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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Alfred Binet Quotes

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Alfred Binet
(8 Jul 1857 - 18 Oct 1911)

French psychologist.


Science Quotes by Alfred Binet (6 quotes)

Comprehension, inventiveness, direction, and criticism: intelligence is contained in these four words.
— Alfred Binet
Les idées modernes sur les enfants (1909), 118.
Science quotes on:  |  Comprehension (66)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Direction (175)  |  Intelligence (213)  |  Inventiveness (7)  |  Word (622)

Heredity, to our understanding is not capable of giving to this illness (paraphilia) its characteristic form ... Heredity invents nothing, creates nothing anew; it has no imagination.
— Alfred Binet
Ιtudes de psychologie expιrimentale: Le fιtichisme dans l’amour (1888), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Anew (18)  |  Capable (168)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Create (235)  |  Form (960)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Illness (34)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Understanding (514)

I wish that one would be persuaded that psychological experiments, especially those on the complex functions, are not improved [by large studies]; the statistical method gives only mediocre results; some recent examples demonstrate that. The American authors, who love to do things big, often publish experiments that have been conducted on hundreds and thousands of people; they instinctively obey the prejudice that the persuasiveness of a work is proportional to the number of observations. This is only an illusion.
— Alfred Binet
L' Études expérimentale de l'intelligence (1903), 299.
Science quotes on:  |  Author (168)  |  Complex (188)  |  Conduct (69)  |  Demonstrate (77)  |  Do (1908)  |  Experiment (696)  |  Function (229)  |  Hundred (228)  |  Illusion (66)  |  Large (394)  |  Love (309)  |  Mediocre (14)  |  Method (506)  |  Number (701)  |  Obey (40)  |  Observation (560)  |  People (1005)  |  Prejudice (88)  |  Psychological (42)  |  Recent (77)  |  Result (678)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Wish (212)  |  Work (1351)

Mere numbers cannot bring out … the intimate essence of the experiment. This conviction comes naturally when one watches a subject at work. … What things can happen! What reflections, what remarks, what feelings, or, on the other hand, what blind automatism, what absence of ideas! … The experimenter judges what may be going on in [the subject’s] mind, and certainly feels difficulty in expressing all the oscillations of a thought in a simple, brutal number, which can have only a deceptive precision. How, in fact, could it sum up what would need several pages of description!
— Alfred Binet
In La Suggestibilitι (1900), 119-20.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Automatism (2)  |  Blind (95)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Conviction (98)  |  Difficulty (198)  |  Essence (82)  |  Experiment (696)  |  Experimenter (40)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Feel (366)  |  Feeling (252)  |  Feelings (52)  |  Happen (275)  |  Idea (845)  |  Judge (108)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Number (701)  |  Oscillation (13)  |  Other (2236)  |  Precision (68)  |  Reflection (91)  |  Simple (406)  |  Subject (522)  |  Sum (102)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thought (954)  |  Work (1351)

Our purpose is to be able to measure the intellectual capacity of a child who is brought to us in order to know whether he is normal or retarded. ... We do not attempt to establish or prepare a prognosis and we leave unanswered the question of whether this retardation is curable, or even improveable. We shall limit ourselves to ascertaining the truth in regard to his present mental state.
— Alfred Binet
Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon (1873-1961, French psychologist) 'New Methods for the Diagnosis of the Intellectual Level of Subnormals' (1905), in The Development of Intelligence in Children, trans. Elizabeth Kite (1916), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (251)  |  Capacity (100)  |  Child (309)  |  Diagnosis (64)  |  Do (1908)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Intelligence (213)  |  Know (1519)  |  Limit (281)  |  Measure (233)  |  Mental (177)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Order (632)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Present (620)  |  Prognosis (5)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Question (622)  |  Regard (304)  |  Retardation (5)  |  State (491)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Unanswered (8)

Some recent philosophers seem to have given their moral approval to these deplorable verdicts that affirm that the intelligence of an individual is a fixed quantity, a quantity that cannot be augmented. We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism; we will try to demonstrate that it is founded on nothing.
— Alfred Binet
Les idées modernes sur les enfants (1909), 141.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  Augment (12)  |  Demonstrate (77)  |  Deplorable (4)  |  Individual (404)  |  Intelligence (213)  |  Moral (195)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Pessimism (4)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Protest (9)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Recent (77)  |  Try (283)  |  Verdict (8)  |  Will (2354)


See also:
  • 8 Jul - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Binet's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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