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Pointing To Parts Of The Body

PROCEDURE. After getting the child's attention, say: "_Show me your
nose._" "_Put your finger on your nose._" Same with eyes, mouth, and

Tact is often necessary to overcome timidity. If two or three
repetitions of the instruction fail to bring a response, point to the
child's chin or ear and say: "_Is this your nose?_" "_No?_" "_Then where
is your nose?_" Sometimes, after one has tried two or three parts of the
test without eliciting any response, the child may suddenly release his
inhibitions and answer all the questions promptly. In case of persistent
refusal to respond it is best not to harass the child for an answer, but
to leave the test for a while and return to it later. This is a rule
which applies generally throughout the scale. In the case of one
exceptionally timid little girl, it was impossible to get any response
by the usual procedure, but immediately when a doll was shown the child
pointed willingly to its nose, eyes, mouth, and hair. The device was
successful because it withdrew the child's attention from herself and
centered it upon something objective.

SCORING. _Three responses out of four_ must be correct. Instead of
pointing, the child sometimes responds by winking the eyes, opening the
mouth, etc., which is counted as satisfactory.

REMARKS. Binet's purpose in this test is to ascertain whether the
subject is capable of comprehending simple language. The ability to
comprehend and use language is indeed one of the most reliable
indications of the grade of mental development. The appreciation of
gestures comes first, then the comprehension of language heard, next the
ability to repeat words and sentences mechanically, and finally the
ability to use language as a means of communication. The present test,
however, is not more strictly a test of language comprehension than the
others of the 3-year group, and in any case it could not be said to mark
the _beginning_ of the power to comprehend spoken language. That is
fairly well advanced by the age of 2 years. The test closely resembles
III, 2 (naming familiar objects), and III, 3 (enumeration of objects in
a picture), except that it brings in a personal element and gives some
clue to the development of the sense of self. All the data agree in
locating the test at year III.

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