We Should Take Care Not To Make The Intellect Our God?

Submitted By bhub6251
Words: 1238
Pages: 5

Albert Einstein once said that “We should take care not to make the intellect our God; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.” On the other hand, many psychologists, including Binet, Gardner, Spearman, Wechsler, and Terman would disagree with this quote since they have all made different impacts on the history of intelligence tests. Although some believe that intelligence cannot be measured, these psychologists would most likely oppose this idea due to the fact that they have all created their own intelligence tests, having different views on the topic.

Before psychologists like Binet came along and developed a path for intelligence testing, children’s outward physical features were a key indicator in determining their level of intelligence. Later, Alfred Binet, a French psychologist and a firm believer that intelligence involves various mental abilities, was one of many to realize that this was not a successful way to assess the mental capabilities. Binet was asked by the French government to help construct a way to figure out which kids in France would need specialized assistance in school. This different approach was seeking to identify students at risk of school failure, which would give insight to individual intelligence levels. Binet and his colleague, Theodore Simon, focused their test on subjects not taught in school (attention, problem-solving, and memory.) After evaluating the responses of many children, Binet and Simon sought to measure a child’s mental age - what age level questions they could answer. With the help of Lewis Terman, the phrase “intelligence quotient,” became known as the ratio of a child’s “mental age” to their chronological age. The first basis for an IQ test, the Binet-Simon Scale, was published in 1905. Tests based after Binet’s concepts were used for sorting out recruits in World War 1, and are still a basis for intelligence tests today. Although Binet’s work was very effective, I believe that his data and testing were not as valid as they could have been. Binet didn’t take his data and make assumptions or predict why exactly a child was so slow or ahead. But, I do believe he was very effective in laying the foundation for intelligence testing. Binet did identify the problem, but didn’t necessarily come up with a solution, like Lewis Terman searched for.

Lewis Terman contrasted groups of very bright students and very dull students on various tests in the United States. Terman adapted the Binet-Simon Scale and the Binet-Simon Scale with Terman’s modifications became known as the Stanford-Binet test, the most widely used mental test in the United States. Some of these modifications include establishing new age norms, and extending the test to adults as well. The Stanford-Binet test used a single number ((mental age/chronological age) x100), known as the intelligence quotient (IQ), coined by Terman. I believe that Terman’s contributions were pretty helpful. His help promoted the widespread use of intelligence testing, creating further modifications to the intelligence tests. Although he wasn’t the one to lay the foundation like Binet did, he adapted the foundation, which makes an impact on the intelligence tests to come.

David Wechsler, an American psychologist who attended Columbia University, also like Binet, believed that intelligence involved a number of different mental abilities. Although they did agree on a principal concept, Wechsler thought that the Stanford-Binet test was very limited and also did not agree with the concept of “mental age”. Thinking this, he created a new intelligence test known as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale in 1955. Wechsler also developed two other tests specifically for children: Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI.) He used the mean test score for all members of an age group taking his test and represented that by a 100 on the standard scale. Using