Why is the NFL allowed to use IQ tests during its hiring process?

Radio Magic, there is a world of difference between “Why is the NFL allowed to use IQ tests”, and “Is the Wonderlic of any use?” If the NFL made a rule that you must have at least a 15 on the Wonderlic to play in the NFL, AND the Wonderlic had a disparate racial impact, AND it was of no use, then the issue of legality may arise.

As to the usefullness of the Wonderlic, I haven’t looked at it enough to know one way or another. But I have no problem with GM’s using it in evaluating talent.

Like Jerry Rice and Emmit Smith? :slight_smile:

I don’t know where else you hang out, but I’d love to know where that was the consensus. He’s still definitely a first-round pick, and most likely he’ll still go third overall.

People have answered this a couple of times. It’s an aptitude test, and it’s related to the question of how quickly a player can assimilate new information. Maybe the Wonderlic is a silly waste of time, but it’s still not illegal.

I work in a school where the Wonderlic is used as an admissions evaluation to determine the level of academic achievement of students.

Scores around 10 are basic literacy, and a score of 14 indicates that the person has somewhere around a middle school education level and can be trained to do repetitive tasks with a lot of personal instruction.

As long as they are just using the test to gain an idea of where someone stands intellectually and how quickly they might be able to learn things, I see no problem with it.

After all, it’s how we evaluate potential students!

It’s a crutch. It’s an easy substitute for actual scouting and use of personnel judgment. So is the rest of the combine, with all of its useless dash times and vertical leap measurements. But all those accumulated numbers give teams the illusion that they’re making objective judgments based on actual predictive numbers.

They really shouldn’t bother, of course. Except for a very few positions that are played substantially differently in the NFL vs. the NCAA, the best predictor of success as a pro is success as a collegian. It is most helpful of all to find out what kind of person the player is, how hard he works, how coachable he is, how well he’s developed, how good a teammate he is. I’ve heard Bill Belichick, coach/GM of by far the most successful front office in the NFL today, New England’s, list the criteria they judge players by for the draft, and all those things are at the top. Actual physical talent is something like #9 on the list. Forty times and Wonderlics don’t even rate, even though the Pats go to the combine to meet with people anyway.

The “hottest” prospects I’ve heard of out of the combine in recent years, the ones who blew every scout away, who practically got their Canton busts sculpted even before the draft, who got themselves top draft slots as a result of their numbers, have been Tony Mandarich, Ryan Leaf, and Mike Mamula. None of them amounted to anything in the NFL.

I would also like to point out what I heard on KRLD AM 1080 this morning about this test. Some of the questions are something like:

A notebook has 21 pages. How many pages does three notebooks have?

[multiple choice]

Dick is 12. His sister is twice his age. When Dick is 17, how old will his sister be?

[multiple choice]
It is almost more of a reading comprehension test from what I could gather. Like, “Hey, you! Can you read this?” It seems more of a common sense test and a can you pay attention and follow directions test than an IQ test, but IANA psychologist.

My 4th grade neice could probably spank some of the NFL players on this test… well maybe not in 12 minutes. She would definately beat a 6.

Yeah, there’s a link to a sample test in post #20. Some of the questions are staggeringly obvious, and it seems that a player’s scores are weighted by not just how many questions he gets right, but how fast he finishes.

I must say, what a delightful idea. Being a terrific snob, I’d love to see an IQ test used in more hiring processes. The results would be fascinating, if nothing else.

Here’s my idea, radleyas: implement the IQ tests slowly, to let people adjust. Since our society needs to eat and you can’t just trust vital food issues to anyone, nobody with an IQ below genius-level can work at a fast-food restaurant.

Yeah, but it’s really annoying in that I just sat here for 4½ minutes doing that test, checked my answers (too many wrong to admit to), and the fuckers have no way listed to calculate what my equivalent Wonderlic score would have been.


The score is just the number of correct answers you can get in 12 minutes. Maximum 50.

The sample is 15 questions in 5 minutes, so how can you score a 50?

Uh-oh, this feels like a Wonderlic question…

I happen to agree with you about IQ tests providing one single number to assess all of a person’s cognitive abilities, any more than any one number could assess all of a person’s physical skills.

But that doesn’t mean that no test can ever measure any cognitive skills. Tests can be designed to measure things like memorization, logic or quick processing of information. Presumably, the NFL picked the Wonderlic because they think it tests the sorts of things that they’re looking for. According to Stanford-Binet and my GRE, I’m MENSA-type smart; but I"d make a lousy QB because I don’t do well at making very fast read-and-react decisions … which, not coincidentally, is part of what the Wonderlic measures.

You’re not going to win any points with me by bashing my alma mater, which went to a bowl game, thankyouvery much.

More relevantly, the level-of-competition problem is just as important for mental skills. A QB with brilliant recievers who consistiently get open doesn’t have to worry about learning a gameplan and memorizing your progressions so much; if your first read is open 90% of the time, you’re damn sure gonna look good on tape.

Nobody with a brain cell is saying that. If you’re going to take seriously what you hear from the mouthbreathers on the typical NFL board, well … if you’re gonna swim in the cesspool, don’t complain when it stinks.

Young may be taken later because of this, but he’s still an easy first rounder. I’d be stunned if he’s still there at 10. www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill is by far the best site for NFL rumors; they were on this story from the start. Their latest:

Dream big, Ellis, dream big.

:smiley: My point was not that they should put so much emphasis on 40s, but that they do…

Personally, if I was an NFL scout, I’d want to see 20-yard dashes in full pads…