Let’s stop calling them ‘soft skills’
Seth Godin
4.2K144

One of the biggest (correctable) errors we make is using the IQ test on anyone, but particularly on children, then using the score to make determinations about their future, that can be disastrous. Anyone trained (as am I) in testing (intelligence, judgement, cognitive capacity, etc.) who has even a modicum of real world experience with said tests understands the severity of their limitations. Because IQ and such numbers have such (undeserved) power, I long ago began refusing to reveal mine. Not because I thought they were meaningful, but because it was so apparent they were irrelevant. They predict nothing. And are not revelatory in any way that can be meaningfully useful to anyone.

Genius IQ is not an indication of future success, or even minor contributions. Median IQs frequently save lives in brilliant ways. According to the press, Obama is less intelligent (by IQ) than Trump. It may or may not have been true, when each took a test, though no one said at what age the tests occurred, or which version (there are more than one, and their scales use different number ranges, besides being of varying lengths and formats), further rendering the rumor not just unlikely, but irrelevant. Tests only find out what they’re created to learn, if they’re both well-designed and accurate. They don’t learn about other things, except by accident, over years of study. A perfect example is one of the most used, most normalized, and most studied tests created, the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory). It was designed by the US military to weed out secret homosexuals. It turns out, it’s very good at predicting some things, just not sexual preference. But it it tells mostly that humans fall toward the center of the bell curve, or they’re smart enough to seem that way. Currently, our testing is a great deal like an umbrella in Palm Springs. Sometimes, it actually rains, but standardized tests find obvious lunatics, not normal people in extremis, needing aide in a culture that labels feeling overwhelmed, or otherwise in need of support, as mad. Killing the metaphor, by the time anyone gives them the help they should have had, everything’s blown to bits.