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Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief

BINET, ALFRED (1857-1911)

Binet is best known to psychologists for initiating the modern approach to intelligence testing

As a rule of thumb (but with the proviso that test results should never be the sole criterion for diagnosing subnormality), Binet suggested that children whose mental ages lagged more than 2 years behind their actual ages should be targeted for further investigation. Implicit here was the notion that mental deficiency in children can be conceptualized as a retardation in the normal rate of intellectual development.

In due course Binet himself conceded that his hypnotic experiments had been fatally tainted by the effects of unintended suggestion, which he referred to as the “cholera of psychology.”

Binet’s 1900 book, La Suggestibilite, elaborated by demonstrating how sensitive children are to the style as well as the content of questions put to them. This work is now recognized as a pioneering and still valid warning about the potential unreliability of children’s eye-witness testimony

Furthermore, he firmly believed that the intelligence measured by his tests was not a fixed entity, but could be enhanced by appropriate training, which he called mental orthopedics.

The German psychologist Louis William Stern (1871-1938) proposed computing an “intelligence quotient” for each child by taking the ratio of mental age over chronological age, and the American Lewis M. Terman (1877-1956) multiplied Stern’s quotient by 100 and abbreviated the result as the now famous “IQ.”

BINGHAM, WALTER VAN DYKE (1880-1952), American psychologist and founder of industrial/organizational psychology.

The Army commissioned Bingham as a lieutenant colonel at the end of the war. and, in World War II, as its chief psychologist

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