IBM’s Asshole Test

“Some years back I applied to join IBM’s grad scheme, there was a peculiar stage to the process I’ve not seen elsewhere. It was during the onsite day, where a batch of 20 or so applicants were put through various tests in an IBM office. They called it the “group test”; around 8 of us were led to a room and asked to solve a puzzle together. Each of us was given an information pack, there was a white board, and a timer ticking down from 60 minutes. At first there was silence as we looked at our packs, then the first voice: “Let’s pool our information”, someone stands up by the whiteboard, grasping a marker. Silence, it’s not clear how this information should be parsed. One person starts reading theirs out word for word. This is not going to scale. Someone interrupts. Before long the whiteboard leader has been deposed and another is wielding the marker. Then another fights for control. The 60 minutes has run out, the puzzle is unsolved. Confused and drained we head off to the next test.

At the end of the day the group is split into two rooms, my room is given the good news and I go on to join the grad scheme. Six months later I am shadowing a colleague who is running the “group test”. I asked him if he’d ever seen a group complete the test? “Oh, it’s not about that, this is an asshole test. You see who turns into an asshole under pressure and they don’t make it to the next round”.

-johnpublic, “IBM’s Asshole Test.” May 4, 2022

Companion to The Asshole Filter.

Intrinsic Values Test

“To develop this test, we investigated what philosophers and psychologists have said about what humans fundamentally value, and then conducted two studies of our own, collecting and statistically analyzing the intrinsic values of 500 people in the U.S. Taking this test will help you:

1. Figure out your most important intrinsic values.

2. Discover what your unique intrinsic values say about you.

3. Understand why intrinsic values are so important.

An intrinsic value is something you value for its own sake.

Put another way, an intrinsic value is something you would still value even if you got absolutely nothing else from it. Sometimes intrinsic values are referred to as ‘terminal values,’ because they reflect the end points in our value system that all our other values are aiming at. Non-intrinsic values are sometimes called ‘instrumental values,’ because we only care about them as a means to achieve other ends.”

Intrinsic Values Test

My top value: I have agency and can make choices for myself. Surprising no one.

Empathy Quotient

“The Empathy Quotient (EQ) is a 60-item questionnaire [snip] designed to measure empathy in adults…Clinically, the empathy measurements provided by the EQ are used by mental health professionals in assessing the level of social impairment in certain disorders like Autism. However, since levels of empathy vary significantly between individuals, even between those without any mental health disorders, it is also suitable for use as a casual measure of temperamental empathy by and for the general population.

[The link b]elow is a list of statements. Please read each statement carefully and rate how strongly you agree or disagree with it by selecting the circle under your answer. There are no right or wrong answers, or trick questions.