cultural knowledge of groups or societies that are different from their own:

-the Elliott Discrimination Inventory Test, devised by Jane Elliott of the famous “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Experiment”. The test items are about life in various countries in the United Kingdom;  the Black Intelligence Test of Cultural Homogeneity (aka, the B.I.T.C.H.-100 Test), created by Robert Williams in 1972; and the Koori Test, ( aka, Knowledge Of Operative Reflective Intelligence), created in 1982 by James Wilson-Miller, in which the test questions are about Australia’s Aboriginal people’s culture, tradition, lifestyle, and linguistics.

Other tests:  the Redden-Simons Rap Test, a 50-item, multiple-choice test of vocabulary items typical of “street language” in 1986, in Des Moines, Iowa. On the short version of the Redden-Simons “Rap” test (12-items), “street” individuals averaged eight correct items, and college students averaged only two correct items.);  Australian/American Intelligence Test, drawn from typical items on standard Western-European intelligence tests; and the 10-item Original Australian Intelligence Test, based on the culture of the Edward River Australian Aboriginal community in North Queensland.   [SOURCE]

The purpose behind the aforementioned tests is to give people an idea of what it is like to be tested, assessed, and graded on test criteria that would be foreign to the test subjects, since it is not part of their cultural history.

Intelligence is not just book learning. It is more than learned knowledge.

Intelligence is also skills one has learned to handle the twists and turns that life throws them.

It is good to be able to utilize calculus, geometry, basic math, English grammar, and fractions, but, it would also be a testament to one’s knowledge and skills to know how to make a Dakota fire hole, to know how to make a snare to trap birds, to know how to build shelter on a beach, in the Sahara desert, in the snows of Northwest Alaska, or in the deep innermost reaches of the Amazon rain forest.

People’s intelligence increases as they age. (Well, it should.)

What one knew as a child becomes more as one grows older.

The true test of a person is not what they learned only in books.

The true test of a person’s intelligence is in the ability to acquire knowledge, to develop critical thinking skills, to think and reason effectively, how they make their way through life’s toils and travails, as well as how they evolve and adapt to life’s ever-changing dynamics in their environment.


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  2. The Dove Operative

    Intelligence. Not just information.

  3. Dee

    You gave me your test as a younster in 1972 and I failed miserably. Thanks to you, I thought of what it meant about society and would do much better taking it now having been exposed to other cultures and values. Wisdom also comes with age! You also did not talk down to me as a child. That is appreciated. Thanks from a former resident of Reston VA.


    Im in trouble. I am a 50 year old black female raised in the south and I only got 7 out of the 15 questions right and I guessed 2 of the answers. Go figure.

  5. Rebecca Ewing

    Interesting! I grew up in the Midwest, have lived in the South for 25 years, and got 7 out of 15 right as well. I did have to guess, but since I grew up in the 60s, I has exposed to some of this info back then. I think part of these answers have to do with age, as well as culture.

  6. Nugget

    “The true test of a person’s intelligence is in the ability to acquire knowledge, to develop critical thinking skills, to think and reason effectively, how they make their way through life’s toils and travails, as well as how they evolve and adapt to life’s ever-changing dynamics in their environment.”

    Beautifully put.

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