Former Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy, International Security Program, 2011–2012
Journal Article, Past & Present, issue 1, volume 215
By Erik Linstrum, Former Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy, International Security Program, 2011–2012
"This article first considers the ways in which experimental psychology and psychoanalysis hastened the obsolescence of ideas about the so-called 'primitive mind' and, in some cases, served the purposes of overtly anti-colonial politics. It then surveys the history of intelligence testing in the British Empire, which originated in the aftermath of the First World War, expanded in scale after the Second, and ultimately contributed to post-colonial development. Finally, it asks how far the case of psychology puts the very concept of 'colonial science' into question."