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