This will be brief, as I’m just making a quick stop on the motorway. The saga of the fake psychometric ‘test’, which the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has been forcing jobseekers to take under threat of losing their benefits, has just taken a very interesting turn.
Apparently, the US creators of the original test of 150 or so questions, from which the 48 questions for the DWP’s bogus test were taken, have read my blog and the Guardian article that spun off from it, and are going ballistic.
Because the DWP’s ‘nudge unit’ that devised the test as a means of cynically manipulating jobseekers, did not bother to get permission to use the questions in their ‘randomised control trial’ of its effects on hapless jobseekers.
They stole it. And the owners are livid about that, and about how they’ve used the ‘test’ without any of the usual ethical safeguards.
Complaints are being made from the US to the British Psychological Society (BPS) – and others on this side of the Atlantic will be making some too. Including me – and you, if you like.
I wrote the other day about how the test itself is probably illegal in a variety of ways. But that’s not the limit of the government’s criminality. They indulge in a bit of theft, plagiarism and copyright-breaking too.
Please spread the word so the government, especially the DWP, is as shamed and exposed as it deserves to be.
Update: apparently the extent of the government’s nefarious behaviour goes even further. This from the ‘Bad Science‘ discussion forum, by a user called ‘sTeamTraen’:
Update on this: a friend of mine has contacted the people in the US who run the “real” version of this psychometric. Apparently the person behind this bollocksed-up short version ran it past them a few months ago and was told not to do it. So s/he then went ahead anyway. The US people have asked for it to be taken down, as it’s scientifically invalid and getting them a bad name.
So not only is the DWP using the questions without permission (or presumably payment, even though the ‘nudge unit’ is charging hefty fees to the taxpayer for its ‘work’), but it’s deliberately ignoring an express instruction by the test’s owner not to do so.
Is there a limit to how far this lot will go and how low they’ll sink?