[IPAC-List] Yelling Fire?

Brull, Harry Harry.Brull at personneldecisions.com
Thu Jan 8 16:09:38 EST 2009

It may be from the WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children)
rather than the WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale). It has been
too many years since I administered these instruments; I don't remember
how the scoring key reads.
A mental health clinic that administers these tests (often used for
special ed placement or competency determination) should have the
current test and scoring keys.
As for reasonabless, I'm reminded of actual answers by children to WISC
questions such as:

What should you do if you cut your finger?
"Bleed, wouldn't you!"

What Should you do if you are in a crowded movie theater and see smoke
and fire?
"If it's good, Tell your friends about it!"

Good luck, Joel

Harry Brull
Senior Vice President
Personnel Decisions International-PDI Minneapolis
Expert Partners. Real Leadership Advantage.

>2000 Plaza VII Tower, 45 South Seventh Street

>Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402

Direct :612-337-8233 fax: 612-337-3695
harry.brull at personneldecisions.com


-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org
[mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Joel Wiesen
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 12:53 PM
To: IPAC-List at ipacweb.org
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] Yelling Fire?

Hello IPACers,

The e-mail responses on yelling "Fire" show the question has been around

for a long time.

Now please indulge me in a few more requests for assistance.

1. Does anyone have a copy of the test administration and scoring
instructions for the question?

2. Is the question on the current form of the test (the WAIS, I am

3. Would anyone like to offer an opinion on the reasonableness of the

My take is that the question is antiquated, dating back to a time when
movie theaters were larger and less safe than today (due to a shift from

since large theaters to suites of small theaters, and to more stringent
fire codes concerning signage and exit and aisle size and the like).
Supporting this view is the operation of the little red fire call boxes.

When you pull one the house lights don't come on. All that happens
immediately is that the fire alarm sounds. That seems to be making an
announcement like shouting Fire.

Would anyone like to make a case for the question still being a
reasonable measure of judgment?



Joel P. Wiesen, Ph.D., Director
Applied Personnel Research
27 Judith Road
Newton, MA 02459
(617) 244-8859

Joel Wiesen wrote:

> Hello IPACers,


> Does anyone know when the question about a fire in a crowded movie

> theater first appeared in a major intelligence test? My guess it


> to a time of lax building codes concerning exit signage, exit size,

> aisle size, aisle length, and (no) fixed seating, and a time of larger

> movie theaters.


> How is yelling fire different from pulling a fire box in a theater?


> one pulls a fire box the fire klaxon sounds so all call hear it. What


> I missing?


> Thanks.


> Joel



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