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Alternative Test 1: Naming The Days Of The Week

PROCEDURE. Say: "_You know the days of the week, do you not? Name the
days of the week for me._" Sometimes the child begins by naming various
annual holidays, as Christmas, Fourth of July, etc. Perhaps he has not
comprehended the task; at any rate, we give him one more trial by
stopping him and saying: "_No; that is not what I mean. I want you to
name the days of the week._" No supplementary questions are permissible,
and we must be careful not to show approval or disapproval in our looks
as the child is giving his response.

If the days have been named in correct order, we check up the response
to see whether the real order of days is known or whether the names have
only been repeated mechanically. This is done by asking the following
questions: "_What day comes before Tuesday?_" "_What day comes before
Thursday?_" "_What day comes before Friday?_"

SCORING. The test is passed if, within _fifteen seconds_, the days of
the week are _all named in correct order_, and if the child succeeds in
at least _two of the three check questions_. We disregard the point of

REMARKS. The test has been criticized as too dependent on rote memory.
Bobertag says a child may pass it without having any adequate conception
of "week," "yesterday," "day before yesterday," etc. This criticism
holds if the test is given according to the older procedure, but does
not apply with the procedure above recommended. The "checking-up"
questions enable us at once to distinguish responses that are given by
rote from those which rest upon actual knowledge.

The test has been shown to be much more influenced by age, apart from
intelligence, than most other tests of the scale. Notwithstanding this
fault, it seems desirable to keep the test, at least as an alternative,
because it forms one of a group which may be designated as tests of time
orientation. The others of this group are: "_Distinguishing forenoon and
afternoon_" (VI), "_Giving the date_" and "_Naming the months_" (IX). It
would be well if we had even more of this type, for interest in the
passing of time and in the names of time divisions is closely correlated
with intelligence. One reason for the inferiority of the dull and
feeble-minded in tests of this type is that their mental associations
are weaker and less numerous. The greater poverty of their associations
brings it about that their remembered experiences are less definitely
located in time with reference to other events.

The test was located in year IX of the 1908 scale, but was omitted from
the 1911 revision. Kuhlmann also omits it, while Goddard places it in
year VIII. The statistics from every American investigation, however,
warrant its location in year VII. It may be located in year VIII only on
the condition that the child be required to name the days backwards, and
that within a rather low time limit.

Next: Alternative Test 2: Repeating Three Digits Reversed

Previous: Copying A Diamond

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