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Handwriting. Part I. The Measurement of the Quality of Handwriting


by Edward L. Thorndike - 1910

If one selects from children's written work 1000 samples ranging from the best to the worst handwriting found in grades 5 to 8 and tries to rank these 1000 samples in order of merit for handwriting, one finds that he cannot make 1000 such ranks. Some of the handwritings will be indistinguishable in "goodness" or "quality" or "merit." Nor can one make 100 such ranks. Nor can one make 40. One can make about 20, but if he so ranks the samples a number of times he gets substantially the same average result as he gets when he ranks them a number of times in 10 or n groups. To get an individual's judgment of the relative merits of the 1000 samples it is sufficient to have him rank them sin 10 or n groups three or four times. If he grades in 10 groups and tries to make the differences in " goodness" or "quality" or "merit" all equal, —to make, that is, the sample he puts in the highest group (call it 11) as much superior to those in the next highest group (call it 10) as the latter are to those he puts in the second from the highest group (call it 9), etc., etc., —we have in the averagei result of his groupings his judgment of the relative merits of the samples in a specially convenient form. For instance, if he grades sample 217 as in group 5 three times, as in group 4 once, and as in group 6 once, and grades sample 218 as in group 6 three times, in group 5 once, and in group 7 once, he judges 218 to be " 1 " better than 217, " I " being, in the individual's judgment, one tenth of the difference between group I and group II.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 11 Number 2, 1910, p. 4-7
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10061, Date Accessed: 6/1/2020 12:40:20 AM

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  • Edward Thorndike


 
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