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Three Commissions

PROCEDURE. After getting up from the chair and moving with the child to
the center of the room, say: "_Now, I want you to do something for me.
Here's a key. I want you to put it on that chair over there; then I want
you to shut (or open) that door, and then bring me the box which you see
over there_ (pointing in turn to the objects designated). _Do you
understand? Be sure to get it right. First, put the key on the chair,
then shut_ (open) _the door, then bring me the box_ (again pointing).
_Go ahead._" Stress the words _first_ and _then_ so as to emphasize the
order in which the commissions are to be executed.

Give the commissions always in the above order. Do not repeat the
instructions again or give any further aid whatever, even by the
direction of the gaze. If the child stops or hesitates it is never
permissible to say: "_What next?_" Have the self-control to leave the
child alone with his task.

SCORING. _All three commissions must be executed and in the proper
order._ Failure may result, therefore, either from leaving out one or
more of the commands or from changing the order. The former is more
often the case.

REMARKS. Success depends first on the ability to comprehend the
commands, and secondly, on the ability to hold them in mind. It is
therefore a test of memory, though of a somewhat different kind from
that involved in repeating digits or sentences. It is an excellent test,
for it throws light on a kind of intelligence which is demanded in all
occupations and in everyday life. A more difficult test of the same type
ought to be worked out for a higher age level.

Binet originally located this test in year VI, but in 1911 changed it to
year VII. This is unfortunate, for the three Stanford investigations, as
well as the statistics of all other investigators, show conclusively
that it is easy enough for year V.

Next: Alternative Test: Giving Age

Previous: The Game Of Patience

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