by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor
ANALYSTS HAVE long used word association tests to see how someone thinks and to evaluate their reasoning process. I used them for a different reason. I wanted to see how my reports viewed certain things.
It isn’t a hard test. You just write down the first word or idea that comes to mind when you see or hear a word. The first part of my test was pretty easy and the yield of responses were very consistent.
HAMBURGER –> french fries.
CHEESE –> crackers.
PIZZA –> cheese or pepperoni.
PEANUT BUTTER –> jelly
However, when we moved past food, answers got more varied.
TEACHER –> homework, school, Miss Jones, recess.
BEACH –> sun, sand, hot, umbrella, swimming, volley ball.
NEW CAR –> Chevy, expensive, loan, warranty.
COW –> farm, milk, beef, Angus.
Then we got to the core of what I wanted to know. How did my reports view these matters?
ETHICAL BEHAVIOR –>
The responses to those words were always all over the board and many simply drew a blank.
If you held such an exercise with your reports what responses would you get? How would you answer them if you were given the test? Do you think the answers would vary a lot by age and/or experience/or education?