Lewis M. Terman

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Lewis M. Terman ( Lewis Madison Terman ; born January 15, 1877 in Johnson County , Indiana ; † December 21, 1956 ) was an American psychologist . He is known for developing the Stanford-Binet test and initiated a study on gifted children ( Terman Study ) in 1921 , which is still ongoing today.


Terman developed Alfred Binet's Binet test into the Stanford-Binet test in 1916. The research of William Stern also played a role here. The Stanford-Binet test was the basis of military proficiency tests from 1917 and, as a result, the popularity of IQ tests in the United States. In 1921 he published the Army Study, the first major mass evaluation of psychological data.

Terman was the director and founder of the Terman Study , one of the largest long-term studies in the history of psychology. The study was about the research of giftedness . For this project, Catharine M. Cox contributed a study in which she retrospectively assessed the intelligence quotient of famous men and women who had lived between 1450 and 1850 on the basis of biographical information.

Lewis Terman sympathized with the ideas of eugenics , a heavily criticized movement. According to Terman, intelligence tests were used to:

Ultimately, to significantly restrict the reproduction of nonsense and thereby contribute to the elimination of a high level of crime , mass poverty and inefficiency in industry. "

In 1928 Terman was elected to the National Academy of Sciences , 1934 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and 1953 to the American Philosophical Society .

Publications (selection)

  • Genetic Studies of Genius, Vol. 1-5. 1926-1959
  • The Measurement of Intelligence. 1916
  • The Use of Intelligence Tests . 1916
  • The Stanford Achievement Test. 1923

Individual evidence

  1. Lewis Terman, quoted from: Myers, David G. 2008. Psychology. Jumper. P. 483
  2. ^ Member History: Lewis M. Terman. American Philosophical Society, accessed December 6, 2018 .

Web links