Pharyngula

Tim Tebow gets a lesson

Tebow is an obnoxious hyper-religious football player. He recently had to take some kind of test with a group of other players, and this is what happened:

At the Scouting Combine, the Wonderlic exam is administered to players in groups.  The 12-minute test is preceded by some brief instructions and comments from the person administering the test.

Per a league source, after the person administering the test to Tebow’s group had finished, Tebow made a request that the players bow their heads in prayer before taking the 50-question exam.

Said one of the other players in response:  “Shut the f–k up.”  Others players in the room then laughed.

I think a lot of people are getting fed up with the excessive piety, and I’m glad some are speaking out. Tebow wants to pray, fine; Tebow wants to drag others into his delusion, fire back.

By the way, Tebow got a 22 out of 50 on the test. I had to look up this Wonderlic test — it seems to be a remarkably trivial ‘intelligence’ test of the sort you might see in a grade school, I would think. “When rope is selling at $.10 a foot, how many feet can you buy for sixty cents?” and “A boy is 16 years old and his sister is twice as old. When the boy is 22 years old, what will be the age of his sister?”, that sort of thing, nothing that requires any reasoning beyond elementary algebra.

I’m shocked that a grown man could get below 50% on this thing.

Comments

  1. #1 John Twilley
    March 25, 2010

    I’ll bet the NFL won’t let Tebow wear those silly John 3:16 bandaids under his eyes… There’s no silliness in the NFL. It’s all business.

  2. #2 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 25, 2010

    Dan Marino got a 16

  3. #3 mfd512
    March 25, 2010

    Racist.

  4. #4 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 25, 2010

    Per a league source, after the person administering the test to Tebow’s group had finished, Tebow made a request that the players bow their heads in prayer before taking the 50-question exam.

    By the way, Tebow got a 22 out of 50 on the test.

    But see, his devotion to God worked! He didn’t get under 25%!

  5. #5 pixelfish
    March 25, 2010

    Well, when you spend ten minutes of a twelve minute test praying that you’ll do well on the test, that only leaves you with two minutes for fifty questions, or 2.4 seconds per question. It obviously shows God’s hand in things that he got 22 of the 50 right.

  6. #6 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 25, 2010

    Racist.

    ?

  7. #7 SoSayethTheSpider
    March 25, 2010

    It’s a timed intelligence test that all NFL prospects take, but the QBs’ scores are scrutinized more heavily given the nature of their job. The league average for QBs is a 26. It’s no surprise that Tebow scored below average. His SAT score didn’t crack the 1000 mark.

    Vince Young, a highly touted prospect when he came out of college, scored a 6 on the test. That’s right. A SIX!

  8. #8 dWhisper
    March 25, 2010

    As a sports fan that’s also a godless heathen you just tune out the Jesus after awhile. Twbow is one special kind of player that manages to rise above the noise and cram his imaginary friend into everything, and cut through it. For three years, he’s ruined whole issues of SI by showing up and not saying a thing about football, only his daddy’s exploitation of the locals via his missionary work, preaching in prisons, how an evil doctor tried to have him aborted to save his moms life, etc.

    Thankfully, a good portion of that was tarnished when he cried like a little baby after getting his ass handed to him by Bama. He’s a young, dumb jock that plays at being holier than the rest of us, and thankfully, all signs point to him being a world class NFL bust before he’s een drafted.

    Fun fact though, he and his dad both dismiss catholics as non-Christian. That’s why they’re off preaching in a country that’s full of people who have never heardbthe fairy tale (and it’s an 85% or so catholic populace)

  9. #9 Zeno
    March 25, 2010

    He didn’t pray hard enough.

  10. #10 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 25, 2010

    all signs point to him being a world class NFL bust before he’s een drafted.

    I’m sure hoping so.

  11. #11 Sastra
    March 25, 2010

    God was guiding Tebow into the realization that the things of this world, do not matter, nor does being smart: what matters is that you recognize that all your dependence is on God. Tebow’s trust was therefore rewarded, as God knew that he needed another important lesson in humility.

    God also allowed the other player to tell him to shut the fuck up, so that Tebow could see how the world does not respect God. This will strengthen his faith even more than the low test score, for it will lesson his attachment to the temporal and material.

    You can depend on God, to give you what you need, to depend on God even more. It’s a safe bet.

  12. #12 Screechy_Monkey
    March 25, 2010

    The really annoying thing for me about Tebow is the way that his college coaches and many journalists fall all over themselves to say what a fine, upstanding man he is. No explanation, reason, or evidence is ever given except his evangelical Christianity.

  13. #13 JBlilie
    March 25, 2010

    Recently my wife was attending a (mandatory) class as part of her work. Some of it was participatory. The class was about dealing with cultural differences (“diversity”).

    At one point they did an activity where they stood in a circle and each person in turn stepped one step toward the center of the circle and told the group something about themselves and then those for whom that was also true stepped one step toward the center. People said stuff like, “I like dogs/cats” “I have kids” “I grew up in the country” etc.

    One guy goes, “I believe in a god.” It was a very embarrassing moment. I’m proud to say that my wife did not step in (along with one other and a few that kept one foot back.) This could very easily hurt her in her work, since she deals with the public. In her work, religion is a hot-button issue and generally avoided like the third rail unless you are one with the herd. And even then …

    She provided feedback that this was inappropriate. She said that the leader of the activity looked mortified (you’d think people would know well enough that they shouldn’t drag religion and politics into a work situation; but I guess those god-botherers are just so full o’ that spirit! Dumb as rocks.)

  14. #14 Rey Fox
    March 25, 2010

    Timmy, you’re out of your element!

  15. #15 Glen Davidson
    March 25, 2010

    “Respect my magic” deserves a retort, if not necessarily the one given.

    It’s a misuse of the social graces which do call for some “respect” for another’s belief, this demand that others put up with the annoyance of a prayer.

    Indeed, I’ll more or less respect your beliefs, if you don’t try to make me join in with your rituals.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  16. #16 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 25, 2010

    The really annoying thing for me about Tebow is the way that his college coaches and many journalists fall all over themselves to say what a fine, upstanding man he is. No explanation, reason, or evidence is ever given except his evangelical Christianity.

    BUT HE PROVIDED CIRCUMCISIONS ON HIS SPRING BREAK TO NEEDY KIDS!@!!1111

  17. #17 Iris
    March 25, 2010

    I’m shocked that a grown man could get below 50% on this thing.

    Grown man? Technically maybe, but one with the intellectual and emotional development of a young child.

    he cried like a little baby after getting his ass handed to him

    Sounds about right.

  18. #18 JBlilie
    March 25, 2010

    @8

    “getting his ass handed to him by Bama”

    Is that: [Ala]bama
    or: [O]bama

    ???

  19. #19 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 25, 2010

    Is that: [Ala]bama
    or: [O]bama

    ???

    When discussion football, Bama is always Alabama.

  20. #20 natural cynic
    March 25, 2010

    As the Rev. states: the Wonderlic is hardly the best predictor for success in any NFL position, except maybe center. He’s the person who has to rapidly coordinate blocking assignments and defensive line positioning. Where QB’s excel is in spatial recognition.

  21. #21 Givesgoodemail
    March 25, 2010

    Football, unbearably hot sticky summers, and in-your-face Christianity: three reasons I left the deep South after living there regularly for 40 years.

    I do miss the gentility, but that’s pretty much gone as well. When the Rust Belt died in the 60s and 70s, rudeness migrated south.

  22. #22 JBlilie
    March 25, 2010

    RBChimp @19:

    ;^)

  23. #23 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 25, 2010

    discussing…

  24. #24 https://me.yahoo.com/a/DhjBEuJ8pt63x6eBKuPx0Jv9_QE-#7c327
    March 25, 2010

    At least this disproves the stereotype that all jocks are stupid. Tebow may be a moron, but the guy who said “Shut the fuck up” said absolutely, exactly the right thing.
    It was concise, to the point and absolutely appropriate. He gets an “A” in my class.
    I cannot think of a better response, and language is my field.
    BTW, as at least a bit of a football fan, I don’t think Tebow has much of a future. He’s generally athletic, but I understand he doesn’t have much of a throwing arm. In today’s pass-heavy NFL, scrambling quarterbacks wind up in Canada or the Arena League. Or selling life insurance.

  25. #25 peter.jeaiem
    March 25, 2010

    “Throw his ass to the lions”… I loved that comment.

  26. #26 David Marjanovi?
    March 25, 2010

    BUT HE PROVIDED CIRCUMCISIONS ON HIS SPRING BREAK TO NEEDY KIDS!@!!1111

    ?

    Are you serious?

  27. #27 hznfrst
    March 25, 2010

    I took a test similar to this a long time ago when applying for a job. The clerk was *astounded* when I got them all right, and I was equally shocked at her amazement (you mean no one else ever did??). It colored my opinion of my co-workers to a certain extent; not excessively, but hardly being a genius myself it was scary to know how many people on the wrong side of the bell curve were out there.

  28. #28 Roger
    March 25, 2010

    Whoever told him to shut the fuck up is my new hero.

  29. #29 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkTzptVlEZQ2er6ymj1D_wskpB_1kIRN_o
    March 25, 2010

    Holy Crap!

    I finally got signed in to comment.

    It’s been months, and now I got nothing to say about the fruitlessness of expecting or demanding rationality or intelligence from athletes.

    Just throw the fucking ball!

  30. #30 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 25, 2010

    Are you serious?

    Sadly yes

  31. #31 Diane G.
    March 25, 2010

    Tebow’s gotten a pass (no pun intended) his whole career so far thanks to the special deference society pays to anything that smacks of religion. Changing that kneejerk response is the pre-eminent reason we need the “new” atheist movement. Why don’t accomodationists realize that the accomodation involved is radically one-sided?

  32. #32 Thorne
    March 25, 2010

    @hznfrst #27:

    I took a test similar to this a long time ago when applying for a job. The clerk was *astounded* when I got them all right, and I was equally shocked at her amazement (you mean no one else ever did??).

    I had a similar experience when I first moved to the South from New Jersey. Took a series of tests when applying for a job and the HR person giving the test was shocked that I not only completed all parts of the test (no one had ever done that, apparently) but that I got them all right, too. I didn’t get the job, and I’m convinced to this day it’s because she wrote down that I was over-qualified.

  33. #33 The Tim Channel
    March 25, 2010

    All Tebow hating aside (not that it’s uncalled for). Does anybody else besides me see a problem when so-called COLLEGE EDUCATED individuals can’t breeze through such a simple test?

    If these scores are any indication of the general level of intelligence of our youth today, I can only imagine the horrors that face PZ in his classroom every semester.

    Enjoy.

  34. #34 toth
    March 25, 2010

    “A boy is 16 years old and his sister is twice as old. When the boy is 22 years old, what will be the age of his sister?”

    I know! I know! 44, right?? Did I get it??

  35. #35 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 25, 2010

    Does anybody else besides me see a problem when so-called COLLEGE EDUCATED individuals can’t breeze through such a simple test?

    As a college student, I do.

  36. #36 Roger
    March 25, 2010

    I know! I know! 44, right?? Did I get it??

    No, silly. The answer is always 42. ;-)

  37. #37 mothwentbad
    March 25, 2010

    I’m shocked that a grown man could get below 50% on this thing.

    With God, all things are possible.

  38. #38 Chris
    March 25, 2010

    I’m shocked that a grown man could get below 50% on this thing.

    Really? Why?
    A quick check on his Wikipedia entry confirmed my suspicion:

    All of the Tebow children were homeschooled by their mother, who worked to instill the family?s Christian beliefs along the way.

    Ah, the fruits of Christian homeschooling…

  39. #39 Quantumburrito
    March 25, 2010

    -I’m shocked that a grown man could get below 50% on this thing.

    I am not sure many (most?) football players are grown men

  40. #40 alessamendes.0514
    March 25, 2010

    @Sastra

    *palm slap*

  41. #41 Carlie
    March 25, 2010

    If these scores are any indication of the general level of intelligence education of our youth today, I can only imagine the horrors that face PZ in his classroom every semester.

    Don’t ascribe to stupidity what NCLB and athletic grade inflation might be able to do for you.

  42. #42 Shala
    March 25, 2010

    Wow. I got a 35/50 on this, though that’s with a 5-minute timer and without a calculator (I’m assuming they don’t have access to one?). How the fuck does anyone get below 21 on this?

  43. #43 mothwentbad
    March 25, 2010

    Maybe he was born at the same time as his sister, and the boy was put on a rocket traveling toward Andromeda at near-light speed at birth. Then you get age 44 if there’s no slowing down, and age 42 if you have just the right amount of slowing down.

  44. #44 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 25, 2010

    I am not sure many (most?) football players are grown men

    sigh

  45. #45 charley
    March 25, 2010

    I’m shocked that a grown man could get below 50% on this thing.

    They would probably say the same thing about a guy who couldn’t bench his body weight:)

    15 sec/question is pretty fast, especially for people who don’t do a lot of reading or analytical thinking.

  46. #46 ppb
    March 25, 2010

    I know! I know! 44, right?? Did I get it??

    No, but that gets you a football scholarship. :-)

  47. #47 Chris
    March 25, 2010

    They would probably say the same thing about a guy who couldn’t bench his body weight

    Didn’t you mean belch? ;-)

  48. #48 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 25, 2010

    They would probably say the same thing about a guy who couldn’t bench his body weight:)

    I can with assistance!

  49. #49 Shala
    March 25, 2010

    15 sec/question is pretty fast, especially for people who don’t do a lot of reading or analytical thinking.

    That’s about the most ‘difficult’ thing with this test. I can’t mentally add or subtract worth shit without second-guessing myself, so questions like the profit one or the “which letter is missing from the group below” question are just better for me to skip over.

    It’s still…shocking that it ends up being that difficult for people.

  50. #50 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    March 25, 2010

    If these scores are any indication of the general level of intelligence of our youth today

    Did I miss something? I thought these were the scores of NFL players, not a cross section of the general populace.

  51. #51 singularblue
    March 25, 2010

    While Mr. Tebow certainly is delusional, he will be judged (by the NFL, at least) by his athletic ability. As long as his imaginary Sky Daddy doesn’t get in the way of him throwing a football, he’s in.

    On a less positive note, he appears to be absolutely sincere and obnoxiously squeaky clean: the uberfundie. Time to start throwing your kids the old pigskin, PZ, otherwise the infidels will never get equal time…

  52. #52 Dianne
    March 25, 2010

    Embarrassing confession time: I missed #17. I was busy looking for complicated differences based on what could be divided by what and how the numbers related to each other and missed that…all except for 10 were odd. Sigh.

    In Trebow’s defense, the average score is 21 so he did slightly better than average.

  53. #53 Savior Breath
    March 25, 2010

    If there is a God, he commanded Tebow to use his influence to bring playoffs to college football. Alas, no gods or playoffs in sight.

  54. #54 Shala
    March 25, 2010

    Embarrassing confession time: I missed #17. I was busy looking for complicated differences based on what could be divided by what and how the numbers related to each other and missed that…all except for 10 were odd. Sigh.

    Me too. I overanalyzed the question to hell and didn’t notice the even. >_>

  55. #55 Midwifetoad
    March 25, 2010

    Here are some averages:

    Offensive tackles: 26
    Centers: 25
    Quarterbacks: 24
    Guards: 23
    Tight Ends: 22
    Safeties: 19
    Middle linebackers: 19
    Cornerbacks: 18
    Wide receivers: 17
    Fullbacks: 17
    Halfbacks: 16

    The average scores in other professions look like this:

    Chemist: 31
    Programmer: 29
    Newswriter: 26
    Sales: 24
    Bank teller: 22
    Clerical Worker: 21
    Security Guard: 17
    Warehouse: 15

    http://hfboards.com/archive/index.php/t-115541.html

  56. #56 Shala
    March 25, 2010

    From the wikipedia article on the test:

    While an average football player usually scores around 20 points, Wonderlic, Inc. claims a score of at least 10 points suggests a person is literate.[8] Furthermore, when the test was given to miscellaneous people of various professions, it was observed that the average participant scored a 24. Examples of scores from everyday professions included:

    * Chemist ? 32
    * Programmer ? 29
    * Journalist ? 26
    * Sales ? 24
    * Bank teller ? 22
    * Clerical worker ? 21
    * Security guard ? 17
    * Warehouse ? 15

    Given that Vince Young scored a 6 and is a college graduate, that really makes one wonder about academic standards these days.

  57. #57 ethinethin
    March 25, 2010

    “I’m shocked that a grown man could get below 50% on this thing.”

    It’s especially shocking that he is a university graduate with a reported 3.5 GPA. That’s dean’s list for most universities isn’t it? He didn’t seem to pick up the critical thinking skills that are so important for university students.

    College sports are a joke in that respect. I’m sure his professors were pressured to manipulate his grades. Gotta keep that sports revenue flowing.

  58. #58 David B
    March 25, 2010

    Looking at the comments in the link, I’m astonished to see so many Christians defending Tebow, despite his obvious contempt for biblical injunctions.

    ‘And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.’

    Don’t Christians ever read their own damn holy book?

  59. #59 Shala
    March 25, 2010

    Don’t Christians ever read their own damn holy book?

    You know they don’t. They’d be atheists if they did.

    Or crazy like AiG folks, but that’s a whole other ball game.

  60. #60 Midwifetoad
    March 25, 2010

    Favre, Brett
    1991
    Southern Miss.
    22

  61. #61 charley
    March 25, 2010

    I missed #17.

    How about #18? In 15 seconds you are supposed to look at 3 columns of letters, guess that they should be converted to their numerical position in the alphabet and notice that the third column is the product of the first 2, then multiply the last row and convert the product back to a letter.

    What do you do with a football player who gets that right?

  62. #62 Peej255
    March 25, 2010

    The guy is homeschooled, so it’s the sort he never got to see in a grade school.

  63. #63 broboxley OT
    March 25, 2010

    @dWhisper #8 +1 he may be a good 4th or 5th round pick for some special play teams like Vick at Philly

  64. #64 bgsmith42
    March 25, 2010

    I missed the fourth question, but I’m blaming the poor font rendering in Google Chrome. I also didn’t even bother with the next-to-last because I was getting tired of answering questions by then and couldn’t be arsed to figure out the pattern. 18/20 extrapolates to 45/50.

    I could see a college-educated adult missing either of those two, the investment one, or the typesetting one, and maybe being tricked by one or two others, but there’s really not much excuse for anyone getting less than 75%.

  65. #65 Midwifetoad
    March 25, 2010

    “What do you do with a football player who gets that right?”

    Go with him to the Super Bowl, I guess.

    Eli Manning got a 39, considerably higher than the average chemist.

  66. #66 Joe Bob
    March 25, 2010

    There’s an award given to a couple of dozen college football players every year called “Academic All-American”. It supposedly means that you performed very well academically besides playing a lot. Well, Tebow received that award twice for having a high GPA in — get this — “Family, Youth and Community Services”. I imagine that the curriculum was pretty demanding…

    Kind of pisses me off because (1) I got it twice, too, but I was majoring in math, and didn’t even play my senior year, and (2) I loathe athletes spouting pious drivel at every chance like Tebow does.

  67. #67 Shala
    March 25, 2010

    How about #18? In 15 seconds you are supposed to look at 3 columns of letters, guess that they should be converted to their numerical position in the alphabet and notice that the third column is the product of the first 2, then multiply the last row and convert the product back to a letter.

    Agreed. To be exact, the ones I got wrong/skipped were 5 (dumb moment), 10, 11 (how does someone get that in 30 seconds god damn), 14 (even dumber moment), 17, and 18.

  68. #68 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnYIVlHBfkX2hWb6IKGKav79YjIY3nNRYg
    March 25, 2010

    I follow two sports, I love NFL and UFC. I get so irritated when players credit god for their accomplishments. Why can’t they take credit for what they do?

    A make-believe God is stealing the accomplishments of many great athletes, and it is a shame.

  69. #69 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    You could cite wonderlic.com.

    It was the test behind the supreme court ruling in Griggs v. Duke Power, 1971.

    The WPT is a 12-minute, paper-and-pencil exam
    with a population mean of 22 and a population standard deviation of 7. Test?retest reliabilities for the WPT range from .82 to .94 (Geisinger, 2001). Dodrill and Warner (1988) report a .91 correlation between the WPT and scores on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Revised.

    The WAIS by the way is about a 2 hour individually administered IQ test with a dozen or so sub scales. It seems 12 minutes is about all one needs to reliably and accurately assess IQ (how else to explain the .91 correlation?).

    Wonderlic scores correlate inversely with religious fundamentalism:

    http://www.csuohio.edu/business/academics/mlr/documents/bertsch_pesta_09_intell_religion.pdf

    Wonderlic scores predict MBA student grades almost as well as the (3 hour, $255) GMAT:

    http://www.csuohio.edu/business/academics/mlr/documents/pesta_2009_paid_gmat_mba.pdf

    Wonderlic scores produce typical (perhaps somewhat smaller) black/white differences but no sex differences:

    http://www.csuohio.edu/business/academics/mlr/documents/Pesta_08_intell_race_iq.pdf

    http://www.csuohio.edu/business/academics/mlr/documents/pesta_08_paid_sex_iq.pdf

    You should read up on IQ PZ. Hell, I just discovered a few hours ago that across the 50 U.S. states, penis size correlates -.31 with state IQ…

  70. #70 Shala
    March 25, 2010

    (how does someone get that in 30 seconds god damn)

    Meant 15 seconds, whoops.

  71. #71 smartbrainus
    March 25, 2010

    The eighth month of the year is:
    1. October 2. September 3. June 4. August 5. May 6. Febtober

    The answer’s so obvious, it’s Junay.

  72. #72 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    March 25, 2010

    Finally he get a taste of his own medicine.

    ————-

    In a related topic: (UK Churches issue prayer for voters) http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100325/lf_nm_life/us_britain_election_prayer

  73. #73 Fred The Hun
    March 25, 2010

    When rope is selling at $.10 a foot, how many feet can you buy for sixty cents?”

    Perhaps the answer needed to be given in unfamiliar units of measure such as yards and he wasn’t told it’s third down and two to go.

    Or perhaps he was grappling with the concept of stretch factor and trying to wrap his mind around the fact that when you are purchasing the rope the (psi) factor is generally zero ;-)

    After all things can get quite complex if you need to figure that out…

    The following equation can provide a
    reasonable determination to calculate this increase in rope length due to a change in load.

    Changes in Length (ft) = Change in Loads (lbs) x Length of One Rope (ft)divided by Area of One Rope (In2) x Modulus of Elasticity (psi)

    example:The modulus for 6-strand fiber core ropes is 10,800,000 psi, and 8,100,000 psi for 8-strand fiber core ropes.

    ;^)

  74. #74 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    64: I could see a college-educated adult missing either of those two, the investment one, or the typesetting one, and maybe being tricked by one or two others, but there’s really not much excuse for anyone getting less than 75%

    Half the population, by definition, scores 22 or lower on the exam. I’ve given it to about 1000 students and very rarely see above 40. The last 20 or so questions can be pretty hard, esp in 12 minutes.

    You guys might under-estimate how well you’d do on it, especially considering the items get more difficult as you move on.

  75. #75 tsg
    March 25, 2010

    All Tebow hating aside (not that it’s uncalled for). Does anybody else besides me see a problem when so-called COLLEGE EDUCATED individuals can’t breeze through such a simple test?

    College Football players are not generally selected based on their academic achievements. My mother taught at Rutgers for a couple of years while working on her doctorate. She got saddled with a class made especially for the football team. It was a total joke.

    If these scores are any indication of the general level of intelligence of our youth today, I can only imagine the horrors that face PZ in his classroom every semester.

    They aren’t. College is to the NFL what most other sports have a minor league for.

  76. #77 Carlie
    March 25, 2010

    Eh, I only missed the letter pattern and the investment question in 6 minutes (didn’t even try the investment one, because I didn’t feel like doing the math), if you count the typeface alternate answer (because that makes more sense, duh!). But I’m also incredibly used to taking such tests, and even taught for a test-prep company for a few semesters. It’s quite easy to go looking for patterns when you know the subset of possible answers (check for odd/even, then check for divisible by same number, then check for alphabet match to number, etc); it’s a lot harder if you’re not used to it and don’t quite know where to start. Having 12 minutes is pretty stressful, too, especially if one has a bit of a testing phobia. Also keep in mind that just based on population distribution, some of the athletes taking the test will have learning disabilities that affect results, and in fact that number might be higher than the general population average if they were encouraged to go into sports because they were doing poorly in school and wanted something else to excel at.

    I am quite skeptical of this test as measuring much of anything beyond how well a person can answer standardized test-type questions.

  77. #78 funnyguts
    March 25, 2010

    I wouldn’t put any stock in the validity of this test. 50 random questions in 12 minutes doesn’t seem like it would test anything other than the ability to answer questions quickly.

  78. #79 Shala
    March 25, 2010

    I could see a college-educated adult missing either of those two, the investment one, or the typesetting one, and maybe being tricked by one or two others, but there’s really not much excuse for anyone getting less than 75%.

    Now I feel really bad about getting slightly less than 75. >_>

  79. #80 zzubzzub
    March 25, 2010

    PZ wrote:

    I think a lot of people are getting fed up with the excessive piety, and I’m glad some are speaking out.

    werd.

    I’m shocked that a grown man could get below 50% on this thing.

    I’m not. I think you need to teach community college to get a different perspective. One of the three California CC missions is Basic Skills. There are many adults that do unskilled labor. Consider people who grow up on a farm.

    Peej255 wrote:

    The guy is homeschooled, so it’s the sort he never got to see in a grade school

    While I philosophically disagree with homeschooling, I wouldn’t make such a generalization. My experience has been mixed. Last year, my top two general chemistry students were both homeschooled females. This is California. Maybe it’s different in the deep south…

  80. #81 AJ Milne
    March 25, 2010

    Whoever told him to shut the fuck up is my new hero.

    This.

    (/Fuck, allegedly even Jesus would have approved.)

  81. #82 KOPD
    March 25, 2010

    Still waiting for mfd to answer BDC.

  82. #83 Darren
    March 25, 2010

    I’m shocked that a grown man could get below 50% on this thing.

    From his wikipedia article:

    “Tim Tebow received the 2008 Quaqua Protg Award as an outstanding home-education graduate.”

  83. #84 Pierce R. Butler
    March 25, 2010

    Okay, sports/math fans – since the numbers seem to be out there (in great abundance for athletics particularly), is there any correlation between Wonderlic scores and success on the field?

  84. #85 puzzledponderer
    March 25, 2010

    I also scored 18 of 20 in 5 minutes, which would make a score of 45 on the full test, provided my concentration stays stable (should be possible for such a short time, though). I lost one point because my cellphone screen cut out the “not certain” option and I didn’t notice, and I also couldn’t be arsed to figure out the letter columns, not without a pen and paper at least.

    Really though – chemists only averaged on 32??? I would’ve expected more from such a math-filled profession. But that would explain a lot about the chemistry tutorial in my third semester… ;)

  85. #86 Free Lunch
    March 25, 2010

    it was scary to know how many people on the wrong side of the bell curve were out there.

    Half of us. It’s just wrong. We all need to live in Lake Wobegone.

    “Throw his ass to the lions”… I loved that comment.

    Anyone who has to play for the Lions will suffer.

  86. #87 Jacob's Ladder
    March 25, 2010

    Given that Vince Young scored a 6 and is a college graduate, that really makes one wonder about academic standards these days.

    It’s flat out depressing me. I’m studying engineering at the same school Young went to, and I must say its rather hard. Hopefully he was just given a free pass since he won us a championship.

  87. #88 SC OM
    March 25, 2010

    Said one of the other players in response: “Shut the f–k up.”

    Tell me who it was and I’ll send a donation to his favorite charity.

  88. #89 Eidolon
    March 25, 2010

    Dianne @52:

    Ahhh – the intelligent person’s mistake. You gave the question a life of it’s own and did not look for the most obvious response.

    As for Timmy’s intelligence…come on folks – he was a starter for a major school. He could be dumb as a post and still graduate. Anyone else ever tutor any of the “student athletes”? I know there some seriously smart jocks out there, but they are notable due to their rarity – minor sports seemingly an exception.

  89. #90 estill.music
    March 25, 2010

    I missed the “which number is different” question too. But to be fair, I picked 3. Because all the numbers either weren’t divisible by 3, or were divisible by 9. Which is only 7/9th of all numbers, which means the pattern only happens 6% of the time in such a grouping of numbers. Surely this fact is significant!

  90. #91 Benjamin Geiger
    March 25, 2010

    Just took the test: 40. (Would’ve been 42.5 if not for a simple subtraction error because I was trying to go too fast.)

    I are a genius.

  91. #92 SC OM
    March 25, 2010
  92. #93 Benjamin Geiger
    March 25, 2010

    PS: Is it 12 minutes for the full 50 questions, or just 12 minutes for the 20-question subset in the link? I was hauling ass and still took seven minutes for those 20 questions. I figure I could’ve scored about a 28-30 on a real test, with time pressure included.

  93. #94 Gary
    March 25, 2010

    I set a timer for 5 minutes, and got 14 out of 20 right, 2 wrong, 4 left blank. So I would have scored a 35/50. I hear that’s pretty good. The questions are mostly easy, it’s the time that constrains your score.

  94. #95 Joffan
    March 25, 2010

    Clearly (with hindsight) the best tactic for the time pressure would be to look at each question, write down the answer if it’s obvious from one or two seconds thought, but skip it otherwise. Then when you reach the end, check how many questions are left to do and allocate time.

    However I just bulldozed through to question 16 in five minutes, making a couple of mistakes (4&11), so I rate a 35. The remaining questions took another minute and that’s because I made the same error as Dianne on q17.

  95. #96 Roger
    March 25, 2010

    @SC OM: I so want to believe it happened. Of course, he would have a reason to say it didn’t happen–after all, why make a good circumcising, Bible-verse eyeblack wearing death cultist look bad? However, it is possible that it didn’t happen.

    That said, I will believe it happened, because anything that puts that smug sum’bitch in his place or shuts him up or makes his dumb ass cry is aces in my book.

  96. #97 gr8hands
    March 25, 2010

    Perhaps Vince Young doesn’t read as fast as the test designers think a person ‘should’ — which doesn’t mean anything about his intelligence or cognitive capability (there is no link between fast reading speed and high intelligence).

    That being said, Tebow has always set off my gaydar, so I’m shocked he would admit to participating in circumcisions. Yikes!

  97. #98 hockeybobs
    March 25, 2010

    I made these photoshops for a friend who went to Florida – I thought they might go well here, too, for obvious reasons…

    http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/8656/tebowakbar.jpg

    http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/7190/tebowpwned.jpg

    As for his test results, what did you expect? He *was* homeschooled, after all. (Sorry if this has already been pointed out.)

  98. #99 Shala
    March 25, 2010

    As for his test results, what did you expect? He *was* homeschooled, after all. (Sorry if this has already been pointed out.)

    Proper homeschooling is fine. He probably underwent “Christian” homeschooling that screwed him up for life though.

  99. #100 KOPD
    March 25, 2010

    Somebody should write “Matt 6:5-6″ on his cheek stickers.

  100. #101 Roger
    March 25, 2010

    Somebody should write “Matt 6:5-6″ on his cheek stickers.

    He’d probably say that that was meant only for the Pharisees and had nothing to do with True Christians(tm) who feel the need to impose their insane bullshit on everyone at every frakkin’ opportunity. The lovely thing about this particular death cult is that anyone can twist the sayings contained in their bible to their own prurient or selfish needs! Huzzah!

  101. #102 Ryan F Stello
    March 25, 2010

    I’ve got a new favorite trivia question from that sample list:

    In a typical city in the Southern Hemisphere, which of the following months sees the most snowfall?

    Anything other than “Febtoday” is unacceptable.

  102. #103 JimNorth
    March 25, 2010

    Oooohhhh! Can I predict where Tebow will be picked in the draft?!?! I teach at a school where Mr. Irrelevant was chosen in 2005. I didn’t have him as a student; but then, I also teach chemistry.

    Tim Tebow does not have as near the athletic prowess as Mr. Irrelevant 2005.

  103. #104 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    You guys fail to realize those 20 items are of unknown difficulty. You cannot use scores on them to estimate your score on the Wonderlic. Each item increases in difficulty, and the latter items are quite hard.

    Is that itself an IQ test?

  104. #105 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    Ah, I just looked at the sample items in PZ’s link. You wouldn’t see many questions this easy beyond item 15 or so.

    This is science blogs? PZ is a skeptic.

    From the expert site PZ linked to:

    So, how many did you get right? Multiply the number you answered correctly by 2.5 to get your real Wonderlic score.

    This is patently invalid. I suspect PZ won’t correct himself though.

    Go science!

  105. #106 No More Mr. Nice Guy!
    March 25, 2010

    Timmeh!!!

  106. #107 ironysandwich
    March 25, 2010

    Ah, I just looked at the sample items in PZ’s link. You wouldn’t see many questions this easy beyond item 15 or so.

    Beyond 3/4ths of the way through the test? There are a few questions that could be difficult considering the time limit, but over half of them are completely trivial, making Kleenex spokesman Tebow’s score downright abysmal.

    I suspect you won’t correct yourself.

  107. #108 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    Ah, I just looked at the sample items in PZ’s link. You wouldn’t see many questions this easy beyond item 15 or so.

    Beyond 3/4ths of the way through the test? There are a few questions that could be difficult considering the time limit, but over half of them are completely trivial, making Kleenex spokesman Tebow’s score downright abysmal.

    I suspect you won’t correct yourself.

    Think for a minute about what you’re saying.

    1. 2+2 = ?
    2. 8 x 7 = ?
    3. x = y + 6
    4. harder math
    5. even harder math

    The sample of items are of the difficulty-level represented in 1 and 2 above.

    The test however scales such that each new item is more difficult (precisely, p-value wise).

    You really think your score on 20 items of type 1 or 2 is a good estimate of score on the real test?

    You do realize PZ’s link is to a sports site, and not the actual wonderlic for fuck’s sake?

  108. #109 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    btw, his score is exactly average. If that’s miserable, then he’s as good or better than about 150 million people in the USA, including apparently some posters here.

  109. #110 Reginald Selkirk
    March 25, 2010

    Does anybody else besides me see a problem when so-called COLLEGE EDUCATED individuals can’t breeze through such a simple test?

    I’ll wait here while you look up Tebow’s college major.

  110. #111 conelrad
    March 25, 2010

    Former genius Belichick’s take on Tebow (I paraphrase from memory): “He seems like the kind of kid who, if you told him to go play nose tackle, would go out & play nose tackle.”
    I guess we’ll see him in a Patriots uniform next year.

  111. #112 Sioux Laris
    March 25, 2010

    It’s a pity no one was quick-witted enough to agree, but demand equal time for Satan, Mithra, and Thor.

    Tebows of America, expect ridicule. We don’t fear you, muscles or not.

  112. #113 ironysandwich
    March 25, 2010

    You really think your score on 20 items of type 1 or 2 is a good estimate of score on the real test?

    The test was not called, “A sample of the easiest questions that would appear on the test”. Were you to actually read said test you would notice that they don’t scale up or down in difficulty either; the most difficult questions were numbers 10 and 11, the easiest are numbers 1 and 20. Unless you have some actual reason to state they weren’t representative, then I’ll assume they are.

  113. #114 Brian
    March 25, 2010

    I’m shocked that a grown man could get below 50% on this thing.

    Why?

  114. #115 Brian
    March 25, 2010

    I also like the answer key’s convoluted answer to #10. The paper one. All you have to do is solve the equation* 480 = 18 x + 24( 21-x)

    * I divided through by 100 first just to get rid of some extra zeros. Oh, and like an idiot I both 1) Didn’t set X to what you were actually solving for and 2) Forgot to subtract x from 21 and answered 4. Grrrr.

  115. #116 SC OM
    March 25, 2010

    Okay, sports/math fans – since the numbers seem to be out there (in great abundance for athletics particularly), is there any correlation between Wonderlic scores and success on the field?

    No, according to recent research.

    The least intelligent in this story appear to be those who make decisions in football based on this “intelligence” test rather than on how intelligently someone, y’know, plays football.

  116. #117 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 25, 2010

    Given that the average value for quarterbacks for this test is a 24 (according to Wikipedia which provides a source), I’m not sure that Tebow’s lower value is statistically significant. I can’t find anywhere online any data about the standard deviation or the like. Moreover, the test was originally supposed to be calibrated so that a 20 was someone of average intelligence. I don’t think Tebow’s 21 therefore can be used to say anything substantial (in contrast for example to Vince Young who apparently scored a 6 the first time he took it).

    I’m also not sure that the test is as easy as it seems. In particular, the time limit of 12 minutes for 50 questions means that one needs to answer questions with an average of 14 seconds a question. Not only would a low score be not that surprising, I’m not sure that this test measures intelligence in any useful way but rather just measures speedy responses. That might correlate very roughly with intelligence but it isn’t a great metric. I’d be very curious however to see what the data for football players broken down by belief. I can’t find any data on that. Would make a good project maybe for sociology, psychology or religious studies major possibly.

  117. #118 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    You really think your score on 20 items of type 1 or 2 is a good estimate of score on the real test?

    The test was not called, “A sample of the easiest questions that would appear on the test”. Were you to actually read said test you would notice that they don’t scale up or down in difficulty either; the most difficult questions were numbers 10 and 11, the easiest are numbers 1 and 20. Unless you have some actual reason to state they weren’t representative, then I’ll assume they are.

    Yes, be a skeptic. Assume the sport’s guy carefully sampled the items across all levels of difficulty, because, hey, it’s on the internets.

    I think I’ve seen one or two 40+ scores among 1000 college students. How many do we have above?

  118. #119 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    Josh– there are different versions of the test. Mine is Form IV. It has a mean of 22 and an SD of 7. A score of 40 is a z score of 2.57 which has a p value of .995, meaning only 5 in 1000 score that high.

    Given all the high scores reported above, it’s QED true that the sports blog guy over-sampled the easy ones, unless the average PZ poster is pretty damn smart.

    So, taking the exam in PZ’s link would vastly over-estimate score on the real exam.

  119. #120 Sven DiMilo
    March 25, 2010

    Pesta, please learn to blockquote or italicize or use fucking quote-marks or something. It is really really annoying to try to figure out what you’re saying and what you’re responding to.

  120. #121 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    Hi Sven; my bad.

    (re comment 120!)

  121. #122 ironysandwich
    March 25, 2010

    Yes, be a skeptic. Assume the sport’s guy carefully sampled the items across all levels of difficulty, because, hey, it’s on the internets.

    As opposed to assuming that the “sport’s guy” specifically selected the easiest questions and accurately represented that the test got harder as the question numbers got higher for no reason at all and in flat contradiction to available evidence?

  122. #123 Pacal
    March 25, 2010

    I thought that the whole story of Tebow being almost aborted was completely bogus. Given that that in the Phillipines abortion was completely banned since c. 1930, so that any doctor who didn’t want to go to jail would NOT advise some one to get an abortion.

  123. #124 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    Yes, be a skeptic. Assume the sport’s guy carefully sampled the items across all levels of difficulty, because, hey, it’s on the internets.

    As opposed to assuming that the “sport’s guy” specifically selected the easiest questions and accurately represented that the test got harder as the question numbers got higher for no reason at all and in flat contradiction to available evidence?

    There’s tons of published literature showing that even subject matter experts cannot look at an IQ test item and predict its difficulty level. Unless sports guy has access to the statistical data-base wonderlic keeps for each item, he’s flat out guessing on difficulty level, and so are we.

    The statistical evidence above (all them really high scores) is enough evidence to reject the null that sports guy’s test is difficulty-balanced.

    Having said that experts can’t predict difficulty, I wish I could post some of the hard ones without violating WL’s copyright, as sports guy seems to be doing…

  124. #125 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 25, 2010

    bpesta, Ok. Without knowing more about which Tebow took I’m not sure what we can say. But if the standard deviation is normally around 7, then it seems like Tebow’s score isn’t at all unreasonable.

    I also have an ideological objection to intelligence tests which are proprietary. But that may be a rant for another time. Suffice it to say they make trying to get decent statistical information about them not much fun.

    But really, someone should look at the Wonderlic data broken down by religious belief. Tebow is a single data and thus isn’t that interesting. The aggregate however may contain useful information.

  125. #126 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 25, 2010

    bpesta, do you have a citation for the subject matter difficulty estimate claim? I’d be very interested in seeing that. I’ve seen studies demonstrating that claim for math but not for other areas.

  126. #127 Scott Hatfield, OM
    March 25, 2010

    I read all the questions and answered them all in my head inside of four minutes. I missed three, and slightly overshot one answer outright. Adjusted score of ’40′. My guess is that I would’ve missed 1 or 2 if I had taken the entire 12 minutes. I’ll be damned if I’m giving an Internet test that much time.

    I conclude that Tebow’s score of ’22′ is neither something to be ashamed of or something to write home about. Sure, I’m glad that I can beat Tim Tebow at *something*, but other than that I can’t get too excited one way or the other. A person can have no clue about how the world actually works, and yet score high on these tests. The Christian home schoolers put plenty of future lawyers into the educational system. (shrugs shoulders)

  127. #128 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 25, 2010

    Hmm, another issue that may be relevant: A lot of people in this thread have been talking about doing it mentally. I wonder if writing time is substantially reducing available time on the actual test.

  128. #129 Epinephrine
    March 25, 2010

    @bpesta22

    Half the population, by definition, scores 22 or lower on the exam.

    It has a mean of 22 and an SD of 7.

    If the median of the test were 22, that would suggest something along those lines. More than half the population can score above or below a mean. Presumably you are leaving out some information on the shape of the distribution, or you are making an assumption of normality?

  129. #130 Shala
    March 25, 2010

    My guess is that I would’ve missed 1 or 2 if I had taken the entire 12 minutes.

    Just to note, they only give you 5 minutes for this version of the test, not 12, since there are 20 questions instead of 50.

  130. #131 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 25, 2010

    Also, for the record, speaking in my capacity as a mathematician (ok, math grad student but still…), question 14 in the sample test is very badly phrased. I can plausibly see either 3 or 5 as the most different. I’m pretty sure they wanted 3 (checking now, yep, 3 is the desired answer). But that isn’t a test of intelligence but a metaissue of what sort of properties we care about in general and what sort of properties they care about in tests like this.

  131. #132 SC OM
    March 25, 2010

    I can plausibly see either 3 or 5 as the most different.

    I think a case can be made for 4 as well.*

    *especially by a football player :)

  132. #133 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 25, 2010

    SCOM, well, 1 also occurred to me (as the only one with an interesting symmetry group) but I rejected that as just being silly given the context.

  133. #134 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    Josh

    I linked early here to a study comparing wonderlic scores and fundamentalist literalist beliefs. The effects were small but stable– more fundy = scores lower. The effect size was about d=.20.

    IQ tests are made to be bell shaped because of the convenience re stats one can do on bell curves. The shape of the true IQ distribution is unknown until we can measure it validly on a ratio scale.

    Another estimate of 40 above. The odds of that would be staggering if the linked-to test were difficulty-balanced.

  134. #135 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    Josh– I need to retract my claim that SMEs cannot judge difficulty. It’s that they cannot judge test bias (I misremembered). My bad!

  135. #136 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 25, 2010

    bpesta, thanks i hadn’t seen that link before. (Need to read threads slower obviously). That link and your other links are quite interesting. The correlation here isn’t that surprising. The GSS data also shows a similar correlation with wordsum score. And there’s a similar inverse correlation between average IQ per a denomination and the fraction of the denomination that believes in a young earth. (Razib Kahn had some posts a while back where he crunched the data for the above claims). I’m not completely sure what these correlations mean. There are a number of hypotheses which could explain them some more or less subtle (and some more or less likely than others).

  136. #137 Kagato
    March 25, 2010

    Palin gets a (reality) show on the Discovery Channel.
    http://jonathanturley.org/2010/03/25/from-carl-sagan-to-sarah-palin-discovery-gives-palin-her-own-reality-show/

    Aaaagh! AAAAAAGH!

    *immolate*

  137. #138 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 25, 2010

    Found one of Razib’s entries on the matter:

    Here http://alturl.com/mnn7

  138. #139 bpesta22
    March 25, 2010

    bpesta, thanks i hadn’t seen that link before. (Need to read threads slower obviously). That link and your other links are quite interesting. The correlation here isn’t that surprising. The GSS data also shows a similar correlation with wordsum score. And there’s a similar inverse correlation between average IQ per a denomination and the fraction of the denomination that believes in a young earth. (Razib Kahn had some posts a while back where he crunched the data for the above claims). I’m not completely sure what these correlations mean. There are a number of hypotheses which could explain them some more or less subtle (and some more or less likely than others).

    when you aggregate data to the level of the 50 us states, religiosity becomes a very strong predictor of a host of negative outcomes from crime, to poverty to poor health, less education, etc.

    http://www.csuohio.edu/business/academics/mlr/documents/pesta_in_press_intell_well_being.pdf

  139. #140 dfminardi
    March 25, 2010

    So this really happened, eh? Not even an “According to ProFootballTalk.com”? ProFootballTalk is a RUMOR site that’s not the most credible. But why approach things like a scientist when you hear a rumor about a theist, right? No need for skepticism, I suppose.

  140. #141 V. infernalis
    March 25, 2010

    @131,

    I had similar thoughts about question 17. Which number is most different? Well, it obviously depends on your definition of different. If you take it literally, then obviously 3,017 is the “most different”, because it outlies the rest of the group by a large margin.

  141. #142 TimKO,,.,,
    March 25, 2010

    Tebow’s a spokesman for the slimy, hate-promoting group “Focus on the Family”. They did that evil-based recruiting commercial during the Super Bowl.

    As for shut the fuck up: welcome to the NFL, homeschool boy.

    “But Mom, I don’t care if I’m still at the 3rd-grade level, I’m gonna play me (some futtball) when I gets a couple years older anyways.”

    “That’s OK sweetie, I’ll still give you an ‘A’ because I can and because jeebus will take care of everything.”

  142. #143 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 25, 2010

    V. infernalis,

    Really? It is only 3 times as large as the next largest number and the numbers range from single digit to the thousands. That seems like a very weak form of outlier as opposed to the one desired on that question. But I agree that the argument can be made.

    These are good evidence of how intelligence tests are culturally mediated.

  143. #144 Childermass
    March 26, 2010

    Does anybody else besides me see a problem when so-called COLLEGE EDUCATED individuals can’t breeze through such a simple test?

    College educated?

    What about high school?

  144. #145 V. infernalis
    March 26, 2010

    @143

    Yeah, really. What’s the absolute difference of 3,017 from the next largest number (1,025).

    Like I said, take “most different” literally – as in, the number with the largest absolute difference from the others, and the answer is clear.

  145. #146 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 26, 2010

    V. Ah, that makes sense. I didn’t even think of actual distance. That makes it a very valid answer.

  146. #147 The Tim Channel
    March 26, 2010

    Don’t Christians ever read their own damn holy book?

    Be careful what you ask for. As Sam Harris states in his movie The God Who Wasn’t There, the Spanish Inquisition wasn’t an aberration of religious practice, it was exactly what the Bible called for.

    Enjoy.

  147. #148 Roger
    March 26, 2010

    I don’t give a flying fuck what Timmeh made on the Wonderlic or how it’s measured or what it allegedly predicts–what bugs the fucking hell out of me is his insistence on foisting his godbottery on any and every person who has the misfortune of crossing his path.

  148. #149 defides
    March 26, 2010

    I got 19right. I missed several changes in question 4 and I had to leave 10 and 18 until I ran out of time.

    One problem with 10 is that I’ve recently been studying typography, and I found it hard to get round the fact that the typographical answer would be “Who the hell sets part of the article in one size of type and the other part in a different size? The answer is 20 and you put a picture or something on the 21st page.” That might have prevented me from thinking of subtracting the LCD from the overall total – I maintain I would have been much quicker to do that when I was 20 years old, and my last maths class only 3 years behind me…

    11 wasn’t that difficult, was it? Difference between 1/3 and 45% of $4,800?

    I have to say that with a few questions of the calibre of 10 and 11 and only 12 minutes and no calculators, I can’t agree that this is a “remarkably trivial intelligence test”. It may not be comprehensive, but the difference between a score of 35 and a score of 45 tells you a lot about two respective candidates.

  149. #150 kyuss
    March 26, 2010

    I’m sort of meh on this. I think religion is dumb. I think Tebow is dumb for believing in it. I think telling him to STFU when he calls for prayer time is appropriate.
    But he’s an awesome football player and I’m rooting for him to make it in the NFL.
    I don’t think I care if college atheletes are book smart or not. There’s no other way for prospective NFLers to train to become professionals. If there were other ways to gain the training, I don’t think many of these guys would bother with college. NBAers are in somewhat the same boat now too. I guess my point is that I’d care if my dentist or accountant got a shit score on an easy test, the QB of my football team? Not so much.

  150. #151 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 26, 2010

    But he’s an awesome football player and I’m rooting for him to make it in the NFL.

    Huh?

    Awesome football player? He’s a physically talented athlete who was lucky to be in a system that allowed him to not have to perform as a quarterback but as a large back who occasionally threw (and not well). He was also lucky to be in a system surrounded by very good football players and a great coaching staff. Why do you think there has been so much attention on changing his throwing motion this spring?

    Put him in a different system as a quarterback, even a good one, and Tebow would be an after thought.

  151. #152 James Sweet
    March 26, 2010

    Some very unexpected players have bombed the Wonderlic. Some very unexpected players have performed well on it. It’s not just a simple intelligence test; it’s also apparently not a very good one. If I recall, it’s under heavy time pressure, and some people just choke under that kind of thing.

    I don’t really think a player’s Wonderlic score tells you much of anything about anything. Now, the ludicrous request that everybody in the room join him in his bizarre delusional imprecations…

  152. #153 docrick11
    March 26, 2010

    FWIW, I seem to remember a fairly decent QB named Terry Bradshaw was once described as “dumb as a box of rocks”
    While an intelligent QB would be nice, spatial relations trumps it.

  153. #154 Steven Mading
    March 26, 2010

    To be fair, while the questions are not that hard, the point of the test is to answer them under duress with a timer ticking away. The test is not meant to measure your intelligence, but rather its meant to measure the amount by which time pressure and panic hinders your intelligence. So they use questions that most average people could easily answer correctly under normal circumstances, but then make you have to answer them at a faster rate than most normal people could answer them. This is because they don’t want a situation where your failure to answer correctly was merely due to your lack of intelligence – they want to try to make sure that when you get a question wrong, its likely only due to the time constraint, because THAT is what they wanted to measure.

    It’s used for football players to try to measure how good they are at making correct snap decisions on the spur of the moment based on the spatial information they see in front of them bombarding them all at once. This is a quality that’s useful in a quarterback, especially one that passes often.

    BUT, that being said, I don’t think the test is very successful at doing this. I don’t think it’s a good test. I just wanted to point out that laughing at the alleged “stupidity” of the players who get low scores on this test full of easy questions is unfair because the challenge is meant to come from the speed with which they have to answer, not from the difficulty of the questions themselves.

    People who are otherwise quite intelligent can still do very stupid things when there isn’t time to think carefully.

  154. #155 bpesta22
    March 26, 2010

    To be fair, while the questions are not that hard, the point of the test is to answer them under duress with a timer ticking away. The test is not meant to measure your intelligence, but rather its meant to measure the amount by which time pressure and panic hinders your intelligence. So they use questions that most average people could easily answer correctly under normal circumstances, but then make you have to answer them at a faster rate than most normal people could answer them. This is because they don’t want a situation where your failure to answer correctly was merely due to your lack of intelligence – they want to try to make sure that when you get a question wrong, its likely only due to the time constraint, because THAT is what they wanted to measure.

    This is simply not true. The test manual allows for non-speeded administration (you can take as much time as you want to answer all 50). Scores tend to go up about 4 points, and the correlation between speeded and non speeded versions is huge. Why spend an hour administering it when the rank ordering of people doesn’t change versus the 12 minute version?

    The test is meant to measure intelligence– not stress– and it does so very well (correlates .91 with the WAIS).

    It’s also true that IQ might be cognitive speed.

    The test also has impressive predictive validity for dozens if not 100s of real-world outcomes. You’d be hard pressed to find a 12 minute measure of anything (non-iq) that predicts as well as the Wonderlic does.

    These are all empirical questions with answers.

  155. #156 Bald Ape
    March 26, 2010

    Missed 2: #4 and #18. Comments:

    #4 Scanned too fast, thought 2 were identical; should’ve taken 5 seconds to scan a third time

    #10 I thought this was far easier than most people make it out to be. In a timed-test, one should always be on the lookout for the “easy math” rather than algebraically complete solutions; the easy math is not typically there by mistake.
    Even if I had scratched out Brian’s equation “480 = 18 x + 24( 21-x)”, I’d not waste another second working out the algebra (especially since I was doing the whole test mentally, and wouldn’t trust my mental algebra to juggle this many components without mistake)

    What jumped out at me was: 2400 words/page, and 48000 words. That means the small font lets me do the job in 20 pages. This is close, let’s ponder for a moment… If I change the 20th page to large font, I’ll have 600 words left over for page 21. Aha! For each small->large page conversion I do, I push 600 big-font words to page 21. We can thus convert 3 small-font pages to push 1800 words to page 21. This leaves us with 20 – 3 = 17 small font pages.

    #11 – Had no trouble working out that 9/20 = %45 which is easily converted to “15%-tip mental math” of (50% – 5%), giving (2400 – 240) = (2400 – 200 – 40) = 2160. What tripped me up was the wording – I just couldn’t see what 2160 was to be compared to, given the layout of the question. In a way, this killed the test for me, and I’m lucky to have only missed one other question. I spent a whole minute figuring out that 2160 was supposed to be compared to “dividing 4800 3 ways” in the first sentence; a delay which pushed me into panic mode, as it left just 90 seconds for the remaining 9 questions.

    IMO, the question would’ve been far better expressed as “If the profits are $4,800, how much less does X receive [by dividing equally] than if the profits were divided in proportion to the amount invested?” But, I supposed one could argue that making that inference is part of the question’s challenge.

    #18 – had to skip due to time constraints… my story is that the wording on #11 screwed me here.

  156. #157 irarosofsky
    March 26, 2010

    What does this say about the University of Florida, or college in general, and grade inflation?

    “Tebow graduated Florida with a 3.66 GPA as a Family, Youth and Community Services major, and he is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and a two-time First Team Academic All-American.”

    But I suppose Family, Youth and Community Services major sounds like he’s learning how to hand out playground equipment in the park.

  157. #158 red
    March 26, 2010

    This was my ABSOLUTE favorite reason that I loved my teammates more than my classmates in college. When somebody said something stupid/people were fed up with them, classmates usually got passive aggressive. Teammates would say something like “shut the fuck up” or just mercilessly make fun of the other person. The group would determine who was in the right. Barabaric, I know. But it was fun. And thin skinned people didn’t last long.

    Unfortunately my job is not athletics, so I can’t tell people how I really feel/directly inform them that they screwed up. Instead I have to be polite and deal with email.

  158. #159 Dr X
    March 28, 2010

    PZ,

    You misunderstand the Wonderlic

    First, the Wonderlic mean score is 20 (50th percentile) That translates to a WAIS IQ of 100.

    SD on the Wonderlic is 7. SD is 15 on the WAIS. A score of 27 on the Wonderlic places an examinee near the 84th percentile or WAIS FSIQ equivalent of 115.

    A score of 40 is equivalent to WAIS 142-147 or the 99.9 percentile. Hardly a houseplant

    The test looks easy because intelligence tests sample cognitive capacities with items ranging from the most easy (e.g. What are the colors of the American flag?) to the more difficult. The test musts rank order cognitive abilities for the entire population, which means that it must include a continuous range of item difficulty from the most staggeringly simple to the most difficult (relative to performance in the general population)

    Persons with IQs in the higher range find most if not all items on a typical IQ test to be relatively easy. But assessing IQ also relies on speed of problem solving in addition to scoring right or wrong on each item. If you solve that simple algebraic problem in 6 seconds you get a lower score than you would if you solve it in 2 seconds.

    Processing speed is believed to be an important part of intellectual capacity. If your IQ is in the neighborhood of 140, the Wonderlic will look easy to you. What distinguishes you from a person with an IQ of 130 or 150 is the relative speed of your problem solving.

    By the way, Tebow’s performance was better than about 61 percent of the Wonderlic standardization sample. That would translate roughly to a Wechsler IQ of 104. Note: the Wonderlic isn’t perfectly equivalent to WAIS or Stanford Binet.

  159. #160 Dr X
    March 28, 2010

    PZ,

    You misunderstand the Wonderlic.

    First, the Wonderlic mean score is 20 (50th percentile) That translates to a WAIS IQ of 100.

    SD on the Wonderlic is 7. SD is 15 on the WAIS. A score of 27 on the Wonderlic places an examinee near the 84th percentile or WAIS FSIQ equivalent of 115.

    A score of 40 is equivalent to WAIS 142-147 or the 99.9 percentile. Hardly a houseplant

    The test looks easy because intelligence tests sample cognitive capacities with items ranging from the most easy (e.g. What are the colors of the American flag?) to the more difficult. The test musts rank order cognitive abilities for the entire population, which means that it must include a continuous range of item difficulty from the most staggeringly simple to the most difficult (relative to performance in the general population)

    Persons with IQs in the higher range find most if not all items on a typical IQ test to be relatively easy. But assessing IQ also relies on speed of problem solving in addition to scoring right or wrong on each item. If you solve that simple algebraic problem in 6 seconds you get a lower score than you would if you solve it in 2 seconds.

    Processing speed is believed to be an important part of intellectual capacity. If your IQ is in the neighborhood of 140, the Wonderlic will look easy to you. What distinguishes you from a person with an IQ of 130 or 150 is the relative speed of your problem solving.

    By the way, Tebow’s performance was better than about 61 percent of the Wonderlic standardization sample. That would translate roughly to a Wechsler IQ of 104. Note: the Wonderlic isn’t perfectly equivalent to WAIS or Stanford Binet.