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Lewis Terman

Lewis TermanAKA Lewis Madison Terman

Born: 15-Jan-1877
Birthplace: Johnson County, IN
Died: 21-Dec-1956
Location of death: Palo Alto, CA
Cause of death: Tuberculosis
Remains: Buried, Alta Mesa Memorial Park, Palo Alto, CA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Psychologist, Educator

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Intelligence tests

Military service: US Army (1916-18)

American psychologist Lewis Terman is best known for developing tests designed to measure intelligence quotient (IQ). Considered an improvement over the earlier tests devised by Alfred Binet, Terman's Stanford-Binet IQ tests (later called Stanford Achievement Tests) became a common measurement used in public schools, job aptitude, and military induction tests.

Like many leading scientists of his time, Terman was a strong supporter of eugenics programs, and enthusiastically argued that his test results proved that "the intelligence of the average negro is vastly inferior to that of the average white man. ... The intelligence of the American Indian has also been over-rated, for mental tests indicate that it is not greatly superior to that of the average negro. Our Mexican population, which is largely of Indian extraction, makes little if any better showing." He declared that his own IQ had been measured at 180.

Terman believed that children who scored high on his IQ tests were likely to become society's leaders in adulthood. Toward this end, he conducted detailed and extended studies of more than 1,000 children deemed "gifted" under his tests, but the results of his studies are considered marred by Terman's frequent offering of guidance and assistance to these children. He published studies purporting to have measured the IQs of dead scientists including Carl Friedrich Gauss, Isaac Newton, and Gottfried Leibniz, by complex calculations that considered such factors as the length of their encyclopedia biographies. He also developed systems to measure masculinity, femininity, and marital happiness.

Father: James Lewis Terman (farmer, d. 1834, d. 1910)
Mother: Martha Cutsinger Terman (b. 1837, d. 1908, fourteen children)
Sister: Jane Ann Terman Vaught (b. 1859, d. 1880)
Sister: Mary Elizabeth Terman Richie (b. 1857, d. 1918)
Sister: Martha Parthenia Terman Alexander (b. 1859, d. 1938)
Sister: Emma Alice Terman McCartney (b. 1861, d. 1945)
Sister: Flora Terman Coons (b. 1863)
Brother: John Terman (teacher, b. 1866, d. 1960)
Brother: Joseph Terman (farmer, b. 1867, d. 1964)
Sister: Ida Terman Andrews Hendrickson Stevens (b. 1872)
Sister: Bertha Terman McAlpin (b. 1880)
Sister: Jessie Terman Roth (b. 1883, d. 1959)
Wife: Anna Belle Minton Terman (m. 1899, d. Mar-1956)
Son: Frederick Terman (Stanford professor, b. 7-Jun-1900, d. 19-Dec-1982)
Daughter: Helen Terman Mosher (b. 1903, d. 1979)

    University: Central Normal College, Danville, IN (attended)
    University: BA, Indiana University (1894)
    University: BS, Indiana University (1898)
    University: BA, Indiana University Bloomington (1902)
    University: MA, Indiana University Bloomington (1903)
    University: PhD Psychology, Clark University (1905)
    Professor: Child Study and Pedagogy, Los Angeles Normal School (1906-07)
    Professor: Psychology, Stanford University (1910-56)

    American Eugenics Society
    American Psychological Association President (1923)
    National Academy of Sciences
    French Ancestry
    German Ancestry
    Irish Ancestry
    Scottish Ancestry
    Welsh Ancestry

Author of books:
The Hygiene of the School Child (1914)
The Measurement of Intelligence (1916)
The Use of Intelligence Tests (1916)
The Intelligence of School Children (1919)
Terman Group Test of Mental Ability (1920)
Stanford Achievement Test (1923)
Genetic Studies of Genius (1925)
Sex and Personality: Studies in Masculinity and Feminity (1936, with Catharine Cox Miles)
Psychological Factors in Marital Happiness (1938)
The Gifted Child Grows Up (1947)


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