Lewis Madison Terman (1877-1956)
Lewis Madison Terman was born in outside of Indianapolis, Indiana in 1877 and his parents were farmers with limited education. He loved school and at 15 began college at Central Normal College. He attended Danville off and on from 1892-1898, taking time off to teach in rural school houses. When he completed his time at Central Normal College he had a B.S., B.Pd., and A.B. all in teaching courses. In 1901 he enrolled at Indiana University where he received his A.B. and A.M. and decided that he wanted to be a professor of psychology. In 1903 he enrolled at Clark University, which Terman referred to as “the American Mecca for aspiring psychologist,”(Terman, 1930). He graduated with his Ph.D. from Clark in 1905.
His research interest was the qualitative nature of mental tests and how to examine to distinguish the above from the below average groups. His major contribution to the field was the re-development of the Binet - Simon test in English. This revision also went along with the trend of research at the time with examining mental tests; however Terman noted that many of the older psychologists did not approve of this movement. He completed the revisions while teaching at Stanford University, which is why the test today is referred to as the Stanford-Binet.
He began teaching at Stanford in 1910 and remained there until his passing in 1956. While at Stanford, Terman taught courses in the field of education psychology and mental tests. In 1916 Terman is credited with creating the Intelligence Quotient to measure IQ. He also was a major contributor in the growth and development of the psychology department program and Stanford. His research with gifted children is also considered some of his most important research and a major contribution to the field.
Terman died in 1956 from tuberculosis, which he had fought against since 1903.