Abstract

The possibility of racial bias in neuropsychological test materials has received increasing attention in recent years. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether an own-race recognition bias would provide an advantage for Caucasian participants over African American participants on the Faces subtest of the Recognition Memory Test (RMT). Thirty Caucasian and 30 African American undergraduates completed the RMT, Shipley Institute of Living Scale (SILS), and Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT). No significant group difference was found on RMT Faces. However, mean RMT Faces scores for both groups were below the 10th percentile in spite of average scores on the SDMT and SILS. A second study was conducted to further examine the validity of the RMT norms for this age range (i.e., 18–24) and to provide 2-week test–retest reliabilities. The mean RMT Faces subtest score was 39.78 (10th percentile), and 28% of the sample scored at or below the fifth percentile. Test–retest reliabilities were .63 and .64 for RMT Words and Faces, respectively. Results of these studies suggest that re-examination of the current norms for RMT Faces is warranted for adults aged.

Author notes

These data were presented at the 19th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, San Antonio, TX.