Measurements of Human Behavior

Measurements of Human Behavior

Measurements of Human Behavior

Measurements of Human Behavior

Excerpt

In recent years there have been two developments, each of which has contributed greatly to individual human adjustment. One is the growth of experimental psychology into a fairly mature biological science, the result of the efforts of a few hundred research workers scattered all over the world. The other is the rapid expansion of individual guidance in educational, industrial, and clinical centers, the result of the efforts of many thousands of persons. There are in the United States today approximately 22,000 members of the American Vocational Association, and probably as many more in employment and clinical fields, who are devoting most of their time to the problems of analyzing individual abilities and needs, and of helping others to plan their lives more satisfactorily. In addition, there are approximately 650,000 elementary school teachers, 260,000 high school teachers, and 90,000 college teachers in the United States, practically all of whom spend considerable time in appraising student achievement by means of formal or informal tests.

Although both scientific research workers and those engaged in practical guidance are making observations of human behavior, an enormous gap usually exists between them. The scientist analyzes patterns of behavior, whereas the practical worker observes differences between persons which seem to be of practical, moral, or aesthetic importance. All too often the scientist berates the practical worker for placing values upon behavior without knowing very much about its nature and causes. Conversely, the practical worker . . .

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