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The Woman Who Turned Psychological Testing Into a Science

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Albert Hummel
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“I don’t have time for this,” psychologist Anne Anastasi reportedly said in 1987, before hanging up the phone on a call from Ronald Reagan’s White House.

“When I put her name in a programme some years later, I said that she was the first woman to get the National Medal of Science in psychology, and she took the time to call me up and say ‘What is this woman?’” Takooshian, who worked with Anastasi at Fordham, told Gizmodo.

What she really did was she took the field and organized it into categories of tests.”

As a researcher and professor for nearly 50 years, Anastasi shaped the practice and understanding of psychometric testing through her textbooks, criticism of biased test construction, and promotion of a nuanced understanding of the nature versus nurture debate that still shapes discussions today.

Born in New York City in 1908 to Italian immigrants , Anastasi lost her father to a “stomach ailment” when she was just 1 year old.

She was raised by what she described in her autobiography as an aristocratic yet financially struggling family, which included her mother, grandmother, and uncle.

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Albert Hummel
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