Procedure and scoring as in VIII, 6. At year X, thirty words should be correctly defined.
Say to the child: "I am going to read a sentence which has something foolish in it, some nonsense. I want you to listen carefully and tell me what is foolish about it." Then read the sentences, rather slowly and in a matter-of-fact voice, saying after each: "What is foolish about that? "
Each should ordinarily be answered within thirty seconds. If the child is silent, the sentence should be repeated; but no other questions or suggestions of any kind are permissible. Such questions as "Could the road be downhill both ways?" or, "Do you think the girl could have killed herself?" would, of course, put the answer in the child's mouth. It is even best to avoid laughing as the sentence is read.
Owing to the child's limited power of expression it is not always easy to judge from the answer given whether the absurdity has really been detected or not. In such cases ask him to explain himself, using some such formula as: "I am not sure I know what you mean. Explain what you mean. Tell me what is foolish in the sentence I read." This usually brings a reply the correctness or incorrectness of which is more apparent, while at the same time the formula is so general that it affords no hint as to the correct answer. Additional questions must be used with extreme caution.
Passed if the absurdity is detected in four out of the five statements.
(a) The road downhill. Satisfactory: - "If it was downhill to the city it would be uphill coming back." "It can't be downhill both directions." "That could not be."
Unsatisfactory: - "Perhaps he took a little different road coming back." "I guess it is a very crooked road." "Coming back he goes around the hill." "The man lives down in a valley."
(b) What the engineer said. Satisfactory: - "If he has more cars he will go slower." "It is the other way. If he wants to go faster he must not have so many cars."
Unsatisfactory: - "A long train is nicer." "The engine pulls harder if the train has lots of cars."
(c) The girl who was thought to have killed herself. Satisfactory: - "She could not have cut herself into eighteen pieces." "She would have been dead before that." "She might have cut two or three pieces off, but she couldn't do the rest."
Unsatisfactory: - "Think that she killed herself; they know she did." "They can't be sure. Someone may have killed her." "It was a foolish girl to kill herself."
(d) The railroad accident. Satisfactory: - "That was very serious." "I should like to know what you would call a serious accident!"
Unsatisfactory: - "It was a foolish mistake that made the accident." "They couldn't help it. It was an accident."
(e) The bicycle rider. Satisfactory: - "How could he get well after he was already killed?" "Why, he's already dead."
Unsatisfactory: - "Foolish to fall off a bicycle. He should have known how to ride." "They ought to have carried him home. (Why?) So his folks could get a doctor."
Use the designs shown on the printed form. If copies are used they must be exact in size and shape. Before showing the card say: "This card has two drawings on it. I am going to show them to you for ten seconds, then I will take the card away and let you draw from memory what you have seen. Examine both drawings carefully and remember that you have only ten seconds."
Provide pencil and paper and then show the card for ten seconds, holding it at right angles to the child's line of vision and with the designs in the position given in the plate. Have the child draw the designs immediately after they are removed from sight.
The test is passed if one of the designs is reproduced, correctly and the other about half correctly. "Correctly" means that the essential plan of the design has been grasped and reproduced. Ordinary irregularities due to lack of motor skill or to hasty execution are disregarded. "Half correctly" means that some essential part of the design has been omitted or misplaced, or that parts have been added.
The sample reproductions shown on the scoring card will serve as a guide. It will be noted that an inverted design, or one whose right and left sides have been transposed, is counted only half correct, however perfect it may be in other respects; also that design b is counted only half correct if the inner rectangle is not located off center.
Hand the selection to the subject, who should be seated comfortably in a good light, and say: "I want you to read this for me as nicely as you can." The subject must read aloud.
Pronounce all the words which the subject is unable to make out, not allowing more than five seconds' hesitation in such a case.
Record all errors made in reading the selection, and the exact time. By "error" is meant the omission, substitution, transposition, or mispronunciation of one word.
The subject is not warned in advance that he will be asked to report what he has read, but as soon as he has finished reading, put the selection out of sight and say: "Very well done. Now, I want you to tell me what you read. Begin at the first and tell everything you can remember." After the subject has repeated everything he can recall and has stopped, say: "And what else? Can you remember any more of it?" Give no other aid of any kind. It is of course not permissible, when the child stops, to prompt him with such questions as, "And what next? Where were the houses burned? What happened to the fireman?" etc. The report must be spontaneous.
Now and then, though not often, a subject hesitates or even refuses to try, saying he is unable to do it. Perhaps he has misunderstood the request and thinks he is expected to repeat the selection word for word, as in the tests of memory for sentences. We urge a little and repeat: "Tell me in your own words all you can remember of it." Others misunderstand in a different way, and thinking they are expected to tell merely what the story is about, they say: "It was about some houses that burned." In such cases we repeat the instructions with special emphasis on the words all you can remember.