Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I shouldn't even dignify this by linking to it
So, the other day, I was reading Slate, and I was bored -- but I repeat myself. Anyway, I noticed in the margins an ad for this Emode IQ test, and being bored, decided to try it.

Well, let me tell you: I've seen a lot of bad things purporting to measure one's intelligence over the years, but this one is awful even by those standards. Let's start with an example:

8. A fallacious argument is: Disturbing, Valid, False, Necessary

This question would be fine (if vacuous) on the SAT. It has absolutely no place on a test purporting to measure "intelligence". It's pure knowledge. But it gets worse. Consider, for example, this question:

2. Which one of these five is least like the other four? Mule, Kangaroo, Cow, Deer, Donkey

This is far, far worse. Not only is it also another pure-knowledge question, but like any really bad question, you can make pretty persuasive arguments for more than one item in the list: is it a kangaroo, which is a marsupial? Is it a mule, which is a sterile crossbreed? For that matter, is it a deer, which has antlers? Who the hell knows?

But the question that really set me off was this beauty:
25. A cynic is one who knows the price of everything and the ________ of nothing. Emotion, Value, Meaning, Color, Quality

An intelligence test is not a complete-the-proverb exercise. What were they thinking?!

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