Biography of Alfred Binet (1857-1911)

French psychologist born in Nice. He was collaborator of Charcot and director of the laboratory of psychophysiology of the Sorbonne. It belonged to the French functionalist school.


Empirical trend psychologist, was responsible for the design and standardization of the first formal intelligence tests (Binet-Simon scale), conceived originally commissioned by the French Government, in order to establish which children deserved or not the benefit of education. Their test are made to measure a general mental fitness, fact that was criticized by Thorndike.impulso the concept of the intelligence quotient (CI).In his study of the thinking, test that it is not a continuation of the perception and, therefore, it may not be interpreted in terms of perceptual elements. He used his two daughters as subjects, combining experimentation with introspection. He found considerable differences in how both girls addressed problems that were taking them. He came to the conclusion that his thinking is not made of images, but of "thoughts", attacking background the concept of mental images. This interpretation of Binet is of great influence for psychologists of all Europa.Thorndike criticizes the fact that their tests are made to measure a general mental fitness, while his own measured four different skills.His work in France is comparable to that performed Stern in Germany, Burt in England and Terman in United States.


The most important work is the experimental study of intelligence (1903). He also wrote about hypnosis, the sugestibilidad and the psychic life of microorganisms.