Written psychological tests for entering freshmen were defended last night by Dr. Dana L. Farnsworth, Director of University Health Services, who said he was "puzzled" by recent opposition to the testing program, expressed by several faculty members and an apparently significant number of freshmen.
Farnsworth further stated that the tests would continue to be given to students after admission. "They should not be given before entrance," he said. "We are not trying to devise tests to keep students out of the University."
The examination has been attacked by freshmen, who call it "an invasion of privacy." Farnsworth pointed out, however, that "in the same terms, physical examinations are also an invasion of privacy," and continued that "although there was some amount of silent griping, only a few freshmen refused to write the examination." He emphasized that no one was forced to take the test.
The faculty opposition came from those who felt that "the psychiatrist should not anticipate mental trouble, but should wait for it and then cure it."
Farnsworth stated, however, that "it is imperative to develop techniques for helping students to overcome difficulties before they became serious." He emphasized that the amount of university research in this field is "pathetically small," and that "we are not making full use of our facilities."
Test Exam Validity
"Right now, we want to test the validity of the examinations rather than help individual students," he continued. Results of the tests will not be known for five years, after which time they can be used in forecasting mental problems of students.
Farnsworth said he could see "no objection" to the test's line of questioning. Freshmen were asked to express their "likes and dislikes" on such topics as "listening to sad music, doing crazy things, crying at weddings and funerals, and listening to friends talk about their love life."