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Binet, Alfred

Binet, Alfred (1857–1911), a French experimental psychologist. The Binet-Simon Scale of Intelligence (1905, revised 1908 and 1911), by Binet and Theodore Simon, was the first successful standardized intelligence test. The scale led to the first use of the terms “mental age" and “intelligence quotient" (IQ). Translated and revised by other psychologists, the scale became the basis for several widely used tests of intelligence. Binet was born in Nice. He studied at the Sorbonne and became director of a psychological laboratory. Binet and Simon developed the intelligence test at the request of the minister of public instruction, who wanted a diagnostic tool to help identify mentally retarded children.