Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Henry Goddard, Psychologist, 1638 Granville Street

Henry Herbert Goddard
In 1930 Henry Goddard and his wife Emma lived at 1638 Granville Street.

From Wikipedia: Henry Herbert Goddard (August 14, 1866 – June 18, 1957) was a prominent American psychologist and eugenicist in the early 20th century. He is known especially for his 1912 work The Kallikak Family: A Study in the Heredity of Feeble-Mindedness, which he himself came to regard as deeply flawed, and for being the first to translate the Binet intelligence test into English in 1908 and distributing an estimated 22,000 copies of the translated test across the United States; he also introduced the term "moron" into the field.

He was the leading advocate for the use of intelligence testing in societal institutions including hospitals, schools, the legal system and the military. He played a major role in the emerging field of clinical psychology, in 1911 helped to write the first U.S. law requiring that blind, deaf and mentally retarded children be provided special education within public school systems, and in 1914 became the first American psychologist to testify in court that subnormal intelligence should limit the criminal responsibility of defendants.

In 1918 he became director of the Ohio Bureau of Juvenile Research; in 1922 he became a professor in the Department of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology at the Ohio State University, a position he held until his retirement in 1938. His wife Emma died in October 1936; they had no children. He received an honorary law degree from Ohio State in 1943, and an honorary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1946. In 1946 he was among the supporters of Albert Einstein's Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists.

By the 1920s, Goddard had come to candidly admit that he had made numerous errors in his early research, and regarded The Kallikak Family as obsolete. It was also noted that Goddard was more concerned about making eugenics popular rather than conduting actual scientific studies. He devoted the later part of his career to seeking improvements in education, reforming environmental influences in childhood, and working toward better child-rearing practices. But others continued to use his early work to support various arguments with which Goddard did not agree, and he was constantly perplexed by the fact that later generations found his studies to be dangerous to society. Henry Garrett of Columbia University was one of the few scientists to continue to use The Kallikak Family as a reference.

Goddard moved to Santa Barbara, California in 1947. He died at his home there at age 90, and his cremated remains were interred with those of his wife at the Vineland Training School.

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