Purdue Accuracy Test: What It Is, Functions, And How It Is Applied

This tool was designed for the selection of personnel, but today it is used in the clinical setting.

Purdue Accuracy Test

Have you heard of the Purdue accuracy test? As its name suggests, the Purdue precision test is a test that allows to evaluate the precision of the movements of the person who performs it.

It is a tool designed in the 1950s and was initially used in the selection of personnel for those jobs that required coordination and dexterity, but today it is used in the field of psychotherapy.

Here we will know the characteristics of the Purdue precision test, the material that is required to perform it, the parts and what the test consists of, as well as how to evaluate it and its possible uses.

What is the Purdue Accuracy Test?

The Purdue Precision Test is a test developed by industrial psychologist Joseph Tiffin, in the department of Industrial Psychology at Purdue University, United States.

This test allows evaluating coordination, as well as two types of manual activity : gross movements of the fingers and arms and fine digital dexterity. On the one hand, it evaluates hand-eye coordination, and on the other it evaluates the superficial movements of the arms, hands and fingers, and tests the fingertip in relation to finer and more precise movements.

To carry out the Perdue precision test, a series of essential physical elements are required which we will see below.

Material to do it

The Purdue Accuracy Test has the following items.

1. A wooden board

This wooden board has two columns. Each of these columns consists of 25 holes of approximately half a centimeter in diameter.

In the upper part of the columns there will be 4 cavities destined to a specific number of pins, tubes and washers, distributed as follows: at the ends (right and left) the pins will be arranged. In the center, there are two positions to occupy, which will be filled as follows: on the side of the dominant hand, the tubes will be placed, and on the side of the non-dominant hand, the washers will be placed.

2. A stopwatch

The stopwatch is essential to measure the time of each test that forms the Purdue precision test, and has an impact on the results of this test.

Parts of the test

The test consists of several parts that are summarized here. In all these parts, the person must be taken into account and informed that they will have a short period of time to become familiar with the parts (tubes, washers and pins) and practice. The Purdue Precision Test can be considered a tool to measure patient outcomes.

1. Part I

With the dominant hand, as many pegs as possible should be inserted within a 30 second time limit. The idea is to insert the pins as fast as possible. The exercise is timed, and in the event that a piece falls, you should not waste time looking for it, but pick up another.

In this part, what is valued is the coordination of the dominant hand.

2. Part II

This part of the test is the same as the first, but with the difference that the non-dominant hand is used to perform it. So with the non-dominant hand, as many pegs as possible should be inserted in a 30 second time limit.

The person is reminded that they must go as fast as they can, that they are going to be timed and that if a piece falls, they should not waste time looking for it, but pick up another. In this part, what is valued is the coordination of the non-dominant hand.

3. Part III

This part follows the lines of the previous two. In this case, the person must insert as many pins as possible on both sides, with the use of both hands at the same time, the same within a 30 second time limit.

Again he is reminded that he must go as fast as he can, that he is going to be timed and finally that if a piece falls, he should not waste time looking for it, but catch another. In this part what is valued is bimanual coordination.

4. Part IV

This last part consists of an assembly task. The idea is to carry out a coordinated and stipulated sequence that consists of: inserting a plug – a washer – a tube – another washer. It should be done alternating the use of both hands and always starting with the dominant hand. You have 60 seconds for this test exercise.

In this last part of the test, what is assessed is bimanual coordination alternately, so that the person will be explained that while one hand is inserting a piece, the other must be picking up the next piece to insert.

Evaluation form

The scores, and consequently the results of the Purdue accuracy test, are determined by the following parameters :

  • For Part I and Part II, the score is the number of pegs inserted during the given 30 seconds of time.
  • For part III, the total number of pairs is counted.
  • For part IV, both complete assemblies and individual parts are counted. So that the number of complete assemblies will be multiplied by 4 (which are the pieces that each assembly consists of) and the individual pieces will be added.

With all this, variables such as sex, age, or pathologies of the patient are taken into account, so that the percentiles of each person are subject to these variables.

Uses and applications

There are several uses for the Purdue Precision Test app. In the beginning, when it was designed and created, it could be used in recruitment processes, since it allowed to evaluate fingerprint skills, as well as manual precision.

These skills are important in fine parts handling jobs, sewing machines, production lines, assembly, and maintenance for example.

But its field of applicability is linked more to the psychotherapeutic field ; It is used in tests of brain damage and brain injuries, for those who are going to perform movement therapies (as a tool to evaluate the patient’s evolution), for the diagnosis of learning disabilities, to evaluate the needs of vocational rehabilitation, and also in diagnosis for people with dyslexia.

On the other hand, ** is a test of special interest in occupational therapies **, which are those therapies in which various activities are carried out.

These therapies are aimed at people with limitations due to physical damage or illnesses, disabilities or cultural deficiencies, and their objective is to maximize their independence, as well as prevent future disabilities and maintain good health.

Bibliographic references:

  • Buela-Casal, G. and Sierra, JC (1997). Psychological evaluation manual. Ed. XXI century. Madrid.
  • Cohen, RJ and Swerdlik, ME (2002). Psychological testing and evaluation. McGraw-Hill. Madrid.
  • Costal, LD, Vaughan, HG, Levita, E. & Farber, N. (1963). Purdue Pegboard as predictor of the presence and laterality of cerebral lesions. J. Consult Clin Psychol, 27: 133-7.
  • Purdue Pegboard Quick Reference Guide (Revised Edition 1999). Lafayette Instrument.

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