The Evolution of Psychological Testing From the 1800s to the Present

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  626 Words
Date:  2022-07-20


The field of psychological testing has evolved. Furthermore, the contemporary test did not exist from a vacuum but progressed slowly as various pioneers introduced various changes over the last two decades. While the prevalence of psychological testing is currently a significant phenomenon in the 20th century, the historians trace back the fundamentals form of testing in 2200 BC. Nevertheless, the significant experimental investigations date back to 1800s where the field of physiological testing began to flourish in Germany and the Great Britain. It was as a result of the contributions of the early experimentalists including Francis Galton, James McKeen Cattell, and Wilhelm Wundt who laid the foundations of the modern psychological testing exhibited today ("The History of Psychological Testing", 2018). In this case, the infographic below gives a detailed review of the contributions made by various prominent persons in the field of psychological testing from the early 1800s to the present years.

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He was a French psychiatrist who made the first attempt to combine the precise clinical descriptions and the statistical analysis of mental illness.


WILHELM WUNDT (1832-1920)

He established the first experimental psychological laboratory in Leipzig, Germany.

He studies and measured and measured the mental processes and further formulated the general laws of behavior ("The History of Psychological Testing", 2018).

After various trials, he founded consistent results from each person while the difference among people remained.

While some psychologists viewed the differences as an error, others viewed it as a significant basis for mental tests.



He worked with Wundt to study the individual differences.

He adopted the sensory tests from Galton

He invented the mental tests also known as mental testing

He prepared the United States to accept and embrace psychological tests.



He was the first psychological to identify the significance of differences among people.

He identified that intelligence was inheritable

He developed the first mental ability tests, the first questionnaire, and the first test to measure the relationship between variables and ideas.

He developed various statistical techniques that helped him analyze his data. The procedures include some used today.



He worked with the help of Theodore Simon to create the first intelligence tests.

They developed the Binet - Simon scale in 1905 which was later revised in 1908 ("The History of Psychological Testing", 2018).

The study focused on mentally disabled children as compared to normal children.

Binet worked under the assumptions that in a normal child, the intelligence grows with age and the verbal ability measured the best index of intelligence.



He created the revised Binet- Stanford scale based on 1000 American students aged between 3 to 13 years (Karier & Minton, 1990).


He created the intelligence tests for adults

He also revised the intelligence tests for children



There was the introduction of aspects such as factor analysis and projective tests for personality testing.

In 1921, Herman Rorschach developed the Rorschach Inkblot Test.

In 1935, Henry Murray developed the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)



In 1943, the University of Minnesota developed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality inventory (Goldfinger, 2018).

In 1992, they developed a version for the adolescents, and the test results were administered through empirical research.

1n 1946, there was the development of the 16PF which stands for the Cattell's Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire.


Some of the techniques such as the 16PF have been integrated into psychological testing to date.

Nonetheless, most of the methods are more automated today (Goldfinger, 2018).


Goldfinger, K. (2018). Psychological testing in everyday life: History, science, and practice. Los Angeles : SAGE

Karier, C., & Minton, H. (1990). Lewis M. Terman: Pioneer in Psychological Testing. The Journal Of American History, 76(4), 1294. doi: 10.2307/2936670

The History of Psychological Testing. (2018). Retrieved from

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The Evolution of Psychological Testing From the 1800s to the Present. (2022, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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