History Main / HiddenPurposeTest

23rd Apr '16 9:52:53 PM Sharlee
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* 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.
4th Apr '16 8:53:56 AM AtticusOmundson
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->'''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' 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 eights years old; those books are ''way'' too advanced for her! If you ask me, I say she's up to something.

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->'''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 eights years old; those books are ''way'' too advanced for her! If you ask me, I say she's up to something.
4th Apr '16 8:53:11 AM AtticusOmundson
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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' 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 eights years old; those books are ''way'' too advanced for her! If you ask me, I say she's up to something.
-->-- ''Film/MenInBlack''
26th Feb '16 9:16:35 PM NanoMoose
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** 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 penciling in their answers on the floppy paper test sheets in their egg-shape chairs.

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** 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 penciling pencilling in their answers on the floppy paper test sheets in their egg-shape chairs.



* 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.

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* 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 because the stables were filthy and needed to be mucked out.



* The children's book ''The Empty Pot'' is all about this. To find a worthy successor, the aging Emperor of Ancient China distributes seeds to his realm's children, promising that the boy that can grow the most beautiful flower will become the next Emperor. A boy named Ping, who's known for his skill with botany, is heartbroken when he finds out that he can't make his seed grow at all, and is even more dismayed when he brings his empty pot before the Emperor and sees all of the other boys bringing gorgeous flowers. To his surprise, Ping is selected to be the next Emperor. It turns out that the seeds that the Emperor handed out were cooked, and thus incapable of growing into flowers at all. The Emperor was actually testing the children's honesty, not their skill at growing flowers.

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* The children's book ''The Empty Pot'' is all about this. To find a worthy successor, the aging ageing Emperor of Ancient China distributes seeds to his realm's children, promising that the boy that can grow the most beautiful flower will become the next Emperor. A boy named Ping, who's known for his skill with botany, is heartbroken when he finds out that he can't make his seed grow at all, and is even more dismayed when he brings his empty pot before the Emperor and sees all of the other boys bringing gorgeous flowers. To his surprise, Ping is selected to be the next Emperor. It turns out that the seeds that the Emperor handed out were cooked, and thus incapable of growing into flowers at all. The Emperor was actually testing the children's honesty, not their skill at growing flowers.



* The StarTrek novel ''Kobayashi Maru'' has an example that does ''not'' involve the famous no-win scenario. One section is the story of Chekhov when he was a cadet and his class were taken to a training area, assigned stunners, and told that one of the cadets had been secretly [[TrustNoOne designated as a hostile traitor]] who would, if [[ParanoiaFuel given the opportunity, attack the others]]. All the cadets immediately start hunting one another down, with Chekhov being the last survivor. The officer reveals that the cadets had all failed, and told Chekhov what his hero, Jim Kirk, had done. Kirk had organized the cadets into a single group with everyone present, all the weapons were confiscated and placed under guard, and the only cadets armed and allowed to be out of sight were the ones paired on guard duty at any given time. Kirk's reasoning was that if someone not assigned to guard duty tried to grab a weapon or sneak away form the group, they'd out themselves as the traitor. Since the guards were in pairs, if only one of a pair returned from duty, that person would also out themself as a traitor. After telling Chekhov how Kirk did it, the officer then revealed that, of course, that no cadet had secretly been TheMole at all.

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* The StarTrek novel ''Kobayashi Maru'' has an example that does ''not'' involve the famous no-win scenario. One section is the story of Chekhov when he was a cadet and his class were taken to a training area, assigned stunners, and told that one of the cadets had been secretly [[TrustNoOne [[ParanoiaGambit designated as a hostile traitor]] who would, if [[ParanoiaFuel given the opportunity, attack the others]]. All the cadets immediately start hunting one another down, with Chekhov being the last survivor. The officer reveals that the cadets had all failed, and told Chekhov what his hero, Jim Kirk, had done. Kirk had organized the cadets into a single group with everyone present, all the weapons were confiscated and placed under guard, and the only cadets armed and allowed to be out of sight were the ones paired on guard duty at any given time. Kirk's reasoning was that if someone not assigned to guard duty tried to grab a weapon or sneak away form the group, they'd out themselves as the traitor. Since the guards were in pairs, if only one of a pair returned from duty, that person would also out themself as a prove they're the traitor. After telling Chekhov how Kirk did it, the officer then revealed that, of course, that no cadet had secretly been TheMole at all.



* So common in the ''Literature/XWingSeries'' that basically any training exercise that's actually shown in detail is probably training something completely different to what it seems. Of course, there are classical military versions, like the sim in ''Wraith Squadron'' that's actually a drill on responding to changing battle conditions, i.e., the chain of command being destroyed. Wedge is also fond of running pilots who fall into the [[ArrogantKungFuGuy smug ace]] mold through a test that's either strictly impossible without help from their wingmate, or gives an advantage to subsequent fliers (with the jock going first) to demonstrate that the squadron's success is more important than the individual. This comes to its natural conclusion in ''Starfighters of Adumar'' when he uses simulated dueling to teach [[ProudWarriorRace Adumari]] pilots about the New Republic combat ethic.

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* So common in the ''Literature/XWingSeries'' that basically any training exercise that's actually shown in detail is probably almost definitely not training something completely different to what the skill the trainees think it seems.is. Of course, there are classical military versions, like the sim in ''Wraith Squadron'' that's actually a drill on responding to changing battle conditions, i.e., the chain of command being destroyed. Wedge is also fond of running pilots who fall into the [[ArrogantKungFuGuy smug ace]] mold type through a test that's either strictly impossible without help from their wingmate, or gives an advantage to subsequent fliers (with the jock going first) to demonstrate that the squadron's success during the mission is more important than the individual. individual's accolades. This comes to its natural conclusion in ''Starfighters of Adumar'' when he uses simulated dueling duelling to teach [[ProudWarriorRace Adumari]] pilots about the New Republic combat ethic.



** In the episode "Thine Own Self", Deanna Troi repeatedly takes—and fails—the bridge officer's test, unable to come up with {{Technobabble}} fast enough to keep the ship from exploding during the holodeck simulation. She's only able to succeed when she realizes that the test is not whether she can memorize minutiae about the ship's operation but whether she can order someone who has the necessary knowledge to do the task knowing they'll die doing so.

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** In the episode "Thine Own Self", Deanna Troi repeatedly takes—and fails—the takes — and fails — the bridge officer's test, unable to come up with {{Technobabble}} fast enough to keep the ship from exploding during the holodeck simulation. She's only able to succeed when she realizes that the test is not whether she can memorize minutiae about the ship's operation but whether she can order someone who has the necessary knowledge to do the task knowing they'll die doing so.



** A later episode involved test subjects being given directions to a site where the test would perportedly take place. In fact, these directions included a nonexistent street, and the test was actually [[DirectionlessDriver whether or not the test subject would stop to ask for directions]].

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** A later episode involved test subjects being given directions to a site where the test would perportedly purportedly take place. In fact, these directions included a nonexistent non-existent street, and the test was actually [[DirectionlessDriver whether or not the test subject would stop to ask for directions]].
23rd Feb '16 7:57:45 PM saintonge
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*** 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.
23rd Feb '16 7:43:31 PM saintonge
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** 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.)
23rd Feb '16 7:30:04 PM saintonge
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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.
13th Jan '16 5:58:35 PM phoenix
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* ''TheWestingGame'': Heirs to a dead man's fortune think that they're supposed to find out who killed him. They're actually supposed to find out that [[spoiler:he isn't actually dead; it was all a trick]].

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* ''TheWestingGame'': ''Literature/TheWestingGame'': Heirs to a dead man's fortune think that they're supposed to find out who killed him. They're actually supposed to find out that [[spoiler:he isn't actually dead; it was all a trick]].
3rd Sep '15 11:25:48 AM eroock
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* The Space Corp agency in ''Film/{{Predestination}}'' officially tested women for space escorts but in reality the tests were designed to find suitable agents for their secret TimePolice academy.
18th Aug '15 1:06:55 AM Argon2
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* In ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/3883024?view_full_work=true A Gem and Her Pearl]]'', the insurgent [[WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse Rose Quartz]] chooses a slave this way. She tests their creativity and independence through a complex economical problem, in a subtle way that will not [[BigBrotherIsWatching draw attention]].
-->It turned out exactly as she'd expected: [the majority] all decided that the necessary pieces of information could all be assigned a symbol, but they simply had no clue what to do with the symbols once they got them; for all their focus they'd only managed to rewrite the question, their attempts to solve it were just systematic applications of all the maths they appeared to know already.
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