Life of Anne Anastasi Introduction: Anne Anastasi was a prominent figure in the field of psychology. Her dedicated work in psychometric field that involved vast amounts of research concerned with testing made her unique and rewarded with title as test guru”. Her peers visualized during her peak of career as the most outstanding living woman in psychology in English-speaking world (O’Connell and Russo 1990).
Anne Anastasi influenced every member of psychology network who enrolled for psychology course and a student interested to research or participates in a standardized test designed to measure achievement, intelligence, aptitude, personality or creativity (Goode 2001).
Personal life: Anne Anastasi passed through many odd periods during her life. She was born on December 19, 1908, in New York City and she was the only child of Anthony and Theresa Gaudiosi. She lost her father when she was just one year old. Her father worked for the New York City Board of Education. Anne Anastasi was nurtured by a single parent.
With her great talent and support from key members, she became very renowned not only in her nation but recognized in whole world (O’Connell and Russo 1990).
Education: The educational phase of Annes life was unique. She didnt study as normal children usually get education. Her grandmother taught her basic lessons of education with an interactive, vivid, and alluring fashion at home. The home schooling didnt allow her to get more exposure of peer interaction. At the age of nine, a public school teacher was appointed to teach lessons.
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While educating Anne, the teacher assessed her intelligence and told her guardian that Anne must attend the local public school where she would have a better chance of success and advancement. Her grandmother agreed to the proposal of her teacher on the ground that teacher would take the responsibility of pick up and drop from school. The teacher gladly accepted because she was looking Anne as brilliant scholar in future. Anne entered in third grade in Evander Childs High School. She proved her intelligence in the class and was upgraded to fourth standard. But after two months of attending classes, Anne was dropped out because of overfilling, overworked teachers, and unsatisfactory classes (O’Connell and Russo 1990).
This was great dilemma of life in her teens. She revived with this difficult period of life through an effort of insightful family friend, Ida Stadie, who recommended that she can skip high school and directly take admission to college. Anastasi was convinced as she needed to submit only the results of her College Entrance Examination Board tests. Anne seriously prepared for test at the Rhodes Preparatory School in Manhattan for two years, took the tests and was admitted to Barnard College in 1924 at the age of 15 (Reznikoff & Procidano, 2001).
At her adolescent stage, she was enthralled with mathematics and embarked on a self-education program, teaching herself, among other things, spherical trigonometry (Goode 2001).
During her sophomore year, she took a course in developmental psychology with the department chairman, Harry L. Hollingworth, whose inspiring lectures made her rationally inquisitive about the discipline. During that course, she thoroughly read psychology article by Charles Spearman, whose stimulating work on correlation coefficients demonstrated her that it was possible to merge mathematics and psychology. At the age of 19, she completed B.A. in 1928, having been nominated to Phi Beta Kappa and won the Caroline Duror Graduate Fellowship. After graduation, she directly enrolled to Columbia University for her Ph.D in general experimental psychology by skipping her masters degree. She prepared her first paper with a course taught by H.E. Garrett on differential psychology who later became her dissertation guide. When she was in Columbia, she met with John Porter Foley Jr., who was also working for his Ph.D.
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in psychology. Both of them had intimate relationship and on July 26, 1933 Anne Anastasi and John Porter Foley Jr. were married. Foley had contributed a lot for Anastasi’s work. But she faced many ups and downs in with her personal life. After one year of her marriage, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and took essential treatment which didnt permit her to have children (O’Connell and Russo 1990).
Career/Professional life: Her professional career was outstanding. Anastasi was selected as instructor of psychology at Barnard in 1930. Then she worked as associate professor of psychology in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Fordham University in 1947 and became a professor in 1951. She continued to provide her services in this university till her retirement in 1979. At retirement, she was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree and became professor emeritus. Retirement was not the closing of professional career.
She remained active in writing papers, lectures, and books including the sixth edition of Psychological Testing in 1988, the first edition had appeared in 1954 (O’Connell and Russo 1990).
Anastasi also continued to consult with Fordham faculty and students informally, as well as serving on committees, and maintaining an international correspondence. During 1946 to 1947, she worked as president of the Eastern Psychological Association; from 1956 to 1957 she served as president of the APA Division of General Psychology, from 1965 to 1966 she served as president of the APA Division of Evaluation and Measurement. She also became the first female president of the American Psychological Association in fifty years, in 1972 (O’Connell and Russo 1990).
Anastasi received numerous awards for her contribution in psychology. In 1977 she received the Educational Testing Service Award for Distinguished Service to Measurement, and then in 1981 she received the Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology. She got the American Educational Research Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education, in 1983. In 1984, she was privileged with the E.L. Thorndike Medal for Distinguished Psychological Contributions to Education from the APA Division of Educational Psychology, as well as the American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal for lifetime achievement.
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She died on May 4, 2001. Contributions to applied psychology: Anne Anastasi had prolific career. In her professional life, she had created several classic texts in psychology. In addition to these precious contents, she worked in the development of psychology as a quantitative behavioral science. The high standard texts of Anne Anastasi focused on the construction, evaluation, and interpretation, ranging from purely conceptual and statistical questions to problems of common misuse and misinterpretation, had a great impact on several generations of psychologists that continue to flourish even in our modern world today. She defined intelligence as “Intelligence is not a single, unitary ability, but rather a composite of several functions. The term denotes that combination of abilities required for survival and advancement within a particular culture (Anastasi, 1992, Pp. 613).
Psychology professionals use her name as a synonymous with psychometrics because she pioneered the understanding of how psychological traits are influenced, developed, and measured (Sheehy, 2003).
Anastasi believed that her professional contributions are reflected mainly in her publications. It is absolutely true. Her book, “Psychological Testing”, had a massive impact on psychologists and students of psychology around the world. Her contributions can be explained in four different categories that consist of research, teaching, textbook writing, and organizational leadership (O’Connell and Russo 1990).
The theme of her research focused on the nature and measurement of psychological traits. She also played an important role in applying psychology to real-world situations, both through areas like industrial psychology and consumer psychology and in the clinical consulting room (Goode 2001).
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Another research area of Anne was on language development among black and Puerto Rican children, published in 1950.
This research continued to look at the role of experience towards language development. She conceded this general idea into publications on intelligence and family size, age changes in adult test performance, and sex differences in psychological traits. She published an article that involved Male vs. Female Attitudes. The article focused on the inspiring mass of data on sex differences in almost every imaginable trait between men and women (Anastasi 1965).
She also did investigation on the role experiential factors in the development of creative thinking in children and adolescents and had a series of publications. Anastasi took interest in projects sponsored by the College Entrance Examination Board.
In the US Air force, her projects were concerned to the development and validation of psychological instruments. These tests ranged from and included test bias, speed tests, item selection, coaching for tests, culture-free tests, and also culture-fair tests (O’Connell and Russo 1990).
She was also recognized for her research matter regarding the nature-nurture controversy. Anastasi’s research work has remained particularly applicable to modern problems in education and psychological evaluations because she was deeply involved in the issue of cultural bias, or fairness in testing. Views and interests of Anne Anastasi: There were three major role models in Anastasis life: her mother, grandmother, and uncle. They had great personality dissimilarities which compelled Anne to do research on the theme of individual differences. In Anastasis words, her grandmother was a dominant woman who maintained stewardship over most of the issues in family life, including young Anne’s education.
Anne believed that her mistrust in authority figures and group stereotypes stemmed from her grandmother’s teachings (O’Connell and Russo 1990).
Anastasi explained his uncle as a man of advanced classical education, but he was not prepared for real-world employment. Anastasi observed her mother as a practical, resourceful woman and took the burden of supporting the family after the death of her father (Reznikoff & Procidano, 2001; Sexton & Hogan, 1990).
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Anastasi believed that the combination of these three personalities had major influence on her professional interest in the psychology of individual differences (Anastasi, 1989).
Conclusion: Anastasis research work in psychology, her publications can not be forgettable. She became famous for her work with the relations between biology and environment. She was a critical partaker in the “nature versus nurture” debates that had a significant impact on psychological field in later twentieth century. Her work was mainly concentrated in applied psychology.
She was also recognized for a certain indifference to the more practical aspects of existence. References: Anastasi, A. 1965. Marriage a psychological and moral approach: Male vs. female attitudes. New York: Fordham University Press. Anastasi, A.
1992. What counselors should know about the use and interpretation of psychological tests. Journal of Counseling and Development, 70 (5), 610-615. Goode Erica .2001. Anne Anastasi, the ‘Test Guru’ of Psychology. http://query.nytimes.com. O’Connell, Agnes N. and Nancy Felipe Russo.1990.
Women in Psychology. New York: Greenwood Press. pp. 13-22. Reznikoff, M., & Procidano, M. 2001.
Anne Anastasi. American Psychologist, 56 (10), 816-817. Sheehy Noel. 2003. Fifty Key Thinkers in Psychology. Publisher: Routledge. Place of Publication: New York.
Page Number: 8. Outline Introduction: Anne Anastasi was the renowned personality in psychometric field. Personal life: Anne was raised by single parent. Education: Her education was unique. She didnt attend school in her preschool period and skipped high school. Career/Professional life: Her professional life was successful and she was honored with various prestigious awards. Contributions to applied psychology: Anne had developed psychometric tests, researched in individual differences. Mainly her work focuses on applied psychology. Views and interests of Anne Anastasi: She had three role models in her life: Mother, Grand mother and Uncle.
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Conclusion: Annes research and publications are invaluable and a great asset for psychology professionals..