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Discrimination Of Forms

PROCEDURE. Use the forms supplied with this book. First, place the
circle of the duplicate set at "X", and say: "_Show me one like
this_," at the same time passing the finger around the circumference of
the circle. If the child does not respond, say: "_Do you see all of
these things?_" (running the finger over the various forms); "_And do
you see this one?_" (pointing again to the circle); "_Now, find me
another one just like this._" Use the square next, then the triangle,
and the others in any order.

Correct the child's first error by saying: "_No, find one just like
this_" (again passing the finger around the outline of the form at "X").
Make no comment on errors after the first one, proceeding at once with
the next card, but each time the choice is correct encourage the child
with a hearty "That's good," or something similar.

SCORING. The test is passed if _seven out of ten_ choices, are correct,
the first corrected error being counted.

REMARKS. In the test of discriminating forms, unlike the test of
comparing lines, lack of success is less often due to inability to
understand the task than to failure to discriminate. The test may be
regarded as a variation of the form-board test. It displays the
subject's ability to compare and contrast successive visual perceptions
of form. The accurate perception of even a fairly simple form requires
the integration of a number of sensory elements into one whole. The
forms used in this test have meaning. They are far from nonsense figures
even for the (normal) child of 4 years, who has, of course, never heard
about "triangles," "squares," "rectangles," etc. The meaning present at
this level of intelligence is probably a compound of such factors as
appreciation of symmetry and direction, and discrimination of quantity
and number.

Another element in success, especially in the latter part of the
experiment, is the ability to make an _attentive_ comparison between the
form shown and the others. The child may be satisfied to point to the
first form his eye happens to fall upon. Far from being a legitimate
excuse for failure, such an exhibition of inattention and of weakness of
the critical faculty is symptomatic of a mental level below 4 years.

In addition to counting the number of errors made, it is interesting to
note with what forms they occur. To match the circle with the ellipse or
the octagon, for example, is a less serious error than to match it with
the square or triangle.

This test was devised and standardized by Dr. Fred Kuhlmann. It is
inserted here without essential alteration, except that the size
recommended for the forms is slightly reduced and minor changes have
been made in the wording of the directions. Our own results are
favorable to the test and to the location assigned it by its author.

Next: Counting Four Pennies

Previous: Comparison Of Lines

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