Monday, February 27, 2006

A Sample Wunderlic Test:

I found a sample test online that is apparently used to test people's problem-solving ability, called the "Wunderlic Test." Apparently the NFL has long used this test to check people's abilities. The sample, at this web page,
seems to have a serious error in logic. Their preferred answer for problem #2 is not correct. Here's the problem:

2. Assume the first two statements are true.

The boy plays football. All football players wear helmets. The boy wears a helmet.

Is the final statement:

True?
False?
Not Certain


The correct answer (which they reject) is "Not Certain." The question SHOULD have been (to get their desired answer):

Assume the first three statements are true: The boy plays football. Anyone who plays football is a football player. All football players ALWAYS wear helmets. The boy wears a helmet.

I can't tell you - but maybe you already know - how frustrating it is to be tested on careful reasonaing ability by a test based on fuzzy reasoning.

4 comments:

Brian said...

You're assuming that the third statement means/implies "The boy ALWAYS wears a helmet". However, it simply states that "The boy wears a helmet", meaning at-some-point-or-another. Sorry to say, the Wunderlic is correct.

Brian said...

I'm sorry. I misconstrued your emphasis on ALWAYS to the turning point of your argument. Is your claim based on the condition of "ALWAYS" or that "Boy plays football" implies "Boy is a football player"?

I don't see how either is fuzzy.

The Precision Blogger said...

Brian,
The problem is that a "football player" is not necessarily anyone who plays football. I played football once. Nobody would call me a "football player."

My suggested restatement of the problem would remove this ambiguity. The test-writers assumed -- but did not make it clar or necessary -- that anyone who has ever played football is a "football player."
- PB

Anonymous said...

The average football player isn't going to be quite this anal-retentive either, egads!