The use of cognitive assessment instruments to make decisions regarding individual capabilities has existed for centuries. These tools were developed to examine individual aptitudes of adults for certain careers. For more than a century, however, these instruments have also been used for children to inform educational decisions. Today, cognitive assessment instruments are used to assess children and adults for a variety of reasons.

The use of cognitive assessment instruments has grown, and an increased reliance on the resulting data has also emerged. As psychologists and other professionals have become more aware of the ramifications of these instruments, their use has come under scrutiny. This prompted an increase in the psychometric rigor of psychological assessments. Yet in today’s instruments, there are still remnants of historical theories and concepts.

For this Discussion, review the history of cognitive assessment. Consider the influence of history on the evolution and use of current cognitive assessment instruments.

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