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Archive for the ‘Tests’ Category

contributed by Rhonda Rinehart

Humans are perhaps the only species that finds a need to not only define what love is, but to categorize it, measure it – and dare I say – celebrate it with cheap chocolates and stuffed animals.  In our search for meaning, love is at the top of the list.  And for all of our searching, we have a really hard time agreeing on what love is or how it’s manifested.

But wow do we try.

So let’s take a look at some highlights from Cummings Center collections on the topic of love and its many iterations.

 

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Below are several visitor answers to “What Makes Us Human?” exhibit at the National Museum of Psychology at the Cummings Center.

 

The National Museum of Psychology invites museum visitors to delve into the human condition in an exhibit titled, “What Makes Us Human?”  Visitors are encouraged to write their thoughts and comments on what makes homo sapiens tick, and what separates us from other animals.  To date, there are 104 responses that include “love”, 63 instances of “empathy”, and 5 responses each for “sex” and “sympathy”.  There are no instances of Valentine’s Day yet. 

People have a lot to say about relationships, and where love fits into the human experience.  Feelings of love, empathy, sympathy, passion, and other forms of strong emotions and their manifestations toward other living (or not) things are quite arguably only attributed to people.  But don’t let that stop you from weighing in on this question!

 

Will This Be othe Test?

The Cummings Center test collection contains thousands of tests and assessments designed to help understand and determine human capabilities and functioning.  From popular self-assessment quizzes designed more for entertainment than self-discovery, to professional assessment testing, you can find most anything to satisfy your curiosity about yourself and others.

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This PsychoQuiz seems to attempt to determine a jealous personality type rather than how romantic a person might be.  How Romantic Are You?  From a regular column in Look magazine, 1947.

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With drawings by Walter Miles, this fill-in-the-blank story test boasts a battle of the sexes scenario with a twist answer!  Read the small print below the test to find out the answer.  How Well Do You Know the Opposite Sex? PsychoQuiz. From a regular column in Look magazine, 1947.

 

Can We Talk?

If it’s at a conference venue, and it’s about love and attraction – then yes, let’s talk!  The International Conference on Love & Attraction, held in 1977 at the University of Swansea in Wales, tackled such diverse and complex topics as sexual dysfunction, personality characteristics of types of desire, contraception, relationship equity, and non-verbal intimacy.

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International Conference on Love & Attraction program, G. Marion Kinget papers, Box M3307

 

Conference participant, G. Marion Kinget, discussed “a crisis” in the conceptions of modern romantic love as it pertained at the time to redefining gender roles.

 

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International Conference on Love & Attraction, G. Marion Kinget papers, Box M3307

 

Is It All Just Sex?

Nope.  Romantic love is the biggest part of selling Valentine’s Day, but certainly not the only kind of love to be celebrated.  So tell your step-mom, your kid, your dad, your friend and anyone else that means a lot to you how much you care for them.  Hug your pet, therapy animal, shelter animal, or any sentient being that brings you joy.  Talk to your plants if you want.  It’s been said that they respond to verbal communication, too!

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Postcard from the David B. Campbell postcard collection, Institute for Human Science and Culture, Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology

 

 

 

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-contributed by Ace Harrah.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ace, and I’m a new intern here at CCHP. I’m the youngest intern here yet, being only 17 years old, which means that I’m still in high school. I have Bio-Med Science Academy to thank for the pleasure of being able to work with all of the wonderful people on staff here while still pursuing my diploma. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned with you all!

My current project is researching psychologists who specialized in creativity. As you can imagine, this is a wide subject that requires a very niche interest to start researching. After all, what is creativity? How do you study such an abstract topic? I don’t have an answer to any of that, but I certainly can share what I’ve learned so far!

When I first started my research in our collections database, there was one name that kept popping up wherever I went: E. Paul Torrance. I’ve learned since then that Torrance was a psychologist who focused his studies on the creativity of children and looked to enhance the academic lives of the creative student. He felt that schools disregarded most of the students who were creatively gifted over students who are intellectually different. The main issue, he found, was that there was no way for schools to quantify a student’s inherent creative ability. Thus, he created the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), a standardized test that looked to objectively measure the creative potential of a child.

 

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Now, how does someone “grade” another’s capacity for creativity? After all, creativity is mostly immeasurable, right? Well, the TTCT supplies test subjects (or “pupils,” as the scoring sheet calls them) with different figures to build off of. The ambiguity (or lack thereof) in the shapes provides challenges for test takers and gives them an opportunity to create something entirely new with minimal constraints.

Torrance’s tests are still used today, although they are much more popular in Europe than here in the US. As a creator myself, I am personally a bit skeptical about how accurate Torrance’s tests really can be to measure one’s creativity. I think that creativity relies strongly on outside variables rather than one’s own innate ability. 

As a side thought, is creativity really something we should try to quantify? Being told at a young age that you aren’t especially creative could deter individuals from pursuing artistic education, even later in their life. Perhaps creativity is something you learn through practice. Sure, some people are born athletes, but does that mean everyone else should give up on making the team? That’s one of the best things about humans: we adapt.

What would you create based off of this image?

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Contributed by Jodi Kearns & Cathy Faye.

On June 29, 2017, we participated in a teacher workshop on immigration at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. Stan Hywet offers an educational program called “Meet the Staff” for middle school students to come with their teachers and learn about the staff who, around a hundred years ago, did the baking, cleaning, groundskeeping, horse training, and other house and garden jobs. Stan Hywet is the name given to the mansion built and owned by the Seiberling family. F. A. Seibering  founded the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

We prepared a lesson with portable, fabricated test kits to support teachers who bring their students to participate in “Meet the Staff.”

To begin our portion of the workshop, Cathy gave a brief history of psychological testing at Ellis Island and demonstrated with a volunteer each of the four tests we brought with us. Entry into the United States between 1892 and about 1942 required examinations of immigrants, including psychology testing. Cathy told the teachers

To be admitted to the United States in the early 1900s, immigrants had to be free from physical illness. They had to be capable of earning a living. But they also had to be free of “mental defect” and possess adequate mental ability. In the early 1900s, US immigration officials were therefore looking for a way to screen out “mental defectives” among the more than 5,000 immigrants that sought entry into the United States every single day. Congress had passed laws that barred “lunatics,” “idiots,” “imbeciles,” and “the feeble-minded” from entering the United States. These labels, used today as insults, were at the time diagnostic categories, indicating varied levels of intelligence. For example, a “moron” was anyone who scored 70 or below on standard intelligence tests of the day.

After initial inspection, some immigrants were triaged into a separate line for further inspection, which involved a battery of psychological tests that were designed to be useful in cases where language skills were a barrier. The three tests used at Ellis Island that we demonstrated for the teachers are Cube Imitation Test; Form Board Test; and Feature Profile Test.

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An Akron-area teacher demonstrating the Form Board Test.

After a brief history and demonstration on the original artifacts, Jodi told the teachers that they would come to their classrooms and teach this lesson on Ellis Island psychological testing. In order to do this, we fabricated each of the tests using foam core and wood. Additionally, we recreated the tests with administration and scoring instructions on paper, so each students can have a turn being both tester and immigrant.

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To the left, a teacher works on the Form Board Test. To the top, another works on the Feature Profile Test. In the blue box, notice the edge of the Cube Imitation Test. This test kit shows examples of the fabrications of the original tests.

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Teachers working on the Feature Profile Test.

Finally, we wrote a full lesson plan and mapped the learning objectives to the Ohio Department of Education standards for social studies, to the American Library Association standards for information literacy, and to the American Psychological Association standards for teaching high school psychology. Teachers can use the lesson and test kits on their own, or invite us to come join them. Have a look at the lesson plan: EllisIsland_LessonPlan_Final.

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– contributed by Rhonda Rinehart.

April is National Poetry Month.  In recognition of all of those terrible poems you wrote in high school, and in honor of armchair poets everywhere, CCHP is posting a blog about creativity.

with painted clothes upon a bridge, she was not iodined with garnishes; those

passing there, seared and grotesque.  did she jump, or wail, or swing on other

clothes?  did she spread her teeth inventing whistles for the quaying bikes, or

stiff snouters turned in grey?  she did not, nor did she cow or pace about in

ruins, or tray her hiked up shoes more nearly like galosh or spidern heels she

cut among the grass.

[Excerpt from untitled poem written by ‘Larry’ (Laurence d’A. M. Glass), from the Silvan Tomkins papers, Cummings Center for the History of Psychology]

What makes “good” poetry, and how do you know when you see it?  Can poetry be judged on simple merits of being good or bad?

Whether the above poem elicits provocative imagery or just annoys the reader with a bunch of made-up words and awkward sentence structure (the spellcheck was practically shouting at me while typing), we can probably agree that something creative like poetry is indeed quite subjective.  And like other creative endeavors, writing poetry is an intensely personal act.  But so is reading it.  The exact elements of Glass’s poem that make us appreciate it or shrink from it, are creativity in action.  No rules.  No inhibitions.  As Dan Wieden so famously (and creatively) proclaimed for Nike, “Just do it.”

Plenty of CCHP collections possess poetry written by psychologists; still others contain poems from colleagues and family members, like this one from the L. Joseph Stone papers about adolescence, from the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology

If poetry is subjective and arcane, why would we attempt to judge it by a simple scale of good or bad?  Or by a right way or wrong way of writing it?  Maybe it’s an attempt to make the unscientific more scientific.  Perhaps the more pressing question is, should we judge it from those perspectives at all?

Two professors – one of education and one of English – developed “A Measure of Ability to Judge Poetry” in 1921, to assist students in acquiring an “increased ability to tell good [poetry] from bad, and increase preference for the good”.  To do this, original poems were sampled, accompanied by sets of varying versions of the original that represented sentimental, prosaic, and metrical forms of writing.  From there, it was simply a “which do you prefer?” choice.  Similarly, “Literature Tests to Accompany Adventures in Prose and Poetry”, a test developed by Rewey Belle Inglis, asks students to determine prevailing emotions of various poems from a given set of emotions.

Test preamble and sample poem for “A Measure of Ability to Judge Poetry (Exercises in Judging Poetry)” by Allan Abbott and M. R. Trabue, 1921; from the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology Test Collection

 

Test page from “Literature Tests to Accompany Adventures in Prose and Poetry” from the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology Test Collection

But making constrained decisions about something that is personal and subjective from pre-selected lists and writing samples feels a little restrictive.

Instead of right and wrong answers, or answers that are compared to regulated determinates, tests like “The Symbolic Equivalents Test”, allow for more fluctuation in the answers.  Rather than judging one’s ability to recognize the good and the bad from staid lists, the test-taker is asked to think of his or her own ways to answer each sample.  Answers might feel less like straight answers, and more like cleverness and ingenuity.  Indeed, creative writing (in the form of poetry or prose) should feel this way.

“The Symbolic Equivalents Test” with some imaginative notes, from the Frank X. Barron papers; Cummings Center for the History of Psychology

Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, Elizabeth Starkweather conducted research on the subject of creativity, particularly in school children.  She describes creativity as something that cannot be coerced, and in order to take place, it must happen in an environment of free expression without inhibition.

Excerpt from a paper on creativity by Elizabeth Starkweather; from the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology Special Interest Collection

Whether taking a test on one’s own abilities or judging others’ creative abilities, we might be wise to ruminate on the ideas posed by Starkweather, Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, and others who recognized that creativity has a lot to with the act and less to do with judging other creators’ works.  Think, too, about how the act of creating serves an important purpose in those self-actualization theories.  Your poems may get published, you may get recognized for being a great talent; but probably not.  Write them anyway.  In the mechanized grind of life, creativity helps us to feel human.

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– Contributed by Jodi Kearns

Fall 2015 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Archives of the History of American Psychology. The April 2015 book-of-the-month selection pays tribute to this rich history  that CCHP staff and students have dedicated the past 50 years to preserving. In 2015, the mission of the Cummings Center is to support access to the complete historical record of psychology and related human sciences in order to foster understanding of the human condition.  The Illustrated History of American Psychology, 2nd edition, published 17 years ago, was an early project in providing access to the historical record of American psychology.

Populated largely by photographs and digitized materials from CCHP collections and written by the co-founders of the Archives, Drs. John A. Popplestone and Marion White McPherson, the Illustrated History describes in words and illustrations with more than 350 pictures the (at the time) just over 100-year story of American psychology . The book visits experimental psychology laboratories, writings and works of prominent figures, military testing for intelligence and vocation, and more.

The photographs and objects from the Archives in the Illustrated History are still in the CCHP collections today.

exhibit in Museum of Psychology showcasing artifacts from CCHP collections

exhibit in Museum of Psychology showcasing artifacts from CCHP collections

The phrenology bust on page 37, for example, is on exhibit in the Museum of Psychology. (Can you find it in the above gallery photograph?)

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 37

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 37

So, too, is the pseudophone now on display in the Museum depicted in this 1928 image on page 86. (Do you see it in the gallery photo?)

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 86

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 86

Additionally, images in the Illustrated History of manuscript papers and testing materials remain in the CCHP collections and available to researchers.

An Illustrated History of American Psychology,  page 127

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 127

An Illustrated History of American Psychology,  pages 148-149

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, pages 148-149

Dorothy Gruich, CCHP Coordinator, helped Drs. Popplestone and McPherson put the first edition together while she was an undergraduate student assistant at the Archives.

Please visit the University of Akron Press for information about other CCHP publications.

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-Contributed by Vanessa Facemire. 

Ever wonder what your personality says about you? Well, there’s a test for that. What about your IQ or achievement? There’s a test for that too. Would you like to be able to have someone tell you what career to choose? Well, you’re in luck because there’s a test for that too! For more than a century, psychologists have designed and administered tests and measures to assess many different kinds of human abilities and characteristics.

The history of psychological testing is long and varied. It has roots in ancient China; where the emperor instated proficiency testing on topics such as civil law and fiscal policies for public officials. From phrenology to vocational testing, scientists and practitioners have been fascinated with developing new ways to “measure the mind”. Historically, psychological tests have been used in very diverse ways across a variety of settings.

IMLS_Logo_BlackThe Cummings Center for the History of Psychology is featuring a new exhibit called “Measuring the Mind” that showcases some early ways that psychologists have measured different abilities and characteristics. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the “Museums for America” program, the exhibit gives visitors a chance to see and interact with tests and measures dating from the nineteenth century to the present.

The exhibit features a 1921 home economics test for 8th grade girls that measures knowledge of “household arts” such as clothing care and repair, childcare, and budgeting. The 1919 Woodsworth Personal Data Sheet, which measures potential emotional difficulties among WWI recruits, was specifically designed to identify soldiers who might be at risk for shell shock, which we now know as post-traumatic stress disorder. A black-and-white 1935 film depicting the different tests used to measure mechanical aptitude among potential employees is also highlighted.

Intro

The exhibit also features a variety of interactive displays. Want to test your mental acuity? Check out the weights discrimination test used in the nineteenth and early twentieth century as a way of examining the relationship between the physical world and the mental world.

Weights

Do you wonder about your motor learning ability? Check out the finger maze, developed in 1928, used to select employees for jobs requiring fine motor skills.

Finger Maze 2

Want to measure your intelligence? Check out the form board intelligence test from the nineteenth century and time yourself to see how quickly you can complete the board. Form boards were used in a variety of situations including: measuring mental capacity and nonverbal intelligence in children, as part of a battery of tests used on immigrants at Ellis Island, and during WWI to test intelligence among illiterate recruits.

Form Board 1

Visitors can also test their intelligence through the Army Alpha interactive display. Developed in WWI, the Army Alpha was the first intelligence test designed to be administered to large groups. This test was used to test new army recruits and by the end of the war, more than 1 million recruits had been tested.

Army Alpha

For more information about these tests and many more pay a visit to the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology to check out our “Measuring the Mind” exhibit. You can also schedule a research visit to examine our vast collection of psychological tests and measures.

 

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-Contributed by Lizette Royer Barton.

Recently, Jodi brought several students from her Information Literacy course to the Center to learn about archives and primary source materials. One goal was to show the students that even though they may not be majoring in psychology or history they could still locate materials relevant to their field of study at the CHP.

Jodi put me on the case and the result was an afternoon of interesting archival materials and the realization that “Wow. Psychology really is everywhere!”

One student is a business major so I talked a little about psychology’s place in the history of advertising and I showcased some materials from the Harry L. and Leta Stetter Hollingworth papers.

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Another student is majoring in social work, a field that is very connected with psychology. We looked at field and case notes written by Elizabeth Jewel and Elizabeth Kite in the 1920s from the Vineland Training School papers and we talked about the importance of having good interviewing skills when working with clients. This led to a brief discussion of one of psychology’s earliest experimental methods – introspection.

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There was a student interested in studying law so I decided that one of the best examples was psychology’s role in the landmark Brown v. Board Supreme Court Case. Kenneth and Mamie Phipps Clark’s work was specifically presented to the court but psychologists were also involved in several desegregation cases that led up to and were eventually part of the 1954 case. Here is a great example from the Stuart Cook papers referencing a desegregation case in Prince Edward County, Virginia.

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I was really excited to search for relevant materials for the student majoring in the culinary arts. We talked about the CHP blog post where we highlighted dinner menus and how food trends seem to constantly be changing. We also talked about wartime work done by psychologists Josef Brozek (starvation studies) and Kurt Lewin (wartime food habits). Exhibited here is a report by Lewin for the Committee on Food Habits and a book from the CHP Book Collection about a symposium held on wartime nutrition for soldiers.

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Two of the students in the class are studying computer networking so I dug into the CHP Artifacts collection to share examples of early computers. We started with an original Sidney Pressey Teaching Machine (pictured below) and moved on to the 1984 Apple II. Then we had a conversation about how fast technology changes!

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And finally there was the student who is majoring in nursing. In searching the collections I located numerous references to psychiatric nursing. We took a look at 1950 newsletter of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry and a questionnaire that was created by the group’s Committee on Psychiatric Nursing.

SpecialInterest_GAPnewsletter_watermarkedIt’s always pretty amazing–even to us–to see the reach of psychology into all corners of society and Jodi’s class visit just reinforced for us the importance of preserving the CHP collections and making them available to the widest audience possible.

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