Scottish Mental Survey

Scope and Content

The fields contained within the study include a unique numerical identification field, the surname and forenames of the child at time of testing, the child's gender, date of birth, the child's score on Pages 2, 3, 4-8 of the Moray House test with total score, the primary school the child was attending, and the region (Educational Authority) of the school. Various notes and comments on particular records were added. Pages 2 and 3 are picture tests carying maximum marks of 40 and 9 respectively. Pages 4-8 are the verbal part of the test, comprising 71 questions with a maximum mark of 76. The maximum total mark is 125.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1932 the Scottish Council for Research in Education underook a group intelligence test, the Moray House Test Number 12, on all children born in 1921 attending Scottish schools. A total of 87,498 children aged 11 were tested: 44,210 boys and 43,288 girls. The purpose and aim was "to discover the distribution of the ability of the age group, and to use the data as an aide to formulating provision". The suggestion to conduct the survey originated from the first Professor of Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, James Drever. The proportion of the population who missed out was so small that it was considered negligible. The test was a version of one of Sir Godfrey Thomson's Moray House tests as used in the English 11-plus examinations. Godfrey Thomson, Professor of Education at the University of Edinburgh, was a member of the testing committee and the exercise was run under the auspices of SCRE, its Director at that time being Robert Rusk. Scotland's 35 Education Committees, and the Directors of Education, consented to the study, which was administered by teachers who also scored the tests. The same exercise was repeated in 1947, involving 70,805 people out of the 75,211 born in 1936. For this group of children a wider range of data was collected, including information on intelligence, school attended, attendance at school and family details.