Giving The Number Of Fingers





PROCEDURE. "_How many fingers have you on one hand?_" "_How many on the

other hand?_" "_How many on both hands together?_" If the child begins

to count in response to any of the questions, say: "_No, don't count.

Tell me without counting._" Then repeat the question.



SCORING. Passed _if all three questions are answered correctly and

promptly_ without the necessity of counting. Some subjects do not

understand the question to include the thumbs. We disregard this if the

number of fingers exclusive of thumbs is given correctly.



REMARKS. Like the two tests of counting pennies, this one, also, throws

light on the child's spontaneous interest in numbers. However, the

mental processes it calls into play are a little less simple than those

required for mere counting. If the child is able to give the number of

fingers, it is ordinarily because he has previously counted them and has

remembered the result. The memory would hardly be retained but for a

certain interest in numbers as such. Middle-grade imbeciles of even

adult age seldom remember how many fingers they have, however often

they may have been told. They are not able to form accurate concepts of

other than the simplest number relationships, and numbers have little

interest or meaning for them.



Binet gave this test a place in year VII of the 1908 series, but omitted

it in the 1911 revision. Goddard omits it, while Kuhlmann retains it in

year VII, where, according to our own figures, it unmistakably belongs.

Bobertag finds it rather easy for year VII, though too difficult for

year VI.



Our data prove that this test fulfills the requirements of a good test.

It shows a rapid but even rise from year V to year VIII in the per cent

passing, the agreement among the different testers is extraordinarily

close, and it is relatively little influenced by training and social

environment. For these reasons, and because it is so easy to give and

score with uniformity, it well deserves a place in the scale.





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