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

Human Intelligence: Historical influences, current controversies, teaching resources.

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J. McVicker Hunt

(1906 - 1991)



  • University of Nebraska in London (BA, 1929; MA, 1930)
  • Cornell University (Ph.D., 1933) under Madison Bentley
  • New York Psychiatric Institute and Worcester State Hospital in Massachusetts (Postdoc)


  • Brown University
  • University of Illinois (1951)

Major Contributions

  • Offered an alternative conception of intelligence as an information-processing system.
  • Advocated of compensatory education.

Ideas & Interests

  • (Researched with rats on the effects of early rearing environment to examine psychoanalytic insights into the development of personality characteristics.)
  • (Examined the effects of child-rearing practices from a broad historical perspective , and became impressed with the evidence for plasticity in intellectual development.)
  • Children are reared in early-impoverished environment, which results in intellectual deficit.
  • His thought that environments are much more self-selected or self-created, and therefore, posited the importance of intrinsic motivation for intellectual development.

(This led him urge research for optimal educational programs that would foster this idea.)


Intelligence and Experience (1961)

Personality and Behavior Disorder (1944)

References: 5, 8, 14, 21, 28, 17

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