Leaflet, IPAT Culture Fair Intelligence Tests


This leaflet is an introduction to the Culture Fair Intelligence Tests developed at the Institute of Personality and Ability Testing (IPAT) in Champaign, Illinois. It describes the kind of questions asked in the IPAT tests, as given in 1957. These examinations were based on the premise that intelligence was not a single personal characteristic but depended both on innate ability and cultural training. “Culture fair” tests were to study the former. They would be, it was thought, independent of language skills and capture such factors in intelligence as spatial visualization and similarities in patterns.

Raymond Bernard Cattell (1905-1998) and his wife Alberta Karen Cattell (1916-1996) established IPAT in 1949, she would serve as director until 1993. English-born R. B. Cattell received a BS (1924) in chemistry and PhD (1929) in psychology from the University of London. He taught at the University of the South West (now the University of Exeter) and then was clinical director for the city of Leicester from 1932 to 1937. R.B. Cattell then came to the United States to work at Columbia University, to serve as G. Stanley Hall professor at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, to spend a few years as a lecturer at Harvard, where he met and married Alberta Karen Schueletter, a Radcliffe mathematics graduate student, and to serve as a research professor at the University of Illinois. After Raymond Cattell retired from Illinois in 1973, they divorced and he moved to Colorado and then Hawaii. A.K. Cattell remained the head of IPAT until her retirement in 1993.


American Psychological Association, 1962 Directory, ed. James Q. Holsopple, Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 1962, p. 115.

Tucker, W. H., The Cattell Controversy: Race, Science, and Ideology, Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2010.

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: MathematicsPsychological Tests


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Science & Mathematics


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Samuel Kavruck

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1990.0034.163Catalog Number: 1990.0034.163Accession Number: 1990.0034

Object Name: Leaflet

Physical Description: paper (overall material)Measurements: overall: 17.9 cm x 21.6 cm; 7 1/16 in x 8 1/2 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-2bbb-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_692452

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