NOTES - Abraham Lincoln - James M. McPherson

The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness - Todd Rose (2016)


The pagination of this electronic edition does not match the edition from which it was made. To locate a specific passage, please use the search feature on your e-book reader.


1.“USAF Aircraft Accidents, February 1950,”,

2.Francis E. Randall et al., Human Body Size in Military Aircraft and Personal Equipment (Army Air Forces Air Materiel Command, Wright Field, Ohio, 1946), 5.

3.United States Air Force, Anthropometry of Flying Personnel by H. T. Hertzberg et al., WADC-TR-52-321 (Dayton: Wright-Patterson AFB, 1954).

4.Gilbert S. Daniels, interviewed by Todd Rose, May 14, 2014.

5.For an overview of this particular approach to typing, see W. H. Sheldon et al., Atlas of Man (New York: Gramercy Publishing Company, 1954).

6.Earnest Albert Hooton, Crime and the Man (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1939), 130.

7.Gilbert S. Daniels, “A Study of Hand Form in 250 Harvard Men” (unpublished thesis submitted for honors in the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, 1948).

8.Daniels, interview.

9.Gilbert S. Daniels, The “Average Man”? TN-WCRD-53-7 (Dayton: Wright-Patterson AFB, Air Force Aerospace Medical Research Lab, 1952).

10.Daniels, The “Average Man”?, 3.

11.Josephine Robertson, “Are You Norma, Typical Woman? Search to Reward Ohio Winners,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 9, 1945.

12.Anna G. Creadick, Perfectly Average: The Pursuit of Normality in Postwar America (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010). Note: The sculptures are available at Harvard Countway Library; “CLINIC: But Am I Normal?” Remedia, November 5, 2012,; Harry L. Shapiro, “A Portrait of the American People,” Natural History 54 (1945): 248, 252.

13.Dahlia S. Cambers, “The Law of Averages 1: Normman and Norma,” Cabinet, Issue 15, Fall 2004,; and Creadick, Perfectly Average.

14.Bruno Gebhard, “The Birth Models: R. L. Dickinson’s Monument,” Journal of Social Hygiene 37 (April 1951), 169-174.

15.Gebhard, “The Birth Models.”

16.Josephine Robertson, “High Schools Show Norma New Way to Physical Fitness,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 18, 1945, A1.

17.Josephine Robertson, “Are You Norma, Typical Woman? Search to Reward Ohio Winners,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 9, 1945, A8; Josephine Robertson, “Norma Is Appealing Model in Opinion of City’s Artists,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 15, 1945, A1; Josephine Robertson, “Norma Wants Her Posture to Be Perfect,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 13, 1945, A1; Josephine Robertson, “High Schools Show Norma New Way to Physical Fitness,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 18, 1945, A1; Josephine Robertson, “Dr. Clausen Finds Norma Devout, but Still Glamorous,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 24, 1945, A3; “The shape we’re in.” TIME, June 18, 1945; Creadick, Perfectly Average, 31-35.

18.Josephine Robertson, “Theater Cashier, 23, Wins Title of Norma, Besting 3,863 Entries,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 23, 1945, A1.

19.Robertson, “Theater Cashier,” A1.

20.Robertson, “Theater Cashier,” A1.

21.Daniels, The “Average Man”?, 1.

22.Daniels, The “Average Man”?

23.Daniels, interview.

24.Kenneth W. Kennedy, International anthropometric variability and its effects on aircraft cockpit design. No. AMRL-TR-72-45. (Air Force Aerospace medical research lab, Wright-Patterson AFB OH, 1976); for an example of manufacturers implementing the design standards, see Douglas Aircraft Company, El Segundo, California, Service Information Summary, Sept.-Oct., 1959.

25.E. C. Gifford, Compilation of Anthropometric Measures of US Navy Pilots, NAMC-ACEL-437 (Philadelphia: U.S. Department of the Navy, Air Crew Equipment Laboratory, 1960).

26.L. Todd Rose et al., “The Science of the Individual,” Mind, Brain, and Education 7, no. 3 (2013): 152-158. See also James T. Lamiell, Beyond Individual and Group Differences: Human Individuality, Scientific Psychology, and William Stern’s Critical Personalism (Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2003).

27.“Miasma Theory,” Wikipedia, June 27, 2015,

28.“Infectious Disease Timeline: Louis Pasteur and the Germ Theory of Disease,” ABPI,


1.Michael B. Miller et al., “Extensive Individual Differences in Brain Activations Associated with Episodic Retrieval Are Reliable Over Time,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 14, no. 8 (2002): 1200-1214.

2.K. J. Friston et al., “How Many Subjects Constitute a Study?” Neuroimage 10 (1999): 1-5.

3.Michael Miller, interviewed by Todd Rose, September 23, 2014.

4.Miller, interview.

5.L. Cahill et al., “Amygdala Activity at Encoding Correlated with Long-Term, Free Recall of Emotional Information,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 93 (1996): 8016-8021; I. Klein et al., “Transient Activity in the Human Calcarine Cortex During Visual-Mental Imagery: An Event-Related fMRI Study,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 12 (2000): 15-23; S. M. Kosslyn et al., “Individual Differences in Cerebral Blood Flow in Area 17 Predict the Time to Evaluate Visualized Letters,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 8 (1996): 78-82; D. McGonigle et al., “Variability in fMRI: An Examination of Intersession Differences,” Neuroimage 11 (2000): 708-734; S. Mueller et al., “Individual Variability in Functional Connectivity Architecture of the Human Brain,” Neuron 77, no. 3 (2013): 586-595; L. Nyberg et al., “PET Studies of Encoding and Retrieval: The HERA model,” Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 3 (1996): 135-148; C. A. Seger et al., “Hemispheric Asymmetries and Individual Differences in Visual Concept Learning as Measured by Functional MRI,” Neuropsychologia 38 (2000): 1316-1324; J. D. Watson et al., “Area V5 of the Human Brain: Evidence from a Combined Study Using Positron Emission Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging,” Cerebral Cortex 3 (1993): 79-94. Also note, there is even known individuality in the hemodynamic response. See G. K. Aguirre et al., “The Variability of Human, BOLD Hemodynamic Responses,” Neuroimage 8 (1998): 360-369.

6.Miller, interview, 2014.

7.Miller, interview, 2014.

8.His full name was Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. For biographical and background information, see Alain Desrosières, The Politics of Large Numbers: A History of Statistical Reasoning (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998), chap. 3; K. P. Donnelly, Adolphe Quetelet, Social Physics and the Average Men of Science, 1796-1874 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2015); Gerd Gigerenzer et al., The Empire of Chance: How Probability Changed Science and Everyday Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Ian Hacking, The Emergence of Probability: A Philosophical Study of Early Ideas about Probability, Induction and Statistical Inference (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975); Ian Hacking, The Taming of Chance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); T. M. Porter, The Rise of Statistical Thinking, 1820-1900 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986); Stephen M. Stigler, The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty before 1900 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986); Stephen M. Stigler, Statistics on the Table: The History of Statistical Concepts and Methods (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002).

9.Stigler, History of Statistics, 162.

10.Porter, Rise of Statistical Thinking, 47.

11.Porter, Rise of Statistical Thinking, 47-48.

12.T. M. Porter, “The Mathematics of Society: Variation and Error in Quetelet’s Statistics,” British Journal for the History of Science 18, no. 1 (1985): 51-69, citing Quetelet, “Memoire sur les lois des naissances et de la mortalite a Bruxelles,” NMB 3 (1826): 493-512.

13.Porter, Rise of Statistical Thinking, 104.

14.I. Hacking, “Biopower and the Avalanche of Printed Numbers,” Humanities in Society 5 (1982): 279-295.

15.C. Camic and Y. Xie, “The Statistical Turn in American Social Science: Columbia University, 1890 to 1915,” American Sociological Review 59, no. 5 (1994): 773-805; and I. Hacking, “Nineteenth Century Cracks in the Concept of Determinism,” Journal of the History of Ideas 44, no. 3 (1983): 455-475.

16.Porter, Rise of Statistical Thinking, 95.

17.S. Stahl, “The Evolution of the Normal Distribution,” Mathematics Magazine 79 (2006): 96-113.

18.O. B. Sheynin, “On the Mathematical Treatment of Astronomical Observations,” Archives for the History of Exact Sciences 11, no. 2/3 (1973): 97-126.

19.Adolphe Quetelet, “Sur l’appréciation des documents statistiques, et en particulier sur l’application des moyens,” Bulletin de la Commission Centrale de la Statistique (of Belgium) 2 (1844): 258; A. Quetelet, Lettres à S. A. R. Le Duc Régnant de Saxe Cobourg et Gotha, sur la théorie des probabilités, appliquée aux sciences morales et politique (Brussels: Hayez, 1846), letters 19-21. The original data are from the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal 13 (1817): 260-264.

20.T. Simpson, “A Letter to the Right Honourable George Macclesfield, President of the Royal Society, on the Advantage of Taking the Mean, of a Number of Observations, in Practical Astronomy,” Philosophical Transactions 49 (1756): 82-93.

21.Stahl, “Evolution of the Normal Distribution,” 96-113; and Camic and Xie, “Statistical Turn,” 773-805.

22.Quetelet, Lettres, Letters 19-21.

23.Quetelet, Lettres, Letter 20.

24.Quetelet, Lettres, Letters 90-93.

25.Adolphe Quetelet, Sur l’homme et le développement de ses facultés, ou Essai de physique sociale (Paris: Bachelier, 1835); trans. A Treatise on Man and the Development of his Faculties (Edinburgh: William and Robert Chambers, 1842), chap. 1. A revised version of this book changed the title: Physique sociale ou essai sur le développement des facultés de l’homme (Brussels: C. Muquardt, 1869).

26.Stigler, History of Statistics, 171; quoting passage at page 276 of Quetelet, Sur L’homme (1835).

27.Quetelet, Treatise, 99.

28.Quetelet, Treatise, 276.

29.Hacking, “Nineteenth Century Cracks,” 455-475; Kaat Louckx and Raf Vanderstraeten, “State-istics and Statistics, 532; N. Rose, “Governing by Numbers: Figuring Out Democracy,” Accounting 16, no. 7 (1991): 673-692; and “Quetelet, Adolphe.” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 1968; (August 10, 2015).

30.John S. Haller, “Civil War Anthropometry: The Making of a Racial Ideology,” Civil War History 16, no. 4 (1970): 309-324. The original report references Quetelet: J. H. Baxter, Statistics, Medical and Anthropological, of the Provost Marshal-General’s Bureau, Derived from Records of the Examination for Military Service in the Armies of the United States During the Late War of the Rebellion, of Over a Million Recruits, Drafted Men, Substitutes, and Enrolled Men (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1875), 17-19, 36, 43, 52. Quetelet uses this result as proof of types (Quetelet, Anthropometrie [Brussels: C. Muquardt, 1871], 16); Quetelet, “Sur les proportions de la race noire,” Bulletin de l’acadimie royale des sciences et belles-lettres de Belgique 21, no. 1 (1854): 96-100).

31.Porter, “Mathematics of society,” 51-69.

32.A. Quetelet, Du systeme et des lois qui social régissent him (Paris: Guillaumin, 1848), 88-107, 345-346.

33.Mervyn Stone, “The Owl and the Nightingale: The Quetelet/Nightingale Nexus,” Chance 24, no. 4 (2011): 30-34; Piers Beirne, Inventing Criminology (Albany: SUNY Press, 1993), 65; Wilhelm Wundt, Theorie Der Sinneswahrnehmung (Leipzig: Winter’sche, 1862), xxv; J. C. Maxwell, “Illustrations of the Dynamical Theory of Gases,” Philosophical Magazine 19 (1860): 19-32. Reprinted in The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1890; New York: Dover, 1952, and Courier Corporation, 2013).

34.For biographical and background information on Galton see F. Galton, Memories of My Life (London: Methuen, 1908); K. Pearson, The Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton (London: Cambridge, University Press, 1914); D. W. Forrest, Francis Galton: The Life and Work of a Victorian Genius (New York: Taplinger, 1974); and R. E. Fancher, “The Measurement of Mind: Francis Galton and the Psychology of Individual Differences,” in Pioneers of Psychology (New York: Norton, 1979), 250-294.

35.Jeffrey Auerbach, The Great Exhibition of 1851 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 122-123.

36.Gerald Sweeney, “Fighting for the Good Cause,” American Philosophical Society 91, no. 2 (2001): i-136.

37.Sweeney, “Fighting for the Good Cause.” For information on changes in voting rights, see Joseph Hendershot Park, The English Reform Bill of 1867 (New York: Columbia University, 1920).

38.Francis Galton, Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into Its Laws and Consequences (New York: Horizon Press, 1869), 26. See the appendix for a discussion of some of the mathematical aspects of the “average man.”

39.Sweeney, “Fighting for the Good Cause,” 35-49.

40.Francis Galton, “Eugenics: Its Definition, Scope, and Aims,” American Journal of Sociology 10, no. 1 (1904): 1-25.

41.Michael Bulmer, Francis Galton (Baltimore: JHU Press, 2004), 175.

42.Francis Galton, “Statistics by Intercomparison, with Remarks on the Law of Frequency of Error,” Philosophical Magazine 49 (1875): 33-46.

43.Francis Galton, Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development (London: Macmillan, 1883), 35-36.

44.Francis Galton, Essays in Eugenics (London: The Eugenics Education Society, 1909), 66.

45.Piers Beirne, “Adolphe Quetelet and the Origins of Positivist Criminology,” American Journal of Sociology 92, no. 5 (1987): 1140-69; for a broader treatment of the topic, see Porter, Rise of Statistical Thinking.

46.Quetelet, Sur l’homme, 12.

47.K. Pearson, “The Spirit of Biometrika,” Biometrika 1, no. 1 (1901): 3-6.

48.William Cyples, “Morality of the Doctrine of Averages,” Cornhill Magazine (1864): 218-224.

49.Claude Bernard, Principes de médecine expérimentale, L. Delhoume, ed. (Paris, 1947), 67, quoted in T. M. Porter, The Rise of Statistical Thinking, 1820-1900 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986), 160.

50.Claude Bernard, An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (New York: Dover, 1865; 1957), 138.

51.Joseph Carroll, “Americans Satisfied with Number of Friends, Closeness of Friendships,”, March 5, 2004,; “Average Woman Will Kiss 15 Men and Be Heartbroken Twice Before Meeting ‘The One’, Study Reveals,” The Telegraph, January 1, 2014, that/10545810/Average-woman-will-kiss-15-men-and-be-heartbroken-twice-before-meeting-The-One-study-reveals.html; “Finances Causing Rifts for American Couples,” AICPA, May 4, 2012,


1.J. Rifkin, Time Wars: The Primary Conflict in Human History (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1987), 106.

2.For biographical information on Taylor: see Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (Cambridge: MIT Press Books, 2005).

3.Charles Hirschman and Elizabeth Mogford, “Immigration and the American Industrial Revolution from 1880 to 1920,” Social Science Research 38, no. 1 (2009): 897-920.

4.Kanigel, One Best Way, 188.

5.Eric L. Davin, Crucible of Freedom: Workers’ Democracy in the Industrial Heartland, 1914-1960 (New York: Lexington Books, 2012), 39; Daniel Nelson, Managers and Workers (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995), 3; and J. Mokyr, “The Second Industrial Revolution, 1870-1914,” August 1998,

6.Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1911), 5-6.

7.Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management, 7.

8.Taylor Society, Scientific Management in American Industry (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1929), 28.

9.Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management, 83.

10.Kanigel, One Best Way, 215.

11.Hearings Before Special Committee of the House of Representatives to Investigate the Taylor and Other Systems of Shop Management Under Authority of House Resolution 90, no. III, 1377-1508. Reprinted in Scientific Management, Frederick Winslow Taylor (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1972), 107-111.

12.Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management, 25.

13.Frederick W. Taylor, “Why the Race Is Not Always to the Swift,” American Magazine 85, no. 4 (1918): 42-44.

14.Maarten Derksen, “Turning Men into Machines? Scientific Management, Industrial Psychology, and the Human Factor,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 50, no. 2 (2014): 148-165.

15.Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management, 36.

16.Kanigel, One Best Way, 204.

17.From a lecture on June 4, 1906 (cited in Kanigel, One Best Way, 169).

18.Frederick W. Taylor, “Not for the Genius—But for the Average Man: A Personal Message,” American Magazine 85, no. 3 (1918): 16-18.

19.Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management.

20.Thomas K. McCraw, Creating Modern Capitalism: How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 338;; and Peter Davis, Managing the Cooperative Difference: A Survey of the Application of Modern Management Practices in the Cooperative Context (Geneva: International Labour Organization, 1999), 47.

21.Kanigel, One Best Way, 482.

22.Kanigel, One Best Way, 11.

23.Nikolai Lenin, The Soviets at Work (New York: Rand School of Social Science, 1919). Kanigel, One Best Way, 524

24.Kanigel, One Best Way, 8.

25.M. Freeman, “Scientific Management: 100 Years Old; Poised for the Next Century,” SAM Advanced Management Journal 61, no. 2 (1996): 35.

26.Richard J. Murnane and Stephen Hoffman, “Graduations on the Rise,” EducationNext,; and “Education,”,

27.Charles W. Eliot, Educational Reform: Essays and Addresses (New York: Century Co., 1901).

28.For an overview of the general debate, and the views of the Taylorists in particular, see Raymond E. Callahan, Education and the Cult of Efficiency (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964).

29.Frederick T. Gates, “The Country School of To-Morrow,” Occasional Papers 1 (1913): 6-10.

30.John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education (Odysseus Group, 2001), 222.

31.H. L. Mencken, “The Little Red Schoolhouse,” American Mercury, April 1924, 504.

32.For biographical information on Thorndike, see Geraldine M. Joncich, The Sane Positivist: A Biography of Edward L. Thorndike (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1968).

33.S. Tomlinson, “Edward Lee Thorndike and John Dewey on the Science of Education,” Oxford Review of Education 23, no. 3 (1997): 365-383.

34.Callahan, Education and the Cult of Efficiency, 198.

35.Edward Thorndike, Educational Psychology: Mental Work and Fatigue and Individual Differences and Their Causes (New York: Columbia University, 1921), 236. Note: Like Galton, Thorndike was obsessed with ranking people. In his final book, Human Nature and the Social Order (1940), Thorndike proposed a system of moral scoring that could help society distinguish between superior and inferior citizens. An average man received a score of 100, while “Newton, Pasteur, Darwin, Dante, Milton, Bach, Beethoven, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rembrandt will count as 2000, and a vegetative idiot as about 1.” In Thorndike’s system of moral ranking, domesticated animals were assigned scores higher than human idiots.

36.Joncich, The Sane Positivist, 21-22.

37.Edward Thorndike, Individuality (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1911). Also see his approach to testing: Edward Thorndike, An Introduction to the Theory of Mental and Social Measurements (New York: Science Press, 1913).

38.Callahan, Education and the Cult of Efficiency, chap. 5.

39.Callahan, Education and the Cult of Efficiency, chap. 5.

40.Robert J. Marzano, “The Two Purposes of Teacher Evaluation,” Educational Leadership 70, no. 3 (2012): 14-19,; “Education Rankings,” U.S. News and World Report,; “PISA 2012 Results,” OECD,

41.Robert J. Murnane and Stephen Hoffman, “Graduations on the Rise,”; “2015 Building a Grad Nation Report,” Grad Nation,

42.Seth Godin, We Are All Weird (The Domino Project, 2011).


1.Peter Molenaar, interviewed by Todd Rose, August 18, 2014.

2.Molenaar, interview, 2014.

3.Frederic M. Lord and Melvin R. Novick, Statistical Theories of Mental Test Scores (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1968).

4.J. B. Kline, “Classical Test Theory: Assumptions, Equations, Limitations, and Item Analyses,” in Psychological Testing (Calgary: University of Calgary, 2005), 91-106.

5.Lord and Novick, Statistical Theories, 27-28.

6.Lord and Novick, Statistical Theories, 29-32.

7.Lord and Novick, Statistical Theories, 32-35.

8.For a history and overview of ergodic theory, see Andre R. Cunha, “Understanding the Ergodic Hypothesis Via Analogies,” Physicae 10, no. 10 (2013): 9-12; J. L. Lebowitz and O. Penrose, “Modern Ergodic Theory,” Physics Today (1973): 23; Massimiliano Badino, “The Foundational Role of Ergodic Theory,” Foundations of Science 11 (2006): 323-347; A. Patrascioiu, “The Ergodic Hypothesis: A Complicated Problem in Mathematics and Physics,” Los Alamos Science Special Issue (1987): 263-279.

9.Ergodic theory was proved by the mathematician Birkhoff in 1931: G. D. Birkhoff, “Proof of the Ergodic Theorem,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 17, no. 12 (1931): 656-660.

10.Peter C. M. Molenaar, “On the Implications of the Classical Ergodic Theorems: Analysis of Developmental Processes Has to Focus on Intra-Individual Variation,” Developmental Psychobiology 50, no. 1 (2007): 60-69. Note: These two conditions are necessary and sufficient for Gaussian processes, which is what we have been discussing up to this point in the book. But they are not sufficient for general processes. Proving that a dynamic system is ergodic is exceedingly difficult and successfully carried out for only a small set of dynamic systems.

11.For example, see Bodrova et al., “Nonergodic Dynamics of Force-Free Granular Gases,” arXiv:1501.04173 (2015); Thomas Scheby Kuhlman, The Non-Ergodic Nature of Internal Conversion (Heidelberg: Springer Science & Business Media, 2013); and Sydney Chapman et al., The Mathematical Theory of Non-Uniform Gases (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970). Note that some ideal gasses are ergodic; see, for instance, K. L. Volkovysskii and Y. G. Sinai, “Ergodic properties of an ideal gas with an infinite number of degrees of freedom,” Functional Analysis and Its Applications, no. 5 (1971): 185-187. Also note that ergodic theory was shown empirically to hold for diffusion in “Ergodic Theorem Passes the Test,” Physics World, October 20, 2011,

12.Peter Molenaar, interview, 2014. Also see Peter Molenaar et al., “Consequences of the Ergodic Theorems for Classical Test Theory, Factor Analysis, and the Analysis of Developmental Processes,” in Handbook of Cognitive Aging (Los Angeles: SAGE Publications, 2008), 90-104.

13.A. Quetelet, Lettres à S. A. R. Le Duc Régnant de Saxe Cobourg et Gotha, sur la théorie des probabilités, appliquée aux sciences morales et politique (Brussels: Hayez, 1846), 136.

14.Peter Molenaar, “A Manifesto on Psychology as Idiographic Science: Bringing the Person Back into Scientific Psychology, This Time Forever,” Measurement 2, no. 4 (2004): 201-218.

15.Molenaar, interview, 2014.

16.Molenaar, interview, 2014.

17.Molenaar, interview, 2014.

18.Molenaar, interview, 2014.

19.Rose et al., “Science of the Individual,” 152-158.

20.Paul Van Geert, “The Contribution of Complex Dynamic Systems to Development,” Child Development Perspectives 5, no. 4 (2011): 273-278.

21.Rose et al., “Science of the Individual,” 152-158.

22.Anatole S. Dekaban, Neurology of Infancy (Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1959), 63.

23.M. R. Fiorentino, A Basis for Sensorimotor Development—Normal and Abnormal: The Influence of Primitive, Postural Reflexes on the Development and Distribution of Tone (Springfield: Charles C. Thomas, 1981), 55; R. S. Illingworth, The Development of the Infant and Young Child: Normal and Abnormal, 3rd ed. (London: E. & S. Livingstone, 1966), 88; M. B. McGraw, “Neuromuscular Development of the Human Infant As Exemplified in the Achievement of Erect Locomotion,” Journal of Pediatrics 17 (1940): 747-777; J. H. Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology (Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1980), 249; G. E. Molnar, “Analysis of Motor Disorder in Retarded Infants and Young Children,” American Journal of Mental Deficiency 83 (1978): 213-222; A. Peiper, Cerebral Function in Infancy and Childhood (New York: Consultants Bureau, 1963), 213-215.

24.For a tribute to her work, see Karen E. Adolph and Beatrix Vereijken, “Esther Thelen (1941-2004),” American Psychologist 60, no. 9 (2005): 1032.

25.E. Thelen and D. M. Fisher, “Newborn Stepping: An Explanation for a ‘Disappearing’ Reflex,” Developmental Psychology 18, no. 5 (1982): 760-775.

26.E. Thelen et al., “The Relationship Between Physical Growth and a Newborn Reflex,” Infant Behavior and Development 7, no. 4 (1984): 479-493.



1.Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz, “2007 100 Best Companies to Work for,” Great Place to Work,

2.Virginia A. Scott, Google (Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008), 61.

3.Steve Lohr, “Big Data, Trying to Build Better Workers,” New York Times, April 20, 2013, See also Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, How Google Works (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2014).

4.George Anders, The Rare Find: How Great Talent Stands Out (New York: Penguin, 2011), 3.

5.Leslie Kwoh, “‘Rank and Yank’ Retains Vocal Fans,” Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2012,

6.Ashley Goodall, interviewed by Todd Rose, April 17, 2015. See also, Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall, “Reinventing Performance Management,” Harvard Business Review, April 2015, Note: Goodall is now Senior Vice President for Leadership and Team Intelligence at Cisco Systems.

7.Kwoh, “‘Rank and Yank.’”

8.For an overview of forced rankings, see Richard C. Grote, Forced Ranking: Making Performance Management Work (Cambridge: Harvard Business Press, 2005).

9.David Auerbach, “Tales of an Ex-Microsoft Manager: Outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer’s Beloved Employee-Ranking System Made Me Secretive, Cynical and Paranoid,” Slate, August 26, 2013,

10.Kwoh, “‘Rank and Yank’” and Julie Bort, “This Is Why Some Microsoft Employees Still Fear the Controversial ‘Stack Ranking’ Employee Review System,” Business Insider, August 27, 2014,

11.Anders, Rare Find, 3-4. Also see Thomas L. Friedman, “How to Get a Job at Google,” New York Times, February 22, 2014,

12.Todd Carlisle, interviewed by Todd Rose, April 21, 2015.

13.Buckingham and Goodall, “Reinventing Performance Management.”

14.Ashley Goodall, interviewed by Todd Rose, April 17, 2015.

15.Kurt Eichenwald, “Microsoft’s Lost Decade,” Vanity Fair, August 2012,

16.Marcus Buckingham, “Trouble with the Curve? Why Microsoft Is Ditching Stack Rankings,” Harvard Business Review, November 19, 2013,

17.Francis Galton, Essays in Eugenics (London: The Eugenics Education Society, 1909), 66.

18.For a broader discussion of one-dimensional thinking, see Paul Churchill, A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989), 285-286; and Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge, 1991).

19.Daniels, The “Average Man”?, 3.

20.William F. Moroney and Margaret J. Smith, Empirical Reduction in Potential User Population as the Result of Imposed Multivariate Anthropometric Limits (Pensacola, FL: Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, 1972), NAMRL-1164.

21.David Berri and Martin Schmidt, Stumbling on Wins (Bonus Content Edition) (New York: Pearson Education, 2010), Kindle Edition, chap. 2.

22.David Berri, “The Sacrifice LeBron James’ Teammates Make to Play Alongside Him,” Time, October 16, 2014,; also see Henry Abbott, “The Robots Are Coming, and They’re Cranky,” ESPN, March 17, 2010,

23.David Berri, “Bad Decision Making Is a Pattern with the New York Knicks,” Huffington Post, May 14, 2015,

24.Berri and Schmidt, Stumbling on Wins, chap. 2; also see David Berri, “The Sacrifice LeBron James’ Teammates Make to Play Alongside Him,”, October 16, 2014,

25.David Friedman, “Pro Basketball’s ‘Five-Tool’ Players,” 20 Second Timeout, March 25, 2009,

26.Dean Oliver, Basketball on paper: rules and tools for performance analysis (Potomac Books, 2004), 63-64. For qualitative insights about building successful teams, see Mike Krzyzewski, The Gold Standard: Building a World-Class Team (New York, Business Plus, 2009).

27.Berri, “Bad Decision Making.”

28.D. Denis, “The Origins of Correlation and Regression: Francis Galton or Auguste Bravais and the Error Theorists,” History and Philosophy of Psychology Bulletin 13 (2001): 36-44.

29.Francis Galton, “Co-relations and Their Measurement, Chiefly from Anthropometric Data,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 45, no. 273-279 (1888): 135-145.

30.Technically correlations range from -1.00 to +1.00 with the sign indicating the direction of the relationship. Since the point I am trying to make here is about the strength of the relationship, I chose to present it as 0 to 1 for the sake of clarity.

31.“Five Questions About the Dow That You Always Wanted to Ask,” Dow Jones Indexes, February 2012,

32.William F. Moroney and Margaret J. Smith, Empirical Reduction in Potential User Population as the Result of Imposed Multivariate Anthropometric Limits (Pensacola, FL: U.S. Department of the Navy, 1972), NAMRL-1164. The data analyzed in the study is from E. C. Gifford, Compilation of Anthropometric Measures on US Naval Pilot (Philadelphia: U.S. Department of the Navy, 1960), NAMC-ACEL-437. For practical consequences of the lack of fit, see George T. Lodge, Pilot Stature in Relation to Cockpit Size: A Hidden Factor in Navy Jet Aircraft Accidents (Norfolk, VA: Naval Safety Center, 1964).

33.Francis Galton, “Mental Tests and Measurements,” Mind 15, no. 59 (1890): 373-381.

34.For biographical information, see W. B. Pillsbury, Biographical Memoir of James McKeen Cattell 1860-1944 (Washington, DC: National Academy of the Sciences, 1947); and M. M. Sokal, “Science and James McKeen Cattell, 1894-1945,” Science 209, no. 4452 (1980): 43-52.

35.James McKeen Cattell and Francis Galton, “Mental Tests and Measurements,” Mind 13 (1890): 37-51; and James McKeen Cattell and Livingstone Farrand, “Physical and Mental Measurements of the Students of Columbia University,” Psychological Review 3, no. 6 (1896): 618. Also see Michael M. Sokal, “James McKeen Cattell and Mental Anthropometry: Nineteenth-Century Science and Reform and the Origins of Psychological Testing,” in Psychological Testing and American Society, 1890-1930, ed. Michael Sokal (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987).

36.The results were analyzed and published as part of the doctoral dissertation of Cattell’s student, Clark Wissler. See Clark Wissler, “The Correlation of Mental and Physical Tests,” Psychological Review: Monograph Supplements 3, no. 6 (1901): i.

37.Wissler, “Correlation of Mental and Physical Tests,” i.

38.Charles Spearman, “‘General Intelligence,’ Objectively Determined and Measured,” American Journal of Psychology 15, no. 2 (1904): 201-292.

39.For a terrific study that shows not only the fact of jaggedness in individuals, but also that individuals differ in the amount of their jaggedness, see C. L. Hull, “Variability in Amount of Different Traits Possessed by the Individual,” Journal of Educational Psychology 18, no. 2 (February 1, 1927): 97-106. For a more current study, see Laurence M. Binder et al., “To Err Is Human: ‘Abnormal’ Neuropsychological Scores and Variability Are Common in Healthy Adults,” Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 24, no. 1 (2009): 31-46.

40.G. C. Cleeton, and Frederick B. Knight, “Validity of Character Judgments Based on External Criteria,” Journal of Applied Psychology 8, no. 2 (1924): 215.

41.For a discussion of his father’s study, see Robert L. Thorndike and Elizabeth Hagen, Ten Thousand Careers (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1959). Note: To any reader familiar with his views it will seem strange to attribute to Thorndike a one-dimensional view of intelligence, since he was consistently arguing intelligence was multidimensional (abstract, social, and mechanical) and was one of Spearman’s biggest critics. However, he did believe there was an innate component that applied to your ability to learn and that it had to do with your neural ability to form connections.

42.David Wechsler, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) (San Antonio, TX: NCS Pearson, 2008).

43.Wayne Silverman et al., “Stanford-Binet and WAIS IQ Differences and Their Implications for Adults with Intellectual Disability (aka Mental Retardation),” Intelligence 38, no. 2 (2010): 242-248.

44.This extends to all traits that we typically measure. See Hull, “Variability in Amount of Different Traits,” 97-106.

45.Jerome M. Sattler and Joseph J. Ryan, Assessment with the WAIS-IV (La Mesa, CA: Jerome M. Sattler Publisher, 2009). For more on the inherently jagged nature of intelligence, see Adam Hampshire et al., “Fractionating Human Intelligence,” Neuron, December 10 (2012): 1-13.

46.Sergio Della Sala et al., “Pattern Span: A Tool for Unwelding Visuo-Spatial Memory,” Neuropsychologia 37, no. 10 (1999): 1189-1199.

47.Jennifer L. Kobrin et al., Validity of the SAT for Predicting First-Year College Grade Point Average (New York: College Board, 2008).

48.Steve Jost, “Linear Correlation,” course document, IT 223, DePaul University, 2010,

49.Todd Carlisle, interviewed by Todd Rose, April 21, 2015.

50.Carlisle, interview, 2015.

51.Todd Carlisle, interview, 2015; also see Saul Hansell, “Google Answer to Filling Jobs Is an Algorithm,” New York Times, January 3, 2007,; for similar insights about Todd Carlisle’s thinking, approach, and results, see Anders, Rare Find.

52.Carlisle, interview, 2015.

53.Carlisle, interview, 2015. See also Saul Hansell, “Google Answer to Filling Jobs Is an Algorithm,” New York Times, January 3, 2007,

54.Employee numbers were taken from “Google,” Wikipedia, June 19, 2015,; and “IGN,” Wikipedia, June 13, 2015, Yearly sales numbers were taken from: “Google,” Forbes,; and “j2 Global,” Forbes,, with IGN numbers based on the parent company, j2 Global.

55.E. B. Boyd, “Silicon Valley’s New Hiring Strategy,” Fast Company, October 20, 2011,


57.Boyd, “Silicon Valley.”

58.Boyd, “Silicon Valley.”

59.“GRE,” ETS,


1.Francis Galton, “Measurement of Character,” reprinted in Fortnightly Review 42 (1884): 180.

2.L. Rowell Huesmann and Laramie D. Taylor, “The Role of Media Violence in Violent Behavior,” Annual Review of Public Health 27 (2006): 393-415. For an overview of the situationist perspective see Lee Ross and Richard E. Nisbett, The Person and the Situation: Perspectives of Social Psychology (London: Pinter & Martin Publishers, 2011).

3.Quetelet, Sur l’homme (1942) 108 (English edition).

4.Stanley Milgram, “Behavioral Study of Obedience,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 67, no. 4 (1963): 371.

5.Milgram, “Behavioral Study of Obedience.”

6.Douglas T. Kenrick and David C. Funder, “Profiting from Controversy: Lessons from the Person-Situation Debate,” American Psychologist 43, no. 1 (1988): 23.

7.“Understanding the Personality Test Industry,” Psychometric Success,; Lauren Weber, “Today’s Personality Tests Raise the Bar for Job Seekers,” Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2015,

8.Drake Baer, “Why the Myers-Briggs Personality Test Is Misleading, Inaccurate, and Unscientific,” Business Insider, June 18, 2014,; and Lillian Cunningham, “Myers-Briggs: Does It Pay to Know Your Type?” Washington Post, December 14, 2012,, “How to Use the Enneagram in Hiring Without Using a Candidate’s Enneatype,” The Enneagram in Business, October 25, 2012,

10.Lawrence W. Barsalou et al., “On the Vices of Nominalization and the Virtues of Contextualizing,” in The Mind in Context, ed. Batja Mesquita et al. (New York: Guilford Press, 2010), 334-360; Susan A. Gelman, The Essential Child: Origins of Essentialism in Everyday Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003); David L. Hull, “The Effect of Essentialism on Taxonomy—Two Thousand Years of Stasis (I),” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1965): 314-326; and Douglas L. Medin and Andrew Ortony, “Psychological Essentialism,” Similarity and Analogical Reasoning 179 (1989): 195.

11.John Tierney, “Hitting It Off, Thanks to Algorithms of Love,” New York Times, January 29, 2008,; and “28 Dimensions of Compatibility,”

12.J. McV. Hunt, “Traditional Personality Theory in Light of Recent Evidence,” American Scientist 53, no. 1 (1965): 80-96. Walter Mischel, “Continuity and Change in Personality,” American Psychologist 24, no. 11 (1969): 1012; and Walter Mischel, Personality and Assessment (New York: Psychology Press, 2013).

13.Erik E. Noftle and Richard W. Robins, “Personality Predictors of Academic Outcomes: Big Five Correlates of GPA and SAT Scores,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 93, no. 1 (2007): 116; and Ashley S. Holland and Glenn I. Roisman, “Big Five Personality Traits and Relationship Quality: Self-Reported, Observational, and Physiological Evidence,” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 25, no. 5 (2008): 811-829.

14.“Yuichi Shoda, Ph.D.,” University of Washington Psychology Department Directory,

15.Yuichi Shoda, interviewed by Todd Rose, November 19, 2014.

16.Shoda, interview, 2014.

17.“Research,” Wediko Children’s Services,

18.Yuichi Shoda et al., “Intraindividual Stability in the Organization and Patterning of Behavior: Incorporating Psychological Situations into the Idiographic Analysis of Personality,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 67, no. 4 (1994): 674.

19.Shoda et al., “Intraindividual Stability in the Organization and Patterning of Behavior.”

20.Shoda et al., “Intraindividual Stability in the Organization and Patterning of Behavior.”

21.Lisa Feldman Barrett et al., “The Context Principle,” in The Mind in Context, ed. Batja Mesquita, Lisa Feldman Barrett, and Eliot R. Smith (New York: Guildford Press, 2010), chap. 1; Walter Mischel, “Toward an Integrative Science of the Person,” Annual Review of Psychology 55 (2004): 1-22; Yuichi Shoda, Daniel Cervone, and Geraldine Downey, eds., Persons in Context: Building a Science of the Individual (New York: Guilford Press, 2007); and Robert J. Sternberg and Richard K. Wagner, Mind in Context: Interactionist Perspectives on Human Intelligence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

22.Shoda et al., Persons in Context.

23.Lara K. Kammrath et al., “Incorporating If … Then … Personality Signatures in Person Perception: Beyond the Person-Situation Dichotomy,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88, no. 4 (2005): 605; Batja Mesquita, Lisa Feldman Barrett, and Eliot R. Smith, eds., The Mind in Context (New York: Guilford Press, 2010); Sternberg and Wagner, Mind in Context; and Donna D. Whitsett and Yuichi Shoda, “An Approach to Test for Individual Differences in the Effects of Situations Without Using Moderator Variables,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 50, no. C (January 1, 2014): 94-104.

24.For biographical information see Raymond P. Morris, “Hugh Hartshorne, “1885-1967,” Religious Education 62, no. 3 (1968): 162.

25.Marvin W. Berkowitz and Melinda C. Bier, “Research-Based Character Education,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 591, no. 1 (2004): 72-85.

26.Hartshorne and May, Studies, Vol. 1: Studies in Deceit, 47-103.

27.Hartshorne and May, Studies, Vol. 1: Studies in Deceit. Also see John M. Doris, Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

28.Hartshorne, May, and Shuttleworth, Studies, Vol. III: Studies in the Organization of Character (1930): 291. Note: In the original study one of the students was a boy and the other was a girl, but for the purposes of illustration I have chosen to talk about each one as a girl so that the focus would be on the character profiles rather than gender.

29.Hartshorne, May, and Shuttleworth, Studies, Vol. III: Studies in the Organization of Character, 287.

30.For a recent example, see Mark Prigg, “Self Control Is the Most Important Skill a Parent Can Teach Their Child, Says Study,” Daily Mail, April 14, 2015,

31.For an overview of the subject, see the recent book from the originator of the task, Walter Mischel, The Marshmallow Test (New York: Random House, 2014). For details of the task, see “Delaying Gratification,” in “What You Need to Know about Willpower: The Psychological Science of Self-Control,” American Psychological Association,; and “Stanford Marshmallow Experiment,” Wikipedia, June 13, 2015,

32.Walter Mischel et al., “The Nature of Adolescent Competencies Predicted by Preschool Delay of Gratification,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54, no. 4 (1988): 687; Walter Mischel et al., “Cognitive and Attentional Mechanisms in Delay of Gratification,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 21, no. 2 (1972): 204.

33.Yuichi Shoda et al., “Predicting Adolescent Cognitive and Self-Regulatory Competencies from Preschool Delay of Gratification: Identifying Diagnostic Conditions,” Developmental Psychology 26, no. 6 (1990): 978. See also Walter Mischel and Nancy Baker, “Cognitive Appraisals and Transformations in Delay Behavior,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 31, no. 2 (1975): 254; Walter Mischel et al., “Delay of Gratification in Children,” Science 244, no. 4907 (1989): 933-938; Walter Mischel et al., “‘Willpower’ over the Life Span: Decomposing Self-Regulation,” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (2010); Tanya R. Schlam et al., “Preschoolers’ Delay of Gratification Predicts Their Body Mass 30 Years Later,” Journal of Pediatrics 162, no. 1 (2013): 90-93; and Inge-Marie Eigsti, “Predicting Cognitive Control from Preschool to Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood,” Psychological Science 17, no. 6 (2006): 478-484.

34.B. J. Casey et al., “Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Delay of Gratification 40 Years Later,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108, no. 36 (2011): 14998-15003.

35.Louise Eckman, “Behavior Problems: Teaching Young Children Self-Control Skills,” National Mental Health and Education Center,

36.Martin Henley, Teaching Self-Control: A Curriculum for Responsible Behavior (Bloomington, IN: National Educational Service, 2003); and “Self Control,” Character First Education,

37.For a discussion, see Jacoba Urist, “What the Marshmallow Test Really Teaches About Self-Control,” Atlantic, September 24, 2014,

38.Shoda, interview, 2014.

39.For more information about Dr. Kidd’s work, see “Celeste Kidd,” University of Rochester, Brain & Cognitive Sciences,

40.Celeste Kidd, interviewed by Todd Rose, June 12, 2015; see also “The Marshmallow Study Revisited,” University of Rochester, October 11, 2012,

41.Kidd et al., “Rational Snacking: Young Children’s Decision-Making on the Marshmallow Task Is Moderated by Beliefs About Environmental Reliability,” Cognition 126, no. 1 (2013): 109-114.

42.Kidd et al., “Rational Snacking.”

43.“What We Do,” Adler Group,

44.Lou Adler, interviewed by Todd Rose, March 27, 2015.

45.Adler, interview, 2015; for an overview of Performance-Based Hiring, see Lou Adler, Hire with Your Head: Using Performance-Based Hiring to Build Great Teams (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2012).

46.Adler, interview, 2015.

47.Adler, interview, 2015.

48.Dr. Matthew Partridge, “Callum Negus-Fancey: ‘Put People and Talent First,’” MoneyWeek, January 22, 2015,

49.Callum Negus-Fancey, interviewed by Todd Rose, April 3, 2015.

50.Negus-Fancey, interview, 2015.

51.Negus-Fancey, interview, 2015.

52.Adler, interview, 2015.


1.Arnold Gesell, “Developmental Schedules,” in The Mental Growth of the Pre-School Child: A Psychological Outline of Normal Development from Birth to the Sixth Year, Including a System of Developmental Diagnosis (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1925).

2.Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (Cambridge: MIT Press Books, 2005).

3.Raymond E. Callahan, Education and the Cult of Efficiency (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964).

4.E. Thelen and K. E. Adolph, “Arnold L. Gesell: The Paradox of Nature and Nurture,” Developmental Psychology 28, no. 3 (1992): 368-380; Laura Sices, “Use of Developmental Milestones in Pediatric Residency Training and Practice: Time to Rethink the Meaning of the Mean,” Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 28, no. 1 (2007): 47; K. E. Adolph and S. R. Robinson, “The Road to Walking: What Learning to Walk Tells Us About Development,” in Oxford Handbook of Developmental Psychology, ed. P. Zelazo (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013); and “Child Growth Standards: Motor Development Milestones,” World Health Organization,

5.For information about Dr. Karen Adolph and her work, see her lab website:

6.Karen E. Adolph et al., “Learning to Crawl,” Child Development 69, no. 5 (1998): 1299-1312.

7.Adolph et al., “Learning to Crawl.”

8.Adolph et al., “Learning to Crawl.”

9.Karen Adolph, interviewed by Todd Rose, June 13, 2015.

10.“Discovery: Will Baby Crawl?” National Science Foundation, July 21, 2004,

11.Kate Gammon, “Crawling: A New Evolutionary Trick?” Popular Science, November 1, 2013,

12.“David Tracer, Ph.D.” University of Colorado Denver Fulbright Scholar Recipients,; Kate Wong, “Hitching a Ride,” Scientific American 301, no. 1 (2009): 20-23; “Discovery: Will Baby Crawl?”

13.“What Are the Key Statistics About Colorectal Cancer?” American Cancer Society,

14.Eric R. Fearon and Bert Vogelstein, “A Genetic Model for Colorectal Tumorigenesis,” Cell 61, no. 5 (1990): 759-767.

15.Gillian Smith et al., “Mutations in APC, Kirsten-ras, and p53—Alternative Genetic Pathways to Colorectal Cancer,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99, no. 14 (2002): 9433-9438; Massimo Pancione et al., “Genetic and Epigenetic Events Generate Multiple Pathways in Colorectal Cancer Progression,” Pathology Research International 2012 (2012); Sylviane Olschwang et al., “Alternative Genetic Pathways in Colorectal Carcinogenesis,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 94, no. 22 (1997): 12122-12127; and Yu-Wei Cheng et al., “CpG Island Methylator Phenotype Associates with Low-Degree Chromosomal Abnormalities in Colorectal Cancer,” Clinical Cancer Research 14, no. 19 (2008): 6005-6013.

16.Daniel L. Worthley and Barbara A. Leggett, “Colorectal Cancer: Molecular Features and Clinical Opportunities,” Clinical Biochemist Reviews 31, no. 2 (2010): 31.

17.Kenneth I. Howard et al., “The Dose-Effect Relationship in Psychotherapy,” American Psychologist 41, no. 2 (1986): 159; Wolfgang Lutz et al., “Outcomes Management, Expected Treatment Response, and Severity-Adjusted Provider Profiling in Outpatient Psychotherapy,” Journal of Clinical Psychology 58, no. 10 (2002): 1291-1304.

18.Jeffrey R. Vittengl et al., “Nomothetic and Idiographic Symptom Change Trajectories in Acute-Phase Cognitive Therapy for Recurrent Depression,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 81, no. 4 (2013): 615.

19.Three papers discussing the issue of equifinality: As it relates to development, see Dante Cicchetti and Fred A. Rogosch, “Equifinality and Multifinality in Developmental Psychopathology,” Development and Psychopathology 8, no. 04 (1996): 597-600; leadership development, see Marguerite Schneider and Mark Somers, “Organizations as Complex Adaptive Systems: Implications of Complexity Theory for Leadership Research,” Leadership Quarterly 17, no. 4 (2006): 351-365; and hydrology, see Keith Beven, “A Manifesto for the Equifinality Thesis,” Journal of Hydrology 320, no. 1 (2006): 18-36.

20.Kurt W. Fischer and Thomas R. Bidell, “Dynamic Development of Action and Thought,” in Handbook of Child Psychology (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006); and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt and Jeffrey A. Martin, “Dynamic Capabilities: What Are They?” Strategic Management Journal 21, no. 10-11 (2000): 1105-1121.

21.Edward L. Thorndike, “Memory for Paired Associates,” Psychological Review 15, no. 2 (1908): 122.

22.Edward L. Thorndike, The Human Nature Club: An Introduction to the Study of Mental Life (New York: Longmans, Green, and Company, 1901), chap. 1.

23.Edward L. Thorndike, “Measurement in Education,” The Teachers College Record 22, no. 5 (1921): 371-379; and Linda Mabry, “Writing to the Rubric: Lingering Effects of Traditional Standardized Testing on Direct Writing Assessment,” Phi Delta Kappan 80, no. 9 (1999): 673.

24.Raiann Rahman, “The Almost Standardized Aptitude Test: Why Extra Time Shouldn’t Be an Option on Standardized Testing,” Point of View, October 18, 2013,

25.For biographical and background information on Benjamin Bloom and his career, see Thomas R. Guskey, Benjamin S. Bloom: Portraits of an Educator (Lanham, MD: R&L Education, 2012); and Elliot W. Eisner, “Benjamin Bloom,” Prospects 30, no. 3 (2000): 387-395.

26.Benjamin S. Bloom, “Time and Learning,” American Psychologist 29, no. 9 (1974): 682; and Benjamin S. Bloom, Human Characteristics and School Learning (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976).

27.While Bloom rightly gets credit for the ideas, it is worth noting that the seminal studies were done by two of his doctoral students, Joanne Anania (Joanne Anania, “The Influence of Instructional Conditions on Student Learning and Achievement,” Evaluation in Education 7, no. 1 [1983]: 1-92) and Arthur Burke (Arthur Joseph Burke, “Students’ Potential for Learning Contrasted Under Tutorial and Group Approaches to Instruction” [Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1983]).

28.In these studies there is an additional experimental condition examined—group-based mastery learning—that is not relevant to this particular discussion.

29.Benjamin S. Bloom, “The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One-to-One Tutoring,” Educational Researcher (1984): 4-16.

30.Chen-Lin C. Kulik et al., “Effectiveness of Mastery Learning Programs: A Meta-Analysis,” Review of Educational Research 60, no. 2 (1990): 265-299.

31.Bloom, “2 Sigma Problem,” 4-16.

32.Khan Academy,; and “Khan Academy,” Wikipedia, June 3, 2015,

33.Anya Kamenetz, “A Q&A with Salman Khan, Founder of Khan Academy,” Fast Company, November 21, 2013,

34.“A Personalized Learning Resource for All Ages,” Khan Academy,

35.“Salman Khan,” TED,

36.“Khan,” TED.

37.Arnold Gesell, “Arnold Gesell,” Psychiatric Research Reports 13 (1960): 1-9.

38.Arnold Gesell and Catherine Strunk Amatruda, The Embryology of Behavior: The Beginnings of the Human Mind (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1945); Arnold Gesell, The Ontogenesis of Infant Behavior (New York: Wiley & Sons, 1954); Gesell, Mental Growth of the Pre-School Child; Arnold Gesell, Infancy and Human Growth (New York: MacMillan, 1928); Arnold Gesell and Helen Thompson, Infant Behavior: Its Genesis and Growth (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1934); Arnold Gesell, How a Baby Grows (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1945); Thomas C. Dalton, “Arnold Gesell and the Maturation Controversy,” Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science 40, no. 4 (2005): 182-204; and Fredric Weizmann and Ben Harris, “Arnold Gesell: The Maturationist,” in Portraits of Pioneers in Developmental Psychology 7 (New York: Psychology Press, 2012).

39.Gesell, “Developmental Schedules;” and Gesell and Thompson, “Infant Behavior.”

40.Gesell, “Developmental Schedules,” as cited in Adolph et al., “Learning to Crawl.” See also Adolph, Karen E., and Sarah E. Berger, “Motor Development,” Handbook of Child Psychology (2006).

41.Gesell and Thompson, Infant Behavior: Its Genesis and Growth, chap. 3.

42.Weizmann and Harris, “Gesell: The Maturationist,” 1.

43.Gesell and Amatruda, Developmental Diagnosis (New York: Harper, 1947).

44.Gesell and Amatruda, Developmental Diagnosis, 361.

45.Arnold Gesell, “Reducing the Risks of Child Adoption,” Child Welfare League of America Bulletin 6, no. 3 (1927); and Ellen Herman, “Families Made by Science: Arnold Gesell and the Technologies of Modern Child Adoption,” Isis (2001): 684-715.

46.Thelen and Adolph, “Gesell: Paradox of Nature and Nurture,” 368-380.

47.Arlene Eisenberg et al., What to Expect When You’re Expecting (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996); and Heidi Murkoff et al., What to Expect the First Year (New York: Workman Publishing, 2009).

48.Thomas R. Bidell and Kurt W. Fischer, “Beyond the Stage Debate: Action, Structure, and Variability in Piagetian Theory and Research,” Intellectual Development (1992): 100-140.

49.Rose et al., “The Science of the Individual,” 152-158; L. Todd Rose and Kurt W. Fischer, “Dynamic Development: A Neo-Piagetian Approach,” in The Cambridge Companion to Piaget (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009): 400; L. Todd Rose and Kurt W. Fischer, “Intelligence in Childhood,” in The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011): 144-173.

50.“Kurt W. Fischer,” Wikipedia, May 17, 2015,

51.For an overview of his work, see Kurt W. Fischer and Thomas R. Bidell, “Dynamic Development of Action and Thought,” in Handbook of Child Psychology, 6th ed. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2006).

52.Catharine C. Knight and Kurt W. Fischer, “Learning to Read Words: Individual Differences in Developmental Sequences,” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 13, no. 3 (1992): 377-404.

53.Kurt Fischer, interviewed by Todd Rose, August 14, 2014.

54.Knight and Fischer, “Learning to Read Words.”

55.Knight and Fischer, “Learning to Read Words.”

56.Fischer, interview, 2014.

57.Tania Rabesandratana, “Waltz to Excellence,” Science, August 7, 2014,

58.Rabesandratana, “Waltz to Excellence.”

59.Rabesandratana, “Waltz to Excellence.”

60.Rabesandratana, “Waltz to Excellence.”

61.“Characteristics of Remedial Students,” Colorado Community College System,; and “Beyond the Rhetoric: Improving College Readiness Through Coherent State Policy,”

62.CLEP (College Level Examination Program),


1.Victor Lipman, “Surprising, Disturbing Facts from the Mother of All Employment Engagement Surveys,” Forbes, September 23, 2013,

2.“Glassdoor’s Employee’s Choice Awards 2015: Best Places to Work 2015,” Glassdoor,,19.htm; Rich Duprey, “6 Reasons Costco Wholesale Is the Best Retailer to Work For,” The Motley Fool, December 13, 2014,; and “Top Companies for Compensation & Benefits 2014,” Glassdoor,,43.htm.

3.Duprey, “6 Reasons.”

4.Jim Sinegal, interviewed by Todd Rose, April 8, 2015.

5.Duprey, “6 Reasons”; “Jim Sinegal on Costco’s ‘Promote from Within’ Strategy and Why It Needs to Think Like a Small Company,” The Motley Fool, June 21, 2012,

6.Annette Alvarez-Peters, interviewed by Todd Rose (e-mail), May 5, 2015. Note: Alvarez-Peters started out at Price Club, which merged with Costco in 1993.

7.“Annette Alvarez-Peters,” Taste Washington,

8.“The Decanter Power List 2013,” Decanter, July 2, 2013,

9.Sinegal, interview, 2015.

10.Christ Horst, “An Open Letter to the President and CEO of Costco,” Smorgasblurb, August 4, 2010,

11.Sinegal, interview, 2015.

12.Adam Levine-Weinberg, “Why Costco Stock Keeps Rising,” The Motley Fool, May 21, 2013,

13.Andres Cardenal, “Costco vs. Wal-Mart: Higher Wages Mean Superior Returns for Investors,” The Motley Fool, March 12, 2014,

14.Duprey, “6 Reasons;” and Jeff Stone, “Top 10 US Retailers: Amazon Joins Ranks of Walmart, Kroger for First Time Ever,” International Business Times, July 3, 2014,


16.Sinegal, interview, 2015. See also, Megan McArdle, “Why Wal-Mart Will Never Pay Like Costco,” Bloomberg View, August 27, 2013,

17.Aaron Taube, “Why Costco Pays Its Retail Employees $20 an Hour,” Business Insider, October 23, 2014,; Mitch Edelman, “Wal-Mart Could Learn from Ford, Costco,” Carroll County Times, July 19, 2013,

18.Wayne F. Cascio, “The High Cost of Low Wages,” Harvard Business Review, December 2006 issue,; for more information on this strategy, see Zeynep Ton, “Why ‘Good Jobs’ Are Good for Retailers,” Harvard Business Review, January-February 2012,

19.Sinegal, interview, 2015.

20.Sinegal, interview, 2015.

21.Saritha Rai, “The Fifth Metro: Doing IT Differently,” The Indian Express, November 24, 2014,

22.Zoho,; see also “Sridhar Vembu,” Wikipedia, April 17, 2015,


24.Mark Milian, “No VC: Zoho CEO ‘Couldn’t Care Less for Wall Street’,” Bloomberg, November 29, 2012,; Rasheeda Bhagat, “A Life Worth Living,” Rotary News, October 1, 2014,

25.Sridhar Vembu, interviewed by Todd Rose, April 21, 2015; see also: Rasheeda Bhagat, “Decoding Zoho’s Success,” The Hindu Business Line, February 4, 2013,

26.Vembu, interview, 2015.

27.Vembu, interview, 2015.

28.Vembu, interview, 2015; for similar sentiments, see Sridar, “How We Recruit—On Formal Credentials vs. Experience-based Education,” Zoho Blogs, June 12, 2008,

29.Zoho University,; Bhagat, “A Life Worth Living.”

30.Vembu, interview, 2015.

31.Vembu, interview, 2015.

32.Vembu, interview, 2015. See also “Zoho University Celebrates a Decade of Success,”; Leslie D’Monte, “Challenging Conventional Wisdom with Zoho University,” Live Mint, November 21, 2014,

33.Krithika Krishnamurthy, “Zoho-Run Varsity Among Its Largest Workforce Providers,” Economic Times, March 14, 2014,

34.Vembu, interview, 2015; D’Monte, “Challenging Conventional Wisdom.”

35.Vembu, interview, 2015.

36.Vembu, interview, 2015.

37.Vembu, interview, 2015.

38.Vembu, interview, 2015.

39.Vembu, interview, 2015.

40.“About Us: Company History,” The Morning Star Company,

41.See “About Us: Company History”; Frédéric Laloux, Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness (Brussels: Nelson Parker, 2014), 112; and “Chris Rufer,”

42.See Allen, “Passion for Tomatoes,” “About Us: Company History.”

43.Laloux, Reinventing Organizations, 112; Goldsmith, “Morning Star Has No Management.”

44.Paul Green Jr., interviewed by Todd Rose, July 28, 2014.

45.“About Us: Colleague Principles,” The Morning Star Company,

46.Gary Hamel, “First, Let’s Fire All the Managers,” Harvard Business Review, December 2011,

47.Green, interview, 2014.

48.Green, interview, 2014.

49.Green, interview, 2014.

50.Green, interview, 2014.

51.Green, interview, 2014.

52.Green, interview, 2014.

53.Sinegal, interview, 2015.

54.Vembu, interview, 2015.


1.For an overview of the problems and the opportunities, see Michelle R. Weise and Clayton M. Christensen, Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution (Clayton Christensen Institute, 2014),

2.Casey Phillips, “A Matter of Degree: Many College Grads Never Work in Their Major,”, November 16, 2014,

3.James Bessen, “Employers Aren’t Just Whining—The ‘Skills Gap’ Is Real,” Harvard Business Review, August 25, 2014,; Stephen Moore, “Why Is It So Hard for Employers to Fill These Jobs?”, August 25, 2014,

4.Jeffrey J. Selingo, “Why Are So Many College Students Failing to Gain Job Skills Before Graduation?” Washington Post, January 26, 2015,; Eduardo Porter, “Stubborn Skills Gap in America’s Work Force,” New York Times, October 8, 2013,; and Catherine Rampell, “An Odd Shift in an Unemployment Curve,” New York Times, May 7, 2013,

5.Michelle Jamrisko and Ilan Kolet, “College Costs Surge 500% in U.S. Since 1985: Chart of the Day,” Bloomberg Business, August 26, 2013,

6.Jamrisko and Kolet, “College Costs Surge 500% in U.S. Since 1985.”

7.“Making College Cost Less,” The Economist, April 5, 2014,; “Understanding the Rising Costs of Higher Education,” Best Value Schools,

8.Raymond E. Callahan, Education and the Cult of Efficiency (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964).

9.Judy Muir, interviewed by Todd Rose, October 28, 2014. For more information about Muir’s approach to college admissions, see Judith Muir and Katrin Lau, Finding Your U: Navigating the College Admissions Process (Houston: Bright Sky Press, 2015).

10.Muir, interview, 2014.

11.Bill Fitzsimmons, interviewed by Todd Rose, August 4, 2014.

12.Elena Silva, “The Carnegie Unit—Revisited,” Carnegie Foundation, May 28, 2013,

13.For a broader critique of diplomas, see Charles A. Murray, “Reforms for the New Upper Class,” New York Times, March 7, 2012,

14.“Micro-Credentialing,” Educause,; and Laura Vanderkam, “Micro-credentials,” Laura Vanderkam, December 12, 2012,

15.Gabriel Kahn, “The iTunes of Higher Education,” Slate, September 19, 2013,;; Nick Anderson, “Online College Courses to Grant Credentials, for a Fee,” Washington Post, January 9, 2013,; Nick Anderson, “MOOCS—Here Come the Credentials,” Washington Post, January 9, 2013,—here-come-the-credentials/2013/01/09/a1db85a2-5a67-11e2-88d0-c4cf65c3ad15_blog.html.

16.Maurice A. Jones, “Credentials, Not Diplomas, Are What Count for Many Job Openings,” New York Times, March 19, 2015,; for more on national credential initiative, see “President Obama and Skills for America’s Future Partners Announce Initiatives Critical to Improving Manufacturing Workforce,” The White House, June 8, 2011,

17.Jones, “Credentials, Not Diplomas.”


19.Thomas R. Guskey, “Five Obstacles to Grading Reform,” Educational Leadership 69, no. 3 (2011): 16-21.

20.Western Governors University,

21.“Competency-Based Approach,” Western Governors University,; John Gravois, “The College For-Profits Should Fear,” Washington Monthly, September/October 2011,; “WGU Named ‘Best Value School’ by University Research & Review for Second Consecutive Year,” PR Newswire, April 9, 2015,—review-for-second-consecutive-year-300063690.html; Tara Garcia Mathewson, “Western Governors University Takes Hold in Online Ed,” Education DIVE, March 31, 2015,

22.George Lorenzo, “Western Governors University: How Competency-Based Distance Education Has Come of Age,” Educational Pathways 6, no. 7 (2007): 1-4,; Matt Krupnick, “As a Whole New Kind of College Emerges, Critics Fret Over Standards,” Hechinger Report, February 24, 2015,

23.Krupnick, “As a Whole New Kind of College Emerges;” and “Overview,” Competency-Based Education Network,

24.EdX and Arizona State University Reimagine First Year of College, Offer Alternative Entry Into Higher Education,” April 22, 2015,; John A. Byrne, “Arizona State, edX to offer entire freshman year of college online,” Fortune, April 22, 2015, For more on ASU, see Jon Marcus, “Is Arizona State University the Model for the New American University?” Hechinger Report, March 11, 2015,


1.For more information about the A-10 Warthog, see “Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II,” Wikipedia, June 29, 2015,

2.Lt. Kim C. Campbell, interviewed by Todd Rose, April 8, 2015.

3.Campbell, interview, 2015.

4.Campbell, interview, 2015.

5.Campbell, interview, 2015.

6.Campbell, interview, 2015.

7.“Kim Campbell,” Badass of the Week, April 7, 2003,

8.“Kim N. Campbell,” Military Times,

9.Campbell, interview, 2015.

10.Campbell, interview, 2015.

11.Campbell, interview, 2015.

12.For an overview of the concept of equal opportunity, see “Equal Opportunity,” Wikipedia, June 24, 2015,

13.Equal access has played a profoundly important role in the fight for equality based on race (see “School Desegregation and Equal Education Opportunity,” Civil Rights 101,, and “The Civil Rights Movement (1954-1965): An Overview,” The Social Welfare History Project,; gender (see Bonnie Eisenberg and Mary Ruthsdotter, “History of the Women’s Rights Movement,” National Women’s History Project, 1998,; and disability (“A Brief History of the Disability Rights Movement,” The Anti-Defamation League, 2005,

14.It is crucial here to recognize that equal access still matters and is worth fighting for. Take, for example, the fact that in 2005 (two years after Killer Chick’s heroics), there was an effort in Congress to bar women from combat (“Letters to the Editor for Friday, May 27, 2005,” Stars and Stripes, May 27, 2005,

15.Abraham Lincoln, “Message to Congress,” July 4, 1861, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 4 (Rutgers University Press, 1953, 1990): 438.

16.For more information on norm-referenced tests, see “Norm-Referenced Achievement Tests,” FairTest, August 17, 2007,

17.James Truslow Adams, The Epic of America (New York: Blue Ribbon, 1931), 214-215.

18.Adams, “Epic of America,” 180.