Herman George Canady

Herman George Canady (b. October 9, 1901, Okmulgee, Oklahoma, d. 1970) was an African-American social psychologist. He is noted as the first psychologist to examine the role of the race of the examiner as a bias factor in IQ testing.[1][2]

Early life

Canady was born in 1901 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, to Rev. Howard T and Mrs. Anna Canady. He attended Douglass Elementary School and Favor High School in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Sfter graduating from Favor, Canady enrolled in Northwestern University Theological School, where he developed an interest in behavioral sciences and majored in sociology.



In September 1928, Canady’s career began when Francis Sumner left the position as chair of the psychology department at the West Virginia Collegiate Institute (now West Virginia State College). From 1936 to 1939, Canady conducted and published a plethora of socio-psychological studies. As a psychologist, one of his most monumental contributions was examining the role of the examiner or proctor in the taking of IQ tests. Canady's article in the Journal of Negro Education, titled "The Effect of 'rapport' on the I.Q.: A new approach to the problem of racial psychology", reported his findings in this area (that rapport between the examiner and the test-taker can have a significant impact on the results of the test) and offered suggestions to improve the situation.[1]

In 1939, a General Education Board fellowship allowed Canady to take a leave of absence from West Virginia to go back to Northwestern to complete his Ph.D. in psychology. After earning his doctorate in 1941, Canady returned to West Virginia as chairman, continuing his work as a psychologist.

Outside of his accomplishments at West Virginia, Canady also taught as a visiting lecturer to schools and colleges with the American Friends Committee in 1946. In 1947, he acted as a consultant to the Pacific Coast Council on Intercultural Education and Intercultural Projects in the San Diego School system. Canady also worked as a clinical psychologist for the Mental Health Unit, Veteran Administration, in Huntington, West Virginia, from 1947 to 1968.[1]

List of publications

  • Dissertation
    • Adapting Education to the Abilities, Needs and Interests of Negro College Students
  • Journal of Negro Education
    • "Individual Differences and Their Educational Significance in the Guidance of the Gift and Talented Child"
    • "A Study of Sex Difference in Intelligence- Test Scores Among 1,306 Negro College Freshmen"
    • "The Effect of 'Rapport' on the I.Q.: A New Approach to the Problem of Racial Psychology"
    • "The Social Psychology of Youth"
    • "Individual Differences Among Freshmen at West Virginia State College"
    • "Psychology in Negro Institutions"
    • "A Scale for the Measurement of the Social Environment of Negro Youth"
  • The American Journal of Sociology
    • "The Intelligence of Negro College Students and Parental Occupation"

Memberships and associations

Awards and honors

  • 1923 Charles F. Grey scholarship
  • 1939 General Education Board fellowship
  • 1949 Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity Man of the Year
  • 1950 Designated Diplomat for American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology
  • 1951 Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity Middle-Eastern Provincial Achievement Award
  • Northwestern University’s Alumni Merit Award
  • Honorary doctor’s degree from West Virginia State College


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