A graphic analysis of the Bender gestalt test

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Hilgert, Larry D.
Sparzo, Frank J.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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Computer technology has made rapid advances over the past several years. New developments in hardware have included the use of disks, cassette tape storage, and computer graphics. Hardware designed for specific uses has rapidly become a major component of the computer graphics technology. Many new programs have advanced the field of computer graphics and have facilitated the development of a new process termed digitizing.The present study used an Intergraph Computer System to digitize Bender Gestalt Test (BGT) protocols. This digitizing approach, although performed by the computer, can be likened to (a) taking a grid at 1/100th inch resolution, (b) placing the grid over the drawn designs, (c) reporting the X,Y coordinates which intersect the lines of the BGT drawing, (d) interpreting those X,Y coordinates statistically, and (e) developing norms for various aspects of subject drawings.A comparison was made between the computer digitizing method and the traditional method of scoring BGT protocols. The comparison was based on six indices selected from the 1977 Hutt Adience-Abience Scale. Data were collected from 60 children diagnosed as severely emotionally handicapped (SEH) and 60 children diagnosed as "normal."Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability as well as criterion-related and concurrent validity were analyzed. Reliability results favored the computer approach, while criterion-related validity was essentially the same for both computer and traditional scoring methods. Criterion validity for the traditional technique was slightly, but not significantly, higher. Concurrent validity results indicated a limited degree of similarity between the two methods; however, the discriminant properties of both methods differed. With two exceptions, all discriminant indices for both scoring methods were not significant. Drawing placement and rotation were statistically significant under the traditional method of assessment; however, neither the computer nor the traditional scoring method clearly discriminated SEH from normal children. With BGT assessment based on only six indices, lack of successful discrimination was not surprising. Previous studies recommended that the BGT be used only in a test battery when assessing emotional handicaps. The current study supported those recommendations and suggested that computer scoring can be more reliable and equally as valid as the traditional scoring method for assessing emotional factors on the BGT protocol.