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The intelligence test consists of a series of exercises designed to measure intelligence. Intelligence is generally understood as mental capacity that enables a person to learn at school or, more generally, to reason, to solve problems, and to adapt to new (challenging) situations. There are many types of intelligence tests depending on the kind of person (age, profession, culture, etc.) and the way intelligence is understood. Some tests are general, others are focused on evaluating language skills, others on memory, on abstract and logical thinking, or on abilities in a wide variety of areas, such as, for example, recognizing and matching implicit visual patterns. Scores may be presented as an IQ (intelligence quotient), as a mental age, or simply as a point on a scale. Intelligence tests are instrumental in ordering, ranking, and comparing individuals and groups. The testing of intelligence started in the 19th century and became a common practice in schools and universities, psychotechnical institutions, courts, asylums, and private companies on an international level during the 20th century. It is generally assumed that the first test was designed by the French scholars A. Binet and T. Simon in 1905, but the historical link between testing and experimenting points to previous tests, such as the word association test. Testing was practiced and understood in different ways, depending not only on the time, but also on the concrete local (cultural and institutional) conditions. For example, in the United States and Brazil, testing was immediately linked to race differences and eugenic programs, while in other places, such as Spain, it was part of an attempt to detect “feebleness” and to grade students at certain schools. Since its beginning, the intelligence test received harsh criticism and triggered massive protests. The debate went through the mass media, leading to the infamous “IQ test wars.” Thus, nowadays, psychologists are aware of the inherent danger of cultural discrimination and social marginalization, and they are more careful in the promotion of intelligence testing. In order to understand the role the intelligence test plays in today’s society, it is necessary to explore its history with the help of well-documented case studies. Such studies show how the testing practice was employed in national contexts and how it was received, used, or rejected by different social groups or professionals. Current historical research adopts a more inclusive perspective, moving away from a narrative focused on the role testing played in North-America. New work has appeared that explores how testing was taking place in different national and cultural environments, such as Russia (the former Soviet Union), India, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Argentina, Chile, and many other places.

Article

Instinct has been one of the more contentious concepts throughout the history of psychology and social psychology. Broadly defined, instinct is considered innate, patterned behavior for living organisms that does not require learning or experience. Almost all early psychologists engaged in the study of instincts, and many attempted to classify them. One of the debates that emerged was whether there is a simple dichotomy between instinct and reason, with animals endowed with instinct for survival but only humans with the ability to rely on reason. With more influence from Darwin’s evolutionary theory, however, the idea that instincts were modifiable and a common trait for humans and animals became accepted. This also led to the idea that human instincts could be understood by examining the instincts of animals and the mental development of children. With the arrival of behaviorism, the concept of instinct began to fall out of favor altogether, and all behaviors were attributed to learning or conditioning. More recently, evolutionary psychologists have reclaimed the notion of instinct, although the understanding of this concept still varies and has an uncertain fate in the discipline.

Article

Gabriel Ruiz and Natividad Sánchez

Transnational historiography, which emerged in the 1990s, covers historical phenomena that transcend the boundaries of the nation-state, analyzing the processes of circulation, transformation and hybridization of scientific ideas and practices across national frontiers. When scientific knowledge flows between different countries, the ideas that emerge in one particular national context adapt to the new local contexts of their hosts, with their particular cultural, social, political and scientific traditions. In psychology, the transnational approach provides a productive theoretical framework capable of going beyond the traditional US-centered perspective that has dominated the historiography of psychology since the mid-20th century. This US-based historiography has, for example, interpreted the historical influence of I. P. Pavlov in terms of two main factors: his methodological contribution—the conditioned reflex—and the existence of a behaviorist tradition in the receptor psychology community. However, a more global analysis questions the need for these two elements and, at the same time, offers insights into the conditions that facilitated or hindered the flow of Pavlovian science beyond the United States. Thus, for example, between 1903 and 1970 the dissemination and appropriation of the Pavlovian science of conditioned reflexes took two different routes: in America, scientific aspects and factors dominated; whereas elsewhere, politics prevailed over science. This happened in countries such as China, Cuba, and Spain, with dictatorial regimes at different ends of the political spectrum, where Pavlov’s work arrived under the auspices of government programs to modernize scientific and clinical institutions. Once Pavlov’s ideas had been introduced through reform programs in each country, they were accepted or rejected depending on whether the sign of the regime in question converged with the ideology prevailing in the Soviet Union, which it did in China and Cuba, but not in Spain. In these countries, where psychology did not have strong institutional roots and behaviorism was not a dominant approach, Pavlovian ideas found a receptive audience among health professionals-doctors, psychiatrists, and clinical psychologists - keen to embrace new ideas and treatments for mental disorders. Thus, from a transnational perspective, the global repercussion of Pavlov’s ideas went far beyond the strictly methodological sphere.

Article

Vindhya Undurti

There is no explicitly defined field as feminist psychology(ies) in India. It is therefore necessary to look beyond the discipline of psychology and examine the scholarship available in other disciplines as well as in activist efforts to illumine questions that are of concern to feminist psychology(ies)—questions of how inequitable access to resources, disproportionate burden of care giving and gender stereotypical identities impact on gender relations and on women’s well-being and identity. From the interface of psychology with feminisms, three thematic areas emerge against the backdrop of past and contemporary socio-political developments in the country that have directly or indirectly influenced and informed the content and direction of research in these thematic areas. The three key themes are (a) mental health and well-being and the influence of the interlinked perspectives of gender, public health, human rights and social justice on this field, (b) gender-based violence and the evolution of psychosocial interventions for reduction and prevention of violence, and (c) the socio-historical construction of identities and the construction of masculinities in particular and that of the “modern Indian woman” in the conundrum of tradition and modernity. First, the literature on gender and mental health emphasizes the need to connect mental health with social determinants, demonstrates the existence of gender bias in access to mental health services, shows that women are represented more in common mental disorders whose aetiology is associated with the social position of women, and highlights the relationship of gender-specific risk factors such as domestic violence to the occurrence of depression in women. Second, the body of work on interventions for reducing and preventing gender-based violence shows services such as one-stop centers hinged on a psychosocial intervention model; and women’s collectives for alternate dispute resolution based loosely on feminist principles, serving as a platform for voicing and recognition of violence and connecting survivors to institutional services. Third, the socio-historical context of identity construction reveals masculinity as a product of interplay of the colonizing and colonized cultures in the nationalist period of pre-independence India, the subsequent turn to “aggressive Hindu communalism” as a model for masculinity and the construction of femininity in the conundrum of tradition and modernity. Thus, despite e some influence and infusion of perspectives on each other, feminisms and psychology in India continue to run parallel to each other, and feminist psychology(ies) in India remains an indistinct field as yet.

Article

Raymond E. Fancher

Gordon W. Allport was a prominent Harvard University psychologist during the mid-20th century, notable both for his early and effective promotion of “personality” as an important psychological subdiscipline, and in his later career as a social psychologist for works on several issues of major social importance. In 1921 he and his older brother Floyd Allport jointly proposed the study and measurement of traits as the foundation of a new subdiscipline of personality psychology, with Gordon’s Harvard doctoral research a pilot study demonstrating the feasibility of the approach. On a subsequent postdoctoral fellowship in Germany Allport became impressed by William Stern’s “personalistic” psychology, which held that a person’s “individuality” could be defined in two ways: relational individuality, comprised of the particular combination of numerous measurable traits manifested by a subject in studies such as Allport’s thesis; and real individuality, a Gestalt-like conception of a personality that is more than just the sum of its parts, and discoverable only through a qualitative analysis of the traits’ role in an overall life history. These ideas inspired in Allport a conception of personality as a broad and independent psychological field that would incorporate both the “nomothetic,” experimental methods of the natural sciences in measuring and studying personality traits, and the non-experimental “idiographic” methods utilized in the historical and humanistic fields for providing conceptions of wholly integrated, unique personalities. Noting that Anglo-American psychology was heavily dominated by the former approach, he became an outspoken advocate of the latter as a necessary complement to it. Allport taught undergraduate seminars promoting this conception at Harvard and Dartmouth between 1924 and 1930, before returning permanently to Harvard in 1930. There, both independently and in collaborations with others, he conducted and promoted seminal personality research employing both nomothetic and idiographic methods. His comprehensive and authoritative 1937 textbook, Personality: A Psychological Interpretation, was a landmark in establishing personality as a major psychological discipline. With enhanced reputation, Allport became a leading institutional figure in American psychology. For the rest of his career he continued to advocate an inclusive, “eclectic” approach to personality psychology, while also turning attention to important social issues such as wartime morale and propaganda, the influence of radio as a mass medium, the role of religion in personality and society, and with particular impact the nature of prejudice.

Article

Bearing witness to the Holocaust has taken many different forms and sought to achieve a variety of goals. Forms of testimony include structured and unstructured interviews; audio, video, and written narratives; individual and group formats; and recollections of survivors young and old—from those who testified just after the war to those who only came forth decades later. Different combinations of these distinct forms of testimony contribute to their variety. Most of the time such testimony has aimed to fill out the historical record or deepen moral reflection. Early on, they offered insight into what occurred during the Holocaust, sometimes providing vivid details that revealed the horrific experiences the survivors had endured. This early approach gave those who had not been on the scene an inside look into what actually happened during the Holocaust. Much of the testimony was by those who had experienced the Holocaust themselves. Later, the focus turned to residual trauma and how it manifested itself in the daily life of survivors. Others viewed testimony as potentially therapeutic and elicited it through engaging with survivors in sustained conversations or by encouraging them to give voice to wartime childhood memories. Ultimately, as a more positive and intergenerational perspective began to take hold in the field of psychology, trauma has been seen as something that can be transcended. Hence, some scholars have highlighted the psychological insight to be found within oral and written testimony. Important to note in this context is that a number of Holocaust survivor interview projects have been spearheaded by psychologists. Moving from the early postwar period to the present moment, this article intends to survey both the psychological insights gleaned and the projects conducted. The article will also consider the influence of postwar psychological movements on the style, emphasis, and concepts of psychologically motivated interview projects.

Article

Darwin’s theory of evolution opened the way for the study of nonhuman primates as a valuable method for understanding human behavior. Psychologists and anthropologists both value the study of nonhuman primates, but they have different methods and goals. Broadly speaking, anthropologists have studied the behavior and social lives of animals in their natural habitat with interests in how primates adapt to their environment and in tracing primate evolutionary history. Psychologists typically study captive primates where controlled experiments are possible to understand the ontogeny and underlying mechanism controlling behavior. The two approaches are complementary and, when integrated, can lead to important insights. Since the middle of the 20th century, primate research has expanded exponentially, with an increasing number of long-term field sites providing important data across generations with expanded studies of a great variety of species. Captive research also has thrived with the establishment of national primate research centers. Primate research has illuminated our understanding of cognition, language evolution, tool use, culture, and social structure, including mating systems and sexual behavior, parenting, aggression, and cooperation. However, the majority of nonhuman primate species are threatened or endangered in their natural habitats and require human intervention to preserve our primate heritage.

Article

Ann Johnson and Elizabeth Johnston

During the mid-20th century, the study of human development in the United States underwent significant expansion as support for scientific approaches solidified and methods and research topics grew. Inside the field, tensions between contrasting theoretical approaches and differing views on what determines growth and change (e.g., the perennial nature vs. nurture debate), fueled a proliferation of studies on physical growth and motor development, IQ, and personality. Lois Barclay Murphy, for example, challenged the emphasis placed on aggression and conflict in personality studies to include evidence of the early appearance of empathy and altruism in the young child, contradicting the outlook popularized by behaviorist John Watson in the 1920s. While hereditarian views of intelligence were dominant in the early part of the century, research by Marie Skodak Crissey and others soon challenged that perspective and pushed the field to develop more interactive models of heredity and environment. Skodak Crissey, for example, documented the powerful impact of adoption versus institutional care on measures of intelligence, demonstrating the mutability of intelligence as a result of environmental changes. In addition, the field expanded during the mid-century period (which is here defined as approximately 1925 to 1960) from studies of the infant and child to adolescents and development over the lifespan, including longitudinal studies like the Berkeley Growth Study, initiated in 1928 and headed by Nancy Bayley, and Lewis Terman’s long term study of gifted children. While historical accounts emphasize the contributions of a small number of male psychologists (such as Watson, Arnold Gesell, and Terman), women entered the field in large numbers and made landmark contributions during this period, often challenging and undermining orthodoxies and motivating the more complex picture of development dominant today. Among the women making contributions were Marie Skodak Crissey (1910–2000), Nancy Bayley (1899–1994), and Lois Barclay Murphy (1902–2003).

Article

The history of concepts about the adult and that of research into adult constructs show progression from a simple characterization of growth to a variety of complex constructs that define the terrain. Originally, the term adult encompassed all species and events that had attained full physical maturation, a product connotation. Later, time and events (e.g., marriage, the birth of children) became proxies for adult development. The absence of considerations of adult development was augmented by the fact that, for much of the past, adults could not be seen in long-term individual evolution since lifetimes were not extensive. In the 73 years of Psychological Abstracts, adults under various headings (e.g., adulthood, middle age) was referenced in a mere .01% of citations. The first mention of “adult” in a journal title was in 1994. Into the 21st century, although the exploration of various adult constructs abounds, the use of single terms (e.g., intelligence, wisdom) to describe multidimensional attributes leads to misunderstanding and reductionism. There is scant cross-construct analysis and, along with its parent discipline of psychology, analysis of adult development remains at the nascent descriptive level. Looking at the two major constructs of adult personality and intelligence, personality has had the lion’s share of publications. An examination of trends in its analysis reveals that the constructs are defined in various ways, little in the way of socio-contextual appraisal has occurred, and, with respect to the appraisal of intelligence, motivation to perform is ill-examined.

Article

Saulo de Freitas Araujo and Lisa M. Osbeck

James’s work is admittedly cross-disciplinary to the extent that it defies traditional scholarly boundaries. One of the best examples is the cross-fertilization between his philosophical and psychological ideas, although the precise relation between them is not easy to frame. Notwithstanding this difficulty, one can say that James’s early psychology, developed between the 1870s and 1880s, illuminates many aspects of his later philosophical positions, including pragmatism, radical empiricism, and pluralism. First, James defends the teleological nature of mind, which is driven by subjective interests and goals that cannot be explained by the immediate interchange with the external environment. They are spontaneous variations that constitute the a priori, properly active nature of the human mind. This idea helps him not only explain important features of scientific and philosophical theories, but also reject certain philosophical doctrines such as materialism, determinism, agnosticism, and so on. It represents, so to speak, the relevance of the subjective method for deciding moral and metaphysical issues. Second, James claims that certain temperaments underlie the choice of philosophical systems. Thus, both pragmatism and pluralism can be seen as philosophical expressions of subjective influences. In the first case, pragmatism expresses a temperament that combines and harmonizes the tender-minded and the tough-minded. In the second, pluralism reflects the sympathetic temperament in contrast with the cynical character drawn to materialism. Finally, James proposes a distinction between the substantive and the transitive parts of consciousness, meaning that consciousness has clearly distinguishable aspects as well as more obscure points, although human beings tend to focus only on the first part, ignoring the other. This idea plays a decisive role in the elaboration of radical empiricism. Such illustrations, far from exhausting the relations between James’s psychology and philosophy, invite new insights and further scholarship.