The Bender Gestalt Test, or the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test, is a psychological assessment instrument used to evaluate visual-motor functioning and visual perception skills in both children and adults. Scores on the test are used to identify possible organic brain damage and the degree maturation of the nervous system. The Bender Gestalt was developed by psychiatrist Lauretta Bender in the late nineteenth century.
The Bender Gestalt Test is used to evaluate visual maturity, visual motor integration skills, style of responding, reaction to frustration, ability to correct mistakes, planning and organizational skills, and motivation. Copying figures requires fine motor skills, the ability to discriminate between visual stimuli, the capacity to integrate visual skills with motor skills, and the ability to shift attention from the original design to what is being drawn.
The Bender Gestalt Test should not be administered to an individual with severe visual impairment unless his or her vision has been adequately corrected with eyeglass-
Psychometric testing—Pertaining to testing and measurement of mental or psychological abilities. Psychometric tests convert an individual's psychological traits and attributes into a numerical estimation or evaluation.
es. Additionally, the test should not be given to an examinee with a severe motor impairment, as the impairment would affect his or her ability to draw the geometric figures correctly. The test scores might thereby be distorted.
The Bender Gestalt Test has been criticized for being used to assess problems with organic factors in the brain. This criticism stems from the lack of specific signs on the Bender Gestalt Test that are definitively associated with brain injury, mental retardation, and other physiological disorders. Therefore, when making a diagnosis of brain injury, the Bender Gestalt Test should never be used in isolation. When making a diagnosis, results from the Bender Gestalt Test should be used in conjunction with other medical, developmental, educational, psychological, and neuropsychological information.
Finally, psychometric testing requires administration and evaluation by a clinically trained examiner. If a scoring system is used, the examiner should carefully evaluate its reliability and validity, as well as the normative sample being used. A normative sample is a group within a population who takes a test and represents the larger population. This group's scores on a test are then be used to create "norms" with which the scores of test takers are compared.
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