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Isaacs, S. (1924). General: C. A. Richardson. The Influence of Affective Factors on the Measurement of Intelligence. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1923, Vol. III, p. 34.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:207-208.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: General: C. A. Richardson. The Influence of Affective Factors on the Measurement of Intelligence. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1923, Vol. III, p. 34.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:207-208

General: C. A. Richardson. The Influence of Affective Factors on the Measurement of Intelligence. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1923, Vol. III, p. 34.

Susan Isaacs

Starting from the fact that psychological science during the twentieth century has made rapid growth in two main directions, namely, the analytic method in psychotherapy, and the testing and quantitative assessment of intelligence, the author suggests that the point has been reached at which we are compelled to inquire what bearing each of these two movements may have upon the theory and practice of the other. The particular question which he thinks it pertinent to ask is: May it not be possible that the apparent intelligence of an individual is in part conditioned by affective inhibitions which conceal his real grade of intelligence? From the point of view of the measurement of intelligence, the practical question to be decided is whether the performance of children and others in mental tests is affected by inhibitions of the kind referred to.

Mr. Richardson rightly says that this question can only be settled decisively by testing a number of children and then re-testing them after analytic treatment. Wanting this, however, he proceeds to what he feels to be a reliable, albeit provisional, conclusion, on the basis of certain a priori considerations as to the nature of the tests themselves, and as to

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the actual results of the tests. Considering first individual tests, it is held that by far the larger proportion of the questions in individual scales are noticeably lacking in any element which might for particular individuals constitute affective or emotional tone in any degree worth considering. 'It is true that a few of the Binet tests deal with matters which tend to acquire for most persons some marked affective tone, but even in such cases the matters are of a kind calculated to produce far less emotional effect on children than on adults. But apart from these comparatively few and isolated instances the affective tone of the tests is almost entirely neutral.' And with regard to the risk of affective inhibitions arising from the conditions of administering the tests, 'it may be safely said that with a tester who understands his work any serious effect due to affective inhibitions arising from the conditions of administration of the tests can be practically eliminated'. In the case of group tests, however, the risk of disturbances due to the conditions of testing may be somewhat greater, although even here it will not contribute to the mass results of the tests.

Turning to the actual results of testing, it is held that if interference of affective factors occurred, it would be quantitatively unequal, and more or less arbitrary, and would therefore lead to irregular variations in the I.Q. The now well-established constancy of the I.Q. of a given child, within the limits of experimental error, is thus a clear indication that affective factors do not seriously interfere with the measurement of intelligence.

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Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Isaacs, S. (1924). General. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:207-208

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