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Howard Andrew KnoxPioneer of Intelligence Testing at Ellis Island$
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John Richardson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231141680

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231141680.001.0001

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The Ellis Island Tests

The Ellis Island Tests

(p.97) 6 The Ellis Island Tests
Howard Andrew Knox

Richardson John T. E.

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the series of performance tests developed by Howard Andrew Knox and his colleagues and administered to mentally deficient emigrants at Ellis Island in New York. Knox and Bernard Glueck identified two major flaws in the notion of using the scale devised by Alfred Binet and Théodore Simon to identify mental deficiency among emigrants. To address these flaws, Knox and his colleagues set out to devise performance tests that relied on the measurement of overt performance. This chapter considers the circumstances in which performance tests seemed to be more appropriate than conventional verbal tests. It also describes some of the performance tests developed by Knox at Ellis Island, including the Visual Comparison Test, the Diamond Frame Test, the Cube Imitation Test, the Geographical Puzzle, the Imbecile Test, the Moron Test, the Construction Blocks Test, the Casuist Test, and the Feature Profile Test. Finally, the chapter looks at Knox’s divorce from his wife, Gladys Barnett Reed.

Keywords:   performance tests, Howard Andrew Knox, emigrants, Ellis Island, Bernard Glueck, mental deficiency, overt performance, verbal tests, divorce, Gladys Barnett Reed

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