Alfred Binet (July 8, 1857 – October 18, 1911), French psychologist and inventor of the first usable intelligence test, the basis of today's IQ test. His principal goal was to identify students who needed special help in coping with the school curriculum. Along with his collaborator Théodore Simon, Binet published revisions of his intelligence scale in 1908 and 1911, the last appearing just before his untimely death. A further refinement of the Binet-Simon scale was published in 1916 by Lewis M. Terman, from Stanford University, who incorporated William Stern's proposal that an individual's intelligence level be measured as an (I.Q.). Terman's test, which he named the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale formed the basis for one of the modern intelligence tests still commonly used today. They are all colloquially known as IQ tests.
Binet was born as Alfredo Binetti in Nice, at the time part of the Kingdom of Sardinia. He was the only child of a physician father and an artist mother. His parents separated when he was young, and Binet then moved to Paris with his mother. He attended law school, and earned his degree in 1878. He planned on going to medical school, but decided that his interest in psychology was more important.
Reading books by Charles Darwin, Alexander Bain and others, Binet became a somewhat self-taught psychologist. Introverted and a loner, this self-educating suited him. What he did not realize was that he would later pay, because of what he was deprived of by not attending a University and formally studying psychology.