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Supplementary Considerations

It would be a mistake to suppose that any set of mental tests could be devised
which would give us complete information about a child's native intelligence. There
are no tests which are absolutely pure tests of intelligence. All are influenced to a
greater or less degree also by training and by social environment. For
this reason, all the ascertainable facts bearing on such influences
should be added to the record of the mental examination, and should be
given due weight in reaching a final conclusion as to the level of

The following supplementary information should be gathered, when

1. Social status (very superior, superior, average, inferior, or
very inferior).

2. The teacher's estimate of the child's intelligence (very
superior, superior, average, inferior, or very inferior).

3. School opportunities, including years of attendance,
regularity, retardation or acceleration, etc.

4. Quality of school work (very superior, superior, average,
inferior, or very inferior).

5. Physical handicaps, if any (adenoids, diseased tonsils, partial
deafness, imperfect vision, malnutrition, etc.).

In addition, the examiner will need to take account of the general
attitude of the child during the examination. This is provided for in
the record blanks under the heading "comments." The comments should
describe as fully as possible the conduct and attitude of the child
during the examination, with emphasis upon such disturbing factors as
fear, timidity, unwillingness to answer, overconfidence, carelessness,
lack of attention, etc. Sometimes, also, it is desirable to verify the
child's age and to make record of the verification.

Once more let it be urged that no degree of mechanical perfection of the
tests can ever take the place of good judgment and psychological
insight. Intelligence is too complicated to be weighed, like a bag of
grain, by any one who can read figures.

Next: Alternative Tests

Previous: Scattering Of Successes

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