A GUINEA PIG REMEMBERS
By Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
March 7, 2011
The book, Educating for the New World Order by Bev Eakman, describes the psychological testing which has been done on American public school students over the past quarter century, and I would like to recount my own experience as one of the early “guinea pigs.” In 1963, the Carnegie Corporation gave $75,000 toward the first year ($225,000 over 3 years) of the North Carolina Governor’s School, which I attended. It was the first of its kind in the country, where TIME (June 28, 1963) said “Four hundred of North Carolina’s most brilliant and creative high school students have been brought together for an intensive eight-week (summer) study program.”
On May 6, 1963, Prof. George Welsh of the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wrote to The Psychological Corporation of New York indicating that at the Governor’s School “we are planning to administer an extensive test battery including measures of aptitude, interest, and personality.” On May 10, Harold Seashore, director of the Corporation’s Test Division, replied to Prof. Welsh and indicated that if he used their test, “we would want a set of the cards filed with us, so that we can accumulate information on groups like this over the years.”
I have no way of knowing to what extent Prof. Welsh followed up on this, but it is interesting to note that The Psychological Corporation was founded in 1921 with Directors W.V. Bingham of the Carnegie Institute of Technology, J. McKeen Cattell as president of The Psychological Corporation, G. Stanley Hall of Clark University, Charles Judd of the University of Chicago, Lewis Terman of Stanford University, Edward Thorndike of Teachers College at Columbia University, James R. Angell as president of Yale University from 1921 to 1937, and others. Many of these Directors were the very psychologists who, along with John Dewey, gave us that disastrous “progressive” education that we have today. And in “The Psychological Corporation” (The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, November 1923), J. McKeen Cattell writes that “the Corporation is not so much concerned with arranging specific contracts for work by it or under its auspices, as in promoting the extension of applied psychology… To get the best kind of people and to put them in the situations in which they will behave in the way best for themselves and for others, is more fundamental than any other enterprize of society. It is necessary to organize means by which this work can be accomplished…. Psychology is concerned with the causes of conduct and its control.”