Emotional Intelligence | Stevehein.com

The question about an inspiring military march


One of the questions from the MSCEIT test, a test which is being promoted as a test of emotional intelligence, asks what mood would help someone compose an "inspiring military march" Because I was threatened by MHS, the corporation selling the test, I have removed the actual question for now, but here are my original comments:


I would like to say that I am making this up. I would like to say this was not really a question on the MSCEIT test. But the sad truth is that it is a question. I am not really sure what to say about this. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings. I feel disgusted, sickened. If I were asked to take this test and I came to this question I would probably refuse to answer it and refuse to answer any more questions on the test. And I would probably get up and walk out. Later I would probably find out who wrote this test and try to let people know how I felt.


When I first read the question I thought "This was probably David Caruso's question. He seems to be the one who likes the idea of killing people." Now I realize that is not a totally fair thing to say. Yet I do have a reason for thinking it. I was remembering when David and I had the conversation about "evil" and Sept 11. In that conversation I asked David why he thought someone would plan the Sept 11 events. His answer was "because they are evil." Since then David, in personal correspondence, has expressed some remorse for saying that. He said he knows that is not a very good explanation and he asked me to take into consideration the fact that he was in New York City that day and he was highly frightened himself, and that he lost a friend in the attack. In other words, he was speaking more out of emotion than reason when he said "because they are evil."

I also say things when I am highly emotional about something which I regret saying later,. so I don't want to condem David on this one comment. Yet at the same time I need to add that on the day of our conversation David also said he would very possibly support the use of tactical nuclear weapons to try to kill Bin Laden. I don't know how David feels about nuclear weapons, bombing and killing these days. Sadly we have not been corresponding.

But in any case someone obviously thought up the "inspiring military march" question and since I know a little about David, my guess is that he came up with it. I also know that David is the one who is most skilled and experienced in test design, and in fact that is why he was asked to help Jack and Peter several years after they wrote their 1990 paper in which they first used the term "emotional intelligence."

Later in my original writing I wrote, in reference to sayng that David seems to like the idea of killing people...

Now that sounds harsh, but I feel harsh and I don't want to try some trick to manage or change my feelings. (see note about manufactured feelings.) Maybe that idea has some merit in certain cases, but right now I would rather just keep writing. This is a first draft, by the way.

So anyhow, what can I say about this question? How can I convey how strongly I feel? I don't have the feeling words right now, so I will just share some more of my thoughts.

I ask myself: "How could anyone even think of a question like this? What kind of person would think of something like this? What kind of person would think:

Gee, I'd like to get people motivated to obey orders to go kill people. I think some music and a march would probably help. Now let's see, what kind of mood would be helpful to put myself into so I can write an inspiring military march so I can get more people to forget about something called empathy and human compassion and forget about their own feelings of pain when they see someone else suffering so I can get them to act like machines, or more accurately act like killing machines, and not humans with human feelings?

Well, I think you get the general idea of how I feel. But I will add that, to me, on this one question alone the entire MSCEIT test should be thrown out by anyone who comes in contact with it. I urge people to boycott this test. To refuse to take it, to refuse to use it. To refuse to spend any money on it and further fill the pockets of Steven Stein, the president of MHS who has been lying to people for years about the Bar-On EQi test, which I will be saying a lot more about in the near future. And I also urge people to refuse to call the MSCEIT test a test of emotional intelligence until they have come up with a better version of it, one which doesn't include something as sickening as this.