History of the Stanford-Binet Test

The Stanford-Binet Test is widely used in the United Stats as a means of gauging intelligence. The history of the development of the Stanford-Binet Test spans two continents and continues to this day.

Origins of the Stanford-Binet Test

The Stanford-Binet Test traces its roots to the Binet-Simon Scale, French device for identifying levels of intelligence. The Binet-Simon Scale was developed by Alfred Binet and his student Theodore Simon. French education laws were in flux at the time and Binet was approached by a governmental commission. The commission wanted a device to detect children that possessed notably below-average levels of intelligence for their age.

Because Binet and Simon could not come up with a solitary identifier of intelligence, they devised a construction that takes into consideration the age of a child and competences at that point in life. From this data, they developed a baseline from which intelligence could be measured.

The Binet-Simon Scale quickly garnered accolades from the psychology community and others. A general consensus quickly developed that this test provided a meaningful way of ascertaining intelligence levels. 

One of the reasons the Binet-Simon Scale became accepted and highly regarded so rapidly is the fact that it was designed to be adaptable to different languages and cultures. 

Stanford University and the Binet-Simon Scale

The work of Binet and Simon was quickly picked up by Lewis M. Terman, a psychologist at Stanford University. Terman became one of the first to develop a derivation of the test for people in the United States. His version of the test was christened the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scale. Terman's first publication of the U.S. version of the test appeared in an article entitled "The Measurement of Intelligence: An Explanation of and a Complete Guide for the Use of the Stanford Revision and Extension of the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale."

The Addition of Intelligence Quotient

In the fairly immediate aftermath of the development of the Binet-Simon Scale and the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scale, the need for better quantifying results was discussed rather broadly. The need for one form of a rating scale was desired to better place people who took the test on a suitable, meaningful spectrum. In the immediate aftermath of the creation of these testing protocols, different rating scales were being utilized.

German psychologist William Stern developed what became known as Intelligence Quotient or IQ. IQ involves comparing the age of a child scored on the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scale, or similar test, with his or her biological A ratio is derived from this comparison, which demonstrates a child's mental progress in the form of an IQ. 

Comparing the age a child scored at to their biological age, a ratio is created to show the rate of their mental progress as IQ. Stanford University's Lewis M. Terman embraced the IQ concept immediately.

Subsequent Editions of the Stanford-Binet Test

The fifth edition of the Stanford-Binet Test was released in 2003. The fifth edition includes what are called gifted composite scores, to better identify children at the high-intelligence end of the spectrum.