Archive for August, 2006

Quick Competency Testing

August 1, 2006

Psychologists have extensive batteries of tests to assess an individual’s competency, for instance to determine whether someone can be brought to trial and understand the proceedings, or or be committed to supervised care, or be capable of handling the responsibilities of child care and custody. Such assessments require a great deal of professional training, knowledge, and experience.

It seems to me, however, that ordinary folks can make less serious assessments of competence by examining the answers to two simple questions:

  • The answer to “How did you vote in the last election?” shows judgment, awareness, and capacity for logical thought and analysis.
  • The answer to “How will you vote in the next election?” shows insight, assessment of consequences, and capacity to learn from past mistakes.

What more would you need , to assess competence?

Politicians, of course, need a different test, since their voting behavior is driven by “None of the Above”. So far, I don’t have any handy tests for greed, stupidity, and the capacity for suspending morality.