How A MultipleChoice Test Became A Fixture Of The NFL Draft

But before we get there, let’s first look at what the Wonderlic purportedly tests. “What we’re measuring is not what you know — that’s what’s being measured on the ACT or the SAT,” said Charles Wonderlic, president and CEO of Wonderlic Inc. “This is really saying, ‘How quickly does your brain gather and analyze information?’” The 12-minute Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT) features 50 questions arranged by difficulty, lowest to highest. Here’s a sample:Jose’s monthly parking fee for April was $150; for May it was $10 more than April; and for June $40 more than May. His average monthly parking fee was ___ for these 3 months?J) $66K) $160L) $166M) $170N) $2002The answer: M) $170A player’s Wonderlic score is always a number between 1 and 50, and across all professions, the average score is approximately 21. (Systems analysts and Chemists top the scale 32 at 31, respectively.) For pro football players, the oft-cited number is about 20. Tracking down the average scores by position is tricky, mainly because the buttoned-up NFL isn’t interested in sharing any broad Wonderlic data. In an email, Charles Wonderlic said that while his company has published “norms” for other industries, “we maintain the confidentiality of test scores for single organizations. Since the NFL is the only client by which we can produce a quarterback average, we would need their permission to provide this information. Traditionally, the NFL prefers to keep any information about tests scores internal to their own organization.”Like Wonderlic, Inc., the NFL declined to provide any historical data related to NFL players’ test scores for this piece.For his 19843The first edition of the book was published in 1970. classic “The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football,” Sports Illustrated writer Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman did get one anonymous staffer to spill some then-current averages. Offensive tackles led the way at 26, then came centers (25), quarterbacks (24), offensive guards (23), tight ends (22), safeties and middle linebackers (21), defensive linemen and outside linebackers (19), cornerbacks (18), wide receivers and fullbacks (17), and halfbacks (16). And what about place kickers and punters? “Who cares?” the source said.On its own, a solid Wonderlic score means little. Like a 40-yard dash time, it provides one tiny, standardized data point to employers who presumably take a holistic approach to hiring. But because teams have decades of data on file, they can compare the Wonderlic scores of current college players entering the draft to those of past prospects. “They simply use it to find the extremes,” Foster said. A very low score or a very high score, he added, could lead teams to conduct more testing or look into the prospect more closely.“Wonderlic gives you an area to investigate,” the late New York Giants general manager George Young told the Philadelphia Daily News in 1997. “If a guy doesn’t have a good score on the test, you don’t say he’s not smart. But you go in and investigate and find out [why he scored low]. You go in and talk to his coach. You find out how he did in school. You find out how he retains. If you think he’s a poor reader and did poorly because it was a verbal test, you give him a non-verbal test.”The most famous extreme occurred in 1975, when Harvard receiver and punter Pat McInally4McInally’s post-NFL life has been much more interesting than his football career. He’s the guy who invented Starting Lineup action figures. reportedly scored a perfect 50 on the Wonderlic. The Cincinnati Bengals picked him in the fifth round of that year’s draft, but not before his reputed intelligence reportedly scared some teams away. In 2011, McInally told the Los Angeles Times that Young informed him that acing the Wonderlic “may have cost you a few rounds in the draft because we don’t like extremes. We don’t want them too dumb and we sure as hell don’t want them too smart.”That slightly paleolithic line of thinking, however, wasn’t shared by everyone. “I don’t care about that stuff,” the late Raiders owner Al Davis said in “The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football.” “If a kid is street smart, that’s enough. Our coaches’ job is to make a kid smarter. I just wonder if they checked some of the coaches’ IQs around the league, how high they’d score.”By now, the value of the Wonderlic has been debated so vigorously, especially among NFL executives, that it’s easy to forget that the test wasn’t designed for football. But the Wonderlic is not without its detractors. Charles Wonderlic estimated that since the test’s inception nearly 80 years ago, it has faced legal scrutiny hundreds of times.In the summer of 1965, when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission began operations a year after it was established by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Duke Power Company in Draper, North Carolina, began allowing its black employees to work in its higher-paying divisions. Until that point, black employees had only been permitted to work in the low-paying Labor department. Duke Power also instituted a policy that required all new applicants6Duke Power started permitting current employees without a high school degree to transfer to higher-paying departments in September of 1965, but to do so they still had to pass two aptitude tests. to have a high school diploma and pass two aptitude exams: the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test and the Wonderlic Personnel Test.These measures crippled the efforts of black workers to advance. At the time, the percentage of white men who both possessed a high school diploma and were able to pass the two aptitude tests was significantly higher7According to the 1960 North Carolina census, 34 percent of white men had a high school diploma while only 12 percent of black men had the same level of education. The newly formed Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that in this case, 58 percent of white people and only 6 percent of black people who took the Wonderlic and the Bennett tests passed. than the percentage of black men who met the same criteria.Griggs v. Duke Power Co., a U.S. Supreme Court case argued in 1970, condemned the company’s requirements. Not only did they disproportionately affect black workers, but they also failed to show “a demonstrable relationship” to job performance, Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote in the majority opinion. He also noted that nothing in the Civil Rights Act “precludes the use of testing or measuring procedures; obviously they are useful.”While the Wonderlic test has shown itself to be a useful tool for workplace assessment, it has also faced longstanding criticism from those who argue that it is racially and culturally biased. It’s unclear whether the NFL, a league in which more than 67 percent of players are African-American, agrees with those accusations or if the league actually uses the Wonderlic to make personnel decisions.“How determinative it is depends on the club,” former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi told ESPN.com in 2013, “but it’s usually not ‘the’ determinative factor.”When it comes to football, is the test a demonstrably reasonable measure of job performance? Because official NFL Wonderlic scores aren’t publicly available, it’s difficult to know for sure, but that hasn’t stopped researchers from attempting to find out. Brian D. Lyons, Brian J. Hoffman, and John W. Michel8At the time, Lyons, Hoffman and Michel were working at University of California, Fresno, the University of Georgia and Towson University, respectively co-authored a 2009 study examining the reported9They found the scores on NFLDraftScout.com and CBS.Sportsline.com. Wonderlic scores of 762 NFL players from three draft classes. They found that there was little correlation between Wonderlic scores and on-field performance, except for two positions: Tight ends and defensive backs with low scores actually played better than those with high scores. The researchers surmised that this “could be explained by the notion that performance for these positions entails more of an emphasis on physical ability and instinct” than general mental ability.Today, the NFL continues to ask potential draftees to take the Wonderlic, although the test now has company. In 2013, the league introduced the Player Assessment Tool, which was developed by attorney Cyrus Mehri, whose report led to the implementation of the NFL’s Rooney Rule, and psychology professor Harold Goldstein. Louis Bien of SB Nation recently reported that the PAT is a 50-minute exam that examines a player’s football smarts, psychological attributes, learning style and motivational cues. “Players are not given a numeric score, unlike on the Wonderlic, so technically there is no way to do poorly on it,” Bien wrote.Mehri’s hope is that the new test can measure what the Wonderlic can’t. “This kind of levels the playing field from a socio-economic point of view,” he told USA Today. “A lot of guys may be very intelligent, but are not as book-smart as others. Someone may not be the best reader, but they can still be very smart in picking up things.”As long as the Wonderlic is administered at the NFL Scouting Combine, Foster, the Combine director, will be fielding questions about it — and shaking his head at leaked scores. “It has some value,” he said of the test. “It does not have near the value of what we spend talking about it between February and May.”After all, a high or low score won’t automatically doom or anoint a prospect. Just ask Greg McElroy. After doing exceptionally well on the Wonderlic in 2011, the New York Jets picked the quarterback in the seventh round of the draft. Before announcing his retirement in 2014, he played in a total of two NFL games. What it was designed for was something more basic. In the 1930s, Eldon “E.F.” Wonderlic — friends called him Al — was working as the director of personnel at consumer loan provider Household Finance Corporation.5It’s now called HSBC Finance. His employer was looking for a more efficient way to hire entry-level workers at its branches, so it sent Wonderlic to graduate school at Northwestern in hopes that his research would yield a solution to the problem.E.F. Wonderlic acknowledged that the single best predictor of job performance was previous work experience. But as Charles Wonderlic put it: “How do you predict someone’s performance if they have never done that job before?” The second-best predictor of job performance, E.F. Wonderlic reasoned, was cognitive ability.“What he found was that different jobs had different cognitive demands ranging from very low to very high,” said Charles Wonderlic, E.F.’s grandson. “And there were really distinct IQs around each job. And the further away you got from that distribution, that’s when you started to experience problems.”The original Wonderlic Personnel Test was born out of that theory. The first copyrighted version of the test appeared in 1937. Its brevity and simple scoring system, Charles Wonderlic said, allowed virtually any manager to both administer the test and interpret scores. (This is also the likely reason for modern pundits’ love of Wonderlic scores: They’re easy talking points.)After a stretch at Douglas Aircraft Corporation during World War II, E.F. Wonderlic worked in finance and sold copies of his test. He didn’t advertise, but eventually big companies like Spiegel and AT&T started calling. In 1961, E.F. Wonderlic left his job as president of General Finance Corporation and founded E.F. Wonderlic & Associates. By then, Charles Wonderlic said, an estimated 4 million people a year were taking the WPT.In the early 1960s, Gil Brandt was a young scout with the expansion Dallas Cowboys. “We were not a very good team,” he told me. His bosses, general manager Tex Schramm and coach Tom Landry, were looking for ways to change that. After doing some research, Brandt said that the trio determined that successful businesses used the Wonderlic and the team should, too. It’s unclear exactly when the Cowboys began testing players. Brandt did say that at some point during the ’60s, he remembers watching spring practice at Northwestern and then stopping by the Wonderlic headquarters to learn more about the company.By the late ’60s, George Young was an ambitious personnel assistant for the Baltimore Colts. He’d been a public school teacher before transitioning to football full time, and he asked the head of the guidance department in Baltimore for a handful of different tests to peruse. Of the 10 he reportedly looked at, the Wonderlic stuck out, and soon the Colts began using it.Other teams followed suit by the 1970s, and the NFL eventually began to use it to assess college players en masse. Since 2007, Wonderlic, Inc. staff members have traveled annually to Indianapolis to administer the test at the Scouting Combine. Eldon Wonderlic. Wonderlic Inc. As Charles Wonderlic drove from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis to his company’s headquarters near Chicago on February 27, 2011, he made the mistake of turning on a sports radio show. The host, as Wonderlic remembers, was talking about Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy’s near-perfect Wonderlic score. Each winter, hundreds of football prospects take the multiple-choice test that claims to measure their intelligence. Results are supposed to be kept confidential, yet they always seem to become media fodder.In reality, there’s no way anyone could’ve known McElroy’s score. On that day four years ago, as reports of McElroy’s supposed feat trickled out, sealed boxes containing every single Wonderlic answer sheet were sitting in Charles Wonderlic’s car, still unscanned. Wonderlic, Inc. didn’t send an encrypted file of the players’ results to the NFL until March 1. Unsurprisingly, a variety of news outlets ran with the story anyway.1For example: purveyor of NFL rumors and gossip ProFootballTalk — which, has since mostly ended its coverage of Wonderlic scores — published three conflicting blog posts about McElroy’s alleged score. The first named McElroy’s alleged score, the second quoted an anonymous scout saying there was “no chance” McElroy’s score could’ve leaked that quickly, and the third claimed that McElroy didn’t score as high as initially reported. The third report was closest to the mark, as it turned out. The months leading up to the NFL Draft feel like election season: Everybody’s trying to dig up dirt on candidates.“Are we just so starved for information this time of year that we search for anything?” wondered NFL Scouting Combine director Jeff Foster, who only agreed to be interviewed for this article after I assured him that I wouldn’t be reporting individual Wonderlic scores.In an era when the NFL schedule release is treated like the premiere of the new “Star Wars,” the answer to Foster’s question is a resounding “yes.” We crave even the smallest bits of information about players entering the NFL Draft, even if it’s not meant for our consumption. Forget Foster’s estimate that half the Wonderlic scores he sees in news stories are incorrect. As long as the test is administered at the Combine, media and fans will fixate on it.“The only person it impacts is the player,” Foster said of a leaked Wonderlic score. “How would you like to be branded unintelligent because you scored a 5 on an intelligence test?”The story of the Wonderlic, however, is more than just a range of easily regurgitated numbers. It’s the story of how one guy’s American Dream helped shape a new American pastime. read more

Centre to pay jute mills only after full payment to farmers labourers

first_imgKolkata: In a stride to ensure that jute farmers and labourers get their desired benefits, the Centre will make it mandatory for the mill owners to make their payments in its entirety before getting the entire payment of the government orders.The decision of the Centre comes in the wake of a section of farmers and labourers complaining of not getting the benefits that they deserve. “The jute industry used to get payments against the order regularly. Why are the farmers and labourers complaining about it? Now, we are making it mandatory, that if you do not pay the farmers or labourers or any way abdicate the responsibility, we will not give you the order,” Union Textile minister Smriti Irani said during an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe jute industry, according to the minister has a ready order worth Rs 5,000-5,500 crore every year (in terms of sacking). “We give such huge orders so that the jute industry stays alive. The sum is given to the jute industry in terms of order so that the farmers and labourers can get the benefits out of it,” she maintained. Irani urged the industry to go for innovation and come forward in taking new initiatives and said the Centre has been focusing on how to transform small size firms into mid-size entities. Elaborating on innovation, she touched upon technical textiles that are finding its application in automobiles, interior decoration, healthcare, industrial safety among others. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIrani said the industry should work closely with the government so that the policies framed by the latter may be implemented effectively. Later, addressing the Annual General Meeting at the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce, she said the government has increased the import duty on some textile products to protect domestic manufacturing. “India looks at the trade war between China and the US as an opportunity and not as a challenge. India would be benefited from the trade war not only through policy intervention but also through industry practices,” she added.last_img read more

5 Tips to Protect Your Business From Hackers

first_img Last year will go down as the year of the security breach.Reports of attacks and breaches made headlines across the world as many companies learned firsthand the damage a high-profile breach can inflict on a brand. Of the several lessons learned, the biggest may be that security needs to be top-of-mind for any online business — regardless of size.In fact, small companies stand to lose the most because they typically lack the dedicated security staff and expertise of a business ranked in the top half of the Fortune 500. While breaches at smaller companies may not make the headlines — if they’re detected at all — the sheer number of small e-commerce sites in operation is just too tempting for hackers to ignore.A recent study found that not only do the number of bots (automated applications that crawl and scan websites) on the Internet outnumber human visitors, but smaller websites actually receive a disproportionately higher percentage of automated bot visitors — up to 80 percent of all traffic on sites with fewer than 1,000 visitors a day. Malicious bots probe sites for vulnerabilities, effectively automating web hacking.The rise of automation has broadened the scope of attacks, making small businesses just as vulnerable as Home Depot or Target. Today, all online businesses are at risk. You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to protect your business and customers from malfeasance. The following are simple measures any business owner can take to thwart attacks and prevent breach.Related: Is Your Company’s Data Safe in the Cloud? (Infographic)1. Mind the gapsVulnerabilities are just that: exploitable weaknesses that allow attackers to penetrate systems. Fortunately, many of these vulnerabilities are well known and easy to patch. Specifically, there are two vulnerabilities all e-commerce business owners should be aware of: SQL and Cross Site Scripting (XXS).Many sites, based on how their e-commerce application was built, are vulnerable to SQL injection attacks. Criminals probe web applications with SQL queries to try to extract information from the e-commerce database.Cross Site Scripting attacks can occur when applications take untrusted data from users and send it to web browsers without properly validating or “treating” that data to ensure it isn’t malicious. XSS can be used to take over user accounts, change website content or redirect visitors to malicious websites without their knowledge.Because attacks on these vulnerabilities are directed at web application, a web application firewall (WAF) very effective in preventing them.2. Denial of serviceSome criminals are taking a brute force approach and flooding websites with traffic to take them offline — called a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. For e-commerce sites, a DDoS attack has a direct impact on revenue. A single DDoS can cost more than $400,000, with some sources reporting costs of up to $40,000 per hour. With attacks ranging from mere hours to several days, no business can afford the risk of a DDoS attack.Often times these attacks are accompanied by a ransom note demanding funds to stop the DDoS attack; other times the attack is merely a smokescreen, giving hackers time to probe the site for vulnerabilities.In either case, rather than fall prey to extortionists, e-commerce sites should enlist DDoS protection to detect and mitigate the attack before it impacts their bottom line. DDoS protection is often available from hosting providers, so small businesses can ask their website hoster for options.3. Two-factor authenticationStolen or compromised user credentials are a common cause of breaches. eBay reported that cyber attackers compromised a small number of employee log-in credentials, allowing unauthorized access to eBay’s corporate network. Criminals use social engineering, phishing, malware and other means to guess or capture usernames and passwords. In other cases, attackers target administrators, whom they discover on social networks, using spear phishing attacks to obtain sensitive data.Related: Why Your Password is Hackerbait (Infographic)Stopping this problem is as simple as implementing two-factor authentication. This second factor is usually a code generated via an app or received via text on a phone owned by the user. Two-factor authentication has been around for a while, but just as better smartphone cameras opened up a whole new market of photo editing and sharing applications, so too has the escalation in breaches increased the number of options for two-factor authentication.Today, there are a number of great two-factor authentication solutions that are both easier to use and very effective at keeping hackers out. Many are free, including Google Authenticator, and are packaged as handy apps on smartphones. With the increasing risk of breach, it’s more important than ever that any application dealing with customer data be protected by two-factor authentication.4. Scan your siteWeb scanners are an important tool for detecting the SQL injection vulnerabilities and XSS mentioned above, as well as a host of other vulnerabilities. Information from these scanners can be used to assess the security posture of an e-commerce website, providing insights for engineers on how to remediate vulnerabilities at the code level or tune a WAF to protect against the specific vulnerabilities.However, in order to be effective, businesses need to use them regularly. It’s important to subscribe to a service that scans on a periodic basis — not every three years.5. Keep your ‘friends’ closeAccording to research by the Ponemon institute, third party providers — hosters, payment processors, call centers, shredders — have a significant impact on breach likelihood and scope. You wouldn’t trust your money to a bank without rigorous, proven security measures in place. Nor should you trust a software vendor without security practices in place.When seeking new providers, make sure they’re compliant with security best practices like the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and cloud-security certification SSAE16. Don’t be intimidated to ask cloud software vendors how they’re managing security and what certifications they have. If they have none, you should think twice about working with them.Don’t overlook this. No matter how good the product, if the software introduces risk to your business, it’s not worth it.Today the risk of data breach is greater than ever, for large and small businesses alike. But security does not have to be complicated. By using the right tools, partnering with the right vendors and implementing safeguards, online businesses can reduce risk and keep out of the headlines.Related: Sometimes Hackers Just Want to Embarrass You April 10, 2015 Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Listen Now 6 min readlast_img read more