Kohs block design test

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The Kohs Block test, also known as the Kohs Block Design Test,[1] is a performance test designed to be an IQ test. The test taker must, using 16 colored cubes, replicate the patterns displayed on a series of test cards. The design of the test was motivated by a belief that the test could easily be administered to persons with language or hearing disabilities.[1]


The test was developed in 1920 by psychologist Samuel C. Kohs(1890 – 1984), a student of Lewis Terman,[2] building on earlier and similar designs (such as Francis N. Maxfield's Color Cube Test).[3]

Kohs described the 1920s version of the test as a series of 17 cards which increase in complexity as the test progressed.[4] Test takers replicated the designs with painted blocks (each side was a single color or two colors divided by a diagonal line).[4] The initial scores were based on completion time and number of moves.[5] Hutt amended the scoring method to only score completion time.[5] The test was given to both children and adults.[4]

As early as the 1930s, the Kohs Block Test was administered at the Ohio School for the Deaf,[6] and at other schools with special needs students.

The Kohs Block Design Test has been adapted into sections in several current IQ tests.[7] The Kohs test now has little clinical use in its original form.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Phillips, Leslie (1966-03-13). "Tests Often a Game For Children Are Signposts For Psychologists". News Journal (Mansfield, OH). pp. 6D. 
  2. ^ Terman, Lewis (1930). "Autobiography of Lewis M. Terman". In Murchison, Carl. History of Psychology in Autobiography 2. Worcester, MA: Clark University Press. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Bettcher, Brianne; Libon, David; Kaplan, Edith; Swenson, Rod; Penney, Dana (2011). "Block Design". Find out how to access preview-only content Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology: 419–422. 
  4. ^ a b c Kohs, S. C. (1923). [doi:10.1037/11201-002 Intelligence measurement: A psychological and statistical study based upon the block-design tests]. MacMillan Co. pp. 64–77. 
  5. ^ a b Hutt, M. L. (1932). [doi:10.1037/h0074559 The Kohs block-design tests. A revision for clinical practice.] (16(3) ed.). Journal Of Applied Psychology. pp. 298–307. 
  6. ^ "Degree of Master of Arts Won by Mis Jean McDonald". The Zanesville Signal (Zanesville, OH). 1931-03-15. p. 6, section 2. 
  7. ^ American Psychological Association (2007). APA Dictionary of Psychology. Washington (DC): American Psychological Association. ISBN 978-1-59147-380-0. Lay summary (27 April 2014). 

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