Pointing To Parts Of The Body

PROCEDURE. After getting the child's attention, say: "_Show me your

nose._" "_Put your finger on your nose._" Same with eyes, mouth, and


Tact is often necessary to overcome timidity. If two or three

repetitions of the instruction fail to bring a response, point to the

child's chin or ear and say: "_Is this your nose?_" "_No?_" "_Then where

is your nose?_" Sometimes, after one has tried two or three
arts of the

test without eliciting any response, the child may suddenly release his

inhibitions and answer all the questions promptly. In case of persistent

refusal to respond it is best not to harass the child for an answer, but

to leave the test for a while and return to it later. This is a rule

which applies generally throughout the scale. In the case of one

exceptionally timid little girl, it was impossible to get any response

by the usual procedure, but immediately when a doll was shown the child

pointed willingly to its nose, eyes, mouth, and hair. The device was

successful because it withdrew the child's attention from herself and

centered it upon something objective.

SCORING. _Three responses out of four_ must be correct. Instead of

pointing, the child sometimes responds by winking the eyes, opening the

mouth, etc., which is counted as satisfactory.

REMARKS. Binet's purpose in this test is to ascertain whether the

subject is capable of comprehending simple language. The ability to

comprehend and use language is indeed one of the most reliable

indications of the grade of mental development. The appreciation of

gestures comes first, then the comprehension of language heard, next the

ability to repeat words and sentences mechanically, and finally the

ability to use language as a means of communication. The present test,

however, is not more strictly a test of language comprehension than the

others of the 3-year group, and in any case it could not be said to mark

the _beginning_ of the power to comprehend spoken language. That is

fairly well advanced by the age of 2 years. The test closely resembles

III, 2 (naming familiar objects), and III, 3 (enumeration of objects in

a picture), except that it brings in a personal element and gives some

clue to the development of the sense of self. All the data agree in

locating the test at year III.