Alternative Test 3: Construction Puzzle A (healy And Fernald)
MATERIAL. Use the form-board pictured on page 279. This may be
purchased of C. H. Stoelting & Co., Chicago, Illinois. A home-made one
will do as well if care is taken to get the dimensions exact.
Quarter-inch wood should be used. The inside of the frame should be
3 x 4 inches, and the dimensions of the blocks should be as follows:
1+3/16 x 3; 1 x 11/2; 1 x 23/4; 1 x 11/2; 11/4 x 2.
PROCEDURE. Place the fr
me on the table before the subject, the short
side nearest him. The blocks are placed in an irregular position on the
side of the frame away from the subject. Take care that the board with
the blocks in place is not exposed to view in advance of the experiment.
Say: "_I want you to put these blocks in this frame so that all the
space will be filled up. If you do it rightly they will all fit in and
there will be no space left over. Go ahead._"
Do not tell the subject to see how quickly he can do it. Say nothing
that would even suggest hurrying, for this tends to call forth the
trial-and-error procedure even with intelligent subjects.
SCORING. The test is passed if the child succeeds in fitting the blocks
into place _three times in a total time of five minutes for the three
The method of procedure is fully as important as the time, but is not so
easily scored in quantitative terms. Nevertheless, the examiner should
always take observations on the method employed, noting especially
any tendency to make and to repeat moves which lead to obvious
impossibilities; i.e., moves which leave a space obviously unfitted to
any of the remaining pieces. Some subjects repeat an absurd move many
times over; others make an absurd move, but promptly correct it; others,
and these are usually the bright ones, look far enough ahead to avoid
REMARKS. This test was devised by Professor Freeman, was adapted
slightly by Healy and Fernald, and was first standardized by
Dr. Kuhlmann. Miss Gertrude Hall has also standardized it, but on a
different procedure from that described above.
The test has a lower correlation with intelligence than most of the
other tests of the scale. Many bright children of 10-year intelligence
adopt the trial-and-error method and have little success, while retarded
older children of only 8-year intelligence sometimes succeed. Age, apart
from intelligence, seems to play an important part in determining the
nature of the performance. A favorable feature of the test, however, is
the fact that it makes no demand on language ability and that it brings
into play an aspect of intelligence which is relatively neglected by the
remainder of the scale. For this reason it is at least worth keeping as
an alternative test.