History of Psychological Testing
Psychological testing came from the many precursors dated a hundred years ago. Although there is no specific history about the origin of psychological testing, its first usage can be traced back to the 2000 B.C. during the Chinese Civil Service Testing. Back then, the first simple forms of psychological testing were conducted among the officials of the Chinese emperors to check their fitness to be able to stay in the job. These simple forms of psychological testing were soon developed at the threshold of Han Dynasty. By then, a written exam was already developed with focus on testing five topics. These include civil law, military affairs, agriculture, and geography.
The Chinese examination system took its final form during Confucian dynasty, wherein the candidates spend one night for the preliminary exam. The 1% to 7% of which went to the district level of examination and another 1% to 10% were given the chance to go Peking. At last, only 3% of the group passed. The exam passers became certified mandarins and eligible for public office.
The following are the significant people, who contributed for the development of the contemporary psychological testing.
- Francis Galton (1822–1911) – developed the objective measure of a “genius” based upon a thought that intelligence is hereditary. This was also done through the very first battery of mental test, which measures both the physical and behavioral domain of a person.
- James Catell (1860–1944) – a well known psychologist who studied with Wundt. He coined the term “mental test” as he measured the “simple mental processes” of human. Through this, between 1883 and 1886, he was able to publish 9 articles describing human reaction time and individual differences. He was also considered to be the person behind the US acceptance of psychological testing.
- Alfredo Benet Junior (1857–1911) – invented the first ever intelligence test, which was known as the Binet test during his time. Today, it is already known as the IQ test, which aims to identify students who need special help in coping with the school curriculum.
- David Wechsler (1896–1981) – a leading American psychologist who developed the well-known intelligence scales, which include the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children.