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University of Toronto Scarborough

nd 22 Jan, 2013 According to Robert J. Gregory: “Students of psychology generally 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” Historical timeline:  Han dynasty (2220 B.C)  Physiognomy and phrenology (384 B.C/ 1810)  Charles Darwin and sir Francis Galton (`1859-1883)  Experimental Psychology and Psychophysical measurement (1866-1912)  Intelligence tests (1905-1930’s)  Personality and vocational tests (1920-1940) Rudimentary forms of testing in China in 2200 B.C:  Emperor had his officials examined ever 3 year for fitness for office  Written exams were introduced in the Han dynasty to test civil law, military affairs, agriculture, revenue and geography Final form of Chinese examination system: Round 1: spend one day and night in a small isolated booth composing essays on assigned topics and writing poem Round 2: 3 separate sessions of 3 days and 3 nights! Round 3: travel to Peking for a final round of examinations to finally become mandarins eligible for public office Physiognomy is based on the notion that we can judge the inner character of people from their outward appearance 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 Experimental psychology and psychophysical measurement  Known as the brass instruments (era of testing, which emphasized objective methods  Used assorted brass instruments to measure sensory thresholds and reaction times but mistook simple sensory processes for intelligence Cattell imports Brass instruments to the United States:  Wissler (Cattell’s student) tried to validate brass instrument testing with >300 students  Found very little correlation between mental test scores and academic performance  This paved the way to Alfred Binet’s more sensible and useful measures of higher mental processes Intelligence Tests  At the turn of the 20 century, French minister of public instruction appointed a commission to study ways of identifying intellectually subnormal individuals in order to provide them with appropriate educational experiences st  Alfred Binet invented the 1 modern intelligence test in 1905 Binet and Testin for higher mental processes  Intelligence could be better measured by means of higher mental processes rather than the elementary sensory processes such as reaction time  Tested a standardization (or comparision/ normative) sample of 50 typically developing children The revised scales and Advent of IQ  In 1908, the original Binet test was revised which included increasing standardization sample to 200+  Mental level (they also ordered subtests according to age level at which they were typically passed by children)  Basal age (lowest level at which not more than one test was failed) Early uses and abuses of tests in the United states  In 1910, Goddard was invited to Ellis island to help make the examination of immigrants more accurate  Goddard’s scholarly views were influenced by social ideologies of his time Group tests and the classification of WW1 army recruits:  Robert Yerkes, a Harvard psychologist who was involved in designing test for use with Army recruits  The Army examinations: alpha (required reading ability) and beta (designed for illiterate adults)  Tested 1.75 million recruits Early Educational Testing  National intelligence test, 1920’s administered to 7 million US Children  Scholastic aptitude (or assessment) test  Machine scoring was introduced in 1930’s  Educational testing service, graduate record exam, law school admissions test, peace corps Entrance tests, examination for professional practice in psychology Personality and vocational tests:  Detection of army recruits who were susceptible to “psychoneurosis” Woodworth’s personal data sheet Do ideas run through your head so that you cannot sleep? Were you considered a bad boy? Are you bothered by a feeling that things are not real? Do you have a strong desire to commit suicide? Personality and vocational testing led to the development of several other personality inventories including Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory The origins of projective testing: Project approach originated with the words associated method (late 1800’s) PSYC37 Chapter 2 notes Psychological testing in its modern from originated little more than 100 years ago in a laboratory studies of sensory discrimination, motor skills and reaction time. The British genius Francis Galton invented the 1 battery of tests, a peculiar assortment of sensory and motor measures. The American psychologist James Mckeen Cattell studied with Galton and then in 1890, proclaimed the modern testing agenda in his classic paper entitled “Mental tests and Measurements.” Psychology cannot attain the certainty and exactness of the physical sciences unless it rests on a foundation of experiment and measurement. Historians note that rudimentary forms of testing date back to at least 2200 BC when the Chinese emperor has his officials examined every 3 year to determine their fitness for office. Physiognomy is based on the notion that we can judge the inner character of people from their outward th appearance, especially the face. Interest in physiognomy can be dated to the 4 century when the Greek philosopher Aristotle published a short treatise based on the premise that the soul and the body “sympathize” with each other. Aristotle argued that changes in a person’s soul could impact the appearance of the body and vice-versa. The relationship between the 2 allowed the astute observer to infer personality characteristics from individual appearance. Phrenology is the reading of “bumps” on the head. The founding of phrenology is usua
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