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Ability Tests

An ability test is an objective and standardized measure of a sample of behaviors at a specific point in time. Broadly defined, ability tests assess the innate and acquired capacity to perform mental or motor functions. This entry discusses the history of ability tests, their classification and standardization, the criteria for evaluating ability tests, and controversies over their use.

The modern scientific study of human cognitive abilities is often attributed to French psychologist Alfred Binet, who developed the Binet-Simon intelligence test, and to the World War I Army Alpha and Beta tests in the United States. The Army Alpha and Beta tests were used to assess cognitive ability for U.S. military recruits during World War I. The Army Beta test is noteworthy in that it was ...

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