Discrimination Of Forms

PROCEDURE. Use the forms supplied with this book. First, place the

circle of the duplicate set at "X", and say: "_Show me one like

this_," at the same time passing the finger around the circumference of

the circle. If the child does not respond, say: "_Do you see all of

these things?_" (running the finger over the various forms); "_And do

you see this one?_" (pointing again to the circle); "_Now, find me

another one ju
t like this._" Use the square next, then the triangle,

and the others in any order.

Correct the child's first error by saying: "_No, find one just like

this_" (again passing the finger around the outline of the form at "X").

Make no comment on errors after the first one, proceeding at once with

the next card, but each time the choice is correct encourage the child

with a hearty "That's good," or something similar.

SCORING. The test is passed if _seven out of ten_ choices, are correct,

the first corrected error being counted.

REMARKS. In the test of discriminating forms, unlike the test of

comparing lines, lack of success is less often due to inability to

understand the task than to failure to discriminate. The test may be

regarded as a variation of the form-board test. It displays the

subject's ability to compare and contrast successive visual perceptions

of form. The accurate perception of even a fairly simple form requires

the integration of a number of sensory elements into one whole. The

forms used in this test have meaning. They are far from nonsense figures

even for the (normal) child of 4 years, who has, of course, never heard

about "triangles," "squares," "rectangles," etc. The meaning present at

this level of intelligence is probably a compound of such factors as

appreciation of symmetry and direction, and discrimination of quantity

and number.

Another element in success, especially in the latter part of the

experiment, is the ability to make an _attentive_ comparison between the

form shown and the others. The child may be satisfied to point to the

first form his eye happens to fall upon. Far from being a legitimate

excuse for failure, such an exhibition of inattention and of weakness of

the critical faculty is symptomatic of a mental level below 4 years.

In addition to counting the number of errors made, it is interesting to

note with what forms they occur. To match the circle with the ellipse or

the octagon, for example, is a less serious error than to match it with

the square or triangle.

This test was devised and standardized by Dr. Fred Kuhlmann. It is

inserted here without essential alteration, except that the size

recommended for the forms is slightly reduced and minor changes have

been made in the wording of the directions. Our own results are

favorable to the test and to the location assigned it by its author.