The Science and Politics of I.Q.

By Leon J. Kamin | Go to book overview

1
THE PIONEERS OF I.Q. TESTING IN AMERICA

Terman was unapologetic about where he thought I.Q. comes from. He believed in the inheritance of I.Q., at least to a considerable degree.

-- ProfessorRichard Herrnstein, 19711

The first usable intelligence test was developed in France by Alfred Binet in 1905. The basic facts are known to everybody who has taken a college course in psychology, and are available in any textbook. The French Minister of Public Instruction had commissioned Binet to develop a testing procedure that could help to identify students whose academic aptitudes were so low as to necessitate their placement in "special schools."

The test developed by Binet was very largely atheoretical. He viewed it as a practical diagnostic instrument and was not concerned to "make a distinction between acquired and congenital feeblemindedness."2 Binet in fact prescribed therapeutic courses in "mental orthopedics" for those with low test scores. His chapter on "The Training of Intelligence" began with the phrase "After the illness, the remedy," and his judgment on "some recent philosophers" who had given their "moral support" to the idea that "the intelligence of an individual is a fixed quantity, a quantity which one cannot augment" is clear: "We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism." 3

With this orientation, it is perhaps as well that Binet died in 1911, before witnessing the uses to which his test was speedily put in the United States. The major translators and importers of the Binet test were Lewis Terman at Stanford, Henry Goddard at the Vineland Training School in New Jersey, and Robert

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The Science and Politics of I.Q.
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • NOTES TO INTRODUCTION 4
  • 1 - The Pioneers of I.Q. Testing in America 5
  • NOTES TO CHAPTER ONE 12
  • 2 - Psychology and the Immigrant 15
  • NOTES TO CHAPTER TWO 30
  • 3 - Separated Identical Twins 33
  • 4 - Kinship Correlations 73
  • NOTES TO CHAPTER FOUR 105
  • 5 - Studies of Adopted Children 111
  • NOTES TO CHAPTER FIVE 133
  • 6 - The Accuracy of Secondary Sources 135
  • NOTES TO CHAPTER SIX 157
  • 7 - I.Q. in the Uterus 161
  • NOTES TO CHAPTER SEVEN 173
  • Conclusion 175
  • NOTES TO CONCLUSION 179
  • Author Index 181
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