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Alfred Binet

Died 18 Oct 1911 at age 54 (born 8 Jul 1857). French psychologist who was a pioneer in the field of intelligence testing of the normal mind. He took a different approach than most psychologists of his day: he was interested in the workings of the normal mind rather than the pathology of mental illness. He wanted to find a way to measure the ability to think and reason, apart from education in any particular field. In 1905 he developed a test in which he had children do tasks such as follow commands, copy patterns, name objects, and put things in order or arrange them properly. He gave the test to Paris schoolchildren and created a standard based on his data. From Binet's work, "IQ" (intelligence quotient), entered the vocabulary. The IQ is the ratio of "mental age" to chronological age, with 100 being average.[Although some sources give birthday as 11 Jul, both Enc. Brit. and Dict. of Sci. Biog. give born 8 Jul 1857.]

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