Monday, January 21, 2008

Test the Nation: Bloggers Sweep!

I was hanging out at J's (as I often do on Sunday evenings) and we got to see the first few minutes of "Test the Nation", a Canadian trivia show where six teams of contestants (bloggers, celebrity look-alikes, chefs, cab drivers, flight crew and backpackers) answer trivia questions.

I am a bit surprised that nobody from the psychology field has criticized the show for touting itself as the "Canada's First IQ Test for the Nation". Anybody who has read the literature on IQ (and I certainly have, as my parents sent me off for numerous tests in my childhood) knows that there is a large debate surrounding mental testing.

So, for a show like this, to promote itself as a mental testing show, it does beg the question - how much do they really know about IQ tests? And how much does the team of experts know about IQ tests? Trivia tests are not exactly mental tests that will yield any statistically significant results on mental prowess. And the team of experts does seem to know a lot about culture and pop culture, world affairs, but certainly nothing in their credentials indicates anything about mental testing.

Of course, I'll unashamedly admit that I did want to be invited (I wanted to be on the bloggers team, but for one reason or another, I never made it). I guess I could try to be on the "New Canadians" team. Not sure that after my criticism the producers will want to invite me, hehe. But I still would recommend to the producers of the show to get some expert advice from a Canadian psychologist who specializes in mental testing. It would add credibility and depth to the show, I think.

And on the other hand, I want to congratulate all bloggers, and especially those of you West Coasters who represented us. The two I clearly recognized were Rebecca Bollwitt (aka Miss604) and Lainey Lui (aka Lainey Gossip). Love both of their blogs! Congratulations again!

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