Psychology Testing Movement: The Contributions of Women

7 July 2016

In investigating the origins of the Psychological testing movement what I found most fascinating is the originality, strength, brilliance, and sheer talent of the women whom contributed to this era. It was interesting to find out the key roles different women played in the shaping of testing, development and applied methods in psychological test.

A prime example of the various contributions women made to the testing movement is the Draw-A-Man Test also referred to as the Goodenough-Harris Drawing Test (Schultz, 2012 p.172) which was developed by Florence Goodenough who received her doctorate from Stanford University in the early twentieth century. The test design was essential in assessing the intelligence quotients for children. What made this IQ examination unique is that it presented a non-verbal format in which children could identify and respond to even with their limited language ability. Goodenough’s reputation certainly surpassed her name in that she perform exceptional work at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota for over twenty years and during this time she published a detailed review of the psychological testing movement and several books on child psychology.

Psychology Testing Movement: The Contributions of Women Essay Example

Another unique women of this period was Thelma Gwinn Thurstone who because of the discrimination of the era was forced to work on her husbands L.L. Thurstone’s projects because any published work by her would be dismissed by the zeitgeist of the day. What I found amazing was that she actually helped develop the Primary Mental Abilities test battery, which was a group of intelligence test and she went on to become a professor of education at the University of North Carolina and director of the Psychometric laboratory their. In fact, when her husband commented on her abilities he was sure to call her a “genius in test construction” (Schultz, 2012 p. 172).

I was especially proud to read of the successes and contributions of Psyche Cattell the daughter of James Cattell who would not invest in her college education because “he thought that she was not smart enough” (Schultz, 2012, p.172). Psyche Cattell’s name was far from her uniquest quality for she went on to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University and from there worked to extend the age range of the Stanford-Binet test downward with the Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale. This test was utilized to test the intelligence of infants as early as three months. The courage of Anne Anastasi was quite inspirational who based the principle of her success on the fact that “cervical cancer” which hit her at twenty five a year into her marriage left her sterile and childish. Because she escaped the primary role of motherhood almost commanded upon by most married women of her generation she was able to focus on developing herself as a psychologist. Anastasia established herself in the field with a long career out of Fordham University and established herself as a primary authority on psychological testing.

She started college at the innocent age of fifteen and earned her doctorate by twenty one. One of her foremost mentors was Harry Hollingsworth who inspired her to write over one hundred and fifty articles and books, including an extremely popular university textbook on psychological testing. The epitome of her career was her time served as APA president in which she received many esteemed honors. Her largest achievement was the National Medal of Science. In fact one survey named her as “the most prominent female psychologist in the English-speaking world” (Schultz, 2012, 173). These efforts are so encouraging to woman now working towards a Ph.D. in psychology. I am humbled and grateful that these dedicated, unencumbered, and magnificent women trailed the way to open the door to this opportunity I hold so passionately. I am honored and excited to fledge in their footsteps and I hope to achieve some modest endeavors in research which may perhaps influence the direction of current psychological issues now that the zeitgeist is evolving. Bibliography

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