Short History of IQ Tests

The history of intellectual assessment is largely a history of the measurement of the intelligence of children or retarded adults. Sir Francis Galton (1869, 1883) studied adults and was interested in giftedness when he developed what is often considered the first comprehensive individual test of intelligence (Kaufman, 2000a). But despite Gal-ton's role as the father of the testing movement (Shouksmith, 1970), he did not succeed in constructing a true intelligence test. His measures of simple reaction time, strength of squeeze, or keenness of sight proved to assess sensory and motor abilities, skills that relate poorly to mental ability, and that are far removed from the type of tasks that constitute contemporary intelligence tests.

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