AIQ – The New Wonderlic Test for the NFL?

News leaked recently that Baker Mayfield had one of the highest scores ever on the NFL’s new test de jour – the AIQ, or Athletic Intelligence Quotient. News reports have leaked out that Mayfield had a top 100 score out of roughly 4,000 completed tests, and the second highest among 63 quarterbacks who have taken the test since 2012.

The test was developed by Dr. Scott Goldman and Dr. Jim Bowman. Unlike the Wonderlic test, though, there isn’t a lot of publicly available information about the AIQ, though there’s some sales-y information available on the website at athleticintel.com.

Some of the criticisms of the Wonderlic are supposedly worked out in the AIQ, some of the most common including:

  • Cultural bias
  • Socioeconomic bias
  • Questionable statistically-significant correlation between scores and performance

What is the AIQ designed to do?

  • Provide accurate measurements of the most valuable sport-specific cognitive abilities
  • Improve talent selection, position-specific instruction, and game planning

The test itself is designed to measure specific mental attributes of players including:

  • Field awareness
  • Decision making
  • Reaction time
  • Learning
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability

In football, there are so many dependents that make perceived intelligence hard to evaluate. For example, a player may seem to have mastered the offensive or defensive system they played in college, but evaluators don’t always know how complex these systems were, or what guidelines, if any, a player was required to play within. The AIQ aims to cast aside all of the noise and distil the data into athletic specific traits that can be predictors of success.  For coaches and front office types, the goals of the AIQ are to:

  • Improve player selection
  • Improve practice productivity and efficiency
  • Allow for more sophisticated game plans and in-game adjustments
  • Tailor game plans and coaching styles to maximize player performance

Obviously, this sounds like the ultimate tool for athletic intelligence evaluation, but beyond the marketing talk there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the test and its output. A sample report is available here if you want to take a look for yourself, but we’re reserving judgment until we have more to report.