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PSYC37 - lec #2.docx

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Michael Inzlicht

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th WK3 –Lec#2 – January 22 , 2013 History of Psychological Testing ● According to Robert j. Gregory: ○ "Students of psychology normally regard historical issues as dull, dry, and pedantic, and sometimes these prejudices are well deserved" ○ "In reality, the history of psychological testing is a captivating story that has substantial relevance to present-day practices" (p.41) Historical Timeline ● Han Dynasty (2220 BC) - 1st idea of test selecting ppl ● Physiognomy and Phrenology (384 BC/1810) ● Charles Darwin and Sir Francis Galton (~1859-1883) ○ Impact on western society ● Experimental Psychology and Psychophysical Measurement (~1886-1912) ○ UofT has a huge history of this ● Intelligence Tests (~1905-1930s) - selection, education ● Personality and Vocational Tests (1920-1940s) Rudimentary forms of testing in china in 2200 BC ● Emperor had his officials examined every 3rd year for fitness for office -> did it work? ● Written exams were introduced in the Han dynasty to test civil law, military affairs, agriculture, revenue, and geography ● * final form of Chinese Examination System - going into political office, first formal testing for specific purposes ○ Round 1: spend one day and night in a small isolated booth composing essays on assigned topics and writing a poem ○ Round2: three separate sessions of 3 days and 3 nights ○ Round3: travel to Peking for a final round of examinations to finally become mandarins eligible for public office  Found to be: unnecessary, gruelling, and wasn't validated (abolished in1906 by royal decree)  Their writing; prose, intelligence, writing style showed their competence for office, but was it really accurate or necessary?  Modern day GRE: validated, shows an incremental validation Physiognomy Based on notion that we can judge the inner character of ppl from their outward appearance ● Still studied today ● Can tell personality traits just by glancing at the face ○ Ex. Can identify top Fortune 500 CEOs just by looking - still accurate today Phrenology ● Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) ● Brain capacities are localized ● When a specific faculty develops, the corresponding brain area enlarges ● Causes a "bump" on the skull ● Psychograph is used to automatically read these bumps Charles Darwin and individual diff. ● Darwin posited that higher forms of life evolved partially b/c of differences among individual forms of life within a species ○ Reason for testing ○ Ppl who are exceptional stand out ● Those with the best or more adaptive characteristics survive @ the expense of those who are less fit ○ Ex. Do you prefer sweet or salty Sir Francis Galton and James Cattell ● Galton (a relative of Darwin) detour to show that some characteristics made them more fit than others, and he began to experimentally study individual differences in human sensory and motor functioning ○ No grading scales yet, used physical physiological things  Measured human sensory or motor functioning  Neurological disorders, psychological problems ● Cattell (1890) coined the term mental test and for example, studied individual differences in reaction times Experimental Psychology and Psychophysical Measurement ● Known as the Brass Instruments Era of testing which emphasized objective methods ○ BIE - instruments, typically brass, used for measurements ○ UofT -> experimental psychology (rooted in BIE) ● Used assorted brass instruments to measure sensory thresholds and reaction times BUT mistook simple sensory processes for intelligence ○ Measured physiological responses (reaction times) with intelligence ○ UofT BI psychology museum 4th floor Sidney Smith Cattell Imports Brass Instruments to the U.S. ● Wissler (Cattell's stu
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