Monday, August 05, 2013

Kew the visit and big Idea #181 is Psychometrics

Vegetables can make a display
At the moment Kew Gardens have a number of decorative beds around the theme of The IncrEDIBLES - these include Cacti and Gourds as well as just attractive arrangements of vegetables.
Courgette family
Sweet-corn grows to quite a height as can be seen on the left and it was particularly pleasing for me to see enormous beds of Courgettes, Melons (where were/are the cucumbers?) as we have been feeling as though we're the only ones with a glut - I wonder if all the vegetables in Kew will be harvested and used - I hope so it would be a shame for them to be wasted.

Big Idea 181 is Psychometrics

Psychometrics is the  science of measuring mental capacities and processes, the tests compare an individual's performance with others and show the relatively strong and weak areas within a person.

Heavily favoured by employers particularly those with North American tendencies Psychometric testing is derided by some as a means to apply a quasi-scientific analysis to pseudo-psychological (low cost) tests - HR professionals are keen to make the point that there are no correct answers but it is clear that some traits are more desirable than others, so the question occurs  can you be trained to give the 'right' answers?

Consistent psychometric tests look at three basic areas:
1) Abilities: people's capacity to work with numbers, words, diagrams and systems
2) Attainment: what people actually know about an area
3) Personality: how people are typically likely to act.

This can cover a wide range of aspects from  motivations and values to indicate how they might react to authority and their inherent integrity.

Tests are meant to indicate attributes that include emotional intelligence, leadership, and how people think - areas that are directly related to particular jobs. Companies can assess their  people to obtain  an organisational profile which shows  how well your teams work and what particular skills they lack as well as who is going to fit in to various teams.

Francis Galton (1822-1911), who was something of a renaissance man first initiated systematic testing and it's not just about the inkblots!
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