Stanley Porteus

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Stanley David Porteus (April 24, 1883 - October 21, 1972) was a psychologist, academic and author.

Stanley Porteus was born in 1883 at Box Hill, Victoria, Australia, educated in Melbourne, Victoria and, after graduation, served as Schools Superintendent of special schools in Melbourne. Having established a clinic for children with behavioural problems and realising the inadequacy of the psychological tests available in the early years of the twentieth century, he devised new tests of his own, specifically to establish the subject's initiative and purpose. The most well-known of these, the Porteus Maze Test, a non-verbal intelligence test, is still in use today.

In 1916 Stanley Porteus joined the staff of the University of Melbourne as lecturer in Experimental Education and in 1918 was invited to join the Vineland Training School in New Jersey, USA, moving there to become Director of Research. In 1922 he moved to Hawaii where he founded the Psychological and Psychopathic Clinic at the University of Hawaii, eventually becoming its director and Dean of the Psychology Department.

The author of many papers and books, Porteus also made a study of the intelligence of Australian aborigines and African bushmen. His theories about the superiority of intelligence of white races has led to recent controversy, including protests by students at the University of Hawaii.

He died in 1972 at Honolulu, where the University social sciences building, Porteus Hall, was named after him in 1974. However, university students mounted a full-scale protest at Porteus' perceived "blatantly racist theories" and eventually, in 1998, the authorities relented and his name was removed from the building.

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