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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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Practical Issues in Intelligence Testing

Practical Issues in Intelligence Testing

(p.168) 8 Practical Issues in Intelligence Testing
Howard Andrew Knox

Richardson John T. E.

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the various practical issues in intelligence testing that Howard Andrew Knox and his colleagues encountered while they were administering performance tests to mentally deficient emigrants at Ellis Island in New York. These issues were described by Knox and his colleagues in their various publications, offering many useful and very human insights concerning the limitations of psychological testing, particularly with regard to the mental and physical state of the many emigrants they examined. The primary issue was the validity of the process of line inspection. In his diagnosis of mental deficiency among emigrants, Assistant Surgeon Carlisle Knight had observed (as others had before him) that the identification of feebleminded people was “the hardest problem with which we have to deal.” Other issues that arose during intelligence testing of mentally deficient emigrants at Ellis Island had to do with language, culture, and education. The chapter also considers the decline of Ellis Island as a key location for the development of mental tests.

Keywords:   intelligence testing, Howard Andrew Knox, performance tests, emigrants, Ellis Island, psychological testing, mental deficiency, language, culture, education

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