Monday, December 21, 2015

Philadelphia Police Psychological Test Screening

Articles with quotes all across our nation tell us:

This is about the worst time in United States history to be a police officer. 

Politicians have made police to be blamed for many of society's problems, which is ironic given the psychological testing this article addresses.  

Police officers have always been under acute pressure due to the nature of what they do.  They are expected to be:

a.  enforcers of the law
b.  keep citizens safe in threats
c.  lawyers with expertise in law application 
d.  marriage counselors
e.  lie detectors
f.  therapists who can de escalate everything from violence to suicide
g.  strong but self contained
h.  confident but humble 
i.  experts in gun safety
j.  experts in vehicle safety
k.  experts in juvenile interaction

and on and on it goes. 

All this at wages that are less than some who do non-skilled employment. 

In hiring our best and brightest, the pay commensurate to the work should exist and no hiring should ever be done race based.  This only serves to harm the profession and put the public at greater risk.  It is racism; that is, an arbitrary application that, over time, will mean lower solve rates and increase in misconduct.  

Now, when a single officer breaks the law, the press uses propaganda, at the tip from politicians, to paint them all as violent racists.  

******Psychological tests are designed to be discriminatory.  They are designed to discriminate those who pose a risk of danger to society from those who do not.  ********

A police officer carries not only a lethal weapon upon his or her person, but carries authority to deprive a citizen of his or her freedom.  

When someone is pulled over, the driver is at an extreme disadvantage in most cases because the person approaching the car is carrying lethal force as well as legitimate governmental authority.  Although the officer is also at risk, not knowing who is in the vehicle, and what force (and intentions) are within, statistically, it is the driver at risk.  

When a police officer commits a crime that includes the element of exploitation, police everywhere take the hit to their reputation.  In seminars, I sometimes ask officers upon considering their fellow officers, "How do you feel under _______ pulling over your teenaged daughter late at night?"

"Do you feel confident that she will be treated respectfully, fairly and lawfully?

Or, "Do you entertain a moment of doubt?"

The exploitation of authority (including lethal force) can be subtle, or overt.  

I have been involved in investigations where allegations include:

*sexual exploitation
*personal targeting for harassment
*pulling over a citizen for personal reasons 
*pulling a weapon on a person for personal reasons

These are few and far between, statistically and in reality.  The press, however, plays it in propaganda.  The president of the United States has done the same, which caused it to become very popular to blame police today.  

There are "bad guys" in every profession but the pressure upon police today, brought to bear by politicians, propaganda and direct lies is acute.  

The psychological screening is what helps reduce incidents of police exploitation and abuse because it seeks to answer this question:

What type of person is likely to abuse his or her power and authority on a day to day basis?

A racist is one who discriminates based upon skin pigmentation, which, scientifically, has no impact upon abilities and talents.   Racism puts people at risk.  
If a carrier of lethal force believes in this form of arbitrary thinking, not only are a specific people at risk, but his own judgement, which carries over to other areas, may be impacted. 

In short, the racist, for example, not only holds risk for the race he views as inferior, but his own ability of reason is impacted, which could impact every other area where judgement is needed. 

The racist is a poor hire, not only because of the risk he poses to a specific race, but because his intellectual functioning is poor.  

Therefore, if a man hates all people of a certain skin color, and he is hired to work in an area where there are no citizens of that skin color he poses a risk, still, as his own judgement is not sound.  

This is arbitrary, itself, and puts the races he considers inferior at risk.  He could have pity, or he could have contempt, but that is not the main concern:  the main concern is that the judgement or discrimination is, itself, arbitrary.  

The test is to discriminate between types.  

Racism is arbitrary itself.  Discrimination to be done appropriately, requires a reason for the discrimination.  For example,

If a person is known to have poor impulse control, you want this known, so that you can discriminate against him and keep him from carrying lethal force.  

If said person is given a job with lethal force because of race, this is also racism, and puts not only the public at risk but all officers who will be thus condemned with him.  

It is, therefore, important to define racism, itself.  

Race is not an ideology.  
Race is not a culture.  
Race is not an intellect.
Race is not an ability.  

Ideologies, cultures, intellectual ability, talent, and so on, all need to be judged for appropriate placement in any job.  

*What is it that the testing is looking for?

In the following article, the topic is racial discrimination for its author, but please look at the posted psychological questions at the end of the article, and the added commentary in bold type. 

The psychological screening takes into consideration the very element of risk to citizens. The  testing seeks to screen out antisocial behavior, emotional instability, and difficulty in personal relationships.  There is something else, however, that is being sought.  

Can you spot it?

If such testing is ruled to be discriminatory in race (it is intended to be discriminatory by discriminating against those who pose risk), and is discarded, the risk to the public will increase, making police officers' jobs increase in stress more than it is today, which may be unprecedented in our country.  


Blacks fail Philly police psych screening more than whites

Earlier this year, African American police officers' groups contended that the Philadelphia Police Department's psychological screening was eliminating a lot of black applicants.

Ayanna Holloway decided to return to school after she failed the psychological evaluation.
Data recently provided by the department suggest that the critics are right.
From 2011 through 2014, 72.5 percent of the 262 black applicants passed the psych evaluation, compared with 81.2 percent of the 823 white candidates.
Hispanic applicants fell in between, at 75 percent of 176 job-seekers. Applicants of Asian descent fared the worst, at less than 58 percent, but their overall numbers were small - just 66 applicants over the four-year period.
Experts caution that the different passing rates are not necessarily evidence of discrimination. But as police departments nationwide grapple with improving their relations with minority communities, the black officers' groups saw the lower passing rates as a clear cause for concern.
"We're still not on even ground," said David Fisher, president of the National Black Police Association's greater Philadelphia chapter.
Under U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines, if an employment screening tool results in a minority racial group being hired at less than four-fifths the rate of the majority, the burden is on the employer to show why that tool is a valid predictor of job success and not discriminatory.
For the Philadelphia police, that means black police candidates would have to pass the psych evaluation at a rate below 65 percent - four-fifths of the 81.2 passing rate for whites.

Asked about the different passing rates, police human resources director Heather McCaffrey said in an email that the department was in the process of improving its psych evaluation.
"The Police Department is constantly evaluating processes for improvement," McCaffrey wrote. "We have hired a chief psychologist who is revamping the psychological testing program in accordance with best practices. As these changes are still ongoing, I cannot go into more detail at this time."
The evaluations are performed by independent psychologists, whom the department declined to identify. In deciding whether a person is fit for duty, a psychologist weighs the candidate's answers on a true-false test of more than 500 questions along with information gleaned from a one-hour interview with the candidate.
The true-false test is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2, a widely used exam that is designed to tell if the test-taker exhibits any of a wide range of undesirable tendencies: antisocial behavior, rule-breaking, emotional instability, and difficulty in personal relationships, among others.
There is no evidence that the test is racially discriminatory, said Yossef Ben-Porath, a prominent expert on the test and a professor of psychological sciences at Kent State University in Ohio.
However, people of low socioeconomic status may fare worse on certain aspects of the test, if raised in an environment where rule-breaking and challenging authority were commonplace, said David Corey, a Lake Oswego, Ore.-based psychologist who consults for law enforcement agencies across the United States and Canada.

'The whole person'

As a result, it is inappropriate to use the true-false test by itself as a screening tool, Ben-Porath and Corey said. Some of the true-false questions probe the applicant's history of conduct problems, so a skilled psychologist would then use the interview to determine whether any such tendencies were still an issue, they said.
"It's important to look at the whole person," Corey said. "Are these a reflection of contemporary problems? Or are these a reflection of past problems?"
Applicants who fail Philadelphia's psych evaluation are allowed to try again, but they must start from scratch, repeating all other phases of the application process. The department's figures do not indicate how many, if any, of the applicants from 2011 to 2014 were repeat candidates.
The lower passing rates among black applicants indicate the need for scrutiny of the psychologists who do the interviews, said Rochelle Bilal, president of the Guardian Civic League, a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of black police officers in Philadelphia.
"Who is this company? Is it diverse?" asked Bilal, whose group includes African American as well as Asian officers as members.

No appeal process

Concern about the evaluation was first raised in a July article in the Philadelphia Daily News. At that time, the department said about 57 percent of its 6,300 members were white, 33 percent were black, 8 percent Hispanic, and 2 percent Asian and other races. But since Mayor Nutter took office in 2008, blacks have accounted for 248 of 1,229 new hires as of July - just 20.2 percent of the total.
The department attributed the lower percentage of black hires in part to lower interest amid the national news about fatal encounters between police and minority civilians.
The Inquirer first asked for the data on the psych evaluation passing rates in July; the department said it responded as quickly as possible.
Applicants who fail the psych evaluation are not given a reason, and there is no appeal process, as Ayanna Holloway found out this year.
The 22-year-old successfully cleared all the other hurdles required for entrance to the police academy, including a physical exam and a reading test. But within 10 minutes of undergoing the psych evaluation in April, she got a phone call saying she did not make it.
"Some of the questions are repeated, but they switch the words around," Holloway said. "It's really tricky. There are a lot of questions about your feelings, like what would you do in this or that scenario?"
Rather than try again, Holloway opted to return to school, studying digital forensics at Chestnut Hill College.
Briannah Hawkins, another recent applicant who did not pass the psych screening, vowed to try again.
"I'm not going to let it defeat me," she said. "I don't believe a 500-question test can be the basis of whether people are going to be good cops or not."

Psych Test

Like many police departments, Philadelphia uses a true-false test called the MMPI-2 to evaluate the psychological fitness of officer candidates. The questions are not made public, but two unsuccessful applicants confirmed that the following, posted in an online forum, were among more than 500 questions when they took the test:

A.  At times I feel like smashing things.

B.   I like to read newspaper articles on crime.

C.  I  am sure I get a raw deal from life.

****end of article.  

Now note the questions:  These are just three, but they are very important for analysis.  

How would you answer these three questions in a true or false setting?

1.  The psych test seeks truth. 
2.  The psych test seeks to eliminate those who pose a risk to others.  
3.  Those who pose a risk to others will reveal themselves in the lengthy test questions.  

Please comment on these three points and I will later update the purpose of these three questions posed, and how they impact not only the profession of law enforcement, but how they might impact many different professions.  


Anonymous said...

True or False:
1. The psych test seeks truth. my answer: True, it *seeks* truth.
2. The psych test seeks to eliminate those who pose a risk to others. my answer: True.
3. Those who pose a risk to others will reveal themselves in the lengthy test questions. my answer: Maybe.

I think a respondent who agrees with "At times I feel like smashing things" can be revealing occasional anger, but not poor impulse control.

The statement isn't "Sometimes I smash things." Being angry at times is not necessarily a sign of being a danger to others.

As far as question C in post above, I don't believe having an awareness of having gotten a raw deal in life necessarily means you pose risk to others. I think I got a raw deal in life, and I am gentle and live a quiet law-abiding life.

Sus said...

"Some of the questions are repeated, but they switch the words around." Haha. Smart girl. This is the jist of a psychological exam. It is filled with cross checks to weed out the lies.

So in answer to your questions.
1. Yes.
2. Yes, by seeking the truth.
3. Yes, the way the questions are worded is what tells the psychological profile.

As far as the example questions go, it's the wording. "At times", "I am sure" that determines a profile. Almost everyone would be lying to say no to an "at times."

Anonymous said...

1) seeks truth...false....seeks personality profile
2)seeks to eliminate those who pose a risk to others...false...seeks to discriminate
3)Those who pose a risk to others will reveal themselves in the lengthy test questions
Maybe. If this were true we would not read of an officer pumping 15-20 bullets in a single person at any given time.

Judging from the ones I've met, the majority are bullies with a badge. It is such a relief and I can't brag enough when one acts human.
They must use other experiences in hiring decisions other than psych tests.

Polo said...

1) No. I do not feel like smashing things.
2) Yes. I do like to read articles about crime, but not too much because I do not think it is healthy for anyone to immerse themselves in crime stories.
No. I do not feel like I got a raw deal in life.

3) I believe that a yes answer to questions 1 and 3 could indicate potential anger issues providing the answers are consistent throughout the test.

According the statistics the black applicants are failing at a rate of 9% below white applicants. While it would be nice to see that improve, in my opinion, the disparity between only 262 black applicants and 823 white applicants is the real issue.

Why not try to identify the characteristics/background of the black applicants who pass the test and see what is different from those who did not pass? Maybe survey the black applicants to learn why they applied to be an LE officer.

Identify your ideal police officer and launch a recruiting campaign to attract that type of individual.

I don't support changing the test.

Polo said...

Polo asks: Does my qualifier in item #2 weaken my statement? Do you now think I am an avid reader of crime stories. :) Just having fun! Christ is Born!

C5H11ONO said...

C. I am sure I get a raw deal from life.

Is this one to rule out future lawsuit person?

C5H11ONO said...

B. I like to read newspaper articles on crime.
Is this to rule out the anti social person? Should it be limited to just newspapers though. I guess its because it comes from an old test (prior to the world wide web). A person can truthfully respond "False" since the articles on crime may be coming from the internet and they are not "articles from a newspaper". They may have downloaded reading materials from the internet. Remember anyone from the past?

Pioneer Bee said...

3)false,because in order to gain a passing score, an applicant with above average intelligence and common sense,and a need to succeed at whatever costs along with no qualms in bending the truth and the belief that the ends justifies the means would have the discernment and wherewithal to answer questions in a manner to disguise any psychopathic or sociopathic tendencies the tested may suffer from

Juliet said...

These are difficult to answer without wanting to qualify the answers.

1. At times I feel like smashing things
2. I like to read newspaper articles on crime
3. I am sure I get a raw deal from life


I will resist the urge to qualify, though might not continue to be able throughout. :)

On the three points - the test is seeking consistent responses to the same type of questions asked in different ways, in order to help identify unsuitable candidates - be they given to violence, lies, deceit, control issues, substance abuse, or certain mental health problems. It might be helpful, provided the respondent answered honestly, but if he/she was determined to present themselves in a certain way, would they not consistently answer in such a way as to present themselves as they wished to appear? Applying for law enforcement, it is likely the candidate would be keen, perhaps sometimes overly keen, to present themselves in a particularly good light. I wonder, can the test detect deceit, consistently applied, throughout the five hundred questions? Are the questions fool-proof in ensuring those who are misrepresenting themselves will prove inconsistent?

I feel, on that tiny sample that I am misrepresenting myself by not being able to qualify the answers - so I wonder how the choices can be either 'true' or 'false', when to me, those responses are only really true or false with qualification, which is not allowed.

Carder said...

True, true and true.

lynda said...

Yes..I would say practically everyone has THOUGHT about it, or felt like doing it, so to answer truthfully, yes. Now if they question was have you EVER done it and someone said yes, this would show poor impulse control as the people that have thought of it and never done it can get a grip on their emotions before they do something impulsively that could cause harm and fear. People with poor impulse control aren't experts in anything because they can't control their emotions without exploding. You could know how to break apart, clean, and be an expert marksman but if you have poor impulse do something stupid, against everything that you know. Drive stupidly and dangerously, pull your weapon agressively or to soon in a situation, god forbid actually fire it impulsively

Yes..Again, most people do I believe. If you didn't enjoy reading about crime why would you seek a career in LE? The more you read, the more you learn and apply what you have learned. You can learn how to handle a certain situation that you yourself have not experienced when you read of a good outcome of a tense situation from a cops actions. Those that read and do NOT learn and apply would be poor candidates

No....Again, I think everyone has felt AT TIMES they've gotten a raw deal in life, and they probably have, but you have to compare it to the whole of life and in comparison, the answer should be no. To say yes could imply that the person has a permanent chip on their shoulder and could possibly make agressive, incorrect judgements based on their feeling of I've got to screw them before they screw me. This person would not make a good mediator and could possibly even incite the situation to escalate. Combine this with a yes to question one and you've got a hot pot boiling... Could imply racism depending on who or what gives you the feeling you always get a raw deal in life.

I think what they are trying to find out in just these 3 questions is just what Peter said

a. enforcers of the law
b. keep citizens safe in threats
c. lawyers with expertise in law application
d. marriage counselors
e. lie detectors
f. therapists who can de escalate everything from violence to suicide
g. strong but self contained
h. confident but humble
i. experts in gun safety
j. experts in vehicle safety
k. experts in juvenile interaction

Just these 3 questions answered "correctly" could give you the answers to a-k

Anonymous said...

I never feel like smashing things, I like to submerse myself in certain crime stories (only some), and I know I got a crappy role-of-the-dice in life.

Anonymous said...

No one I've ever talked to on the subject of police or anyone I know would expect the requirements Peter listed. Most would only call them if they couldn't catch the criminal themselves or profile a friend or family member and blame them. That comes from the mantra 'all we do is mop up.' Expecting the police to do any of those things is ludicrous!I know at least 7 people that have been hit by a police car in non-emergency situations so we know their auto safety expertise is lacking. They may know more about gun safety than most as that would surely be a requirement.

I thought they refused to do their job so the vigilantes and those hired to do what they can't could run the underground network. Proving that if people don't do their job for them, then another Germany would be in America.

Juliet said...

Are those who don't feel like smashing things more likely to be passive aggressive? It's twenty-odd years since I smashed anything, which is a lot of not smashing. If everyone *should* feel like smashing things at times, and that becomes suppressed, does it turn into something else? I don't know, but it would seem likely.

I grew up in a household in which every few months one parent smashed crockery, overturned furniture, and upended plant pots as a means of venting frustration, before slamming the door on the way out of the house, whilst the other kicked furniture and also slammed doors (not all at the same time - variety is the spice of life). It was scary and random, and I got to clear up - no fun for kids. As such, I didn't follow their example with my own kids, until one particularly stressed out day when they were all playing up and my better half appeared to have gone conveniently deaf, and I was trying to do six things at once; with hardly a thought I dropped a set of dinner plates onto a stone tiled floor, both as a means of expression, and to shut them them all up, which it did. Whatever had worked for my parents didn't work for me - I felt terrible, and then tried to make out to the kids it was an accident, and have regretted that moment and the dinner plates (it was a nice set) ever since. I haven't smashed anything, nor had the desire, since that day - horrible, don't do it.

That doesn't have to mean much, as there are less obvious ways to express frustration and to break things, not necessarily physically. I'd say it's likely that most people feel that level of frustration at times, but that 'smashing things' is not necessarily the best question as it is too definitive, whereas destructive and self-destructive reactions or impulses can take many forms. To respond 'true' to wanting to actually smash things would say a person does not seem enough in control of their feelings or person, to me - yet it may be 'true' of someone who doesn't want, literally, to smash things - as with me, the response is 'false' but that may not be true enough. The frustration goes somewhere, it has to come out - I write to vent - it's more civilised, and saves on the crockery. My parents used to write AND smash and slam things - for the sake of our children, we evolve.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sus said...

I want to say another thing about a psychological exam. One doesn't really pass or fail it. I don't know why the article speaks of it that way. The results are compared to norms. Certain people who have certain beliefs and certain personality characteristics more often answer in certain ways.

So if I'm hiring someone to enforce the law, I don't want to hire someone who answers questions how 90% of rule breakers do.

John Mc Gowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Mc Gowan said...

OT Update:

Bill Cosby sues supermodel Beverly Johnson for defamation

LOS ANGELES — Bill Cosby filed a lawsuit Monday against supermodel Beverly Johnson, alleging she lied when she said the comedian drugged and tried to rape her at his New York home in the mid-1980s.

Cosby’s lawsuit says Johnson joined other women making accusations against him to revive her waning career and to help sell copies of her memoir.

The lawsuit alleges defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, saying Cosby and Johnson never spent any time alone in his house, he never drugged her and “her story is a lie.”

“I am aware of the statements from Bill Cosby,” Johnson said in a statement. “In cases of rape and abuse, abusers will do whatever they can to intimidate and weaken their victims to force them to stop fighting. I ask for your support of all of the victims involved.”

More than 40 women have come forward to publicly accuse Cosby, 78, of assaulting them over four decades, usually saying he drugged them first. No criminal charges have been filed against Cosby.

Last week, Cosby filed a countersuit against seven other women who accused him of sexual assault and sued him for defamation. Cosby said the women’s accusations hurt his reputation so much that plans for a new family comedy on NBC were derailed.

Johnson, 63, the first African-American supermodel, first made her accusation against Cosby in Vanity Fair magazine in late 2014.

She said that in the mid-1980s, she went to Cosby’s residence to work on acting exercises, including one in which she acted drunk, when Cosby asked her to have a drink from his cappuccino machine.

“I knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I’d been drugged — and drugged good,” she wrote. Johnson said she struggled so much that Cosby took her out of the house and put her into a cab.

Johnson later talked about the alleged incident to other publications and television shows such as “The View,” “Nightline” and “Good Morning America.” She devoted a chapter to it in her 2015 autobiography, “The Face That Changed It All.”

In a press release, Cosby lawyer Monique Pressley called Johnson’s statements “an opportunistic attempt to resuscitate her own career and benefit herself financially from the wave of media attention surrounding her false allegations against Mr. Cosby. …”

Cosby seeks unspecified damages, an injunction requiring Johnson to retract her statements, removal of the chapter about Cosby in future copies of her memoir and removal of the chapter from unsold copies.

Pressley filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

In another action, Cobsy’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed last October by Renita Hill, one of his accusers.

Hill appeared in the “Picture Pages” educational videos with Cosby in the 1980s when she was a teenager.

She said Cosby sexually abused her from 1983-87 and paid for her college education until she decided to have no more contact with him. She filed for defamation after Cosby, his lawyer and his wife said in the media that her accusations were not true.

The Cosby motion says Hill’s complaint doesn’t meet the bar for defamation and notes that the three media comments mention Hill by name.

Hill’s lawsuit is in the U.S. District Court of western Pennsylvania.

Juliet said...

I'd appreciate if my previous comment could be deleted at some point, please, Peter - it's not good to bad mouth one's parents. :-/ (On the plus side, if anyone accidentally dropped and broke a piece of crockery, no-one minded or made a fuss.)

Unknown said...

OT- In relation to the Heather Elvis case... Is it possible to do an analysis on an article/blog? The author claims to be an "investigative journalist".

Anonymous said...

Juliet, let your comments stand as they are. It explains your dire need to be a psychobabbler. So, you didn't grow up on the set of "Leave It To Beaver."

We get it.

Besides, other psychobabblers need a new target so they can conduct research on your family, the dna involved, and your propensity to commit crimes. Are you going to solve crimes? If so, they can reduce the requirements for police officers.

Juliet said...

I wasn't aware of psycho-babbling, sorry about that.

I don't know 'Leave it to Beaver' so I'll think you probably mean something like 'The Waltons'.

Love covers a multitude of sins - I'm not sure if that should extend to leaving crappy comments on public forums, even if they are never going to see them. I was trying to explain my not quite true 'false' response to the 'smashing' question, but I should have left it alone. To probably misquote - 'the past is another country, they do things differently there.' I wish they had been happier - that's all. Plus, it's only a bit representative, so that's not a good picture to create. If we're lucky, our parents grow up, too - it's not fair to hark on stuff they got wrong in the process as no-one can change the past. So, I hope it will be deleted, but if not, that's my problem - I wrote it.

You sound jaded. :)

John Mc Gowan said...



If you open an account, you will have the option to delete any of your future post's. Also, if you add an avatar, a picture. This will be unique to you, and noone can imitate you.

Sus said...

I didn't realize we were to answer the three true/false questions. You can't hire me because I can't follow directions. I only talked about the exam. My answers:
1. True
2. True
3. False

Jane said...

A. At times I feel like smashing things.
Saying "True" to this one indicates that you like destroying things. Keeping in mind that you don't get to clarify by saying "Oh, I meant that I like to crack eggs when making pancakes or crumple paper to play wastebasket basketball," I think well-adjusted people would select the more appropriate choice, "False."

B. I like to read newspaper articles on crime.
Saying "True" may indicate something positive -- that the job applicant likes to be well-informed. But given the type of job this is, I think a "True" answer may be a minus, showing that someone is too much of a crime "fan," someone who might aspire to be in the crime news him/herself.

C. I am sure I get a raw deal from life.
False. Who would want to hire someone with a chip on his/her shoulder?

Anonymous said...

Okay. "The Waltons" works,too. That is if you don't mind working in a saw mill, growing and canning food and storing for winter, planning and fixing meals for 10 people living in the same house with no indoor bathroom.

"Leave It To Beaver" was more about city dwellers with the perfect Mom who cooked and anticipated all her boys (2) needs and the perfect Dad came home from work to the perfect home in the 'burbs. They had city sidewalks on which to ride their bikes, ball parks, stores, etc.

Walton family members had it rough in the mountains during depression era economy.
There would be no breaking plates as they were hard to come by.

Anonymous said...

A. "At times I feel like smashing things." Could this be a (sneaky) question to determine gender? IF one of their aims is to screen out women, a "yes" on this one is more likely to be male.
B. "I like to read newspaper articles on crime." Could this also be a gender question? Are women more into armchair sleuthing than men? I don't know.
C. "I am sure I get a raw deal from life." Who would say "yes" to this, even if it's what they believe to be true? Obviously not a good one to say "yes" to.

rjb said...


You didn't say anything like, "My mom was a b*tch and my dad was an a**hole," and when I read your comment, it didn't come across to me as you bad-mouthing your parents. You shared information regarding how your childhood experiences informed your own behaviour, making it relevant to the topic at hand. It didn't read as mean-spirited, but as informative.

Our pasts, good, bad, or neutral affect our decisions and behaviours for the rest of our lives. Discussing past events in context as you did is normal and healthy.

rjb said...


You didn't say anything like, "My mom was a b*tch and my dad was an a**hole," and when I read your comment, it didn't come across to me as you bad-mouthing your parents. You shared information regarding how your childhood experiences informed your own behaviour, making it relevant to the topic at hand. It didn't read as mean-spirited, but as informative.

Our pasts, good, bad, or neutral affect our decisions and behaviours for the rest of our lives. Discussing past events in context as you did is normal and healthy.

Sus said...

I could be wrong, but I believe A is a validity question. It and others like it, such as, "I would sneak into a concert without paying if I could." are there to see if the respondent is answering truthfully. A large percent of norm respondents admitted to certain things like the above.

The exam is further validated by "questions repeated, but worded differently", as the girl said in the article.

This is a good exam with a large and diverse norm group. It has been used for decades to find mental instability.

Sus said...

And so what, Juliet, if you had said your mom is a b*cth and your dad is an a**hole? Maybe they are/were. Own it. There's nothing wrong with seeing people for who they are. It doesn't make them different because they are related to you. It's very freeing to see people for who they are rather than who they want you to see.

See, that tells about my life. :-)

Juliet said...

Thanks, rjb - I do guilt-trips on myself quite well. It seems bad to me, like an invasion of their privacy' even if it was decades ago. I get what you are saying, just this is not the time and place for me to do that.

Anon - 'Leave it to Beaver' sounds like a nightmare - moreso than The Waltons might have been, then. :) I like to think the crockery at home was just not to taste, but just wantonly binning it without a good reason would have been extravagant. :)

Thanks, John - I have been mulling over an account for a while but as I already have one or six gaming accounts, I've been reluctant in case I accidentally post with my real account or a gaming account, as is my wont. Still, I am not quite comfortable with this arrangement, or using my real name, even if it's only a forename, so I've set up an account and will post as 'Hey Jude' after this post - signed out from everything else on my iPad so it should be fool-proof. :) For years I only posted anywhere in my own name, or username with my real email, because 'anon' so often is used to behave badly and abuse other users - but I'm over that now, as I want to post, but without the flack it has sometimes invited from some people in my 'real' life.

Hey Jude said...

Like so, if it works.

Hey Jude said...

Hey, Sus - I love them dearly (father long since dead, he died when I was a teenager- not as a result of assault with assorted crockery, I'm pleased to say) and would not describe them like that, or want to. It's a lot easier to love him in retrospect and in death, has to be said. :) I adore my mother, and always have done - my father was a difficult man, they both married the wrong person, IMO.

Enough already - and the season's greetings to all. :)

(PS - Still call me Juliet if you prefer, anyone - I don't mind, it just doesn't look so obviously like me, to me, with the profile and account name.)

John Mc Gowan said...

Hey Jude said...

"Like so, if it works".


Tania Cadogan said...


Hey Jude said...

Waves back. :). That's better, somewhat. (Or like Stevie Smith, not waving but drowning. That'll be Christmas advancing fast while I'm just thinking about it. Ten more minutes and I'll be onto it.