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Statistical Methods in Educational and Psychological Problems, 1 Mar 1929

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/9

Scope and Contents

The lecture was delivered to a wide audience, and is designed to be understood by non-statisticians, and non-educators. In it, Thomson explores the uses and limitations of statistics in both education and psychology, illustrating his points with examples of how an educator might effectively predict a child's performance and offer vocational guidance appropriate to their ability and intelligence.

Thomson discusses the importance of obtaining a representative sample and the effect sampling bias has on investigations of causation, and highlights some of the difficulties in obtaining a sample and how these might be overcome. He also touches upon the use of statistics to inform the raising of the school age, and explores the use of statistical methods in collating examination marks to provide indicators of intelligence and predictors of future career success.

He highlights the value in using statistical techniques, particularly the concept of distribution, to enhance teachers' ratings of pupils' ability and to enable direct comparison across age groups. He describes intelligence tests as a less subjective indication of future career and performance, while also discussing the phenomenon that an individual's test results in all tests, whether intelligence, dexterity, or vocational fitness, tend to be positively correlated.


  • Creation: 1 Mar 1929


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

Delivered to the [Royal] Institute of Public Administration, Northern Regional Group, Newcastle.


1 typescript, 20pp

Physical Location


Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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