A systematic literature review of the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans

J.M. Wicherts, C.V. Dolan, H.L.J. van der Maas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

On the basis of several reviews of the literature, Lynn [Lynn, R., (2006). Race differences in intelligence: An evolutionary analysis. Augusta, GA: Washington Summit Publishers.] and Lynn and Vanhanen [Lynn, R., & Vanhanen, T., (2006). IQ and global inequality. Augusta, GA: Washington Summit Publishers.] concluded that the average IQ of the Black population of sub-Saharan Africa lies below 70. In this paper, the authors systematically review published empirical data on the performance of Africans on the following IQ tests: Draw-A-Man (DAM) test, Kaufman-Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC), the Wechsler scales (WAIS & WISC), and several other IQ tests (but not the Raven's tests). Inclusion and exclusion criteria are explicitly discussed. Results show that average IQ of Africans on these tests is approximately 82 when compared to UK norms. We provide estimates of the average IQ per country and estimates on the basis of alternative inclusion criteria. Our estimate of average IQ converges with the finding that national IQs of sub-Saharan African countries as predicted from several international studies of student achievement are around 82. It is suggested that this estimate should be considered in light of the Flynn Effect. It is concluded that more psychometric studies are needed to address the issue of measurement bias of western IQ tests for Africans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalIntelligence
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic literature review of the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this