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The Measurement of Intelligence
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RIVERSIDE TEXTBOOKS IN EDUCATION

EDITED BY ELLWOOD P. CUBBERLEY

PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION LELAND STANFORD JUNIOR UNIVERSITY

DIVISION OF SECONDARY EDUCATION UNDER THE EDITORIAL DIRECTION OF ALEXANDER INGLIS

PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION HARVARD UNIVERSITY



THE MEASUREMENT OF INTELLIGENCE

AN EXPLANATION OF AND A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR THE USE OF THE STANFORD REVISION AND EXTENSION OF The Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale

BY

LEWIS M. TERMAN PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION LELAND STANFORD JUNIOR UNIVERSITY



HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY BOSTON NEW YORK CHICAGO SAN FRANCISCO The Riverside Press Cambridge



COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY LEWIS M. TERMAN

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



The Riverside Press CAMBRIDGE . MASSACHUSETTS PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.



To the Memory OF ALFRED BINET

PATIENT RESEARCHER, CREATIVE THINKER, UNPRETENTIOUS SCHOLAR; INSPIRING AND FRUITFUL DEVOTEE OF INDUCTIVE AND DYNAMIC PSYCHOLOGY



EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION

The present volume appeals to the editor of this series as one of the most significant books, viewed from the standpoint of the future of our educational theory and practice, that has been issued in years. Not only does the volume set forth, in language so simple that the layman can easily understand, the large importance for public education of a careful measurement of the intelligence of children, but it also describes the tests which are to be given and the entire procedure of giving them. In a clear and easy style the author sets forth scientific facts of far-reaching educational importance, facts which it has cost him, his students, and many other scientific workers, years of painstaking labor to accumulate.

Only very recently, practically only within the past half-dozen years, have scientific workers begun to appreciate fully the importance of intelligence tests as a guide to educational procedure, and up to the present we have been able to make but little use of such tests in our schools. The conception in itself has been new, and the testing procedure has been more or less unrefined and technical. The following somewhat popular presentation of the idea and of the methods involved, itself based on a scientific monograph which the author is publishing elsewhere, serves for the first time to set forth in simple language the technical details of giving such intelligence tests.

The educational significance of the results to be obtained from careful measurements of the intelligence of children can hardly be overestimated. Questions relating to the choice of studies, vocational guidance, schoolroom procedure, the grading of pupils, promotional schemes, the study of the retardation of children in the schools, juvenile delinquency, and the proper handling of subnormals on the one hand and gifted children on the other,—all alike acquire new meaning and significance when viewed in the light of the measurement of intelligence as outlined in this volume. As a guide to the interpretation of the results of other forms of investigation relating to the work, progress, and needs of children, intelligence tests form a very valuable aid. More than all other forms of data combined, such tests give the necessary information from which a pupil's possibilities of future mental growth can be foretold, and upon which his further education can be most profitably directed.

The publication of this revision and extension of the original Binet-Simon scale for measuring intelligence, with the closer adaptation of it to American conditions and needs, should mark a distinct step in advance in our educational procedure. It means the perfection of another and a very important measuring stick for evaluating educational practices, and in particular for diagnosing individual possibilities and needs. Just now the method is new, and its use somewhat limited, but it is the confident prediction of many students of the subject that, before long, intelligence tests will become as much a matter of necessary routine in schoolroom procedure as a blood-count now is in physical diagnosis. That our schoolroom methods will in turn become much more intelligent, and that all classes of children, but especially the gifted and the slow, will profit by such intellectual diagnosis, there can be but little question.

That any parent or teacher, without training, can give these tests, the author in no way contends. However, the observations of Dr. Kohs, cited in Chapter VII, as well as the experience of the author and others who have given courses in intelligence testing to teachers, alike indicate that sufficient skill to enable teachers and school principals to give such tests intelligently is not especially difficult to acquire. This being the case it may be hoped that the requisite training to enable them to handle these tests may be included, very soon, as a part of the necessary pedagogical equipment of those who aspire to administrative positions in our public and private schools.

Besides being of special importance to school officers and to students of education in colleges and normal schools, this volume can confidently be recommended to physicians and social workers, and to teachers and parents interested in intelligence measurements, as at once the simplest and the best explanation of the newly-evolved intelligence tests, which has so far appeared in print.

ELLWOOD P. CUBBERLEY.



PREFACE

The constant and growing use of the Binet-Simon intelligence scale in public schools, institutions for defectives, reform schools, juvenile courts, and police courts is sufficient evidence of the intrinsic worth of the method. It is generally recognized, however, that the serviceableness of the scale has hitherto been seriously limited, both by the lack of a sufficiently detailed guide and by a number of recognized imperfections in the scale itself. The Stanford revision and extension has been worked out for the purpose of correcting as many as possible of these imperfections, and it is here presented with a rather minute description of the method as a whole and of the individual tests.

The aim has been to present the explanations and instructions so clearly and in such an untechnical form as to make the book of use, not only to the psychologist, but also to the rank and file of teachers, physicians, and social workers. More particularly, it is designed as a text for use in normal schools, colleges, and teachers' reading-circles.

While the use of the intelligence scale for research purposes and for accurate diagnosis will of necessity always be restricted to those who have had extensive training in experimental psychology, the author believes that the time has come when its wider use for more general purposes should be encouraged.

However, it cannot be too strongly emphasized that no one, whatever his previous training may have been, can make proper use of the scale unless he is willing to learn the method of procedure and scoring down to the minutest detail. A general acquaintance with the nature of the individual tests is by no means sufficient.

Perhaps the best way to learn the method will be to begin by studying the book through, in order to gain a general acquaintance with the tests; then, if possible, to observe a few examinations; and finally to take up the procedure for detailed study in connection with practice testing. Twenty or thirty tests, made with constant reference to the procedure as described in Part II, should be sufficient to prepare the teacher or physician to make profitable use of the scale.

The Stanford revision of the scale is the result of a number of investigations, made possible by the cooeperation of the author's graduate students. Grateful acknowledgment is especially due to Professor H. G. Childs, Miss Grace Lyman, Dr. George Ordahl, Dr. Louise Ellison Ordahl, Miss Neva Galbreath, Mr. Wilford Talbert, Mr. J. Harold Williams, and Mr. Herbert E. Knollin. Without their assistance this book could not have been written.

STANFORD UNIVERSITY, April, 1916.



CONTENTS

PART I. PROBLEMS AND RESULTS

CHAPTER I

THE USES OF INTELLIGENCE TESTS 3

Intelligence tests of retarded school children. Intelligence tests of the feeble-minded. Intelligence tests of delinquents. Intelligence tests of superior children. Intelligence tests as a basis for grading. Intelligence tests for vocational fitness. Other uses of intelligence tests.

CHAPTER II

SOURCES OF ERROR IN JUDGING INTELLIGENCE 22

Are intelligence tests superfluous? The necessity of standards. The intelligence of retarded children usually overestimated. The intelligence of superior children usually underestimated. Other fallacies in the estimation of intelligence. Binet's questionnaire on teachers' methods of judging intelligence. Binet's experiment on how teachers test intelligence.

CHAPTER III

DESCRIPTION OF THE BINET-SIMON METHOD 36

Essential nature of the scale. How the scale was derived. List of tests. How the scale is used. Special characteristics of the Binet-Simon method. The use of age standards. The kind of mental functions brought into play. Binet would test "general intelligence." Binet's conception of general intelligence. Other conceptions of intelligence. Guiding principles in choice and arrangement of tests. Some avowed limitations of the Binet tests.

CHAPTER IV

NATURE OF THE STANFORD REVISION AND EXTENSION 51

Sources of data. Method of arriving at a revision. List of tests in the Stanford revision and extension. Summary of changes. Effects of the revision on the mental ages secured.

CHAPTER V

ANALYSIS OF ONE THOUSAND INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENTS 65

The distribution of intelligence. The validity of the intelligence quotient. Sex differences. Intelligence of the different social classes. The relation of the I Q to the quality of the child's school work. The relation between I Q and grade progress. Correlation between I Q and the teachers' estimates of the children's intelligence. The validity of the individual tests.

CHAPTER VI

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF VARIOUS INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENTS 78

Frequency of different degrees of intelligence. Classification of intelligence quotients. Feeble-mindedness. Border-line cases. Examples of border-line deficiency. Dull normals. Average intelligence. Superior intelligence. Very superior intelligence. Examples of very superior intelligence. Genius and "near" genius. Is the I Q often misleading?

CHAPTER VII

RELIABILITY OF THE BINET-SIMON METHOD 105

General value of the method. Dependence of the scale's reliability on the training of the examiner. Influence of the subject's attitude. The influence of coaching. Reliability of repeated tests. Influence of social and educational advantages.

PART II

GUIDE FOR THE USE OF THE STANFORD REVISION AND EXTENSION

CHAPTER VIII

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS 121

Necessity of securing attention and effort. Quiet and seclusion. Presence of others. Getting into rapport. Keeping the child encouraged. The importance of tact. Personality of the examiner. The avoidance of fatigue. Duration of the examination. Desirable range of testing. Order of giving the tests. Coaxing to be avoided. Adhering to formula. Scoring. Recording responses. Scattering of successes. Supplementary considerations. Alternative tests. Finding mental age. The use of the intelligence quotient. How to find the I Q of adult subjects. Material for use in testing.

CHAPTER IX

INSTRUCTIONS FOR YEAR III

1. Pointing to parts of the body 142 2. Naming familiar objects 143 3. Enumeration of objects in pictures 145 4. Giving sex 146 5. Giving the family name 147 6. Repeating six to seven syllables 149 Alternative test: Repeating three digits 150

CHAPTER X

INSTRUCTIONS FOR YEAR IV

1. Comparison of lines 151 2. Discrimination of forms 152 3. Counting four pennies 154 4. Copying a square 155 5. Comprehension, first degree 157 6. Repeating four digits 159 Alternative test: Repeating twelve to thirteen syllables 160

CHAPTER XI

INSTRUCTIONS FOR YEAR V

1. Comparison of weights 161 2. Naming colors 163 3. AEsthetic comparison 165 4. Giving definitions in terms of use 167 5. The game of patience 169 6. Three commissions 172 Alternative test: Giving age 173

CHAPTER XII

INSTRUCTIONS FOR YEAR VI

1. Distinguishing right and left 175 2. Finding omissions in pictures 178 3. Counting thirteen pennies 180 4. Comprehension, second degree 181 5. Naming four coins 184 6. Repeating sixteen to eighteen syllables 185 Alternative test: Forenoon and afternoon 187

CHAPTER XIII

INSTRUCTIONS FOR YEAR VII

1. Giving the number of fingers 189 2. Description of pictures 190 3. Repeating five digits 193 4. Tying a bow-knot 196 5. Giving differences from memory 199 6. Copying a diamond 204 Alternative test 1: Naming the days of the week 205 Alternative test 2: Repeating three digits reversed 207

CHAPTER XIV

INSTRUCTIONS FOR YEAR VIII

1. The ball-and-field test 210 2. Counting backwards from 20 to 1 213 3. Comprehension, third degree 215 4. Giving similarities, two things 217 5. Giving definitions superior to use 221 6. Vocabulary (20 definitions, 3600 words) 224 Alternative test 1: Naming six coins 231 Alternative test 2: Writing from dictation 231

CHAPTER XV

INSTRUCTIONS FOR YEAR IX

1. Giving the date 234 2. Arranging five weights 236 3. Making change 240 4. Repeating four digits reversed 242 5. Using three words in a sentence 242 6. Finding rhymes 248 Alternative test 1: Naming the months 251 Alternative test 2: Counting the value of stamps 252

CHAPTER XVI

INSTRUCTIONS FOR YEAR X

1. Vocabulary (30 definitions, 5400 words) 255 2. Detecting absurdities 255 3. Drawing designs from memory 260 4. Reading for eight memories 262 5. Comprehension, fourth degree 268 6. Naming sixty words 272 Alternative test 1: Repeating six digits 277 Alternative test 2: Repeating twenty to twenty-two syllables 277 Alternative test 3: Healy's Construction Puzzle A 278

CHAPTER XVII

INSTRUCTIONS FOR YEAR XII

1. Vocabulary (40 definitions, 7200 words) 281 2. Defining abstract words 281 3. The ball-and-field test (superior plan) 286 4. Dissected sentences 286 5. Interpretation of fables (score 4) 290 6. Repeating five digits reversed 301 7. Interpretation of pictures 302 8. Giving similarities, three things 306

CHAPTER XVIII

INSTRUCTIONS FOR YEAR XIV

1. Vocabulary (50 definitions, 9000 words) 310 2. Induction test: finding a rule 310 3. Giving differences between a president and a king 313 4. Problem questions 315 5. Arithmetical reasoning 319 6. Reversing hands of a clock 321 Alternative test: Repeating seven digits 322

CHAPTER XIX

INSTRUCTIONS FOR "AVERAGE ADULT"

1. Vocabulary (65 definitions, 11,700 words) 324 2. Interpretation of fables (score 8) 324 3. Differences between abstract terms 324 4. Problem of the enclosed boxes 327 5. Repeating six digits reversed 329 6. Using a code 330 Alternative test 1: Repeating twenty-eight syllables 332 Alternative test 2: Comprehension of physical relations 333

CHAPTER XX

INSTRUCTIONS FOR "SUPERIOR ADULT"

1. Vocabulary (75 definitions, 13,500 words) 338 2. Binet's paper-cutting test 338 3. Repeating eight digits 340 4. Repeating thought of passage 340 5. Repeating seven digits reversed 345 6. Ingenuity test 345

SELECTED REFERENCES 349

INDEX 359



FIGURES AND DIAGRAMS

1. Distribution of Mental Ages of 62 Normal Adults 55 2. Distribution of I Q's of 905 Unselected Children, 5-14 Years of Age 66 3. Median I Q of 457 Boys and 448 Girls, for the Ages 5-14 Years 69 4. Diamond drawn by R. W.; Age 13-10; Mental Age 7-6 82 5. Writing from Dictation. R. M., Age 15; Mental Age 9 83 6. Ball and Field Test. I. M., Age 14-2; Mental Age 9 84 7. Diamond drawn by A. W. 85 8. Drawing Designs from Memory. H. S., Age 11; Mental Age 8-3 86 9. Ball and Field Test. S. F., Age 17; Mental Age 11-6 88 10. Writing from Dictation. C. P., Age 10-2; Mental Age 7-11 90 11. Ball and Field Test. M. P., Age 14; Mental Age 10-8 91 12. Ball and Field Test. R. G., Age 13-5; Mental Age 10-6 93 13. Ball and Field Test. E. B., Age 7-9; I Q 130 98 14. Ball and Field Test. F. McA., Age 10-3; Mental Age 14-6 100 15. Drawing Designs from Memory. E. M., Age 6-11; Mental Age 10, I Q 145 101 16. Ball and Field Test. B. F., Age 7-8; Mental Age 12-4; I Q 160 102 17. Healy and Fernald Construction Puzzle 279



THE MEASUREMENT OF INTELLIGENCE

PART I

PROBLEMS AND RESULTS



THE MEASUREMENT OF INTELLIGENCE



CHAPTER I

THE USES OF INTELLIGENCE TESTS

INTELLIGENCE TESTS OF RETARDED SCHOOL CHILDREN. Numerous studies of the age-grade progress of school children have afforded convincing evidence of the magnitude and seriousness of the retardation problem. Statistics collected in hundreds of cities in the United States show that between a third and a half of the school children fail to progress through the grades at the expected rate; that from 10 to 15 per cent are retarded two years or more; and that from 5 to 8 per cent are retarded at least three years. More than 10 per cent of the $400,000,000 annually expended in the United States for school instruction is devoted to re-teaching children what they have already been taught but have failed to learn.

The first efforts at reform which resulted from these findings were based on the supposition that the evils which had been discovered could be remedied by the individualizing of instruction, by improved methods of promotion, by increased attention to children's health, and by other reforms in school administration. Although reforms along these lines have been productive of much good, they have nevertheless been in a measure disappointing. The trouble was, they were too often based upon the assumption that under the right conditions all children would be equally, or almost equally, capable of making satisfactory school progress. Psychological studies of school children by means of standardized intelligence tests have shown that this supposition is not in accord with the facts. It has been found that children do not fall into two well-defined groups, the "feeble-minded" and the "normal." Instead, there are many grades of intelligence, ranging from idiocy on the one hand to genius on the other. Among those classed as normal, vast individual differences have been found to exist in original mental endowment, differences which affect profoundly the capacity to profit from school instruction.

We are beginning to realize that the school must take into account, more seriously than it has yet done, the existence and significance of these differences in endowment. Instead of wasting energy in the vain attempt to hold mentally slow and defective children up to a level of progress which is normal to the average child, it will be wiser to take account of the inequalities of children in original endowment and to differentiate the course of study in such a way that each child will be allowed to progress at the rate which is normal to him, whether that rate be rapid or slow.

While we cannot hold all children to the same standard of school progress, we can at least prevent the kind of retardation which involves failure and the repetition of a school grade. It is well enough recognized that children do not enter with very much zest upon school work in which they have once failed. Failure crushes self-confidence and destroys the spirit of work. It is a sad fact that a large proportion of children in the schools are acquiring the habit of failure. The remedy, of course, is to measure out the work for each child in proportion to his mental ability.

Before an engineer constructs a railroad bridge or trestle, he studies the materials to be used, and learns by means of tests exactly the amount of strain per unit of size his materials will be able to withstand. He does not work empirically, and count upon patching up the mistakes which may later appear under the stress of actual use. The educational engineer should emulate this example. Tests and forethought must take the place of failure and patchwork. Our efforts have been too long directed by "trial and error." It is time to leave off guessing and to acquire a scientific knowledge of the material with which we have to deal. When instruction must be repeated, it means that the school, as well as the pupil, has failed.

Every child who fails in his school work or is in danger of failing should be given a mental examination. The examination takes less than one hour, and the result will contribute more to a real understanding of the case than anything else that could be done. It is necessary to determine whether a given child is unsuccessful in school because of poor native ability, or because of poor instruction, lack of interest, or some other removable cause.

It is not sufficient to establish any number of special classes, if they are to be made the dumping-ground for all kinds of troublesome cases—the feeble-minded, the physically defective, the merely backward, the truants, the incorrigibles, etc. Without scientific diagnosis and classification of these children the educational work of the special class must blunder along in the dark. In such diagnosis and classification our main reliance must always be in mental tests, properly used and properly interpreted.

INTELLIGENCE TESTS OF THE FEEBLE-MINDED. Thus far intelligence tests have found their chief application in the identification and grading of the feeble-minded. Their value for this purpose is twofold. In the first place, it is necessary to ascertain the degree of defect before it is possible to decide intelligently upon either the content or the method of instruction suited to the training of the backward child. In the second place, intelligence tests are rapidly extending our conception of "feeble-mindedness" to include milder degrees of defect than have generally been associated with this term. The earlier methods of diagnosis caused a majority of the higher grade defectives to be overlooked. Previous to the development of psychological methods the low-grade moron was about as high a type of defective as most physicians or even psychologists were able to identify as feeble-minded.

Wherever intelligence tests have been made in any considerable number in the schools, they have shown that not far from 2 per cent of the children enrolled have a grade of intelligence which, however long they live, will never develop beyond the level which is normal to the average child of 11 or 12 years. The large majority of these belong to the moron grade; that is, their mental development will stop somewhere between the 7-year and 12-year level of intelligence, more often between 9 and 12.

The more we learn about such children, the clearer it becomes that they must be looked upon as real defectives. They may be able to drag along to the fourth, fifth, or sixth grades, but even by the age of 16 or 18 years they are never able to cope successfully with the more abstract and difficult parts of the common-school course of study. They may master a certain amount of rote learning, such as that involved in reading and in the manipulation of number combinations but they cannot be taught to meet new conditions effectively or to think, reason, and judge as normal persons do.

It is safe to predict that in the near future intelligence tests will bring tens of thousands of these high-grade defectives under the surveillance and protection of society. This will ultimately result in curtailing the reproduction of feeble-mindedness and in the elimination of an enormous amount of crime, pauperism, and industrial inefficiency. It is hardly necessary to emphasize that the high-grade cases, of the type now so frequently overlooked, are precisely the ones whose guardianship it is most important for the State to assume.

INTELLIGENCE TESTS OF DELINQUENTS. One of the most important facts brought to light by the use of intelligence tests is the frequent association of delinquency and mental deficiency. Although it has long been recognized that the proportion of feeble-mindedness among offenders is rather large, the real amount has, until recently, been underestimated even by the most competent students of criminology.

The criminologists have been accustomed to give more attention to the physical than to the mental correlates of crime. Thus, Lombroso and his followers subjected thousands of criminals to observation and measurement with regard to such physical traits as size and shape of the skull, bilateral asymmetries, anomalies of the ear, eye, nose, palate, teeth, hands, fingers, hair, dermal sensitivity, etc. The search was for physical "stigmata" characteristic of the "criminal type."

Although such studies performed an important service in creating a scientific interest in criminology, the theories of Lombroso have been wholly discredited by the results of intelligence tests. Such tests have demonstrated, beyond any possibility of doubt, that the most important trait of at least 25 per cent of our criminals is mental weakness. The physical abnormalities which have been found so common among prisoners are not the stigmata of criminality, but the physical accompaniments of feeble-mindedness. They have no diagnostic significance except in so far as they are indications of mental deficiency. Without exception, every study which has been made of the intelligence level of delinquents has furnished convincing testimony as to the close relation existing between mental weakness and moral abnormality. Some of these findings are as follows:—

Miss Renz tested 100 girls of the Ohio State Reformatory and reported 36 per cent as certainly feeble-minded. In every one of these cases the commitment papers had given the pronouncement "intellect sound."

Under the direction of Dr. Goddard the Binet tests were given to 100 juvenile court cases, chosen at random, in Newark, New Jersey. Nearly half were classified as feeble-minded. One boy 17 years old had 9-year intelligence; another of 151/2 had 8-year intelligence.

Of 56 delinquent girls 14 to 20 years of age tested by Hill and Goddard, almost half belonged either to the 9- or the 10-year level of intelligence.

Dr. G. G. Fernald's tests of 100 prisoners at the Massachusetts State Reformatory showed that at least 25 per cent were feeble-minded.

Of 1186 girls tested by Miss Dewson at the State Industrial School for Girls at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 28 per cent were found to have subnormal intelligence.

Dr. Katherine Bement Davis's report on 1000 cases entered in the Bedford Home for Women, New York, stated that there was no doubt but that at least 157 were feeble-minded. Recently there has been established at this institution one of the most important research laboratories of the kind in the United States, with a trained psychologist, Dr. Mabel Fernald, in charge.

Of 564 prostitutes investigated by Dr. Anna Dwyer in connection with the Municipal Court of Chicago, only 3 per cent had gone beyond the fifth grade in school. Mental tests were not made, but from the data given it is reasonably certain that half or more were feeble-minded.

Tests, by Dr. George Ordahl and Dr. Louise Ellison Ordahl, of cases in the Geneva School for Girls, Geneva, Illinois, showed that, on a conservative basis of classification, at least 18 per cent were feeble-minded. At the Joliet Prison, Illinois, the same authors found 50 per cent of the female prisoners feeble-minded, and 26 per cent of the male prisoners. At the St. Charles School for Boys 26 per cent were feeble-minded.

Tests, by Dr. J. Harold Williams, of 150 delinquents in the Whittier State School for Boys, Whittier, California, gave 28 per cent feeble-minded and 25 per cent at or near the border-line. About 300 other juvenile delinquents tested by Mr. Williams gave approximately the same figures. As a result of these findings a research laboratory has been established at the Whittier School, with Dr. Williams in charge. In the girls' division of the Whittier School, Dr. Grace Fernald collected a large amount of psychological data on more than 100 delinquent girls. The findings of this investigation agree closely with those of Dr. Williams for the boys.

At the State Reformatory, Jeffersonville, Indiana, Dr. von Klein-Schmid, in an unusually thorough psychological study of 1000 young adult prisoners, finds the proportion of feeble-mindedness not far from 50 per cent.

But it is needless to multiply statistics. Those given are but samples. Tests are at present being made in most of the progressive prisons, reform schools, and juvenile courts throughout the country, and while there are minor discrepancies in regard to the actual percentage who are feeble-minded, there is no investigator who denies the fearful role played by mental deficiency in the production of vice, crime, and delinquency.[1]

[1] See References at end of volume.

Heredity studies of "degenerate" families have confirmed, in a striking way, the testimony secured by intelligence tests. Among the best known of such families are the "Kallikaks," the "Jukes," the "Hill Folk," the "Nams," the "Zeros," and the "Ishmaelites."

The Kallikak family. Martin Kallikak was a youthful soldier in the Revolutionary War. At a tavern frequented by the militia he met a feeble-minded girl, by whom he became the father of a feeble-minded son. In 1912 there were 480 known direct descendants of this temporary union. It is known that 36 of these were illegitimates, that 33 were sexually immoral, that 24 were confirmed alcoholics, and that 8 kept houses of ill-fame. The explanation of so much immorality will be obvious when it is stated that of the 480 descendants, 143 were known to be feeble-minded, and that many of the others were of questionable mentality.

A few years after returning from the war this same Martin Kallikak married a respectable girl of good family. From this union 496 individuals have been traced in direct descent, and in this branch of the family there were no illegitimate children, no immoral women, and only one man who was sexually loose. There were no criminals, no keepers of houses of ill-fame, and only two confirmed alcoholics. Again the explanation is clear when it is stated that this branch of the family did not contain a single feeble-minded individual. It was made up of doctors, lawyers, judges, educators, traders, and landholders.[2]

[2] H. H. Goddard: The Kallikak Family. (1914.) 141 pp.

The Hill Folk. The Hill Folk are a New England family of which 709 persons have been traced. Of the married women, 24 per cent had given birth to illegitimate offspring, and 10 per cent were prostitutes. Criminal tendencies were clearly shown in 24 members of the family, while alcoholism was still more common. The proportion of feeble-minded was 48 per cent. It was estimated that the Hill Folk have in the last sixty years cost the State of Massachusetts, in charitable relief, care of feeble-minded, epileptic, and insane, conviction and punishment for crime, prostitution pauperism, etc., at least $500,000.[3]

[3] Danielson and Davenport: The Hill Folk. Eugenics Record Office, Memoir No. 1. 1912. 56 pp.

The Nam family and the Jukes give equally dark pictures as regards criminality, licentiousness, and alcoholism, and although feeble-mindedness was not as fully investigated in these families as in the Kallikaks and the Hill Folk, the evidence is strong that it was a leading trait. The 784 Nams who were traced included 187 alcoholics, 232 women and 199 men known to be licentious, and 40 who became prisoners. It is estimated that the Nams have already cost the State nearly $1,500,000.[4]

[4] Estabrook and Davenport: The Nam Family. Eugenics Record Office Memoir No. 2. (1912). 85 pp.

Of 540 Jukes, practically one fifth were born out of wedlock, 37 were known to be syphilitic, 53 had been in the poorhouse, 76 had been sentenced to prison, and of 229 women of marriageable age 128 were prostitutes. The economic damage inflicted upon the State of New York by the Jukes in seventy-five years was estimated at more than $1,300,000, to say nothing of diseases and other evil influences which they helped to spread.[5]

[5] R. L. Dugdale: The Jukes. (Fourth edition, 1910.) 120 pp. G. P. Putnam's Sons.

But why do the feeble-minded tend so strongly to become delinquent? The answer may be stated in simple terms. Morality depends upon two things: (a) the ability to foresee and to weigh the possible consequences for self and others of different kinds of behavior; and (b) upon the willingness and capacity to exercise self-restraint. That there are many intelligent criminals is due to the fact that (a) may exist without (b). On the other hand, (b) presupposes (a). In other words, not all criminals are feeble-minded, but all feeble-minded are at least potential criminals. That every feeble-minded woman is a potential prostitute would hardly be disputed by any one. Moral judgment, like business judgment, social judgment, or any other kind of higher thought process, is a function of intelligence. Morality cannot flower and fruit if intelligence remains infantile.

All of us in early childhood lacked moral responsibility. We were as rank egoists as any criminal. Respect for the feelings, the property rights, or any other kind of rights, of others had to be laboriously acquired under the whip of discipline. But by degrees we learned that only when instincts are curbed, and conduct is made to conform to principles established formally or accepted tacitly by our neighbors, does this become a livable world for any of us. Without the intelligence to generalize the particular, to foresee distant consequences of present acts, to weigh these foreseen consequences in the nice balance of imagination, morality cannot be learned. When the adult body, with its adult instincts, is coupled with the undeveloped intelligence and weak inhibitory powers of a 10-year-old child, the only possible outcome, except in those cases where constant guardianship is exercised by relatives or friends, is some form of delinquency.

Considering the tremendous cost of vice and crime, which in all probability amounts to not less than $500,000,000 per year in the United States alone, it is evident that psychological testing has found here one of its richest applications. Before offenders can be subjected to rational treatment a mental diagnosis is necessary, and while intelligence tests do not constitute a complete psychological diagnosis, they are, nevertheless, its most indispensable part.

INTELLIGENCE TESTS OF SUPERIOR CHILDREN. The number of children with very superior ability is approximately as great as the number of feeble-minded. The future welfare of the country hinges, in no small degree, upon the right education of these superior children. Whether civilization moves on and up depends most on the advances made by creative thinkers and leaders in science, politics, art, morality, and religion. Moderate ability can follow, or imitate, but genius must show the way.

Through the leveling influences of the educational lockstep such children at present are often lost in the masses. It is a rare child who is able to break this lockstep by extra promotions. Taking the country over, the ratio of "accelerates" to "retardates" in the school is approximately 1 to 10. Through the handicapping influences of poverty, social neglect, physical defects, or educational maladjustments, many potential leaders in science, art, government, and industry are denied the opportunity of a normal development. The use we have made of exceptional ability reminds one of the primitive methods of surface mining. It is necessary to explore the nation's hidden resources of intelligence. The common saying that "genius will out" is one of those dangerous half-truths with which too many people rest content.

Psychological tests show that children of superior ability are very likely to be misunderstood in school. The writer has tested more than a hundred children who were as much above average intelligence as moron defectives are below. The large majority of these were found located below the school grade warranted by their intellectual level. One third had failed to reap any advantage whatever, in terms of promotion, from their very superior intelligence. Even genius languishes when kept over-long at tasks that are too easy.

Our data show that teachers sometimes fail entirely to recognize exceptional superiority in a pupil, and that the degree of such superiority is rarely estimated with anything like the accuracy which is possible to the psychologist after a one-hour examination. B. F., for example, was a little over 71/2 years old when tested. He was in the third grade, and was therefore thought by his teacher to be accelerated in school. This boy's intelligence, however, was found to be above the 12-year level. There is no doubt that his mental ability would have enabled him, with a few months of individual instruction, to carry fifth or even sixth-grade work as easily as third, and without injury to body or mind. Nevertheless, the teacher and both the parents of this child had found nothing remarkable about him. In reality he belongs to a grade of genius not found oftener than once in several thousand cases.

Another illustration is that of a boy of 101/2 years who tested at the "average adult" level. He was doing superior work in the sixth grade, but according to the testimony of the teacher had "no unusual ability." It was ascertained from the parents that this boy, at an age when most children are reading fairy stories, had a passion for standard medical literature and textbooks in physical science. Yet, after more than a year of daily contact with this young genius (who is a relative of Meyerbeer, the composer), the teacher had discovered no symptoms of unusual ability.[6]

[6] See p. 26 ff. for further illustrations of this kind.

Teachers should be better trained in detecting the signs of superior ability. Every child who consistently gets high marks in his school work with apparent ease should be given a mental examination, and if his intelligence level warrants it he should either be given extra promotions, or placed in a special class for superior children where faster progress can be made. The latter is the better plan, because it obviates the necessity of skipping grades; it permits rapid but continuous progress.

The usual reluctance of teachers to give extra promotions probably rests upon three factors: (1) mere inertia; (2) a natural unwillingness to part with exceptionally satisfactory pupils; and (3) the traditional belief that precocious children should be held back for fear of dire physical or mental consequences.

In order to throw light on the question whether exceptionally bright children are specially likely to be one-sided, nervous, delicate, morally abnormal, socially unadaptable, or otherwise peculiar, the writer has secured rather extensive information regarding 31 children whose mental age was found by intelligence tests to be 25 per cent above the actual age. This degree of intelligence is possessed by about 2 children out of 100, and is nearly as far above average intelligence as high-grade feeble-mindedness is below. The supplementary information, which was furnished in most cases by the teachers, may be summarized as follows:—

1. Ability special or general. In the case of 20 out of 31 the ability is decidedly general, and with 2 it is mainly general. The talents of 5 are described as more or less special, but only in one case is it remarkably so. Doubtful 4.

2. Health. 15 are said to be perfectly healthy; 13 have one or more physical defects; 4 of the 13 are described as delicate; 4 have adenoids; 4 have eye-defects; 1 lisps; and 1 stutters. These figures are about the same as one finds in any group of ordinary children.

3. Studiousness. "Extremely studious," 15; "usually studious" or "fairly studious," 11; "not particularly studious," 5; "lazy," 0.

4. Moral traits. Favorable traits only, 19; one or more unfavorable traits, 8; no answer, 4. The eight with unfavorable moral traits are described as follows: 2 are "very self-willed"; 1 "needs close watching"; 1 is "cruel to animals"; 1 is "untruthful"; 1 is "unreliable"; 1 is "a bluffer"; 1 is "sexually abnormal," "perverted," and "vicious."

It will be noted that with the exception of the last child, the moral irregularities mentioned can hardly be regarded, from the psychological point of view, as essentially abnormal. It is perhaps a good rather than a bad sign for a child to be self-willed; most children "need close watching"; and a certain amount of untruthfulness in children is the rule and not the exception.

5. Social adaptability. Socially adaptable, 25; not adaptable, 2; doubtful, 4.

6. Attitude of other children. "Favorable," "friendly," "liked by everybody," "much admired," "popular," etc., 26; "not liked," 1; "inspires repugnance," 1; no answer, 1.

7. Is child a leader? "Yes," 14; "no," or "not particularly," 12; doubtful, 5.

8. Is play life normal? "Yes," 26; "no," 1; "hardly," 1; doubtful, 3.

9. Is child spoiled or vain? "No," 22; "yes," 5; "somewhat," 2; no answer, 2.

According to the above data, exceptionally intelligent children are fully as likely to be healthy as ordinary children; their ability is far more often general than special, they are studious above the average, really serious faults are not common among them, they are nearly always socially adaptable, are sought after as playmates and companions, their play life is usually normal, they are leaders far oftener than other children, and notwithstanding their many really superior qualities they are seldom vain or spoiled.

It would be greatly to the advantage of such children if their superior ability were more promptly and fully recognized, and if (under proper medical supervision, of course) they were promoted as rapidly as their mental development would warrant. Unless they are given the grade of work which calls forth their best efforts, they run the risk of falling into lifelong habits of submaximum efficiency. The danger in the case of such children is not over-pressure, but under-pressure.

INTELLIGENCE TESTS AS A BASIS FOR GRADING. Not only in the case of retarded or exceptionally bright children, but with many others also, intelligence tests can aid in correctly placing the child in school.

The pupil who enters one school system from another is a case in point. Such a pupil nearly always suffers a loss of time. The indefensible custom is to grade the newcomer down a little, because, forsooth, the textbooks he has studied may have differed somewhat from those he is about to take up, or because the school system from which he comes may be looked upon as inferior. Teachers are too often suspicious of all other educational methods besides their own. The present treatment accorded such children, which so often does them injustice and injury, should be replaced by an intelligence test. The hour of time required for the test is a small matter in comparison with the loss of a school term by the pupils.

Indeed, it would be desirable to make all promotions on the basis chiefly of intellectual ability. Hitherto the school has had to rely on tests of information because reliable tests of intelligence have not until recently been available. As trained Binet examiners become more plentiful, the information standard will have to give way to the criterion which asks merely that the child shall be able to do the work of the next higher grade. The brief intelligence test is not only more enlightening than the examination; it is also more hygienic. The school examination is often for the child a source of worry and anxiety; the mental test is an interesting and pleasant experience.

INTELLIGENCE TESTS FOR VOCATIONAL FITNESS. The time is probably not far distant when intelligence tests will become a recognized and widely used instrument for determining vocational fitness. Of course, it is not claimed that tests are available which will tell us unerringly exactly what one of a thousand or more occupations a given individual is best fitted to pursue. But when thousands of children who have been tested by the Binet scale have been followed out into the industrial world, and their success in various occupations noted, we shall know fairly definitely the vocational significance of any given degree of mental inferiority or superiority. Researches of this kind will ultimately determine the minimum "intelligence quotient" necessary for success in each leading occupation.

Industrial concerns doubtless suffer enormous losses from the employment of persons whose mental ability is not equal to the tasks they are expected to perform. The present methods of trying out new employees, transferring them to simpler and simpler jobs as their inefficiency becomes apparent, is wasteful and to a great extent unnecessary. A cheaper and more satisfactory method would be to employ a psychologist to examine applicants for positions and to weed out the unfit. Any business employing as many as five hundred or a thousand workers, as, for example, a large department store, could save in this way several times the salary of a well-trained psychologist.

That the industrially inefficient are often of subnormal intelligence has already been demonstrated in a number of psychological investigations. Of 150 "hoboes" tested under the direction of the writer by Mr. Knollin, at least 15 per cent belonged to the moron grade of mental deficiency, and almost as many more were border-line cases. To be sure, a large proportion were found perfectly normal, and a few even decidedly superior in mental ability, but the ratio of mental deficiency was ten or fifteen times as high as that holding for the general population. Several had as low as 9- or 10-year intelligence, and one had a mental level of 7 years. The industrial history of such subjects, as given by themselves, was always about what the mental level would lead us to expect—unskilled work, lack of interest in accomplishment, frequent discharge from jobs, discouragement, and finally the "road."

The above findings have been fully paralleled by Mr. Glenn Johnson and Professor Eleanor Rowland, of Reed College, who tested 108 unemployed charity cases in Portland, Oregon. Both of these investigators made use of the Stanford revision of the Binet scale, which is especially serviceable in distinguishing the upper-grade defectives from normals.

It hardly needs to be emphasized that when charity organizations help the feeble-minded to float along in the social and industrial world, and to produce and rear children after their kind, a doubtful service is rendered. A little psychological research would aid the united charities of any city to direct their expenditures into more profitable channels than would otherwise be possible.

OTHER USES OF INTELLIGENCE TESTS. Another important use of intelligence tests is in the study of the factors which influence mental development. It is desirable that we should be able to guard the child against influences which affect mental development unfavorably; but as long as these influences have not been sifted, weighed, and measured, we have nothing but conjecture on which to base our efforts in this direction.

When we search the literature of child hygiene for reliable evidence as to the injurious effects upon mental ability of malnutrition, decayed teeth, obstructed breathing, reduced sleep, bad ventilation, insufficient exercise, etc., we are met by endless assertion painfully unsupported by demonstrated fact. We have, indeed, very little exact knowledge regarding the mental effects of any of the factors just mentioned. When standardized mental tests have come into more general use, such influences will be easy to detect wherever they are really present.

Again, the most important question of heredity is that regarding the inheritance of intelligence; but this is a problem which cannot be attacked at all without some accurate means of identifying the thing which is the object of study. Without the use of scales for measuring intelligence we can give no better answer as to the essential difference between a genius and a fool than is to be found in legend and fiction.

Applying this to school children, it means that without such tests we cannot know to what extent a child's mental performances are determined by environment and to what extent by heredity. Is the place of the so-called lower classes in the social and industrial scale the result of their inferior native endowment, or is their apparent inferiority merely a result of their inferior home and school training? Is genius more common among children of the educated classes than among the children of the ignorant and poor? Are the inferior races really inferior, or are they merely unfortunate in their lack of opportunity to learn?

Only intelligence tests can answer these questions and grade the raw material with which education works. Without them we can never distinguish the results of our educational efforts with a given child from the influence of the child's original endowment. Such tests would have told us, for example, whether the much-discussed "wonder children," such as the Sidis and Wiener boys and the Stoner girl, owe their precocious intellectual prowess to superior training (as their parents believe) or to superior native ability. The supposed effects upon mental development of new methods of mind training, which are exploited so confidently from time to time (e.g., the Montessori method and the various systems of sensory and motor training for the feeble-minded), will have to be checked up by the same kind of scientific measurement.

In all these fields intelligence tests are certain to play an ever-increasing role. With the exception of moral character there is nothing as significant for a child's future as his grade of intelligence. Even health itself is likely to have less influence in determining success in life. Although strength and swiftness have always had great survival value among the lower animals, these characteristics have long since lost their supremacy in man's struggle for existence. For us the rule of brawn has been broken, and intelligence has become the decisive factor in success. Schools, railroads, factories, and the largest commercial concerns may be successfully managed by persons who are physically weak or even sickly. One who has intelligence constantly measures opportunities against his own strength or weakness and adjusts himself to conditions by following those leads which promise most toward the realization of his individual possibilities.

All classes of intellects, the weakest as well as the strongest, will profit by the application of their talents to tasks which are consonant with their ability. When we have learned the lessons which intelligence tests have to teach, we shall no longer blame mentally defective workmen for their industrial inefficiency, punish weak-minded children because of their inability to learn, or imprison and hang mentally defective criminals because they lacked the intelligence to appreciate the ordinary codes of social conduct.



CHAPTER II

SOURCES OF ERROR IN JUDGING INTELLIGENCE

ARE INTELLIGENCE TESTS SUPERFLUOUS? Binet tells us that he often encountered the criticism that intelligence tests are superfluous, and that in going to so much trouble to devise his measuring scale he was forcing an open door. Those who made this criticism believed that the observant teacher or parent is able to make an offhand estimate of a child's intelligence which is accurate enough. "It is a stupid teacher," said one, "who needs a psychologist to tell her which pupils are not intelligent." Every one who uses intelligence tests meets this attitude from time to time.

This should not be surprising or discouraging. It is only natural that those who are unfamiliar with the methods of psychology should occasionally question their validity or worth, just as there are many excellent people who do not "believe in" vaccination against typhoid and small pox, operations for appendicitis, etc.

There is an additional reason why the applications of psychology have to overcome a good deal of conservatism and skepticism; namely, the fact that every one, whether psychologically trained or not, acquires in the ordinary experiences of life a certain degree of expertness in the observation and interpretation of mental traits. The possession of this little fund of practical working knowledge makes most people slow to admit any one's claim to greater expertness. When the astronomer tells us the distance to Jupiter, we accept his statement, because we recognize that our ordinary experience affords no basis for judgment about such matters. But every one acquires more or less facility in distinguishing the coarser differences among people in intelligence, and this half-knowledge naturally generates a certain amount of resistance to the more refined method of tests.

It should be evident, however, that we need more than the ability merely to distinguish a genius from a simpleton, just as a physician needs something more than the ability to distinguish an athlete from a man dying of consumption. It is necessary to have a definite and accurate diagnosis, one which will differentiate more finely the many degrees and qualities of intelligence. Just as in the case of physical illness, we need to know not merely that the patient is sick, but also why he is sick, what organs are involved, what course the illness will run, and what physical work the patient can safely undertake, so in the case of a retarded child, we need to know the exact degree of intellectual deficiency, what mental functions are chiefly concerned in the defect, whether the deficiency is due to innate endowment, to physical illness, or to faults of education, and what lines of mental activity the child will be able to pursue with reasonable hope of success. In the diagnosis of a case of malnutrition, the up-to-date physician does not depend upon general symptoms, but instead makes a blood test to determine the exact number of red corpuscles per cubic millimeter of blood and the exact percentage of haemoglobin. He has learned that external appearances are often misleading. Similarly, every psychologist who is experienced in the mental examination of school children knows that his own or the teacher's estimate of a child's intelligence is subject to grave and frequent error.

THE NECESSITY OF STANDARDS. In the first place, in order to judge an individual's intelligence it is necessary to have in mind some standard as to what constitutes normal intelligence. This the ordinary parent or teacher does not have. In the case of school children, for example, each pupil is judged with reference to the average intelligence of the class. But the teacher has no means of knowing whether the average for her class is above, equal to, or below that for children in general. Her standard may be too high, too low, vague, mechanical, or fragmentary. The same, of course, holds in the case of parents or any one else attempting to estimate intelligence on the basis of common observation.

THE INTELLIGENCE OF RETARDED CHILDREN USUALLY OVERESTIMATED. One of the most common errors made by the teacher is to overestimate the intelligence of the over-age pupil. This is because she fails to take account of age differences and estimates intelligence on the basis of the child's school performance in the grade where he happens to be located. She tends to overlook the fact that quality of school work is no index of intelligence unless age is taken into account. The question should be, not, "Is this child doing his school work well?" but rather, "In what school grade should a child of this age be able to do satisfactory work?" A high-grade imbecile may do average work in the first grade, and a high-grade moron average work in the third or fourth grade, provided only they are sufficiently over-age for the grade in question.

Our experience in testing children for segregation in special classes has time and again brought this fallacy of teachers to our attention. We have often found one or more feeble-minded children in a class after the teacher had confidently asserted that there was not a single exceptionally dull child present. In every case where there has been opportunity to follow the later school progress of such a child the validity of the intelligence test has been fully confirmed.

The following are typical examples of the neglect of teachers to take the age factor into account when estimating the intelligence of the over-age child:—

A. R. Girl, age 11; in low second grade. She was able to do the work of this grade, not well, but passably. The teacher's judgment as to this child's intelligence was "dull but not defective." What the teacher overlooked was the fact that she had judged the child by a 7-year standard, and that, instead of only being able to do the work of the second grade indifferently, a child of this age should have been equal to the work of the fifth grade. In reality, A. R. is definitely feeble-minded. Although she is from a home of average culture, is 11 years old, and has attended school five years, she has barely the intelligence of the average child of six years.

D. C. Boy, age 17; in fifth grade. His teacher knew that he was dull, but had not thought of him as belonging to the class of feeble-minded. She had judged this boy by the 11-year standard and had perhaps been further misled by his normal appearance and exceptionally satisfactory behavior. The Binet test quickly showed that he had a mental level of approximately 9 years. There is little probability that his comprehension will ever surpass that of the average 10-year-old.

R. A. Boy, age 17; mental age 11; sixth grade; school work "nearly average"; teacher's estimate of intelligence "average." Test plainly shows this child to be a high-grade moron, or border-liner at best. Had attended school regularly 11 years and had made 6 grades. Teacher had compared child with his 12-year-old classmates.

H. A. Boy, age 14; mental age 9-6; low fourth grade; school work "inferior"; teacher's estimate of intelligence "average." The teacher blamed the inferior quality of school work to "bad home environment." As a matter of fact, the boy's father is feeble-minded and the normality of the mother is questionable. An older brother is in a reform school. We are perfectly safe in predicting that this boy will not complete the eighth grade even if he attends school till he is 21 years of age.

F. I. Boy, age 12-11; mental age 9-4; third grade; school work "average"; teacher's estimate of intelligence "average"; social environment "average"; health good and attendance regular. Intelligence and school success are what we should expect of an average 9-year-old.

D. A. Boy, age 12; mental age 9-2; third grade; school work "inferior"; teacher's estimate of intelligence "average." Teacher imputes inferior school work to "absence from school and lack of interest in books"; we have yet to find a child with a mental age 25 per cent below chronological age who was particularly interested in books or enthusiastic about school.

C. U. Girl, age 10; mental age 7-8; second grade; school work "average"; teacher's estimate of intelligence "average." Teacher blames adenoids and bad teeth for retardation. No doubt of child's mental deficiency.

P. I. Girl, age 8-10; mental age 6-7; has been in first grade 21/2 years; school work "average"; teacher's estimate of intelligence "average." The mother and one brother of this girl are both feeble-minded.

H. O. Girl, age 7-10; mental age 5-2; first grade for 2 years; school work "inferior"; teacher's estimate of intelligence "average." The teacher nevertheless adds, "This child is not normal, but her ability to respond to drill shows that she has intelligence." It is of course true that even feeble-minded children of 5-year intelligence are able to profit a little from drill. Their weakness comes to light in their inability to perform higher types of mental activity.

THE INTELLIGENCE OF SUPERIOR CHILDREN USUALLY UNDERESTIMATED. We have already mentioned the frequent failure of teachers and parents to recognize superior ability.[7] The fallacy here is again largely due to the neglect of the age factor, but the resulting error is in the opposite direction from that set forth above. The superior child is likely to be a year or two younger than the average child of his grade, and is accordingly judged by a standard which is too high. The following are illustrations:—

[7] See p. 13 ff.

M. L. Girl, age 11-2; mental age "average adult" (16); sixth grade; school work "superior"; teacher's estimate of intelligence "average." Teacher credits superior school work to "unusual home advantages." Father a college professor. The teacher considers the child accelerated in school. In reality she ought to be in the second year of high school instead of in the sixth grade.

H. A. Boy, age 11; mental age 14; sixth grade; school work "average"; teacher's estimate of intelligence "average." According to the supplementary information the boy is "wonderfully attentive," "studious," and possessed of "all-round ability." The estimate of "average intelligence" was probably the result of comparing him with classmates who averaged about a year older.

K. R. Girl, age 6-1; mental age 8-5; second grade; school work "average"; teacher's estimate of intelligence "superior"; social environment "average." Is it not evident that a child from ordinary social environment, who does work of average quality in the second grade when barely 6 years of age, should be judged "very superior" rather than merely "superior" in intelligence? The intelligence quotient of this girl is 140, which is not reached by more than one child in two hundred.

S. A. Boy, age 8-10; mental age 10-9; fourth grade; school work "average"; teacher's estimate of intelligence "average." Teacher attributed school acceleration to "studiousness" and "delight in school work." It would be more reasonable to infer that these traits are indications of unusually superior intelligence.

OTHER FALLACIES IN THE ESTIMATION OF INTELLIGENCE. Another source of error in the teacher's judgment comes from the difficulty in distinguishing genuine dullness from the mental condition which results sometimes from unfavorable social environment or lack of training.

V. P. Boy, age 7. Had attended school one year and had profited very little from the instruction. He had learned to read very little, spoke chiefly in monosyllables, and seemed "queer." The teacher suspected his intelligence and asked for a mental examination. The Binet test showed that except for vocabulary, which was unusually low, there was practically no mental retardation. Inquiry disclosed the fact that the boy's parents were uneducated deaf-mutes, and that the boy had associated little with other children. Four years later this boy was doing fairly well in school, though a year retarded because of his unfavorable home environment.

X. Y. Boy, age 10. Son of a successful business man, he was barely able to read in the second reader. The Binet test revealed an intelligence level which was absolutely normal. The boy was removed to a special class where he could receive individual attention, and two years later was found doing good work in a regular class of the fifth grade. His bad beginning seemed to have been due to an unfavorable attitude toward school work, due in turn to lack of discipline in the home, and to the fact that because of the father's frequent change of business headquarters the boy had never attended one school longer than three months.

Another source of error in judging intelligence from common observation is the tendency to overestimate the intelligence of the sprightly, talkative, sanguine child, and to underestimate the intelligence of the child who is less emotional, reacts slowly, and talks little. One occasionally finds a feeble-minded adult, perhaps of only 9- or 10-year intelligence, whose verbal fluency, mental liveliness, and self-confidence would mislead the offhand judgment of even the psychologist. One individual of this type, a border-line case at best, was accustomed to harangue street audiences and had served as "major" in "Kelly's Army," a horde of several hundred unemployed men who a few years ago organized and started to march from San Francisco to Washington.

BINET'S QUESTIONNAIRE ON TEACHERS' METHODS OF JUDGING INTELLIGENCE.[8] Aroused by the skepticism so often shown toward his test method, Binet decided to make a little study of the methods by which teachers are accustomed to arrive at a judgment as to a child's intelligence. Accordingly, through the cooeperation of the director of elementary education in Paris, he secured answers from a number of teachers to the following questions:—

[8] See p. 169 ff. of reference 2, at end of this book

1. By what means do you judge the intelligence of your pupils? 2. How often have you been deceived in your judgments?

About 40 replies were received. Most of the answers to the first question were vague, one-sided, "verbal," or bookish. Only a few showed much psychological discrimination as to what intelligence is and what its symptoms are. There was a very general tendency to judge intelligence by success in one or more of the school studies. Some thought that ability to master arithmetic was a sure criterion. Others were influenced almost entirely by the pupil's ability to read. One teacher said that the child who can "read so expressively as to make you feel the punctuation" is certainly intelligent, an observation which is rather good, as far as it goes. A few judged intelligence by the pupil's knowledge of such subjects as history and geography, which, as Binet points out, is to confound intelligence with the ability to memorize. "Memory," says Binet, is a "great simulator of intelligence." It is a wise teacher who is not deceived by it. Only a small minority mentioned resourcefulness in play, capacity to adjust to practical situations, or any other out-of-school criteria.

Some suggested asking the pupil such questions as the following:—

"Why do you love your parents?" "If it takes three persons seven hours to do a piece of work, would it take seven persons any longer?" "Which would you rather have, a fourth of a pie, or a half of a half?" "Which is heavier, a pound of feathers or a pound of lead?" "If you had twenty cents what would you do with it?"

A great many based their judgment mainly on the general appearance of the face and eyes. An "active" or "passive" expression of the eyes was looked upon as especially significant. One teacher thought that a mere "glance of the eye" was sufficient to display the grade of intelligence. If the eyes are penetrating, reflective, or show curiosity, the child must be intelligent; if they are heavy and expressionless, he must be dull. The mobility of countenance came in for frequent mention, also the shape of the head.

No one will deny that intelligence displays itself to a greater or less extent in the features; but how, asks Binet, are we going to standardize a "glance of the eye" or an "expression of curiosity" so that it will serve as an exact measure of intelligence?

The fact is, the more one sees of feeble-minded children, the less reliance one comes to place upon facial expression as a sign of intelligence. Some children who are only slightly backward have the general appearance of low-grade imbeciles. On the other hand, not a few who are distinctly feeble-minded are pretty and attractive. With many such children a ready smile takes the place of comprehension. If the smile is rather sweet and sympathetic, as is often the case, the observer is almost sure to be deceived.

As regards the shape of the head, peculiar conformation of the ears, and other "stigmata," science long ago demonstrated that these are ordinarily of little or no significance.

In reply to the second question, some teachers stated that they never made a mistake, while others admitted failure in one case out of three. Still others said, "Once in ten years," "once in twenty years," "once in a thousand times," etc.

As Binet remarks, the answers to this question are not very enlightening. In the first place, the teacher as a rule loses sight of the pupil when he has passed from her care, and seldom has opportunity of finding out whether his later success belies her judgment or confirms it. Errors go undiscovered for the simple reason that there is no opportunity to check them up. In the second place, her estimate is so rough that an error must be very great in order to have any meaning. If I say that a man is six feet and two inches tall, it is easy enough to apply a measuring stick and prove the correctness or incorrectness of my assertion. But if I say simply that the man is "rather tall," or "very tall," the error must be very extreme before we can expose it, particularly since the estimate can itself be checked up only by observation and not by controlled experiment.

The teachers' answers seem to justify three conclusions:—

1. Teachers do not have a very definite idea of what constitutes intelligence. They tend to confuse it variously with capacity for memorizing, facility in reading, ability to master arithmetic, etc. On the whole, their standard is too academic. They fail to appreciate the one-sidedness of the school's demands upon intelligence.

In a quaintly humorous passage discussing this tendency, Binet characterizes the child in a class as denature, a French word which we may translate (though rather too literally) as "denatured." Too often this "denatured" child of the classroom is the only child the teacher knows.

2. In judging intelligence teachers are too easily deceived by a sprightly attitude, a sympathetic expression, a glance of the eye, or a chance "bump" on the head.

3. Although a few teachers seem to realize the many possibilities of error, the majority show rather undue confidence in the accuracy of their judgment.

BINET'S EXPERIMENT ON HOW TEACHERS TEST INTELLIGENCE.[9] Finally, Binet had three teachers come to his laboratory to judge the intelligence of children whom they had never seen before. Each spent an afternoon in the laboratory and examined five pupils. In each case the teacher was left free to arrive at a conclusion in her own way. Binet, who remained in the room and took notes, recounts with playful humor how the teachers were unavoidably compelled to resort to the much-abused test method, although their attempts at using it were sometimes, from the psychologist's point of view, amusingly clumsy.

[9] See p. 182 ff. of reference 2 at end of this book.

One teacher, for example, questioned the children about some canals and sluices which were in the vicinity, asking what their purpose was and how they worked. Another showed the children some pretty pictures, which she had brought with her for the purpose, and asked questions about them. Showing the picture of a garret, she asked how a garret differs from an ordinary room. One teacher asked whether in building a factory it was best to have the walls thick or thin. As King Edward had just died, another teacher questioned the children about the details of this event, in order to find out whether they were in the habit of reading the newspapers, or understood the things they heard others read. Other questions related to the names of the streets in the neighborhood, the road one should take to reach a certain point in the vicinity, etc. Binet notes that many of the questions were special, and were only applicable with the children of this particular school.

The method of proposing the questions and judging the responses was also at fault. The teachers did not adhere consistently to any definite formula in giving a particular test to the different children. Instead, the questions were materially altered from time to time. One teacher scored the identical response differently for two children, giving one child more credit than the other because she had already judged his intelligence to be superior. In several cases the examination was needlessly delayed in order to instruct the child in what he did not know.

The examination ended, quite properly for a teacher's examination, with questions about history, literature, the metric system, etc., and with the recitation of a fable.

A comparison of the results showed hardly any agreement among the estimates of the three teachers. When questioned about the standard that had been taken in arriving at their conclusions, one teacher said she had taken the answers of the first pupil as a point of departure, and that she had judged the other pupils by this one. Another judged all the children by a child of her acquaintance whom she knew to be intelligent. This was, of course, an unsafe method, because no one could say how the child taken as an ideal would have responded to the tests used with the five children.

In summarizing the result of his little experiment, Binet points out that the teachers employed, as if by instinct, the very method which he himself recommends. In using it, however, they made numerous errors. Their questions were often needlessly long. Several were "dilemma questions," that is, answerable by yes or no. In such cases chance alone will cause fifty per cent of the answers to be correct. Some of the questions were merely tests of school knowledge. Others were entirely special, usable only with the children of this particular school on this particular day. Not all of the questions were put in the same terms, and a given response did not always receive the same score. When the children responded incorrectly or incompletely, they were often given help, but not always to the same extent. In other words, says Binet, it was evident that "the teachers employed very awkwardly a very excellent method."

The above remark is as pertinent as it is expressive. As the statement implies, the test method is but a refinement and standardization of the common-sense approach. Binet remarks that most people who inquire into his method of measuring intelligence do so expecting to find something very surprising and mysterious; and on seeing how much it resembles the methods which common sense employs in ordinary life, they heave a sigh of disappointment and say, "Is that all?" Binet reminds us that the difference between the scientific and unscientific way of doing a thing is not necessarily a difference in the nature of the method; it is often merely a difference in exactness. Science does the thing better, because it does it more accurately.

It was of course not the purpose of Binet to cast a slur upon the good sense and judgment of teachers. The teachers who took part in the little experiment described above were Binet's personal friends. The errors he points out in his entertaining and good-humored account of the experiment are inherent in the situation. They are the kind of errors which any person, however discriminating and observant, is likely to make in estimating the intelligence of a subject without the use of standardized tests.

It is the writer's experience that the teacher's estimate of a child's intelligence is much more reliable than that of the average parent; more accurate even than that of the physician who has not had psychological training.

Indeed, it is an exceptional school physician who is able to give any very valuable assistance to teachers in the classification of mentally exceptional children for special pedagogical treatment.

This is only to be expected, for the physician has ordinarily had much less instruction in psychology than the teacher, and of course infinitely less experience in judging the mental performances of children. Even if graduated from a first-rank medical school, the instruction he has received in the important subject of mental deficiency has probably been less adequate than that given to the students of a standard normal school. As a rule, the doctor has no equipment or special fitness which gives him any advantage over the teacher in acquiring facility in the use of intelligence tests.

As for parents, it would of course be unreasonable to expect from them a very accurate judgment regarding the mental peculiarities of their children. The difficulty is not simply that which comes from lack of special training. The presence of parental affection renders impartial judgment impossible. Still more serious are the effects of habituation to the child's mental traits. As a result of such habituation the most intelligent parent tends to develop an unfortunate blindness to all sorts of abnormalities which exist in his own children.

The only way of escape from the fallacies we have mentioned lies in the use of some kind of refined psychological procedure. Binet testing is destined to become universally known and practiced in schools, prisons, reformatories, charity stations, orphan asylums, and even ordinary homes, for the same reason that Babcock testing has become universal in dairying. Each is indispensable to its purpose.



CHAPTER III

DESCRIPTION OF THE BINET-SIMON METHOD

ESSENTIAL NATURE OF THE SCALE. The Binet scale is made up of an extended series of tests in the nature of "stunts," or problems, success in which demands the exercise of intelligence. As left by Binet, the scale consists of 54 tests, so graded in difficulty that the easiest lie well within the range of normal 3-year-old children, while the hardest tax the intelligence of the average adult. The problems are designed primarily to test native intelligence, not school knowledge or home training. They try to answer the question "How intelligent is this child?" How much the child has learned is of significance only in so far as it throws light on his ability to learn more.

Binet fully appreciated the fact that intelligence is not homogeneous, that it has many aspects, and that no one kind of test will display it adequately. He therefore assembled for his intelligence scale tests of many different types, some of them designed to display differences of memory, others differences in power to reason, ability to compare, power of comprehension, time orientation, facility in the use of number concepts, power to combine ideas into a meaningful whole, the maturity of apperception, wealth of ideas, knowledge of common objects, etc.

HOW THE SCALE WAS DERIVED. The tests were arranged in order of difficulty, as found by trying them upon some 200 normal children of different ages from 3 to 15 years. It was found, for illustration, that a certain test was passed by only a very small proportion of the younger children, say the 5-year-olds, and that the number passing this test increased rapidly in the succeeding years until by the age of 7 or 8 years, let us say, practically all the children were successful. If, in our supposed case, the test was passed by about two thirds to three fourths of the normal children aged 7 years, it was considered by Binet a test of 7-year intelligence. In like manner, a test passed by 65 to 75 per cent of the normal 9-year-olds was considered a test of 9-year intelligence, and so on. By trying out many different tests in this way it was possible to secure five tests to represent each age from 3 to 10 years (excepting age 4, which has only four tests), five for age 12, five for 15, and five for adults, making 54 tests in all.

LIST OF TESTS. The following is the list of tests as arranged by Binet in 1911, shortly before his untimely death:—

Age 3: 1. Points to nose, eyes, and mouth. 2. Repeats two digits. 3. Enumerates objects in a picture. 4. Gives family name. 5. Repeats a sentence of six syllables.

Age 4: 1. Gives his sex. 2. Names key, knife, and penny. 3. Repeats three digits. 4. Compares two lines.

Age 5: 1. Compares two weights. 2. Copies a square. 3. Repeats a sentence of ten syllables. 4. Counts four pennies. 5. Unites the halves of a divided rectangle.

Age 6: 1. Distinguishes between morning and afternoon. 2. Defines familiar words in terms of use. 3. Copies a diamond. 4. Counts thirteen pennies. 5. Distinguishes pictures of ugly and pretty faces.

Age 7: 1. Shows right hand and left ear. 2. Describes a picture. 3. Executes three commissions, given simultaneously. 4. Counts the value of six sous, three of which are double. 5. Names four cardinal colors.

Age 8: 1. Compares two objects from memory. 2. Counts from 20 to 0. 3. Notes omissions from pictures. 4. Gives day and date. 5. Repeats five digits.

Age 9: 1. Gives change from twenty sous. 2. Defines familiar words in terms superior to use. 3. Recognizes all the pieces of money. 4. Names the months of the year, in order. 5. Answers easy "comprehension questions."

Age 10: 1. Arranges five blocks in order of weight. 2. Copies drawings from memory. 3. Criticizes absurd statements. 4. Answers difficult "comprehension questions." 5. Uses three given words in not more than two sentences.

Age 12: 1. Resists suggestion. 2. Composes one sentence containing three given words. 3. Names sixty words in three minutes. 4. Defines certain abstract words. 5. Discovers the sense of a disarranged sentence.

Age 15: 1. Repeats seven digits. 2. Finds three rhymes for a given word. 3. Repeats a sentence of twenty-six syllables. 4. Interprets pictures. 5. Interprets given facts.

Adult: 1. Solves the paper-cutting test. 2. Rearranges a triangle in imagination. 3. Gives differences between pairs of abstract terms. 4. Gives three differences between a president and a king. 5. Gives the main thought of a selection which he has heard read.

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