Psychology Wiki

Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Social Processes: Methodology · Types of test

Pearson Assessment (formerly The Psychological Corporation) is a publisher of psychometric tests for business and education. They also develop and distribute tests and related products for professionals in HR, psychology, neuropsychology, health, business, general education, bilingual education, special education, and other areas. It developed into Pearson Assessment & Information

Contact Details

UK Head Office

Pearson Assessment, 80 Strand, London, WC2R ORL, United Kingdom

Tel: 0845 630 8888

Fax: 0845 630 5555



Key Products

Talent Assessment



Harcourt Assessment, Inc., has a history that dates to the early part of the 20th century. Although the modern-day company name derives from Harcourt Brace & Company, which was established in 1919, the corporate heritage goes back to 1905 and the founding of World Book Company. Many of the educational products produced by Harcourt Assessment originated at World Book. The psychological assessments originated at The Psychological Corporation, which was founded in 1921.

Harcourt Brace & Company (1919)

Alfred Harcourt and Donald Brace were friends at Columbia University in New York, and both worked for Henry Holt & Company before founding their own publishing company in 1919. Harcourt Brace & Company published the works of a number of world renowned writers, including Sinclair Lewis, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, James Thurber, George Orwell and Robert Penn Warren.

By 1960, Harcourt Brace led the market in high school textbook publishing, but had little presence in the elementary school market. That year, William Jovanovich, who had become president of the company in 1954, took the company public and merged Harcourt Brace & Company with World Book Company to create Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.

This was a strategic move that had a long-term impact on the company because World Book was an established elementary textbook publisher and a test publisher.

In 1970, the company became known as Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (HBJ), with William Jovanovich as chairman. That same year, the company acquired The Psychological Corporation. Under Jovanovich’s leadership, the company diversified into non-publishing businesses such as insurance and business consulting. It also bought several theme parks -- including SeaWorld, which it acquired in 1976 for $46 million. The company divested its theme park division in 1989 for $1.1 billion.

World Book Company (1905)

World Book Company opened its first office in Manila in 1905 and published English-language educational materials for schools in the Philippines. The company later moved to New York, where it became a test publisher. Much of the company’s success was based on the work of Arthur S. Otis, who was best known for the intelligence tests he developed for the U.S. Army. Millions of World War I draftees took Otis’ tests.

World Book Company became the first publisher of group-administered tests measuring mental ability when it published Otis’ Group Intelligence Scale in 1918. Otis joined World Book in 1921. By the time World Book merged with Harcourt Brace in 1960, it had a portfolio of educational tests, including the Stanford Achievement Test (1923), the Metropolitan Achievement Test (1932) and the Otis Mental Ability Test (1936).

World Book Company was not related to World Book, Inc., the Chicago-based publisher of encyclopedias and other reference books.

The Psychological Corporation (1921)

Psychologist James McKeen Cattell founded The Psychological Corporation in New York in 1921. Cattell was a leading figure in psychology and was the president of the American Psychological Association, as well as founder and editor of Scientific Monthly and head of Columbia University’s psychology department. At age 60, when Columbia dismissed him because of his public opposition to the draft in World War I, Cattell decided to pursue his interest in publishing. He joined forces with two former graduate students, Robert Sessions Woodworth and Edward Lee Thorndike.

Both were eminent psychologists, and Thorndike was regarded as the foremost authority on the analysis and measurement of learning. The three men started a business to market psychological tests and related materials to educational, corporate and government clients. In 1939, the company published the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scales. David Wechsler was a former student of Woodworth at Columbia University.

In 1970, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich acquired The Psychological Corporation and, in 1976, merged its educational testing department, acquired from World Book Company in 1960, into The Psychological Corporation.

In the 1980s and 1990s, The Psychological Corporation (TPC) expanded through a number of acquisitions. In 1986, the company acquired Merrill Publishing’s test division with its portfolio of tests for language, speech and hearing. In 1993, it acquired Cognitronics Corporation. In 1994, the company acquired Communication Skill Builders/Therapy Skill Builders and its therapy products for speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and physical therapists.

In 1983, The Psychological Corporation moved from New York to Cleveland. When the company moved to San Antonio, Texas, in 1985, it established its own operational services, including customer service, warehouse, distribution, information technology, scoring and reporting services.

In order to establish a stronger identity for its educational assessment products, and to link them more closely to the Harcourt name, The Psychological Corporation’s education testing unit was branded as Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement in 1995. The name was shortened in 1999 to Harcourt Educational Measurement.

Harcourt General, Harcourt, Inc. and Harcourt Assessment, Inc.

In 1991, General Cinema Corporation, a diversified company that operated retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as a national chain of movie theaters, acquired Harcourt Brace Jovanovich for more than $1.5 billion. In 1993, General Cinema Corporation renamed itself Harcourt General and restored the publishing division’s name to the historic Harcourt Brace & Company. At the end of the year, Harcourt General divested its cinema division.

In 1999, Harcourt General divested its retail division and shortened the publishing division’s name to Harcourt, Inc. That same year, Harcourt, Inc. adopted the brand name Harcourt Assessment for its testing businesses. At the time, Harcourt Assessment comprised The Psychological Corporation, which was known as the clinical division, and Harcourt Educational Measurement, which was known as the education division.

In late 2003, the testing business legally changed its name to Harcourt Assessment, Inc., and unified its two divisions into one operating company. The company retired the two division names – Harcourt Educational Measurement and The Psychological Corporation – although it retained “PsychCorp” as a brand imprint for select products.

Reed Elsevier Group plc

In 2001, the Anglo-Dutch publishing company Reed Elsevier acquired Harcourt General and Harcourt, Inc., including the businesses now known as Harcourt Assessment, Inc. Harcourt Assessment, Inc. is a member of the Reed Elsevier Group plc (NYSE: RUK and ENL), which is a publisher and information provider operating in four global industry sectors -- science and medical, legal, education, and business. Reed Elsevier comprises the following divisions: Elsevier (science and medical), LexisNexis (legal), Harcourt Education (education), and Reed Business (business).

Harcourt Assessment has had two straight years with mass layoffs. In January 2006, more than 70 workers were given the boot.[1] Shortly after the layoffs, division president Jeff Galt left the company.[2] Then again in January 2007, 122 workers lost their jobs.[3]

On 15th February 2007, Reed Elsevier announced its intention to sell its education arm, Harcourt Education, of which Harcourt Assessment is a part of. According to Reed Chief Executive Crispin Davis, "This is essentially a strategic decision that we want to focus more sharply on our three existing businesses ... with better growth rates".[4]

Pearson Education plc

On 4th May 2007, Pearson, the international education and information company, announced that it had agreed to acquire Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier for $950m in cash.[5] The sale of the two units leaves Reed Elsevier with most of Harcourt Education still to sell, comprising its large US text books business and a number of supplemental publishing businesses. Pearson already holds a market-leading position in the US textbook market and would not be interested in the main Harcourt business on account of regulatory concerns. Reed stated that it expects to complete the sale in the second half of the year and will use the funds raised to return cash to shareholders.[6]


Michael E. Hansen President and CEO (July 2006)

  • Former Executive Vice President Corporate Development, Bertelsmann
  • Former Partner at BCG as and Co-Chairman of global e-Business Practice, led the creation of Boston Consulting Group's E-business consultancy; also worked in Healthcare & Pharmaceutical at BCG
  • Former Senior Vice President Proxicom (acquired by iCrossing in 2007)
  • 1989 — Worked for Germany in Foreign policy, including the promotion of foreign investment in several industrial development programs.
  • Board of Trustees - American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Johns Hopkins University
JD, University of Bonn
1989 — MBA, Management of Organizations, Columbia Business School
Dual U.S. and German citizenship

Kevin Brueggeman Executive VP & General Manager Head, Education Assessment Products and Services Group (Sep 12, 2006)

Linda McGarvey Head, Education Product Development (Sept 12, 2006)

Duane Manning Vice President Custom Assessment Programs (March 2005)

Mikel Brightman Vice President Custom Assessment Programs (July 2005)

Sally Valenzuela Vice President Custom Assessment Programs (July 2005)

Susan Kolber Vice President Custom Assessment Programs (July 2005)

Kelly Goodrich Vice President Custom Assessment Programs (July 2005)

John F. Olson, PhD Vice President Psychometrics & Research Services (Sept 2003)


See also

Psych.Assess:Psychometric test publishers



  1. Harcourt's recent job cuts due to competitive testing market, San Antonio Business Journal, February 10, 2006.
  2. Harcourt Assessment CEO steps down, San Antonio Business Journal, February 2, 2006.
  3. Harcourt Assessment cutting staff by 10 percent, San Antonio Express-News, January 18, 2007.
  4. Reed Elsevier to sell education arm. URL accessed on 2007-02-21.
  5. Pearson acquires Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier. URL accessed on 2007-05-08.
  6. includeonly>Fildes, Nic. "Pearson pays $950m for two of Reed's Harcourt Education units", The Independent, 2007-05-05. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).