Carl Campbell Brigham (4 May 1890 – 24 January 1943) was a professor of psychology at Princeton University's Department of Psychology and pioneer in the field of psychometrics. His early writings influenced the eugenics movement and anti-immigration legislation in the United States, but he later disowned these views. He was a chairman of the College Board from 1923 to 1926 and was the creator of the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
Early life, family and education
Carl Campbell Brigham was born 4 May 1890 in Marlborough, Massachusetts to Charles Francis Brigham and Ida B. (Campbell) Brigham, the third of four children. His family has roots in early Massachusetts Bay Colony with ancestors that included Thomas Brigham (1603–1653) and Edmund Rice (1594–1663). Brigham earned all of his degrees (B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.) at Princeton University. He married Elizabeth G F Duffield on 10 Feb 1923 and they had a daughter, Elizabeth H. Brigham (b. 1926).
At the outbreak of World War I, Brigham joined the military and was commissioned as 1st Lieutenant in the Sanitary Corps, psychological service from Oct. to Dec 1917 at Camp Dix. He was then assigned to Surgeon General's office in Washington DC with the group of psychologists revising army examinations to aid in selection off officer candidates. Jan to Mar 1918 he was at Camps Meade, Lee and Gordon, for psychological experiments. In April 1918, he was assigned the Tank Corps, but he never served overseas.
After the war in 1920, Brigham joined Princeton as a faculty member, and he collaborated with Robert Yerkes' from the Army Mental Tests and published their results in the influential 1923 book, A Study of American Intelligence authored by Brigham with the forward by Yerkes. Analyzing the data from the Army tests, Brigham came to the conclusion that native born Americans had the highest intelligence out of the groups tested. He proclaimed the intellectual superiority of the "Nordic Race" and the inferiority of the "Alpine" (Eastern European) and "Mediterranean Races" and argued that immigration should be carefully controlled to safeguard the "American Intelligence." Nothing troubled Brigham so much however, as miscegenation between blacks and whites, as Brigham believed "Negroes" were by far the most intellectually inferior race.
Though he later in 1930 denounced his expressed views on the intellectual superiority of the "Nordic Race" and specifically disowned the book, it had already been instrumental in fueling anti-immigrant sentiment in America and the eugenics debate. It was used most effectively by Harry Laughlin in the 1924 congressional debates leading to anti-immigrant legislation.
Brigham died 24 January 1943 in Princeton.
- Brigham, W.I.T., E.E. Brigham, and W.E. Brigham (1907). The history of the Brigham family; a record of several thousand descendants of Thomas Brigham the emigrant, 1603–1653. The Grafton Press, New York. 810pp.
- Edmund Rice (1638) Association, 2010. Descendants of Edmund Rice: The First Nine Generations. (CD-ROM)
- p. 100 In: Lurie, M.N. and M. Mappen (eds.) (2008). Encyclopedia of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press, Piscataway, NJ. ISBN 0-8135-3325-2
- "Carl Campbell Brigham". Nagel Family History by Kenneth A. Nagel. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
- U.S. Census 1930; Census Place: Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey; Roll: 1362; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 102; Image: 853.0.
- Carl C. Brigham. A Study of American Intelligence. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1923).
- Brigham, C.C. 1930. Intelligence tests of immigrant groups. Psychological Reviews 37:158-156.
- Gould, Stephen Jay (1981). Measure of Man. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 233–35.
- "Where did the Test come from -- an Interview with Nicolas Lemann". PBS. 1999-10-01. Retrieved 2006-07-08.
- Carmichael, L. 1943. Carl Campbell Brigham 1890-1943. Psychological Reviews 50(5):443-450.