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

error altogether.

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.