History Main / HiddenPurposeTest

16th Jan '18 4:24:25 PM SpockHeavy
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* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', the quest to join the [[spoiler:Dark Brotherhood]] involves being told to figure out which of three people has a contract out for his or her murder, then fulfill that contract. After you've finished the job, you learn that your answer was irrelevant to your employer; she simply wanted to find out whether you would commit murder on her orders. If you [[TakeAThirdOption choose to kill your employer instead]], [[spoiler:she will say "Well done" as she dies, implying that the contract was on her all along.]]

to:

* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', the quest to join the [[spoiler:Dark Brotherhood]] involves being told to figure out which of three people has a contract out for his or her murder, then fulfill that contract. After you've finished the job, you learn that your answer was irrelevant to your employer; she simply wanted to find out whether you would commit murder on her orders. If you [[TakeAThirdOption choose to kill your employer instead]], [[spoiler:she will say "Well done" as she dies, implying that the contract was on her all along.]]
14th Nov '17 6:23:50 AM nighttrainfm
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Both Naruto and Sakura managed to pass via accidental LoopholeAbuse. Neither of them got caught cheating because they simply didn't cheat in the first place- Sakura was smart enough to answer the questions legitimately, and Naruto [[spoiler:left his page blank. Due to the way the Chuunin Exam rules worked (you automatically pass if you make it to the tenth question and answer that correctly), he passes despite not having done anything]].

to:

Both Naruto and Sakura managed to pass via accidental LoopholeAbuse. Neither of them got caught cheating because they simply didn't cheat in the first place- place - Sakura was smart enough to answer the questions legitimately, and Naruto [[spoiler:left his page blank. Due to the way the Chuunin Exam rules worked (you automatically pass if you make it to the tenth question and answer that correctly), he passes despite not having done anything]].anything.]]
17th Oct '17 8:09:12 AM AnotherDuck
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** There is a real life version of this test, which the score being the time taken to perform a variety of tasks such as saying specific words aloud, or scratching your nose with your pencil's eraser. Again, the instructions are to read all the tasks before performing any of them. [[spoiler:The last instruction directs the test subject to ignore everything written above. Turn the test over, and put your arms on the test, and put your head on your arms without saying or doing anything else.]] Invariably, many subjects begin carrying out the instructions without reading them all first.



* The British came across this technique in '''their''' Civil service exams. They couldn't actually care less whether you could translate, sight unseen, large slabs of Latin or Greek--what they did care about was your ability to master a technically difficult body of knowledge from scratch and apply it with precision and skill. To explain how well this worked- approximately one thousand Indian Civil Service clerks governed 250 '''million''' people in the Raj, and by all accounts did quite creditably well.

to:

* The British came across this technique in '''their''' their Civil service exams. They couldn't actually care less whether you could translate, sight unseen, large slabs of Latin or Greek--what they did care about was your ability to master a technically difficult body of knowledge from scratch and apply it with precision and skill. To explain how well this worked- approximately one thousand Indian Civil Service clerks governed 250 '''million''' million people in the Raj, and by all accounts did quite creditably well.


Added DiffLines:

* There is a version of this test, which the score being the time taken to perform a variety of tasks such as saying specific words aloud, or scratching your nose with your pencil's eraser. Again, the instructions are to read all the tasks before performing any of them. [[spoiler:The last instruction directs the test subject to ignore everything written above. Turn the test over, and put your arms on the test, and put your head on your arms without saying or doing anything else.]] Invariably, many subjects begin carrying out the instructions without reading them all first.
17th Oct '17 8:05:27 AM AnotherDuck
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** The first nine questions are themselves a hidden purpose test of ''skill'': The questions are too difficult for most Genin to know, but there are two fake candidates taking the test. There are proctors watching the candidates, and any genin caught cheating five times is automatically failed, along with their team. The key to passing the test is to figure out how to get the answers [[NotCheatingUnlessYouGetCaught without getting caught]], as a test of the ninja's information-gathering skills. The proctors merely pretend not to notice some of the cheating (Ibiki notices that Gaara is up to something, but gives him a pass as he can't figure out what), but presumably give penalties for what they consider to be substandard information gathering.
*** Both Naruto and Sakura managed to pass via accidental LoopholeAbuse. Neither of them got caught cheating because they simply didn't cheat in the first place- Sakura was smart enough to answer the questions legitimately, and Naruto [[spoiler:left his page blank. Due to the way the Chuunin Exam rules worked (you automatically pass if you make it to the tenth question and answer that correctly), he passes despite not having done anything]].
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', Genkai makes the interested applicants for her Spirit Training play video games. One is a karaoke machine, another a punching bag, and another a "rock-paper-scissors" type of game. The bag tests Spirit Energy, the karaoke machine tests how well they can sync up with the supernatural and the rock-paper-scissors game tests spiritual awareness.
** "What's the Tetris and Pac-Man for?" "They're just for fun."

to:

** The first nine questions are themselves a hidden purpose test of ''skill'': The questions are too difficult for most Genin to know, but there are two fake candidates taking the test. There are proctors watching the candidates, and any genin caught cheating five times is automatically failed, along with their team. The key to passing the test is to figure out how to get the answers [[NotCheatingUnlessYouGetCaught without getting caught]], as a test of the ninja's information-gathering skills. The proctors merely pretend not to notice some of the cheating (Ibiki notices that Gaara is up to something, but gives him a pass as he can't figure out what), but presumably give penalties for what they consider to be substandard information gathering.
***
gathering.\\
\\
Both Naruto and Sakura managed to pass via accidental LoopholeAbuse. Neither of them got caught cheating because they simply didn't cheat in the first place- Sakura was smart enough to answer the questions legitimately, and Naruto [[spoiler:left his page blank. Due to the way the Chuunin Exam rules worked (you automatically pass if you make it to the tenth question and answer that correctly), he passes despite not having done anything]].
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'':
**
Genkai makes the interested applicants for her Spirit Training play video games. One is a karaoke machine, another a punching bag, and another a "rock-paper-scissors" type of game. The bag tests Spirit Energy, the karaoke machine tests how well they can sync up with the supernatural and the rock-paper-scissors game tests spiritual awareness.
** "What's the Tetris and Pac-Man for?" "They're just for fun."
awareness.



* To be admitted to the eponymous ''Princess Sparkle's School for Eccentric Unicorns'', Twilight challenges applicants to do what only she has in a thousand years: create new magic. Only four unicorns pass the test, by simply trying any spell, instead of just giving up or raging.
** Technically the test was "show her a spell she has never seen before", it's just that she's seen so many spells, even ones she didn't know how to cast, that the only way to guarantee winning was to invent a new spell.
** Also a slight subversion as we learn that none of the ponies that passed, Lyra, Trixie, Vinyl, and Fleur, succeeded for the reason Twilight thought a pony would (determination in the face of certain failure). Lyra passed because the musical spell she cast was to relax her nerves and she kept casting afterwards in a panic. Trixie cast her spell just to spite Twilight for giving her an impossible test. Fleur didn't want to disappoint her husband and so cast the most obscure spell she had in desperation that Twilight hadn't seen it before. Vinyl wasn't taking the whole test seriously at all and just cast something for fun.

to:

* To be admitted to the eponymous ''Princess Sparkle's School for Eccentric Unicorns'', Twilight challenges applicants to do what only she has in a thousand years: create new magic. Only four unicorns pass the test, by simply trying any spell, instead of just giving up or raging.
**
raging. Technically the test was "show her a spell she has never seen before", it's just that she's seen so many spells, even ones she didn't know how to cast, that the only way to guarantee winning was to invent a new spell.
** Also a slight subversion as we learn that none of the ponies that passed, Lyra, Trixie, Vinyl, and Fleur, succeeded for the reason Twilight thought a pony would (determination in the face of certain failure).
spell. Lyra passed because the musical spell she cast was to relax her nerves and she kept casting afterwards in a panic. Trixie cast her spell just to spite Twilight for giving her an impossible test. Fleur didn't want to disappoint her husband and so cast the most obscure spell she had in desperation that Twilight hadn't seen it before. Vinyl wasn't taking the whole test seriously at all and just cast something for fun.



* ''Film/MenInBlack''

to:

* ''Film/MenInBlack''''Film/MenInBlack'':



* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' novel The Gathering Storm, Aviendha is training to become a Wise One. The other Wise Ones keep commenting that she is "learning too slowly" and assign her a variety of ridiculously pointless punishments, such as carrying heavy rocks from one side of a field to the other and back again. She obediently carries out her "punishments" but can't figure out what lesson she's supposed to be learning. When she finally stands up to the Wise Ones and refuses to accept her punishment, they accept her as one of their own.
** Aviendha learns at the same time the real problem with this kind of test (which the Wise Ones are well aware of): by acknowledging those and only those who claim they deserve to be acknowledged, the women who least deserve to be treated as Wise Ones are often the quickest to gain the title. And unsurprisingly (for this series and an all-female group), they don't want any rumor that Wise Ones ever disagree about anything - which means at least publicly supporting the actions of the more foolish or shortsighted "Wise Ones" to preserve their mystique.
* Parodied in the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/{{Mort}}''. Death ordered his new apprentice to muck out the stables. After the task is done, Death asks Mort why he had been given this task. Mort correctly comes up with the following reason: because the stables were filthy and needed to be mucked out.

to:

* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' novel The Gathering Storm, Aviendha is training to become a Wise One. The other Wise Ones keep commenting that she is "learning too slowly" and assign her a variety of ridiculously pointless punishments, such as carrying heavy rocks from one side of a field to the other and back again. She obediently carries out her "punishments" but can't figure out what lesson she's supposed to be learning. When she finally stands up to the Wise Ones and refuses to accept her punishment, they accept her as one of their own.
**
own. Aviendha learns at the same time the real problem with this kind of test (which the Wise Ones are well aware of): by acknowledging those and only those who claim they deserve to be acknowledged, the women who least deserve to be treated as Wise Ones are often the quickest to gain the title. And unsurprisingly (for this series and an all-female group), they don't want any rumor that Wise Ones ever disagree about anything - which means at least publicly supporting the actions of the more foolish or shortsighted "Wise Ones" to preserve their mystique.
* ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'':
**
Parodied in the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/{{Mort}}''. when Death ordered orders his new apprentice to muck out the stables. After the task is done, Death asks Mort why he had been given this task. Mort correctly comes up with the following reason: because the stables were filthy and needed to be mucked out.



* On one episode of ''Series/MythBusters'', various staff members were asked to take part in a observation test, identifying what item of Adam or Jamie's clothes changed each time they disappeared and reappeared behind a curtain. It actually ''was'' an observation test, but the point was to see if anyone noticed that the figure wasn't actually Adam or Jamie, but one of them posing as the other by wearing their clothes and a realistic latex mask of the other's head.

to:

* On ''Series/MythBusters'':
** In
one episode of ''Series/MythBusters'', various staff members were asked to take part in a observation test, identifying what item of Adam or Jamie's clothes changed each time they disappeared and reappeared behind a curtain. It actually ''was'' an observation test, but the point was to see if anyone noticed that the figure wasn't actually Adam or Jamie, but one of them posing as the other by wearing their clothes and a realistic latex mask of the other's head.



* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', the quest to join the [[spoiler:Dark Brotherhood]] involves being told to figure out which of three people has a contract out for his or her murder, then fulfill that contract. After you've finished the job, you learn that your answer was irrelevant to your employer; she simply wanted to find out whether you would commit murder on her orders.
** If you [[TakeAThirdOption choose to kill your employer instead]], [[spoiler:she will say "Well done" as she dies, implying that the contract was on her all along.]]

to:

* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', the quest to join the [[spoiler:Dark Brotherhood]] involves being told to figure out which of three people has a contract out for his or her murder, then fulfill that contract. After you've finished the job, you learn that your answer was irrelevant to your employer; she simply wanted to find out whether you would commit murder on her orders.
**
orders. If you [[TakeAThirdOption choose to kill your employer instead]], [[spoiler:she will say "Well done" as she dies, implying that the contract was on her all along.]]
17th Oct '17 6:58:25 AM AnotherDuck
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment Milgram experiment]].
** Pretty much any psychology experiment, because if people know what the experimenters are studying, they won't behave naturally.
** Many psychological scales such as the MMPI contain a hidden "Liar" aspect which measures how much the respondent is either lying or trying to look good. These questions get slipped in during the exam and generally take the shape of a question which almost everyone has to answer in a way which shows off a negative characteristic if the question is answered honestly. And now that you know about that scale, the test may be invalid for you.
** In a similar vein, a lie detector test usually involves some questions that are trivial ("what is your name?") and some that are predictable ("did you ever lie to your parents?", for instance, on the theory that almost everyone has, at least a little). This helps set a "baseline" for the individual's biometric data that the examiners use to interpret later answers.
* Officials wanting to become civil servants in the Imperial Chinese Bureaucracy often had to pass extremely difficult and esoteric exams requiring precise forms of answer on irrelevant subjects. They weren't looking for your knowledge of the useless subjects--they were looking for your ability to master and apply a technical skill. This was so they could slot you in wherever you were needed--for China's famed bureaucracy was not very large at all (contrary to stereotype.)
** And to be fair to the Chinese, fairly large portions (but not all) of the test ''do'' involve matters relating to civil/military administration and political philosophy.
* The British came across this technique in '''their''' Civil service exams. They couldn't actually care less whether you could translate, sight unseen, large slabs of Latin or Greek--what they did care about was your ability to master a technically difficult body of knowledge from scratch and apply it with precision and skill. To explain how well this worked- approximately one thousand Indian Civil Service clerks governed 250 '''million''' people in the Raj, and by all accounts did quite creditably well.
* Part of leadership training in some military forces often involves this: trainees are given instructions to carry out some task, often involving something that they couldn't be reasonably expected to know (such as planning and executing an ambush before having received any infantry tactical training). The importance isn't necessarily in being successful in the task itself, but in learning how to craft orders, issue instructions, and coordinate groups of people.
** A common test for officers in the military may involve a menial task such as digging a trench. The test is to see if the officer understands to [[DelegationRelay delegate the task]] to an enlisted man rather than do it themselves.
*** A variation is give a prospective junior officer a description of a situation, such as "You are to erect a 30 foot long flag pole in a certain location to that the top is 24 feet above ground level. Your resources are a sergeant and 20 men, and four each picks, shovels, and axes, plus two thirty foot ropes. What is the first order you give?" The correct answer is "Sergeant, erect the flag-pole." The test is to see if he understands that the non-coms are supposed to see that the men do the assigned tasks, and figure out ''how'' to carry out orders, while the officer commanding the unit decides ''what'' should be done. Further, if the sergeant for some reason can't get the pole erected, and the officer must take over, he has time to think of something the sergeant hasn't tried. Also, he hasn't made himself look incompetent first, retaining respect as the leader.
** And a combination of the two often happens: the testee is instructed to have something done and is marked on whether they have the common sense to check if any of their personnel have experience in doing the task already before spending the time in coming up with instructions on how to do it, instead of simply ordering it done or tapping the existing experience.
** Another example is a staff officer school test. The student is given a large amount of information on his side's forces and the notional enemy's, and told to plan to attack or defend against attack. He is given several days to prepare a set of orders for his side. When he shows up to present his answer, he's told the situation has changed, he's given new information, and he is given a few hours to prepare a second set of orders. When the time is up and he is about to present the revised plan, he's told the situation has changed again, and given a third description of the situation. "What are your orders, student, ''Right NOW?'' What appeared to be a test of how well the student could assimilate information at leisure and carefully plan for it is actually a test of how quickly he can adjust to new information and perform under unexpected circumstances, and also how much information he can retain from the first two stages to use in the third. (Of course, to keep the student honest, the written orders prepared in the first two stages can also be evaluated.)
* When a doctor or nurse is giving a basic physical examination, they'll pay a great deal of attention to the sphygmomanometer (the squeezy blood pressure cuff). While they are measuring systolic and diastolic blood pressure, at the same time they're gauging the patient's breathing rate - because people tend to involuntarily alter their breathing when you tell them you're measuring it. [[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife If you remember this at your next physical, you stand a good chance of screwing up the trick.]]
** [[FridgeLogic What about the people who hate getting their blood pressure taken?]] Their breathing will speed up, screwing up the results.
*** It's informally called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_coat_hypertension White Lab Coat Syndrome]], and a health care provider who isn't aware of it isn't worth their scrubs. That's why so many physicians and nurses ask odd questions that make patients wonder what in heck the practitioner is thinking. "Why is my cardiologist asking me if I have a ringing in my ears or having nose bleeds or headaches? Why is he looking in my eyes if I have heart problems?"[[labelnote:Answer]]Because any of those would be a clue that a patient's systemic hypertension, or high blood pressure, is real and not an artifact of the test.[[/labelnote]] Likewise, the physician will check on nail beds and squeeze fingers or just examine the patient's hands and feet on some pretext to see if there is a sign of poor oxygenation or circulation, or use a device which gives the pulse and oxygen content of the blood to check for it, or examine the mucosa of the mouth, etc. Really, your physician sees a lot more of what's happening than you might ever guess if (s)he's any good at all as a clinician.
* Averted in Experimental Economics; on the contrary to Experimental Psychology and for a number of reasons[[note]]Mainly because in such experiments what is being tested is how people play games and economists want to avoid the players second guessing the purpose of the experiment, which could lead them to believe that the game they are playing is purposeless and playing 'sub-optimally'[[/note]], the commonly agreed methodology in Experimental Economy forbids from any sort of deception towards those participating in the test and any economist doing so would pretty much have no chance of being able to publish their results... in an economics journal, at least.
* Trent Reznor asks guitarists auditioning for Music/NineInchNails to play the main riff to "Terrible Lie," which is only two notes long. The reason he makes them play such an easy song is that he's not testing their technical proficiency, but their attitude on stage. According to him, the riff isn't really "B -- C#," it's "Fuck -- you."
* Music/VanHalen had a doozy. Back in their heyday, they would sneak a clause into their contracts which in essence let them keep all the money and cancel a show if there wasn't a bowl full of [=M&Ms=] with all the brown ones taken out in their dressing rooms at a venue. This wasn't just pop-star preening - the clause was buried in a massive contract full of safety specifications for the band's legendary flying harnesses, pyrotechnics, and lights. The safety specs were exacting and far beyond what any other band was doing at the time. If a place didn't have the bowl full of [=M&Ms=] in the dressing room; or if the bowl was there, but all the brown ones hadn't been removed, it was the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Van Halen would know they had to send out their own technicians and crew to double-check the safety of the entire rig, and they would almost invariably find oversights. With shows as big and elaborate as Van Halen's, someone could easily be injured or killed. [[http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/vanhalen.asp Snopes has more details]].
* That one test where you watch a clip showing a group of people passing basketballs between each other. The purported purpose is to count how many times the basketballs are thrown. The real purpose is to see whether you notice someone dressed in a gorilla suit walking between the players.
* There was one university lab experiment where the students were given some equipment and asked to calculate the value of gravity. One of the pieces of equipment was a metre ruler that was actually only 90cm long but falsely marked to appear as though it was a full metre long. Given that, there was no way of correctly calculating gravity and getting the expected result (approximately 9.8 m/s/s). Of course, since the students knew what value they should be getting there was much fudging of results and justification in their written report as to why their results seemed to be off.
* Sometimes disaster training scenarios will throw something in that has nothing to do with the disaster itself but to see if it can throw the participants off their game or alter their response. A common one is at an accident scene to have someone loudly make it clear they are a Very Important Person, to see if the first responders dealing with rescue and injuries treat them any differently.
* Dissertation presentations by graduate students are typically followed by a Q-&-A session with the student's thesis committee. While most of the queries are appropriately related to the material presented, it's not unusual for a committee member to intentionally ask the Ph.D. candidate something they ''know'' lies outside the immediate scope of the candidate's research, specifically to see how they'll cope with being grilled on something they hadn't prepared for.
* Commonly inserted into online academic surveys, as otherwise the researchers would have no idea whether or not the testee had actually read any of the questions asked. A common example would be a question that specifically states to answer a certain way lest your results be thrown out. Another might be to ask a question that has already been asked, but phrased in the opposite way (thus someone who says "strongly agree" to both clearly was not reading them).
[[/folder]]


Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment Milgram experiment]].
* Officials wanting to become civil servants in the Imperial Chinese Bureaucracy often had to pass extremely difficult and esoteric exams requiring precise forms of answer on irrelevant subjects. They weren't looking for your knowledge of the useless subjects--they were looking for your ability to master and apply a technical skill. This was so they could slot you in wherever you were needed--for China's famed bureaucracy was not very large at all (contrary to stereotype.)
* The British came across this technique in '''their''' Civil service exams. They couldn't actually care less whether you could translate, sight unseen, large slabs of Latin or Greek--what they did care about was your ability to master a technically difficult body of knowledge from scratch and apply it with precision and skill. To explain how well this worked- approximately one thousand Indian Civil Service clerks governed 250 '''million''' people in the Raj, and by all accounts did quite creditably well.
* Part of leadership training in some military forces often involves this:
** A common test for officers in the military may involve a menial task such as digging a trench. The test is to see if the officer understands to [[DelegationRelay delegate the task]] to an enlisted man rather than do it themselves.
** A variation is give a prospective junior officer a description of a situation, such as "You are to erect a 30 foot long flag pole in a certain location to that the top is 24 feet above ground level. Your resources are a sergeant and 20 men, and four each picks, shovels, and axes, plus two thirty foot ropes. What is the first order you give?" The correct answer is "Sergeant, erect the flag-pole." The test is to see if he understands that the non-coms are supposed to see that the men do the assigned tasks, and figure out ''how'' to carry out orders, while the officer commanding the unit decides ''what'' should be done. Further, if the sergeant for some reason can't get the pole erected, and the officer must take over, he has time to think of something the sergeant hasn't tried. Also, he hasn't made himself look incompetent first, retaining respect as the leader.
** Another example is a staff officer school test. The student is given a large amount of information on his side's forces and the notional enemy's, and told to plan to attack or defend against attack. He is given several days to prepare a set of orders for his side. When he shows up to present his answer, he's told the situation has changed, he's given new information, and he is given a few hours to prepare a second set of orders. When the time is up and he is about to present the revised plan, he's told the situation has changed again, and given a third description of the situation. "What are your orders, student, ''Right NOW?'' What appeared to be a test of how well the student could assimilate information at leisure and carefully plan for it is actually a test of how quickly he can adjust to new information and perform under unexpected circumstances, and also how much information he can retain from the first two stages to use in the third. (Of course, to keep the student honest, the written orders prepared in the first two stages can also be evaluated.)
* When a doctor or nurse is giving a basic physical examination, they'll pay a great deal of attention to the sphygmomanometer (the squeezy blood pressure cuff). While they are measuring systolic and diastolic blood pressure, at the same time they're gauging the patient's breathing rate - because people tend to involuntarily alter their breathing when you tell them you're measuring it. [[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife If you remember this at your next physical, you stand a good chance of screwing up the trick.]]\\
\\
This is informally called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_coat_hypertension White Lab Coat Syndrome]], and a health care provider who isn't aware of it isn't worth their scrubs. That's why so many physicians and nurses ask odd questions that make patients wonder what in heck the practitioner is thinking. "Why is my cardiologist asking me if I have a ringing in my ears or having nose bleeds or headaches? Why is he looking in my eyes if I have heart problems?"[[labelnote:Answer]]Because any of those would be a clue that a patient's systemic hypertension, or high blood pressure, is real and not an artifact of the test.[[/labelnote]] Likewise, the physician will check on nail beds and squeeze fingers or just examine the patient's hands and feet on some pretext to see if there is a sign of poor oxygenation or circulation, or use a device which gives the pulse and oxygen content of the blood to check for it, or examine the mucosa of the mouth, etc. Really, your physician sees a lot more of what's happening than you might ever guess if (s)he's any good at all as a clinician.
* Deliberately averted in Experimental Economics; on the contrary to Experimental Psychology and for a number of reasons[[note]]Mainly because in such experiments what is being tested is how people play games and economists want to avoid the players second guessing the purpose of the experiment, which could lead them to believe that the game they are playing is purposeless and playing 'sub-optimally'[[/note]], the commonly agreed methodology in Experimental Economy forbids from any sort of deception towards those participating in the test and any economist doing so would pretty much have no chance of being able to publish their results... in an economics journal, at least.
* Trent Reznor asks guitarists auditioning for Music/NineInchNails to play the main riff to "Terrible Lie," which is only two notes long. The reason he makes them play such an easy song is that he's not testing their technical proficiency, but their attitude on stage. According to him, the riff isn't really "B -- C#," it's "Fuck -- you."
* Music/VanHalen had a doozy. Back in their heyday, they would sneak a clause into their contracts which in essence let them keep all the money and cancel a show if there wasn't a bowl full of [=M&Ms=] with all the brown ones taken out in their dressing rooms at a venue. This wasn't just pop-star preening - the clause was buried in a massive contract full of safety specifications for the band's legendary flying harnesses, pyrotechnics, and lights. The safety specs were exacting and far beyond what any other band was doing at the time. If a place didn't have the bowl full of [=M&Ms=] in the dressing room; or if the bowl was there, but all the brown ones hadn't been removed, it was the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Van Halen would know they had to send out their own technicians and crew to double-check the safety of the entire rig, and they would almost invariably find oversights. With shows as big and elaborate as Van Halen's, someone could easily be injured or killed. [[http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/vanhalen.asp Snopes has more details]].
* That one test where you watch a clip showing a group of people passing basketballs between each other. The purported purpose is to count how many times the basketballs are thrown. The real purpose is to see whether you notice someone dressed in a gorilla suit walking between the players.
* There was one university lab experiment where the students were given some equipment and asked to calculate the value of gravity. One of the pieces of equipment was a metre ruler that was actually only 90cm long but falsely marked to appear as though it was a full metre long. Given that, there was no way of correctly calculating gravity and getting the expected result (approximately 9.8 m/s/s). Of course, since the students knew what value they should be getting there was much fudging of results and justification in their written report as to why their results seemed to be off.
[[/folder]]
6th Oct '17 3:05:21 AM Z3n1th
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* ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'' had [[HeroicComedicSociopath Hiruma]] staging a test to eliminate the many people who want to join the team. The test is to carry a bag of ice to the top of TokyoTower within a day. However, Hiruma set it so it was very difficult (but not impossible) to reach the top. Such as adding sugar to the ice to make it melt faster, certain floors have the temperatures raised to alarming levels and being chased by Hiruma's vicious AngryGuardDog. When asked about the unfairness of the test, Hiruma stated that he was looking for [[TheDeterminator those with determination]] who can make it to the top, regardless of how difficult or challenging the test was. [[spoiler: So Hiruma and Co. wait until sundown for ''anyone'' who's strongwilled enough to fill the task no matter what; the last one is [[WeakButSkilled Yuki]][[GeekPhysics mitsu]], who arrives as the sun's setting and has lost all the ice in his bag, but makes it into the team anyway.]]

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* ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'' had [[HeroicComedicSociopath Hiruma]] staging a test to eliminate the many people who want to join the team. The test is to carry a bag of ice to the top of TokyoTower within a day. However, Hiruma set it so it was very difficult (but not impossible) to reach the top. Such as adding sugar to the ice to make it melt faster, certain floors have the temperatures raised to alarming levels and being chased by Hiruma's vicious AngryGuardDog. When asked about the unfairness of the test, Hiruma stated that he was looking for [[TheDeterminator those with determination]] who can make it to the top, regardless of how difficult or challenging the test was. [[spoiler: So Hiruma and Co. wait until sundown for ''anyone'' who's strongwilled enough to fill the task no matter what; the last one is [[WeakButSkilled Yuki]][[GeekPhysics Yuki]][[GeekPhysiques mitsu]], who arrives as the sun's setting and has lost all the ice in his bag, but makes it into the team anyway.]]
29th Sep '17 1:08:34 PM Inediblecake
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* In ''Film/MenInBlack'', potential recruits are shown taking a marksmanship test, with a mix of both alien and human targets in a street scene. James Edwards ignores the aliens, putting a single shot in the forehead of a little girl, and invokes this trope when ordered to explain his choice, claiming she was the most suspicious target since she was carrying quantum physics textbooks and looked too young to be out by herself at night surrounded by said aliens. The movie leaves it up in the air as to whether Edwards is right or whether it's his other qualities - quick outside-the-box thinking, attention to detail, and willingness to challenge authority, among others - that lead Agent K to select Edwards as [[spoiler:his replacement]]; the novelization (which deviates from the film in some areas) presents his reasoning as correct.
** Another possible one (again, the movie doesn't confirm either way): Earlier, when presented with a multiple-choice test on paper with no flat surface to write on, he very noisily drags a table over to his chair while everyone else stays where they are and struggles with the difficulty of pencilling in their answers on the floppy paper test sheets in their egg-shape chairs.

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* In ''Film/MenInBlack'', potential ''Film/MenInBlack''
** Potential
recruits are shown taking a marksmanship test, with a mix of both alien and human targets in a street scene. James Edwards ignores the aliens, putting a single shot in the forehead of a little girl, and invokes this trope when ordered to explain his choice, claiming she was the most suspicious target since she was carrying quantum physics textbooks and looked too young to be out by herself at night surrounded by said aliens. The movie leaves it up in the air as to whether Edwards is right or whether it's his other qualities - quick outside-the-box thinking, attention to detail, and willingness to challenge authority, among others - that lead Agent K to select Edwards as [[spoiler:his replacement]]; the novelization (which deviates from the film in some areas) presents his reasoning as correct.
** Another possible one (again, the movie doesn't confirm either way): Earlier, when When presented with a multiple-choice test on paper with no flat surface to write on, he Edwards very noisily drags a table over to his chair while everyone else stays where they are and struggles with the difficulty of pencilling in their answers on the floppy paper test sheets in their egg-shape chairs.
23rd Sep '17 11:39:19 AM SeptimusHeap
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* In the {{Xanth}} novel ''Ogre, Ogre'', Smash goes through several of these with the Night Horse (ruler of the Night Mares). He dies or seems to fail in all of them, but the real point of the tests is whether or not he gives up, despite how hopeless they are.

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* In the {{Xanth}} Literature/{{Xanth}} novel ''Ogre, Ogre'', Smash goes through several of these with the Night Horse (ruler of the Night Mares). He dies or seems to fail in all of them, but the real point of the tests is whether or not he gives up, despite how hopeless they are.
9th Sep '17 4:06:28 PM Malady
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->'''Zed:''' May I ask why you felt little Tiffany deserved to die?
->'''Jay:''' Well, she was the only one that actually seemed dangerous at the time, sir.
->'''Zed:''' How'd you come to that conclusion?
->'''Jay:''' Well, first I was gonna pop this guy hangin' from the streetlight, and then I realized, you know, he's just working out. How would I feel if somebody come runnin' in the gym, bust me in my ass while I'm on the treadmill? Then I saw this, uh, snarling beast guy. Then I noticed he had a tissue in his hand, and I realized, you know, he's not snarling; he's ''sneezing''. You know, ain't no real threat there. Then I saw little Tiffany. I'm thinkin', you know, eight-year-old, white girl, middle of the ghetto, bunch of monsters, this time of night, with quantum physics books? She 'bout to start some shit, Zed. She's about eight years old; those books are ''way'' too advanced for her! If you ask me, I say she's up to something.

to:

->'''Zed:''' May I ask why you felt little Tiffany deserved to die?
->'''Jay:'''
die?\\
'''Jay:'''
Well, she was the only one that actually seemed dangerous at the time, sir.
->'''Zed:'''
sir.\\
'''Zed:'''
How'd you come to that conclusion?
->'''Jay:'''
conclusion?\\
'''Jay:'''
Well, first I was gonna pop this guy hangin' from the streetlight, and then I realized, you know, he's just working out. How would I feel if somebody come runnin' in the gym, bust me in my ass while I'm on the treadmill? Then I saw this, uh, snarling beast guy. Then I noticed he had a tissue in his hand, and I realized, you know, he's not snarling; he's ''sneezing''. You know, ain't no real threat there. Then I saw little Tiffany. I'm thinkin', you know, eight-year-old, white girl, middle of the ghetto, bunch of monsters, this time of night, with quantum physics books? She 'bout to start some shit, Zed. She's about eight years old; those books are ''way'' too advanced for her! If you ask me, I say she's up to something.



* There was an ''{{Andromeda}}'' fanfic where Ione (an Avatar like Trance) and Harper argue over who should marry Trance. It is stated that the matter should be decided in a battle. Naturally, Ione beats up Harper badly... after which it is announced that ''Harper'' is the winner, since he was more honorable (Ione refused to fight as an equal) and more determined (by refusing to surrender). There could never be any doubt about who's stronger.

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* There was an ''{{Andromeda}}'' ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' fanfic where Ione (an Avatar like Trance) and Harper argue over who should marry Trance. It is stated that the matter should be decided in a battle. Naturally, Ione beats up Harper badly... after which it is announced that ''Harper'' is the winner, since he was more honorable (Ione refused to fight as an equal) and more determined (by refusing to surrender). There could never be any doubt about who's stronger.
8th Aug '17 2:50:23 AM infernape612
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** There is a real life version of this test, which the score being the time taken to perform a variety of tasks such as saying specific words aloud, or scratching your nose with your pencil's eraser. Again, the instructions are to read all the tasks before performing any of them. [[spoiler: the last instruction directs the test subject to ignore everything written above. Turn the test over, and put your arms on the test, and put your head on your arms without saying or doing anything else.]] Invariably, many subjects begin carrying out the instructions without reading them all first.

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** There is a real life version of this test, which the score being the time taken to perform a variety of tasks such as saying specific words aloud, or scratching your nose with your pencil's eraser. Again, the instructions are to read all the tasks before performing any of them. [[spoiler: the [[spoiler:The last instruction directs the test subject to ignore everything written above. Turn the test over, and put your arms on the test, and put your head on your arms without saying or doing anything else.]] Invariably, many subjects begin carrying out the instructions without reading them all first.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.HiddenPurposeTest