Using CodeBreaker to Predict Ability

Wednesday, 15 May 2013   |   Creative Thinking

MastermindI like methods of measuring peoples ability that do it indirectly.  The problem with most ways of measuring ability is that people are aware of them and try to game the system (usually rather successfully).  Indirect methods aren't always as reliable but they can be good at giving you a more truthful picture.  In particular, I like games.  People get caught up in them and it really brings out the true them.  CodeBreaker is one that I think works particularly well in several situations.

CodeBreaker is an online version of the game Mastermind (by Invicta).  It is a simple game of logic that can tell you a lot about how a person or group thinks and operates (including, potentially, their creative ability).

Before doing either of these tests you should always ask your subject if they have played CodeBreaker/ Mastermind before.  If they have then you should take this into account when evaluating their performance.

Use CodeBreaker to Evaluate an Individual

Ask the subject to play a game or three.

Your approach will vary depending on their level of ability and what you intend to discover about them.  Here are some pointers to guide you.

  • Ask them questions at various points in the exercise such as "That's interesting, why did you make that selection?", Before they hit 'Accept', "Can you tell me your reasoning with this selection?", "Are there any of the marbles you are certain of, why?" etc.
  • Do they develop a strategy or do they just make random guesses?
  • How do they react when they get a result, not quite what they were expecting?
  • Are they interested, or bored?

Watching them play can tell you alot about the person.  Are they good problem solvers?  How do they handle negative outcomes?  How quickly do they learn?  How good are they at spotting details?  What motivates them? etc


Use CodeBreaker to Evaluate a Group

Want to see how well a particular group of people may work together?  Try getting them to work together to crack a few codes in CodeBreaker and watch how they work.

  • Peoples roles in the group, such as the leader etc will stand out quite clearly.
  • What sort of discussion arises?  Do they work together or criticise each other?
  • Does it eventually fall back on a single person doing all the work?

Try it.  Because people won't exactly know what you are observing about them, you will get a more truthful picture.  It will be fun also.

Join in below.  What activities for evaluating people do you find work well?


You're on your way to becoming a Highly Creative Person.