Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Psychology: The Science of Human Behaviour
Givler, Robert Ch.
guide to follow was a man’s physical size. “Let the 
big men shovel coal and chop wood, and the little 
men think,” is still a fairly common way of treat¬ 
ing the subject of vocational guidance or vocational 
engineering. Again, there is the equally unscientific 
notion that the job is fixed and unalterable, and that 
the worker is supposed to bend and shape himself 
accordingly. Recently, however, it has been recog¬ 
nized that both jobs and workers can be equally well 
adapted to each other-—for example, that machines 
can be so constructed as to suit the human body, 
and also that human beings can with proper care 
adapt themselves to a great number of novel physi¬ 
cal conditions. The principle of selecting both the 
job for the man and the man for the job at the same 
time works much better than the principle of re¬ 
garding one or the other of these factors as ob¬ 
A deplorable lack of sanity has, however, been 
recently shown by men who have assumed to give 
expert advice in vocational guidance on the basis 
of a uniform intelligence test. The difficulties of 
such a method are too numerous to give in detail, 
but suffice it to say that (1) such tests are invariably 
made by a man who has had no practical experience 
with the kind of intelligence he is supposed to be 
testing, and hence really knows nothing about how 
the worker’s mind functions while he is at work in 
his job; (2) it is falsely assumed that a short verbal 
or manual test in the presence of only the examiner 
can reveal a man’s aptitudes for work in the midst 
of noise or a crowd ; and (3) the whole question of 
endurance—of a man’s ability to keep doing well 
day after day—is ignored. Indeed, mental or intelli¬ 
gence tests, and, for that matter, trade tests, are


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