Théodore Simon

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Théodore Simon (1872–1961) was a French psychologist and psychometrician. He was born on July 10, 1872 in Dijon, Burgundy, France. He became an intern in Perray-Vaucluse in the asylum in 1899. This is where he began his work on abnormal children with Alfred Binet. In 1905, He co-created the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale tests, and later revised the scale in 1908 and 1911. Simon worked at multiple different hospitals after that, from Sainte-Anne to Dury-les-Amiens. Simon revised the scale in 1908 and 1911. Later he worked as the head psychiatrist at St. Yon hospital and as a medical director at Perray-Vaucluse. He retired in 1936 and died of natural causes in 1961.


Théodore Simon was born on 10 July 1872 in Dijon, Burgundy, France. During much of his early life, he was fascinated by Alfred Binet's work and constantly read his books. His interest in psychology continually increased, especially as the need for clinical experience in the field decreased.

In 1899, he became an intern at the asylum in Perray-Vaucluse where he began his famous work on abnormal children. This drew Binet's attention, who was at the time studying the correlation between physical growth and intellectual development. Binet came to the asylum and continued his work there with Simon. This research led to Simon's medical thesis on the topic in 1900.

From 1901-1905, Simon worked in various hospitals, from Sainte-Anne to Dury-les-Amiens. 1905 is the year during which Simon and Binet made public their famous Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale, the first intelligence measuring device ever devised. It premiered in L'Année psychologique, a journal founded by Binet in 1895.

Throughout his life after this point, Simon always remained critical of immoderate and improper use of the scale. He believed that its over-use and inappropriate use prevented other psychologists from achieving Binet's ultimate goal: understanding human beings, their nature, and their development.

The scale was revised in 1908 and again in 1911, but Simon kept it the same after Binet's death in respect for one of history's greatest psychologists and Simon's true idol.

After 1905 until 1920, Simon worked as the head psychiatrist at St. Yon hospital. In 1920, he returned as medical director at Perray-Vaucluse until 1930. From there, he moved to act as medical director until late 1936, when he retired. Throughout his life (starting in 1912 until 1960) he was also an editor for Bulletin of Société Alfred Binet. He died of natural causes in 1961.


  • Wolf, T. H. (1961). American Psychologist, 16: 245-248.

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