Journal of Biosocial Science

Research Article

Reaction times and intelligence: a comparison of Chinese-American and Anglo-American children

Arthur R. Jensena1 and Patricia A. Whanga2

a1 School of Education, University of California, Berkeley

a2 Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology, Auburn University, Alabama, USA


Chinese-American and Anglo-American school children were compared on a nonverbal test of intelligence (Raven's Progressive Matrices) and on twelve chronometric variables which measure the speed with which basic information processes (e.g. stimulus apprehension, decision, and discrimination) can be carried out. All of these tasks are correlated with psychometric intelligence. The two groups differed significantly on most of the variables, but the differences appear to be multidimensional and are not simply due to a group difference in psychometric intelligence, equivalent to about 5 IQ points in favour of the Chinese-Americans. The results are compared with those of Lynn and his colleagues on British, Japanese, and Hong Kong children, and both consistencies and inconsistencies are found.

(Received February 14 1992)