Another argument against the standardised assessment of humans. The authors deal with Taylorism but not ISOism, which has not yet entered the decline it deserves. Maybe there’ll be a sequel.
The End of Average: How to Succeed in a World That Values Sameness
Why don’t Meyers-Briggs personality tests really work? Why are HR tests for new employees often meaningless? Why doesn’t BMI – body mass index – correlate to actual health or physical fitness? Individuals behave, learn, and develop in different ways, but these unique patterns of human behaviour get lost in massive systems that play to average performance and average abilities, instead of individual performance and abilities. These systems made sense almost two centuries ago at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, but in today’s globalized digital world they are outdated and inadequate. Yet, every single one of us is affected by these archaic systems. They are far more prevalent that you can imagine, and far more insidious: standardized tests, academic grading systems, job applicant profiling, job performance reviews, job training, even medical treatments. These systems ignore our differences and ultimately fail at measuring and maximizing our potential. As the first popular book on the science of the individual, The End of Average draws upon the very latest findings in the fields of psychology and sociology to show how, when we focus on individual findings rather than group averages, we are empowered to rethink the world and our place in it.
A little more about the invention of the average man here:
In the 1600s astronomers were coming up with measurements to help sailors read their maps with a compass. But with all the observations of the skies they were making, how do they choose the best number? We tell the story of how astronomers started to find the average from a group of numbers. By the 1800s, one Belgian astronomer began to apply this to all sorts of social and national statistics – and the ‘Average Man’ was born.