Thursday, December 23, 2010

More on Jump$tart

From an email from Frances Woolley:

Mark: "There are no questions that refer to charts or tables though the ability to read both is an essential part of financial literacy." This is a really good point. I also very much like your point about question 24, with its highly dubious generalization from the general to the particular.

In many ways, teaching people what they don't know, and the types of systematic mistakes they are likely to know, is probably as valuable for financial literacy as anything. For example, when dieting, knowing about standard psychological biases, e.g. that people eat less when they eat from a small plate, more from a large one, helps a person trick herself into eating less - and that's more help than being told that celery is less fattening than cookies.

It's unfortunate in many ways that the Jump$tart has so many flaws of this kind, because it could be really valuable.

If we actually care about financial literacy, we ought to commission a decent test.

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