Giving The Family Name

PROCEDURE. The child is asked, "_What is your name?_" If the answer, as

often happens, includes only the first name (Walter, for example), say:

"_Yes, but what is your other name? Walter what?_" If the child is

silent, or if he only repeats the first name, say: "_Is your name

Walter ... ?_" (giving a fictitious name, as Jones, Smith, etc.). This

question nearly always brings the correct answer if it is known.

/> SCORING. Simply + or -. No attention is paid to faults of pronunciation.

REMARKS. There is unanimous agreement that this test belongs in the

3-year group. Although the child has not had as much opportunity to

learn the family name as his first name, he is almost certain to have

heard it more or less, and if his intelligence is normal the interest in

self will ordinarily cause it to be remembered.

The critic of the intelligence scale need not be unduly exercised over

the fact that there may be an occasional child of 3 years who has never

heard his family name. We have all read of such children, but they

are so extremely rare that the chances of a given 3-year-old being

unjustly penalized for this reason are practically negligible. In

the second place, contingencies of this nature are throughout the

scale consistently allowed for in the percentage of passes required

for locating a test. Since (in the year groups below XIV) the

individual tests are located at the age level where they are passed by

60 to 70 per cent of unselected children of that age, it follows that

the child of average ability _is expected_ to fail on about one third of

the tests of his age group. The plan of the scale is such as to warrant

this amount of leeway. But even granting the possibility that one

subject out of a hundred or so may be unjustly penalized for lack of

opportunity to acquire the knowledge which the test calls for, the

injustice done does not greatly alter the result. A single test affects

mental age only to the extent of two months, and the chances of two such

injustices occurring with the same child are very slight. Herein lies

the advantage of a multiplicity of tests. No test considered by itself

is very dependable, but two dozen tests, properly arranged, are almost

infinitely reliable.