A human brain being measured  with a measuring tape. Human Intelligence

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Juan Huarte (y Navarro)

(ca. 1530 - 1592)
Spanish Physician and Author

Portugees version



  • Studied medicine at the University of Huesca, Spain


  • 1566-1592, practiced medicine in several places in Spain, in Baeza

Ideas and Contributions

In 1575, Juan Huarte y Navarro wrote the first textbook of differential psychology, Examen de los ingenios para las sciencias or The Tryal of Wits, Discovering the Great Differences of Wits Among Men and What Sort of Learning Suits Best with Each Genius. He advocated ability testing and vocational counseling to assure an appropriate fit between a person and their occupation. Huarte cited humors, climate, the brain and other conditions as reasons for differences in human intelligence. He maintained that intelligence, and thus higher civilizations, could prosper only in moderate climates, an idea later endorsed by Herder. Gall regarded Huante as the predecessor of phrenology [theory based on the now discredited belief that mental capacity and human character could be determined by studying the features of an individual's brain] because Huante ascribed individual differences in intelligence to bodily build. Lavater regarded him as the predecessor of physiognomy [theory based on the now discredited belief that human character could be assessed by studying facial features] for the same reason. (Zusne)


  • Examen de los ingenios para las sciencias (1575)

References: 29

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