I took one class on assessment in my master’s, and it gave me a whole new respect for teachers (or anyone who routinely prepares questionnaires for people).
Figuring out how to assess whatever topic you’re assessing is really really hard.
That being said, I found this quiz particularly interesting. It’s called “Do You Live In a Bubble?”, but it’s target is particularly the “new upper class” and how much they do or do not understand about the lives of most Americans.
What he chose to assess is fairly interesting….people you know, where you’ve lived, smoking and drinking patterns, jobs you’ve had, knowledge of popular media, etc. Lots of interesting issues to be taken with those categories, especially for those who clearly didn’t get the score they were hoping for. The comments are pretty amusing actually…I feel like one of the questions should have been “is it important to you that this quiz tell you that you are “of the people”?
The most interesting point here was actually the entire purpose of the quiz. The author of the quiz answered a few follow up questions, but I thought this was the most telling one:
2. Do you feel that people scoring higher on the quiz are not culturally sequestered as well?
Question from Reddit: HillbillyThinkTank[S]: “You’re right that everyone lives in a bubble of some kind; the tendency to cluster with similarly situated people is not a behavior limited to the “elite.” The way the quiz is structured, he is suggesting that a low-scoring person is culturally sequestered in a way that a high scoring person is not. I don’t think I agree with that.”
Sure, they’re sequestered. We all live in bubbles of one kind or another. The problem is an asymmetry. As I put it in the book, it isn’t a problem if a truck driver doesn’t understand the priorities of a Yale law professor, or news anchor, or cabinet secretary. It’s a problem if the ignorance is the other way around, because the elites are busily affecting the lives of everyone else. When they haven’t the slightest idea what the rhythms and feel of life are like in mainstream America, they tend to make mistakes.
I thought this was an interesting case of trying measure a very abstract concept through concrete questioning. He includes an explanation of each question and why it was included.
Agree or not with his questions, it certainly succeeds at being provocative.
Also, in case you’re curious, I scored a 56.