Group Examination Alpha

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During World War I, the U.S. Army needed to sort out the thousands of recruits arriving at training camps. Psychologists claimed that their young science offered an objective, efficient way to classify men, weeding out the mentally unfit. Intelligence tests available at the time had been designed for children, given individually, and in many cases were unstandardized. No one knew precisely what they measured or how these measurements related to military performance. Nonetheless, over 1,700,000 American soldiers took intelligence tests during the war.
Group Examination Alpha was for men who could read English. It tested the ability to follow oral directions, arithmetic, vocabulary, pattern recognition, general information, and “common sense.”
Currently not on view
date made
United States Army. Medical Department. Division of Psychology
place made
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
owner, prior
United States: Pennsylvania, Lower Merion Township, Bryn Mawr
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: .1 cm x 21.3 cm x 28 cm; 1/32 in x 8 3/8 in x 11 1/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
related event
World War I
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Health & Medicine
Modern Medicine and the Great War
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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