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Individual Differences Essay - Gould

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Laura Henderson Psychology Individual Differences Essay GOULD (i)The Gould study was a review of a previous study by Yerkes, who tested the intelligence of recruits during WW1. In order to do this he devised three tests: ? Alpha test -- This was a test for the literate recruits, it required the ability to read and write and contained sections including analogies and unscrambling a sentence. ? Beta test -- This test was for any illiterate recruits and contained picture questions and number tasks. This test was also given to recruits who failed the alpha test. These tests could be given to large groups of recruits and would take only an hour to complete. ? There was also another test in which the recruits were interviewed. ...read more.


The types of questions that were in the alpha test included: ? Christy Matthewson is famous as a: writer, artist, baseball player, comedian. ? Crisco is a: patent medicine, disinfectant, toothpaste, food product. All of which need a general knowledge of 1900s American culture. --The beta test contained picture questions like putting the filament on a light bulb and he strings on a violin. The immigrants may not even know what a bulb looks like and had never seen a violin. This may have also caused a problem to the poorly educated black recruits. Methodology --Illiterate recruits were often sent to do the alpha test, even though it was known that they couldn't read or write. This was because the numbers of literate people were overestimated by Yerkes and so, the officers at the bases just sent some of the recruits to do the alpha test, reducing the number of recruits taking the beta test. ...read more.


(iii) In order to improve the validity of the Yerkes' IQ tests the questions need to be greatly improved. The possibility of failure because of lack of cultural knowledge has to be removed. Alpha Questions could include: ? Black is to white as vertical is to: Horizontal ? Are digits 08232569 are the same as 96523208 read backwards. No Beta questions could include choosing which piece of the puzzle fits the space. Or a next shape in the sequence e.g. Which is the next shape? These changes should increase the validity of the results because they will actually be testing IQ and not just the cultural knowledge of the participants. It should also be easier for the beta questions to be filled in by illiterate participants and immigrants, increasing the validity of their results. ...read more.

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