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Wiring aptitude test, England, 1930-1940

Vocational aptitude testing was used extensively during the first half of the 20th century to assess individuals' fitness for particular industrial jobs. This wiring aptitude test consists of a wooden board with 36 holes for dowels, 15 numbered raised staples, two metal ‘eyes’, seven raised screws and three coloured lengths of string. The aim was to thread the coloured string through hoops and pegs. Complex instructions stated the strings were not allowed to cross the black line or ‘share’ a hoop. The test was used at the National Institute of Industrial Psychology (NIIP). The NIIP was founded by prominent British psychologist Charles Myers in 1921. He was Director of the Cambridge Psychological Laboratory. Its ambition was ‘to promote by systematic scientific methods a more effective application of human energy in occupational life’. The typed instructions are marked ‘Mather and Platt limited’. This probably refers to the Lancashire-based textile and engineering manufacturer who may have used this test on potential employees.

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Glossary: psychology

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Glossary: psychometric test

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