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Chapter 2

PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Psychometrics, Wilhelm Wundt, Word Association

Course Code
Anthony Ruocco

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-Galton invented the first battery tests which included an assortment of sensory and
motor measures !
-Cattell studeied with him and in 1890 he proclaimed the modern testing agenda in his
book "mental tests and measurements"!
-China 2200 B.C: emperor had officials tested every 3 years to determine their fitness
for office!
-written exams were introduced in the Han dynasty and these exams tested 5 topics
(civil law, military affairs, agriculture, revenue and geography)!
-took its final form in 1370!
-these examinations were abolished in 1906!
-Physiognomy: the idea that we can judge inner characteristics based on physical
appearance (especially the face)!
-Aristotle (4th century) published the idea that the soul and body sympathize with each
other (soul could impact bodily appearance and vice versa)!
-Lavater published a book on this in the late 18th century!
-Phrenology: (Gall) reading bumps on a persons head could tell you about their inner
-Lavery developed a psychograph which was widely used until the 1930s !
-> Brass Instruments arrived in the late 1800's and helped psych flourish in europe and
Great Britain !
-they were used to measure things like sensory thresholds and reaction times, believing
that these were indications of intelligence!
-Wundt developed the first psych lab in 1879 in Germany!
-Galton pioneered experimental psych in 19th century Great Britain (more interested in
evolution than psych)!
- he demonstrated that individual differences existed and were measurable!
-Cattell brought the brass instruments to the US and worked with Wundt, Thorndike,
Woodsworth, Strong and Wissler (performed mental tests and compared these results
with academic performance, hoping to show a correlation.. however this was not the
-Wisslers findings ultimately killed the mental test/brass instrument era and allowed
Binet to introduce his scale of intelligence in 1905 which was then imported to the US by
->Rating Scales: Galen can be credited with one of the first rating scales with his humor
theory (balance of 4 bodily fluids as well as wet-dry and hot-cold elements - this was
essentially a 9 point scale)!
-Thomasius was the first to use a rating scale for psychological variables, which
included 4 variables each with a 12 point scale, he then published the data (this was
the first systematic collection and analysis of data in psychology)!
-Fowler also used a rating scale when he practiced Phrenology - rated size of bulges
from 1-7!
-In the early 1900's Binet's tests were the first that aimed to acknowledge kids with
special needs or mental retardation!
-Esquirol (first to formalize the difference in writing) and Seguin (french) helped to
provoke a greater interest in people with mental retardation (idiocy - incurable - starts in
childhood) and mental illness (dementia - sometimes curable - usually starts in
-Esquirol placed a great emphasis on language skills when diagnosing mental
retardation (may be why Binet's intelligence tests rely so heavily on language)!
-Esquirol recognized 3 levels of mental retardation:!
1)use short phrases 2)use monosyllables 3) no speech!
-Seguin helped establish a new humanism towards the mentally retarded, studied with
Esq. and Itard (tried to train the Wild Boy of Aveyron) !
-Seguin devoted his life to developing educational programs for the mentally retarded
-In 1866 he published the first major book on the treatment of mental retardation, it
advocated for a very modern approach similar to behaviour modification)!
->Binet: developed first intelligence test in 1905!
-began his career in medicine but switched to psych after a mental breakdown!
- worked with Charcot studying hysteria (like Freud)!
-published some very questionable findings and from this embarrassment learned that
he should never use sloppy experimental procedures and he became skeptical of the
Zeitgeist (spirit of the times) within experimental psychology !
-he used these lessons to develop his intelligence scales !
-Binet often did tests on his daughters and gave advice to exercise endless patience
and entertaining tricks when testing children!
-1896: Binet and Henri published a review of German and US work on individual
differences and they proposed that intelligence could be better measured by means of
higher psychological processes instead of sensory process (ex. RT) After this Binet and
Simon were able to settle on a scale of intelligence!
-Dr.Blin's battery of assessment of 20 tests was a good precursor to Binet's scale of IT
(criticized for having qs that required a formal edu. and too many yes or no qs)!
-In 1904 Public Instruction in Paris decided that children who couldn't profit from regular
education needed to be tested and put in a different classroom (special education
began) Binet's test was used for identification of these children the next year!
-Binet's scale consisted of 30 tests that ranged from simple sensory tests to complex
verbal abstractions so it was useful for assessing mental retardation all the way to
-however no way to give a total score was ever given, the entire purpose of the test was
to classify children in need!
-1908: Binet and Simon revise their original scales, they removed some qs from the
lower end of the scale and added some more difficult ones so they could test older
children/children who weren't severely retarded!
-they also added the concept of mental level (any qs that were passed by 80-90% of the
sample group of a certain age were included on the test for that age, every 5 tests that
were passed resulted in a full year of metal age given !
-there were 58qs on this revision as opposed to the 30 on the first scale!
-In 1911 a third revision was made and there were exactly 5 questions per level on this
-people started comparing the mental age of children to their chronological age but this
could be decieving so Stern suggested that an Intelligence Quotient be computed to
give a better measure!
-In 1916 Terman revised the scales (Stanford-Binet) and decided to multiply the quotient
by 100 so there were no fractions (mental age/chronological age x 100) - invented IQ!!
-Simon later called IQ a betrayal of their original scales purpose!
-In 1906 Goddard was asked to do research on the classification and education of
"feeble-minded" children at a school in New Jersey and in 1908 he began using the
Binet-Simon scale, translating it for American children!
-Goddard coined the diagnostic term "moron"!
-considered a child "feeble-minded" if their mental age was 4 or more years behind their
chronological age!
-He thought they should be segregated in order to prevent them from "contaminating
-1910: Goddard was invited to Ellis Island to help make the examination of immigrants
more accurate!
-he reported that the rates of mental deficiency in immigrant populations was alarming
but didn't think that immigration should be restricted (others did)!
-he was a strict hereditarian and believed intelligence could be looked at in simple
Mendelian terms !
-criticized for suggesting the colonization of "morons" in order to restrict their breeding
and for attributing undesirable social behaviour such as crime, alcoholism and
prostitution to inherited mental deficiency !
-immigrants were tested immediately after they arrived and were likely scared and
disoriented, they were also tested with a test that had been translated twice and their
scores were compared to french norms!
-Goddard seemed to favour deportation for low IQ immigrants but also suggested that
they could work if they were trained properly!
-he contradicted himself many times and in 1928 after helping restrict immigration he
retracted his statements and stated that "feeble-mindedness" was not incurable and
they should not be institutionally segregated!
-proof that even well intentioned psychologists can misuse tests when trying to operate
under societal norms!
-The Standford-Binet was also used to test for giftedness very early on by psychologists
like Hollingsworth she demonstrated that high IQ ppl did better in school, they should be
moved up a grade because they do not lack the penmanship and motor skills necessary
to work with older children and that ppl perceive high IQ ppl as more attractive!
-Hollingsworth proposed a fund be developed for gifted children with the moral
obligation to pay it back 20 years later when they were successful adults, she also
noted that gender differences in eminence and achievement were due to social and
cultural reasons (ex. women staying home with the children)!
-Stanford-Binet (Terman) this test increased to 90 items, this test had clear instructions
for administration and scoring as well as a sample large enough to make it standardized!
-newer tests were validated by correlating its results to this test!