The cognitive functions assessment has historically raised from the intelligence assessment, which got the wide spread in the dawn of the 20th century and there is a number of milestones it passed through, which are worth a closer look. A simple case of such assessment may happen on a road when a policeman stops a driver and checks if s/he is drunk or not by asking to go along a straight line or to touch a nose tip with a finger with the eyes closed. Surely it is not the only way how this kind of assessment may be applied, but it provides a heartfelt example. In fact, the first example (about the gunshot) belongs to this kind of assessment. That is the psychomotor assessment tests usually instruct the subject to perform simple reactions on the stimuli or to perform some task, which involves the motor activity.
Francis Galton (Figure 5), one of the first and very influential experimental psychology scientists, believed that the sensory-motor studies provide the way to evaluate intelligence. This approach, widely spread in the late 1800s, seems to agree with the everyday impressions, when intelligent people are called "quick-witted" and those who are not gifted with much of intelligence tend to be called "slow". Nevertheless the results of such assessment did not correlate enough with the observable intelligence (for example the exam results or teacher's testimonials about students' abilities) and thus sensorimotor data is no longer used for intelligence assessment from the beginning of the 20th century, but has a good application for clinical assessment to evaluate the patience mental health and vocational assessment, to evaluate if the person's swiftness and reliability properties fit the demands of the particular profession.
Ivan Tugoy, 2003
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