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


Whereas in social, organizational, industrial, and educational psychology goal pursuit is analyzed primarily in terms of effective goal attainment, personality psychologists focus on the side effects of goal pursuit in terms of subjective well-being and personality development.

Recently, the issues of goal setting and goal disengagement have received a more systematic analysis. The distal factors of age and personality attributes influence the content of the goals people set for themselves or disengage from. For instance, older people set health and leisure activity goals and disengage from occupational and material goals held in middle adulthood

GODDARD, HENRY HERBERT (1866-1957), American psychologist, was the first American intelligence tester.

By 1910, he had convinced American institutional physicians to use Binet’s tests to diagnose and classify different degrees of mental deficiency. Following his recommendations, these doctors transformed their medical vocabulary to reflect Binet’s ideas. Thus an “idiot” was redefined as an individual who tested to a mental age below 3 on Binet’s intelligence scale and an “imbecile” as one testing between 3 and 7. Since there was no commonly accepted medical term for the highest group, persons testing to a mental age of between 8 and 12, Goddard coined a new word from a Greek root that as yet had no English connotation: “moron.”

During the same years, Goddard also became interested in determining the causes of mental deficiency. In 1909. he met Charles Davenport, leader of the American eugenics movement. Working with this biologist, Goddard began to conceptualize low intelligence as a single recessive trait inherited according to Mendel’s laws and impervious to all environmental improvements. Such a finding had moral as well as medical significance, Goddard insisted, for he saw feeble-minded persons as particularly prone to social delinquency or economic dependency. The only way to stop such individuals from passing on their feeble inheritance to future generations, Goddard argued, was through institutionalization or sterilization.

In 1927, Goddard conceded that many of his conclusions concerning feeble mindedness had been in error.

GOLDSTEIN, KURT (1875-1965), German neurologist and philosopher. Goldstein was born in Katowice, Upper Silesia, the seventh of nine children in a prosperous Jewish family. Through his mother, he was related to Ernst Cassirer, a German philosopher, with whom he had close intellectual as well as family ties.

In 1916, Goldstein organized the Institute for Research into the Consequences of Brain Injuries. Here Goldstein focused on diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, with remarkable success in returning patients to a high level of functioning. Goldstein’s research program at the Institute included cortical injuries, sensorimotor defects, perceptual disturbances, visual agnosia, cerebellar function, and aphasia. The last topic, aphasia, became a principal focus for many years. From this clinical variety, Goldstein developed his central insight: the behavior of organisms should be understood as a series of adaptations toward maximal self-actualization.

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