Thorndike, Edward Lee

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Thorndike, Edward Lee

Edward Lee Thorndike (thôrn´dīk), 1874–1949, American educator and psychologist, b. Williamsburg, Mass., grad. Wesleyan Univ., 1895, and Harvard, 1896, Ph.D. Columbia, 1898. Appointed instructor in genetic psychology at Teachers College, Columbia, in 1899, he served there until 1940 (as professor from 1904 and as director of the division of psychology of the Institute of Educational Research from 1922). His great contributions to educational psychology were largely in the methods he devised to test and measure children's intelligence and their ability to learn. He conducted studies in animal psychology and the psychology of learning, and compiled dictionaries for children (1935) and for young adults (1941). The great number of his writings includes Educational Psychology (1903), Mental and Social Measurements (1904), Animal Intelligence (1911), A Teacher's Word Book (1921), Your City (1939), and Human Nature and the Social Order (1940).

See biography by G. M. Joncich (1968).

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