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Research In Psychology

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Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale


This paper will discuss the Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale. The discussion will include the historical roots including background information on the developer. The significance of the development will also be discussed. How the Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale has impacted the development of psychological testing in the 21st century.

Historical Roots

The Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale (CIIS) was developed by Psyche Cattell in 1940. Psyche was the daughter of James McKeen Cattell who has been mistaken as the developer of the CIIS and has impacted the field of American psychology. Psyche’s education began with her being home schooled but she would eventual earn a Doctorate in Education from Harvard and a Masters Degree’s from Cornell (Sokal, 1991). Plucker (2003) says that Psyche worked with Terman while studying at Stanford assisting him in revising the Stanford Aptitude Test and developing a masculine and feminine test. According to (Sokal, 1991) Psyche Cattell began to compare and study children’s intelligence at Harvard in the late 1920’s and continued this work until the 1930’s. She used a plethora of data and charted intelligence across time, different test at different times, and test given by different examiners (Sokal, 1991). This work reinforced her beliefs that improvements could be made to how children’s intelligence was being measured so she developed CIIS. She first discussed the Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale in her “The Measurement of Intelligence in Infants and Young Children”. Many consider the CIIS to be a downward extension of the Stanford-Binet.

The Stanford-Binet was originally called the Binet-Simon test. The test was named for Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon who developed a way to test intelligence in retarded children in France in the early 1900’s. In 1916 a Stanford psychologist Lewis Terman, and some graduate students made changes to the Binet-Simon and renamed it “Stanford Revision of the Binet-Simon Scale” or Stanford-Binet for short. This scale has been used to test intelligence in individuals over three years of age. While the Stanford-Binet was a good assessment for individuals over three years old it was not designed to test the intelligence of individuals younger that three. Cattell invented the CIIS which measured the mental and cognitive abilities of younger children.


Cattell developed the scale to measure mental abilities in children as young as 2 months and as old as 30 months old. Cattell wanted the testing to be standardized, be objective in scoring, appeal to young children, and provide numerical rather than simply descriptive assessments of mental ability. The CIIS is recommended for use in clinical, educational and research settings. Plucker (2003) explains that the Cattell scales evaluate motor skills and verbalizations as well as measuring mental



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