Bender-Gestalt Test

Purpose: A rapid, efficient measure of perceptual-motor and cognitive development in children.

Population: Ages 4 and over.

Time: (10) minutes.

Author: Lauretta Bender.

Publisher: The American Orthopsychiatric Association, Inc.

Description: The Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test (Bender-Gestalt) is the most frequently administered and thoroughly researched of all of the drawing (copying) tests. It consists of nine geometric designs (numbered A and 1-8) originally developed by Wertheimer to demonstrate the perceptual tendencies to organize visual stimuli into configural wholes (Gestalten). Each design is presented sequentially to the subject whose task is to reproduce them on a blank sheet of paper.

Scoring: Scoring is usually relatively easy and rapid, rarely requiring more than three or four minutes, regardless of whether a formalized or intuitive scoring system is employed.

Reliability: The results involving the Bender with young children reveal interscorer reliability to be very high with correlations of .90 and above. Test-retest reliability coefficients with children range from a low of about .50 with kindergarten children measured 8 months apart to .90 with the same age group measured two weeks apart. The majority of more than 20 different reliability studies reported by Koppitz reveal correlation coefficients in the .80+ range and suggest that normal elementary school children show relatively stable patterns of Bender-Gestalt scores from one administration to the next.

Validity: With respect to the validity of the Bender with children, Koppitz reported

correlation coefficients from about .50 to as high as .80 between the Bender-Gestalt and intelligence as measured by the Stanford-Binet or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children up to about the age of 10. Beyond this age the correlations drop to essentially zero as most older children obtain nearly perfect scores. She also reported relatively high correlations between Bender scores and subsequent educational achievement of first-grade children. Koppitz also reported a relatively high correlation between the Bender and intellectual and academic performance for retarded children as well. With children diagnosed as having minimal brain damage, she reported that the Bender is a valuable diagnostic tool but cautioned that it should not be used alone but in combination with other psychological tests and any background information available.

Norms: Norms for a wide variety of clinical groups, including mentally retarded, organically brain-damaged, psychotic, and normal adults are included in Benderís classic research monograph.

Suggested Uses: Designed for use in educational, research, and clinical settings.