A lawyer. A career in the field of law was what he pursued until his passion took him on a detour to the field of Psychology. Alfred Binet was fascinated with intelligence! Binet was passionate enough about his work that began working in the field of Psychology with no formal study. He was driven by what intrigued him.
Binet was known an as a loner an introvert. Binet’s early work consisted in the study of hypnosis. It did not go well. Binet had a setback and had to make an embarrassing public announcement about being wrong in supporting his teacher Jean-Martin Charcot’s in 1833. Binet did not give up.
After the birth of his two daughters Binet shifted his study to them. Binet studied his daughters conception of intelligence, attention span, and intellectual development. He published hundreds of books documenting his research and articles (later to influence figures like Jean Pigeat). Binet partnered with Theodore Simon and they developed the Binet-Simon Scale.
Binet-Simon scale was a first IQ test. The Binet-Simon scale was developed by complex investigations and thorough research with actual students. Questions were formulated to read in common sense terms. The Binet-Simon scale was used to compare the Children’s Mental abilities to those of their peers. The initial Binet-Simon scale would reveal the child’s mental age (as a score). Binet’s tests would be implemented and used by the United States Army durning World War I.
An introvert and a loner. A person with no formal study in Psychology. What Binet did was introduce diversity to the field of Psychology. Binet studied the correlation of intelligence with Chess. Binet studied and supported his teacher Charcot’s in hypnosis (regardless of the consequences). The study of the conception of intelligence, attention span and intellectual development through his own daughters! Binet coined the term “erotic fetishism” and also studied chiromancer. Loner and introvert yes, but a successful overachiever!
The recognition was not achieved until the after his death. Two of the main achievements and honors include: In 1917, the Free Society for the Psychological Study of the Child, to whom Binet became a member in 1899 and which prompted his development of the intelligence tests, changed their name to La Societe Alfred Binet, in memory of the renowned psychologist. The second honor was not until 1984, when the journal Science 84 picked the Binet-Simon scale, as one of twenty of this century’s most significant developments or discoveries.
Binet clearly was motivated by passion. The recognition, awards, praises were lacking but not to him. Binet found the praises he needed through his works. Binet inspired through his work a revolution in the study of Intelligence and IQ testing. A Proud Parent that learned through his daughters and shared his works to change the future of IQ testing!
Life is about taking chances and following our dreams, our passions! Did you take a detour in your life?
Binet, Alfred – The wind and the brain
Wikipedia – Alfred Binet