Superior Adult 2: Binet's Paper-cutting Test

PROCEDURE. Take a piece of paper about six inches square and say:

"_Watch carefully what I do. See, I fold the paper this way_ (folding it

once over in the middle), _then I fold it this way_ (folding it again in

the middle, but at right angles to the first fold). _Now, I will cut out

a notch right here_" (indicating). At this point take scissors and cut

out a small notch from the middle of the side which presents but one

> edge. Throw the fragment which has been cut out into the waste-basket or

under the table. Leave the folded paper exposed to view, but pressed

flat against the table. Then give the subject a pencil and a second

sheet of paper like the one already used and say: "_Take this piece of

paper and make a drawing to show how the other sheet of paper would look

if it were unfolded. Draw lines to show the creases in the paper and

show what results from the cutting._"

The subject is not permitted to fold the second sheet, but must solve

the problem by the imagination unaided.

Note that we do not say, "_Draw the holes_," as this would inform the

subject that more than one hole is expected.

SCORING. The test is passed _if the creases in the paper are properly

represented, if the holes are drawn in the correct number, and if they

are located correctly_, that is, both on the same crease and each about

halfway between the center of the paper and the side. The shape of the

holes is disregarded.

Failure may be due to error as regards the creases or the number and

location of the holes, or it may involve any combination of the above


REMARKS. Success seems to depend upon constructive visual imagination.

The subject must first be able to construct in imagination the creases

which result from the folding, and secondly, to picture the effects of

the cutting as regards number of holes and their location. It appears

that a solution is seldom arrived at, even in the case of college

students, by logical mathematical thinking. Our unschooled subjects even

succeeded somewhat better than high-school and college students of the

same mental level.

Binet placed this test in year XIII of the 1908 scale, but shifted it to

the adult group in the 1911 revision. Goddard retains it in the adult

group, while Kuhlmann places it in year XV. There have also been certain

variations in the procedure employed. As given in the Stanford revision

the test is passed by hardly any subjects below the 14-year level, but

by about one third of "average adults" and by the large majority of

"superior adults."