Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Army Alpha/Army Beta
Kevin R. Murphy
The United States entered World War I late in the conflict and faced the problem of turning large numbers of often poorly educated draftees into an effective army in a short period of time. The American Psychological Association volunteered its services to the war effort, and a committee, headed by Robert Yerkes and including psychologists such as Arthur Otis and Lewis Terman, was assigned the task of developing a practical method of measuring the intellectual level of individuals in large groups. Their efforts led to the development of two tests, Army Alpha and Army Beta. Army Alpha was a written test that could be administered to large groups of recruits and that provided a rough measure of general intelligence. Army Beta, a nonverbal test designed for illiterates and for recruits who spoke little or no English, could also be administered to groups and used simple pictorial and nonverbal instructions. Army ...