Florence L. Goodenough
Researched and written by: Nakeyva Brice
|I attest that the following biography is a
product of my own original
“I am a psychologist,
not a woman psychologist.” (Thompson, 1990).
L. Goodenough was born on August 6th, 1886 in Honesdale, Pennsylvania
and was the youngest of nine siblings. She was home schooled to what is
to a high school degree. Florence
devoted her life to her work and as a result she never married or had
children (Weiss, 2005). She was also an educated lover of birds, music,
and she was an amateur photographer. Goodenough died on April 4th,
1959 in her sister’s home in Florida
(Harris, 1959). Unfortunately, this is all the information available
childhood, family and adult life.
1908, Florence graduated from the Millersville Pennsylvania Normal
with a B.Pd. which is a Bachelor of Pedagogy. Florence
also earned her B.S. from Columbia
in 1920 and in 1921 she received her M.A.
also where she studied under psychologist Leta Hollingsworth.
While at Columbia from
1921, she was the director of research for Rutherford and Perth Amboy, New Jersey
public school systems. This position would be considered a school
today. This was also where she collected children’s drawings as data
first research experiments (Harris, 1959).
In 1921, she worked with Lewis Terman at Stanford University.
During this time Terman was working on the Stanford-Binet I.Q. for
was involved with studies about gifted children under Terman’s
Later Florence relocated
to Minneapolis, Minnesota
in 1924 to work in the Minneapolis Child Guidance Clinic. That
she became an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota
and by 1931 she had progressed to full professor where she held that
until she retired in 1947. During that time she also taught Ruth Howard
the first African American female to receive a Ph.D. in psychology. Florence also
the President of the Society for Research in Child Development. She
simultaneously served as secretary for the Division on Childhood and
of the American Psychological Association. She also served in many
positions in the National Council of Women Psychologist. Additionally
listed in the Watson Directory of Outstanding Contributors to
In 1925, Goodenough
was listed as a contributor to Terman’s book Genetic
Studies of Genius and she published her first book called
the Measurement of Intelligence by
Drawings. At this point in time, nonverbal I.Q. tests were low in
and reliability therefore the data that was collected was not very
addition to that the I.Q. tests were too long to administer. Florence also
developed the Draw-A- Man Test
for preschoolers and later for older children.
Contributions to Psychology
had many major contributions to psychology such as, developing the
Test and the Minnesota Preschool Scale test. When administering the
test, each child was asked to draw a man and they were given 10 minutes
so. This test was targeted toward children aged two to thirteen. The
found to be very reliable and valid for measuring academic success.
developed extremely strict criteria to rate the test. The Draw-A-Man
also found to correlate well with written I.Q. tests. Years later the
renamed the Draw-A-Woman Test because she was ridiculed by some women’s
minority groups because they believed that young girls may not be able
identify with a man (Weiss, 2005).
Goodenough also revised the
Standfor-Binet I.Q. test so that it would incorporate younger children
resulted in the development of the Minnesota Preschool Scale, which had
and nonverbal scores. The nonverbal parts of the Minnesota Preschool Scale consisted
pointing out body part, and objects in a picture.
She also developed two types of
sampling: time sampling and event sampling. Time sampling is when a
participant’s behavior is studies for a period of time and event
when a certain behavior is being observed and counted. These types of
were believed to be helpful in studying the natural behavior of humans
In addition, Florence
was the first psychologist
evaluate ratio I.Q., which she did in her book Handbook of Child
where she argued that the idea of mental age would not have the same
fir every child. She suggested that the scores be reported as
percentages as to
allow a comparison of the same age. She also strongly believed that the
environment had a strong impact on children’s intelligence scores.
In sum, Florence L. Goodenough
contributed greatly to the filed of psychology, especially child
all she published nine text books and 26 research articles, and is also
responsible for creating some of the most useful I.Q. tests; which have
used to develop other intelligence test.
D. (1959). Florence
l goodenough, 1886-1959. Child Development, 30, 305-306
J. Human intelligence: florence
l. goodenough. Retrieved February 23rd, 2005
A. (2005). florence
l. goodenough 1886-1959. Retrieved February 25th,