Capturing the Human Brain: an Iterative Analysis of Intellectual Assessment Tools

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Mazna Toosy
Dr. Afifa Khanam


The main aim of this study is to examine the chronological evolution of the major intelligence tests from the 1880s to 2020s (contemporary times) in order to understand the significant events that marked the field of intelligence testing. This qualitative study used document analysis and the tests were selected through purposive sampling. The time period from 1800s to 2020s was divided into ten sub-periods and each test was analysed iteratively in terms of five aspects: its name and nature, name(s) of authors and publication date, how did it measure intelligence, number and names of subtests and the cognitive functions or factors of intelligence it measured with reference to the previous or contemporary tools. This data is displayed in tabular form followed by an interpretation regarding the key developments of that time period. The main findings reveal that the development of intelligence testing has a rich and iterative history and intelligence instruments have basically evolved from being atheoretical, sensory and motor-based cognitive measures to theoretically driven, psychometrically advanced instruments with high diagnostic capability in order to meet the diverse needs of school counsellors, educators, practitioners and psychologists today. Despite widespread criticism and controversy, the need for intelligence tests will continue as cognitive ability is the basis for all human behaviours.

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