Should the SAT Be Abolished? The Good And The Bad About Standardized Testing

Christopher Chabris
Christopher Chabris
Union College / Geisinger

Christopher Chabris is a Professor at Geisinger, an integrated healthcare system in Pennsylvania, and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, France. He was a professor at Union College for ten years, during which time he was shortlisted for the college-wide Stillman Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and also gave the Distinguished Lecture at the Association for Psychological Science Teaching Institute. His research focuses on attention, intelligence (individual, collective, and social), behavior genetics, and decision-making. His work has been published in leading journals including Science, Nature, PNAS, Psychological Science, Perception, and Cognitive Science. Professor Chabris is also co-author of the bestselling book “The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us,” published in 20 languages.

Overview

The SAT and other standardized tests seem to be going out of style, even as celebrities and wealthy parents are being caught paying ringers to take them for their children. Critics say the tests are biased, unfair, too coachable, and irrelevant to success at college or in the rest of life. And more and more academic institutions are making them optional or eliminating them from the admissions process altogether. Are these criticisms and decisions justified? This class will explain what standardized tests are, what they are not, and discuss the surprising pros and cons of using them to make high-stakes decisions about who gets into college.

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