Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 142-143

Army Alpha Intelligence Test

  • David BrandweinAffiliated withDepartment of Doctoral Studies in Psychology, Kean University


Army Alpha Examination; U.​S.​ Army Alpha Intelligence Test


The Army Alpha [5] was developed shortly after the United States entered World War I by an American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on the Psychological Examination of Recruits, led by Robert Yerkes. It was one of three intelligence tests that were designed to identify Army recruits with low intelligence and allow for the recognition of those who were candidates for special assignments and officer-training schools. The Army Alpha emphasized verbal skills, and was given to all recruits.


Development of the Army Alpha

Once the United States decided to enter World War I, Robert Yerkes, the President of the APA at the time, was anxious to show the value of the field of psychology and the unique contribution it could make to the war effort. He first approached the United States Navy but was turned down; however, the United States Army was agreeable to have APA assist the ...

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