NBT and the Intelligence of Young Children


Dear Friends,

Lately there has been  very interesting comments by Mani M. ManivaNNan of USA  and DrJeyabarathi on the inadequacies of the various kinds of psychometric testing of intelligence currently in use all over the world. Prompted by these observations I decided  to write a series of simple articles about the AccessTests way  for 'measuring' human intelligence. There is no quantitative statistical analysis here but only the identification of symbolic elements indicative of the presence high analytical acumen . The theorectical framework for explaining all these hinges on the notions of Natham and Bindhu or Yin and Yang or Anima and Animus of Analytical Psychology and which is also rendered as the Moon and Sun principles in the alchemical traditions both in the East and West. What I mention are only the summaries of research reports written after extensive research done by Prof Kimio Yoshikawa and associates in Japan  and by myself in Malaysia.

Piagetian-like Stages of Development and Baum Test.

In the book "The tree Drawing Test and Cross Cultural Psychology" written jointly by Prof. Kimio Yoshikawa and myself there is an  outline of the theory of intelligence through the study of the image forming cognitive processes of children in many countries all over the world. A general pattern indicative of cognitive functioning emerges through such studies. The test consisted asking the children" Draw a tree bearing fruits" which now in the New Baum Test is only instruction for A. However using thousands of such drawings of children all over the world Yoshikawa was able to draw a chart indicative of stages of cognitive development as follows.

The drawings were classified into 1. Adul Forms 2. Adolescent Forms, 3. infant Forms and 4. Infantoid Forms. The Adult forms are the natural looking trees, drawings which allow us to identify what the tree is quite clearly. The adolescent forms are quite close to that but look like a patch-up work with geometrical shapes put together. The infant forms are incomplete in a way with only indications of branches. The infantoid forms are more like scribbles consisting of lines and circles.

It was found that the oneset age for adult forms is around   6 and goes on till 9 or 10. It was also found the the infantoid forms of children around the ages 3 to 4 are universal, quite the same all over the world. Working on this I postulated a psychic operation: that of assimilation in which a child who begins with his egocentric represetation of a tree,  slowly modifies it to resemble the natural. This postulate was based on a longitudinal study  of a few children over a number of years. In further studies, conducted by some of my  students, this stage was also seen to correlate with Piaget's concrete operational stage.

Such children were also found to be better learners than others. They are less egocentric and because of that are able to UNDERSTAND better what is presented to them either at home or school.

Another study that I conducted with Prof. Shripathi Upaadhya, disclosed that those children with IQ less than 100 and hence treated INCAPABLE of normal learning and hence treated as special children lacked a particular ability: if they draw the crown, they cannot draw the trunk; and if they draw the trunk then cannot draw the crown

It is this and the fact thet the infantoid forms quite often assume the shape of circle sitting on a rectangular trunk that led me  to postulate the workings of Natham and Bindhu. It looks as though the JOINT workings of these principles are necessary for normal functioning, just to be  ordinary learners.

Another study undertaken along with the above children,  indicated that  the drawings of children who are deaf and dumb are overall statistically indistinguishable from those of children who are classified as slow learners in the primary schools. These children are normal in that they can hear and talk but in their brain functioning they are similar to the deaf and dumb. Parts of their brain are not functioning at all and therefore they are not able to process cognitively ALL the imformation presented to them in the class. Special attention has to be paid to make them understand what the average child understands in a single presentation.

Now after the modification of BT into NBT where there are now FOUR Baums to be drawn, I found the ability to draw the COCONUT TREE  has something to do with anaytical thinking. Such children are normally said to be  quite intelligent by the teachers. Now coconut tree is, in its structure,is  very close to the SUN becuase from the top of the trunk, the braches radiate out like the rays of the SUN. This led me to think that it is the  strong presence of the SUN principle (Natham, Yang, Animus etc) that correlates with analytical intelligence and perhaps also something related to the LEFT Hemspherical dominance in cognitive functioning.

Please DO NOT GENERALISE these to adolescents and adults. They have DIFFERENT ways of showing their intelligenc and are much more complicated. The onset of sexuality changes the whole thing. But roughly we can say that only adolescents and young adults who can rechannel their sexual libido into the intellectual through the exercise of self control are good learners. This can be related with the notions Icca Sakthi ( Desires ) Kiriya Sakthi( capacity for action) and Njana Sakthi( capacity for intellectual accomplishements) and the observation that it is through the TRANSMUTATION of  Icca Sakthi into Njana Sakthi that a person  can be highly productive and creative.

More articles on such notins with concrete studies will be posted later