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Semeonoff-Vygotsky intelligence test, 1950-1980

The Semeonoff-Vygotsky Test consists of 22 wooden blocks of varying colour, shape and thickness. It was developed in 1937 by Boris Semeonoff (1910-1998). He adapted earlier research of fellow Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky into the way individuals form concepts. This example was used as a test of intelligence by the Department of Psychology at the University of Liverpool. Semeonoff later explained the original test was devised to help select agents (spies and saboteurs) working for the Allies in the Second World War. ‘Aptitude’ tests that were not language based were needed because most prospective agents had languages other than English. A test that used object manipulation attained a quantitative measure in achievement in concept-related tasks.

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Glossary: schizophrenia

A mental disorder that has symptoms of delusions, hallucinations and a loss of a sense of self and relationship to the external world that lasts over a long period of time (more than six months).

Glossary: intelligence test

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