Interviewer: We are speaking today with world-famous HR test expert, Dr. Vladimir Blotov. Welcome, Dr. Blotov. Vladimir Blotov: Hello. Let’s not stand on formality. Please, call me Vlad. Interviewer: Okay, Vlad. I couldn’t help but notice you continually misspell the word “validation” as “vladation.” What’s up? Vlad: Ho! Ho! Ho! Vladation is not misspelled, my dyslexic friend! “Vladation” is much superior to the traditional forms of assessment validation. Vladation is the same as validation… only it’s different. Validation is too complicated. Vladation is much preferred by organizations! Interviewer: Interesting. I must admit I am new to the field, Vlad. What is the difference between validation and vladation? Vlad: Well, try to follow along and I will explain. Vladation has several components that set it apart from so-called validation. First, vladation is not taught in accredited universities. Second, I support vladation data with personal testimony. Third, I only use high and low producer averages, not egghead statistics. Finally, my clients like to keep things simple. Interviewer: You raise some interesting questions. Why do you suppose vladation is not taught in universities? Vlad: Simple! People prefer to base decisions on their own experiences. They don’t want to get involved in high-brow, fancy-dancy number-crunching and research papers. Besides, they might have to change their minds after reading all that research stuff. Mind-changing is hard work. My system makes intuitive sense. Were you ever enrolled in a special-ed class? Interviewer: Isn’t the purpose of a test, Vlad, to evaluate an applicant’s ability to perform a job? You know, high scores predict high performance; low scores predict low performance…that kind of thing? Vlad: Of course! That’s the beauty of vladation. If the applicant’s scores match an average of high performers, they’re hired! Interviewer: But, group averages tend to hide individual differences. On the average, a person with one foot in a fire and the other in a bucket of ice water is comfortable. Averaging eliminates critical data about individuals in the group. Vlad: What’s your point? Interviewer: If individuals in the high group don’t match their own group average, how can you assume the group average is a legitimate benchmark? Vlad: Yes, yes, a minor technicality. I’ll soon release an impressive computer program that compares how many people in the high average group meet (and do not meet) the group average. It will be written in Widows. Interviewer: Don’t you mean “Windows”? Vlad: No, no. Windows is quite inferior. I developed the Widows operating system to run my proprietary software programs. It’s just like Windows, only different. Interviewer: Okay… Well, I guess that clears things up a bit. As I mentioned, I am not an expert. But why don’t you compare individual’s test scores with individual production? That way you could get a one-to-one comparison. Vlad: Too complicated! I have worked with hundreds of test companies who use vladation to sell tests. Vladation is everywhere! People like it. It must be good! Interviewer: But you are using group data to predict individual performance! That’s stereotyping. How do you justify stereotyping? Vlad: Feedback! Interviewer: Feedback? Vlad: Is there an echo in here? Yes, customer feedback. People tell me vladation works all the time. Interviewer: Do these people conduct scientific studies to confirm whether their personal opinions are legitimate? Vlad: Did I mention we also give them job standards for comparison? Interviewer: I don’t understand. My question was about legitimacy. Now you mention comparative job standards. Are you changing the subject? Vlad: Pay attention. We give clients a set of external standards to compare applicants with. If they don’t like their internal averages, they can use external averages. Brilliant, yes? Interviewer: Doesn’t that imply that the organization’s internal requirements are exactly the same as the external ones? Vlad: You catch on fast. Everyone knows that all sales jobs are identical, all managerial jobs are identical, all engineering jobs are identical, and so forth. Furthermore, when you strip away cultural differences, competitive differences, performance differences, product and service differences, managerial expectations, and organizational mission, every organization is exactly the same! This allows us to compare any and every job with a pseudo-standard (well, we don’t actually call it that). Interviewer: Pseudo-standard? Vlad: There’s that echo again! Sure, pseudo, a fake standard, deceitful practice, or pretense. Don’t you own a dictionary? Interviewer: Yes, I’m afraid I do. If I understand vladation, Vlad, you first compare an applicant’s individual test scores against high and low performing groups within an organization, then you compare them against an external job standard which is also based on group averages. Vlad: Yes! That’s it! You understand vladation! Interviewer: Are you aware that this kind of logic is flawed? It’s like saying that since most engineers are men and most social workers are women, a woman cannot be an engineer and a man cannot be a social worker. Or that since most women have small feet, people with small feet must be women. Educated people have known for hundreds of years that you cannot use group theory to make meaningful one-on-one real-world predictions. They even gave it a name: Aristotelian logic. Vlad: Whoa! Stop with all those university words! I’ll agree that vladation might have a few flaws, but that does not keep it from selling tests. As I said before, I have taught the technique to hundreds of test vendors. They don’t complain about high sales. Our buyers never follow up anyway. What harm can it do? Interviewer: Vlad, I was wondering, what kind of studies did your Ph.D. include? Vlad: Lunar agriculture. Interviewer: If you don’t mind my asking, how does a degree in lunar agriculture qualify you to be a test and selection expert? Vlad: No, I don’t mind. Interviewer: Well? Vlad: Oh, Sorry. I thought you were making a statement. What was your question again?
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