The historical antecedents of psychological testing

Strong — The Strong Vocational Interest Blank A Brief History of Psychological Testing[ edit ] Although the widespread use of psychological testing is largely a phenomenon of the 20th century, it has been noted that rudimentary forms of testing date back to at least B. Such testing was modified and refined over the centuries until written exams were introduced in the Han dynasty. The Chinese examination system took its final form about when proficiency in the Confusian Classics was emphasized. The examinations were grueling and rigorous e.

The historical antecedents of psychological testing

In philosophy[ edit ] Nativism has a history in philosophy, particularly as a reaction to the straightforwardly empiricist views of John Locke and David Hume.

Hume had given persuasive logical arguments that people cannot infer causality from perceptual input. The most one could hope to infer is that two events happen in succession or simultaneously. One response to this argument involves positing that concepts not supplied by experience, such as causality, must exist prior to any experience and hence must be innate.

The philosopher Immanuel Kant — argued in his Critique of Pure Reason that the human mind knows objects in innate, a priori ways.

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Kant claimed that humans, from birth, must experience all objects as being successive time and juxtaposed space. His list of inborn categories describes predicates that the mind can attribute to any object in general.

Schopenhauer — agreed with Kant, but reduced the number of innate categories to one— causality —which presupposes the others. Modularity[ edit ] Modern nativism is most associated with the work of Jerry Fodor —Noam Chomsky b.

For example, children demonstrate a facility for acquiring spoken language but require intensive training to learn to read and write.

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This poverty of the stimulus observation became a principal component of Chomsky's argument for a "language organ"—a genetically inherited neurological module that confers a somewhat universal understanding of syntax that all neurologically healthy humans are born with, which is fine-tuned by an individual's experience with their native language.

In The Blank SlatePinker similarly cites the linguistic capabilities of children, relative to the amount of direct instruction they receive, as evidence that humans have an inborn facility for speech acquisition but not for literacy acquisition. A number of other theorists [1] [2] [3] have disagreed with these claims.

Instead, they have outlined alternative theories of how modularization might emerge over the course of development, as a result of a system gradually refining and fine-tuning its responses to environmental stimuli.

Firstly, language is a species characteristic of humans: No human society has ever been discovered that does not employ a language, and all medically able children acquire at least one language in early childhood.

Yet, the knowledge of grammar is tacit: Neither the five-year-old nor the adults in the community can easily articulate the principles of the grammar they are following. Experimental evidence shows that infants come equipped with presuppositions that allow them to acquire the rules of their language [6].

The term universal grammar or UG is used for the innate biological properties of the human brain, whatever exactly they turn out to be, that are responsible for children's rapid and overwhelmingly successful acquisition of a native language, without any obvious effort, during the first few years of life.

The person most strongly associated with the scientific investigation of UG is Noam Chomskyalthough the idea of Universal Grammar has clear historical antecedents at least as far back as the s, in the form of the Port-Royal Grammar.

In contemporary generative grammar from the late s to the presentthe principles and parameters framework has been the dominant formulation of UG.

In this framework, a principle is a grammatical requirement that applies to all languages, and a parameter is a tightly constrained point of variation across languages. In the early s parameters were often conceptualized as switches in a switchbox an idea attributed to James Higginbotham.

This evidence is all the more impressive when one considers that most children do not receive reliable correction for grammatical errors. Criticism[ edit ] Nativism is sometimes perceived as being too vague to be falsifiableas there is no fixed definition of when an ability is supposed to be judged "innate".

Psychological Testing - Anne Anastasi - Google Books

As Jeffrey Elman and colleagues pointed out in Rethinking Innatenessit is unclear exactly how the supposedly innate information might actually be coded for in the genes. As influential psychologist Henry L.

The historical antecedents of psychological testing

For example, nativism was at least partially motivated by the perception that statistical inferences made from experience were insufficient to account for the complex languages humans develop. In part, this was a reaction to the failure of behaviorism and behaviorist models of the era to easily account for how something as complex and sophisticated as a full-blown language could ever be learned.

Indeed, several nativist arguments were inspired by Chomsky's assertion that children could not learn complicated grammar based on the linguistic input they typically receive, and must therefore have an innate language-learning module, or language acquisition device.

However, Chomsky's poverty of the stimulus argument is controversial within linguistics. In a previous paper, Griffiths argued that innateness specifically confuses these three distinct biological concepts: Developmental fixity refers to how insensitive a trait is to environmental input, species nature reflects what it is to be an organism of a certain kind, and intended outcome is how an organism is meant to develop.

· 7. Aptitude and Achievement Tests: The Curious Case of the Indestructible Strawperson Anne Anastasi meeting of the American Psychological Associati on, Washington, D.C., August HISTORICAL article=&context=burostestingissues.

Packet 2: Historical Antecedents Of Modern Testing; Michael V. This was shown on the first psychological tests. - Influenced the need for rigorous control of conditions when observations are made.

Francis Galton - English biologist. Started up the testing  · Description.

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Appropriate for undergraduate/graduate courses in psychological testing, tests and measurements, and test construction.

This classic, authoritative introduction to psychological testing is widely hailed for its broad coverage and ability to cover "graduate school" topics in terms that college.

Psychological testing - Wikipedia