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OSU responds to stories of controversial quiz question

 
OSU responds to stories of controversial quiz question
Posted July 29th, 2014 @ 1:58pm by WTVN Newsroom

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- A viral web story has Ohio State doing some damage control.

An online story claimed a quiz for an undergraduate class called Psychology 1100 at Ohio State University included the following question:

Theo has an IQ of 100 and Aine has an IQ of 125. Which of the following statements would you expect to be true?

•  Aine is an atheist, while Theo is a Christian.

•  Aine earns less money than Theo.

•  Theo is more liberal than Aine.

•  Theo is an atheist, while Aine is a Christian.

The quiz credits the first answer as being correct.

The story took off after a student sent a screen shot to a news website. 

“Colleges will tolerate pretty much any religion other than Christianity,” the student told Campus Reform. “If colleges really want to give everyone a fair shot, they should stay away from making comments about any religion.”

“How can you really measure which religion has a higher IQ?” the student added.

Richard Petty, chairman of the Psychology Department at Ohio State University, says this wasn't a quiz they published.

"Nobody in our department, no faculty, staff, students - anybody had anything to do with this," he said.

Petty blames a text book publisher, Worth Publishing, that offers online sample quizzes as a supplement for students.

"I'm pleased the publisher took swift action, acknowledged it was a mistake and it doesn't reflect the content of the course or the book or anything like that," he said.

While he hasn't found out who wrote the question, Petty says they clearly are inexperienced and don't have a good knowledge of the field.

The university revisits which publishers they use each year and Petty says this incident will be a factor in their decision going forward.

The publisher of the quiz released a statement to WTVN on Tuesday evening.

"Worth Publishers deeply regrets the question that was included on our online quiz for General Psychology and apologizes to the students at The Ohio State University for the error. As soon as we became aware, we removed the question from our online quiz bank."

"The question comes from a published research study meant to test students on external factors impacting intelligence testing. The question as written, however, was flawed methodologically and ethically in its presentation."

"The content for Worth Publishers quizzing and testing comes directly from Psychology educators and we work hard to ensure each question is thoroughly examined, vetted, and meet our high standards. However, in this case, we did not meet those standards."

"This question was included in error and does not represent the opinions or viewpoints of any employee, author, or partner of Worth Publishers."

For more information on the initial study: http://psr.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/08/02/1088868313497266 

For information on Worth Publishers' LearningCurve: http://www.macmillanhighered.com/Catalog/other/LearningCurve

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