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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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An Appraisal

An Appraisal

(p.250) 13 An Appraisal
Howard Andrew Knox

Richardson John T. E.

Columbia University Press

This concluding chapter considers why Howard Andrew Knox’s work at Ellis Island in New York has been neglected and seeks to reinstate him as a key figure in the history of intelligence testing. From May 1912 to May 1916, Knox and his colleagues devided an array of performance tests to estimate mental deficiency among emigrants at Ellis Island. The chapter evaluates Knox’s life and work from a variety of perspectives. In particular, it examines Knox’s involvement in and commitment to the development of intelligence tests, his role in devising the Ellis Island tests, whether he really succeeded in finding a way of differentiating between moronism and ignorance, and whether he was a eugenicist or a racist. Finally, it discusses the neglect and rediscovery of the Ellis Island tests in the second half of the twentieth century, culminating in a reevaluation of the contribution of Knox and his colleagues to intelligence testing.

Keywords:   intelligence testing, Howard Andrew Knox, Ellis Island, performance tests, mental deficiency, emigrants, intelligence tests, moronism, ignorance

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