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INTERESTS IN RELATION TO INTELLIGENCE

A STUDY OF THE RELATION OF THE MENTAL STATUS OF SCHOOL CHIL

DREN TO THEIR MOTIVATION AS SHOWN IN THE CHOICES OF SCHOOL PLANS AND OCCUPATIONAL PREFERENCES.

By LOUISE E, POULL, Ph.D.

THE PINTNER NON-LANGUAGE SCALE AS A TEST OF INTEREST IN

MECHANICS The low correlation of the Pintner Non-Language Scale, where the language factor has been eliminated, with the combined National Intelligence Tests leads to the question of what traits are measured by the former.

Is there any homogeneous group which shows a marked difference in distribution on the two scales? Are there any mental activities called into play by the non-language scale which do not function so largely in tests in which language is the medium for response ? Conceding that the mind works as a whole in each mental act, is there not a difference between the mind set required for response to arithmetical reasoning and naming opposites and that required in form-naming tests, or learning by substitution of symbols, following directions given, using dots and showing steps in movement with a pointer, and completing similar drawings in inverted positions? Even in tests of associative power such as sentence completion and picture completion, is there not more of eye hand co-ordination and visualization required in the latter and more abstraction in the former? Equally, in occupations such as for example draftsman, civil engineer, architect, do not the same powers of visualization and eye hand co-ordination make for success, in contrast to the needs of lawyers or bookkeepers, and others? Is it not in accordance with known facts concerning individual differences to suppose that some thought circuits include the ocular nerves and the nerves of the hand while others find greater readiness in the cerebral areas? The end product may be of equal value but the type of output will be essentially different.

The questionnaire method used in this investigation offers a group of 104 children who expressed a preference for occupations in which manual ability and visualization are assumed to

be prerequisite. This choice was expressed as a first or second choice, third choice being discarded as too unreliable for the purpose of indicating a definite trend. The group was composed as follows:

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The chronological age of the group shows a distribution from 10 years 2 months to 15 years 9 months, the median being 12 years 5 months, the 25 percentile, 11 years 9 months, 75 percentile, 13 years 6 months. The group is therefore not selected for chronological age since the median chronological age of the entire group is 12 years 11 months, 25 percentile 12 years 1 month, and 75 percentile 13 years 11 months.

Graphs A. and B. of chart 3 show the distributions of this group according to I. Q., on the National Intelligence Tests and the Pintner Non-Language Scale. The medians, 25 percentiles, 75 percentiles, and semi-interquartile range, are:

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The children who express interest in mechanical occupations make higher scores on the Pintner Non-Language Scale. The median mental age according to this scale is higher than the 75

percentile of the same group according to the National Intelligence Tests, and the percentile according to the former is equal the median according to the latter.

In order to investigate still further, a selection was made from this group of 104 children, of those who both in first and second choices expressed interest in the occupations listed above. This second group consisted of 32 children. The differences shown by the preceding group are here accentuated. The 25 percentile according to the Pintner Non-Language Scale is slightly higher than the 75 percentile according to the National Intelligence Tests. These distributions are shown by graphs c and d of chart 3.

25 percentile. ....
Median. ...........
75 Percentile. ......
Q...........
Range. . .

National Intelligence

Test I. Q.
84.7
88.7
94

4.7
65 to 109

Pintner Non-Language

Scale I. Q.

94.9
104.5
124.6

14.84
80 to 149

As a check upon these results, a third group was selected, consisting of those whose choices in occupations, recreations or life plans, contained no indication of interest along mechanical lines. This group numbered 185. The distributions are shown in graphs e and f, chart 4. Here we find that the median I. Q. according to the National Intelligence Tests is about 7 points higher than the median I. Q. according to the Pintner Non-Language Scale. The 25 percentile of the National Intelligence Tests is about 8 points higher than that of the Pintner NonLanguage Scale. The 75 percentile of the National Intelligence Tests is, on the contrary, 4 points lower than that of the Pintner Non-Language Scale.

National Intelligence

Test I. Q.

Pintner Non-Language

25 percentile. . ...
Median. .......
75 percentile. ...
Q.......
Range. . ........

91.4
100.4
108.6

8.6
60 to 149

Scale I. Q.

82.8 93.8 112.9

15.05 10 to 160

1976

CHART. 3.

Interest in Mechanics.
Units of 2
- 1st or 2nd choice. 3
a.) Total 104.

Q = 7.2.

National Intelligence Tests

40-49 50-59 60-1970 79 Yo 89 90-99 100-loq long 110

o 3 51 17 19 19 il y a 1

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45-4

-69 70-79 80-89 90-99 100-109 110 - 119 120-129 130-13914o 160 15g (bo

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c) Interest in Mechanics. 97.

ist and 2nd choices. Total 32..

194

National Intell

Q = 4: You

780-89 90-99 100-109 110-119 120-129 130 139 140-149 150 159 160 say 4 3 1

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80-89. 25 10

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