The Wonderlic Cognitive Ability test was created over 60 years ago and has been used by the NFL since 1968. Think about that. A sixty year old test is being used to judge the intelligence of football players in today’s very different world.
But that’s not the the only problem, according to the Kathy Kolbe, daughter of the test’s creator (Eldon Wonderlic). According to Kolbe, her father’s test is biased against minorities and is a terrible predictor of how an NFL player is going to perform.
“The first time I heard they were using it, I had to laugh,” Kolbe says. “The issue isn’t whether or not to use the Wonderlic. The issue is: Don’t say it tells you how a player is going to do. Because it doesn’t.”
Kolbe says the Wonderlic test measures only one part of a person’s intelligence. Not surprisingly, she has her own test, which she thinks should be given in conjunction with the Wonderlic, to give a clearer picture of a person’s innate intelligence abilities.
This is all covered in more detail in this fine article by Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star: Daughter of creator says NFL misuses Wonderlic test. Check it out, it’s a worthwhile read.
Meanwhile, some Wonderlic scores are being reported for public consumption (which is not supposed to happen, by the way).
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen published these scores of some QB prospects:
- Alabama’s Greg McElroy:43
- Florida State’s Christian Ponder: 35