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Dissected Sentences

The following disarranged sentences are used:--




These should be printed in type like that used above. The Stanford
record booklet contains the sentences in convenient form.

It is not permissible to substitute written words or printed script, as
that would make the test harder. All the words should be printed in caps
in order that no clue shall be given as to the first word in a sentence.
For a similar reason the period is omitted.

PROCEDURE. Say: "_Here is a sentence that has the words all mixed up so
that they don't make any sense. If the words were changed around in the
right order they would make a good sentence. Look carefully and see if
you can tell me how the sentence ought to read._"

Give the sentences in the order in which they are listed in the record
booklet. Do not tell the subject to see how quickly he can do it,
because with this test any suggestion of hurrying is likely to produce a
kind of mental paralysis. If the subject has no success with the first
sentence in one minute, read it off correctly for him, somewhat slowly,
and pointing to each word as it is spoken. Then proceed to the second
and third, allowing one minute for each.

Give no further help. It is not permissible, in case an incorrect
response is given, to ask the subject to try again, or to say: "_Are you
sure that is right?_" "_Are you sure you have not left out any words?_"
etc. Instead, maintain absolute silence. However, the subject is
permitted to make as many changes in his response as he sees fit,
provided he makes them spontaneously and within the allotted time.
Record the entire response.

Once in a great while the subject misunderstands the task and thinks the
only requirement is to use all the words given, and that it is permitted
to add as many other words as he likes. It is then necessary to repeat
the instructions and to allow a new trial.

SCORING. _Two sentences out of three must be correctly given within the
minute allotted to each._ It is understood, of course, that if the first
sentence has to be read for the subject, both the other responses must
be given correctly.

A sentence is not counted correct if a single word is omitted, altered,
or inserted, or if the order given fails to make perfect sense.

Certain responses are not absolutely incorrect, but are objectionable as
regards sentence structure, or else fail to give the exact meaning
intended. These are given half credit. Full credit on one, and half
credit on each of the other two, is satisfactory. The following are
samples of satisfactory and unsatisfactory responses:--

"We started for the country at an early hour."
"At an early hour we started for the country."
"We started at an early hour for the country."
"We started early at an hour for the country."
"Early at an hour we started for the country."
"We started early for the country."
_Half credit._
"For the country at an early hour we started."
"For the country we started at an early hour."

"I asked my teacher to correct my paper."
"My teacher asked to correct my paper."
"To correct my paper I asked my teacher."
_Half credit._
"My teacher I asked to correct my paper."

"A good dog defends his master bravely."
"A good dog bravely defends his master."
"A dog defends his master bravely."
"A bravely dog defends his master."
"A good dog defends his bravely master."
"A good brave dog defends his master."
_Half credit._
"A dog defends his good master bravely."
"A dog bravely defends his good master."
"A good master bravely defends his dog."

REMARKS. This is an excellent test. It involves no knowledge which may
not be presupposed at the age in which it is given, and success
therefore depends very little on experience. The worst that can be urged
against it is that it may possibly be influenced to a certain extent by
the amount of reading the subject has done. But this has not been
demonstrated. At any rate, the test satisfies the most important
requirement of a test of intelligence; namely, the percentage of
successes increases rapidly and steadily from the lower to the higher
levels of mental age.

This experiment can be regarded as a variation of the completion test.
Binet tells us, in fact, that it was directly suggested by the
experiment of Ebbinghaus. As will readily be observed, however, it
differs to a certain extent from the Ebbinghaus completion test.
Ebbinghaus omits parts of a sentence and requires the subject to supply
the omissions. In this test we give all the parts and require the
formation of a sentence by rearrangement. The two experiments are
psychologically similar in that they require the subject to relate given
fragments into a meaningful whole. Success depends upon the ability of
intelligence to utilize hints, or clues, and this in turn depends on the
logical integrity of the associative processes. All but the highest
grade of the feeble-minded fail with this test.

This test is found in year XI of Binet's 1908 series and in year XII of
his 1911 revision. Goddard and Kuhlmann retain it in the original
location. That it is better placed in year XII is indicated by all the
available statistics with normal children, except those of Goddard. With
this exception, the results of various investigators for year XII are in
remarkably close agreement, as the following figures will show:--

_Per cent passing at year XII_

Binet 66
Kuhlmann 68
Bobertag 78
Dougherty 64
Strong 72
Leviste and Morle 70
Stanford series (1911) 62
Stanford series (1913) 57
Stanford series (1914) 62
Princeton data 61

This agreement is noteworthy considering that no two experiments seem to
have used exactly the same arrangement of words, and that some have
presented the words of a sentence in a single line, others in two or
three lines. A single line would appear to be somewhat easier.

Next: Interpretation Of Fables (score 4)

Previous: The Ball-and-field Test (superior Plan)

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