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African American Psychologist

Dr. George Herman Canady:  African American Psychologist Who Explored The Impact of Bias In IQ Testing

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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Dr. George Herman Canady (1901-1970)

Born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Dr. George Herman Canady (1901-1970) was an African American psychologist who explored bias in IQ testing administration.  Canady earned a BA, in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Northwestern University in 1927, a masters of arts in Clinical Psychology in 1928, and a Ph.D. in psychology, all from Northwestern University.  Canady was also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fratenity, Inc. He is most recognized for being the first psychologist to examine how the race of the test proctor could possibly create bias when administering IQ testing.  This was the focus of his master’s thesis, “The Effects of Rapport on the IQ:  A Study in Racial Psychology.”  His work provided recommendations for improving testing environments. Continue reading “Dr. George Herman Canady:  African American Psychologist Who Explored The Impact of Bias In IQ Testing”

Dr. Robert Lee Williams II:  African American Psychologist Who Developed An IQ Test For African American Students & Promoted, “Ebonics” as an African American Dialect

Black History: Special Delivery!!

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Dr. Robert Lee Williams, II (1930 – Present)

Robert Lee Williams II (1930-present) is a pioneer in the field of American psychology. He is well known for his efforts in educating African American children as well as studying cultural bias against African American students present in standardized testing with a focus on IQ tests. Williams was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. His father worked as a millwright and died when Williams was 5 years old. His mother worked as a domestic. After high school, he attended Dunbar Junior College in Arkansas. He dropped out after a year because he was discouraged by a low IQ test he received. Williams married Ava L. Kemp in 1948. They have 8 children.

Williams later enrolled at Philander Smith College where he graduated in 1953. He then went to Wayne State University in Detroit, MI where he obtained a master’s degree in educational psychology in 1955. He later went on to earn a doctorate in clinical psychology at Washington University in St. Louis in 1961. He served as the Assistant Chief Psychologist for the Veterans Administration Hospital in St. Louis from 1961-1966. William held several other professional roles as well. In September 1968, he helped to organize the Association of Black Psychologists. The death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 sparked a wave of increased consciousness for Williams regarding his racial identity and the racial identity of African Americans as a whole.

Continue reading “Dr. Robert Lee Williams II:  African American Psychologist Who Developed An IQ Test For African American Students & Promoted, “Ebonics” as an African American Dialect”

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